Stories for February 2010

Friday, February 26

City Investigates Unpermitted Supergraphic

OTHER NEWS

L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich took aim at another over-sized supergraphic, saying his office has opened an investigation into an unpermitted, multistory advertising image on a building at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Superior Industries Loss Narrows

Superior Industries International Inc. reported a more than 80 percent decrease in its fourth-quarter net loss, boosted by stronger sales during the quarter and earlier cost cutting.

CKE To Be Acquired in $928 Million Deal

Carl's Jr. parent CKE Restaurants Inc. said that it had agreed to be acquired by a Boston private equity firm for about $619 million in cash, plus assumption of $309 in debt.

Thursday, February 25

PC Mall Stock Falls After Earnings Drop

PC Mall shares fell after the online computer vendor disclosed that fourth quarter earnings per share fell 92 percent.

Gundlach Ouster Triggers $25 Billion in TCW Outflows

OTHER NEWS

Clients of Los Angeles-based TCW Group pulled about $25 billion after the Dec. 4 firing of Jeffrey Gundlach.

Kennedy Wilson Buys $342 Million Loan Portfolio

Kennedy Wilson, the Beverly Hills real estate investment firm, said it purchased a $342 million real estate loan portfolio from a large regional bank.

True Religion Soars on Higher Earnings

Shares of jeans maker True Religion rose as high as 16 percent after the company reported higher than expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Wednesday, February 24

Image Entertainment Cuts Staff, Other Costs

Image Entertainment Inc. said that it was laying off roughly a third of its workforce and making other cost cuts as the company reorganizes under new management and investors.

KIIS-FM Back on Top

Pop music station KIIS-FM (102.7) reclaimed the top spot in local radio ratings after spending two months in second place.

Pentagon Unveils New Tanker Rules

OTHER NEWS

The Pentagon unveiled final terms for what it hopes is a robust and fair $35 billion refueling plane competition between Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co., but lawmakers said it still may wind up with just one bidder.

Judge Finds No Misconduct in Karatz Case

The federal judge in Bruce E. Karatz's stock-options backdating case indicated that he won't allow attorneys for the former KB Home chief executive to bring up alleged wrongdoing by prosecutors.

Boeing Slowing Down C-17 Production

OTHER NEWS

Boeing is cutting back production of its C-17 Globemaster from 15 to 10 jets annually in an effort to extend the Long Beach assembly plant's life beyond 2012.

Herbalife Profit Rises

Herbalife Ltd. reported a 65 percent increase in fourth quarter net income that exceeded analyst estimates, driven by strong demand for its diet shakes and nutritional supplements in the Asia-Pacific and North America regions.

DreamWorks' Quarter Better Than Expected

Strong DVD sales for “Monsters vs. Aliens” and TV production revenue helped boost DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.’s fourth quarter above Wall Street expectations.

Tuesday, February 23

Bonnie Reiss Named to State Post

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Bonnie Reiss, a Santa Monica private equity adviser, as secretary of education.

DTS Profits Grow

DTS Inc. said the popularity of Blu-ray devices led to fourth-quarter profits that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Hollywood 'Stock Exchange' Set to Launch

The Hollywood Stock Exchange, which trades on the box office prospects for new releases, is tentatively set to launch as a real-money commodity exchange in April.

Magic Ends Bid for Ebony's Publisher

A bid that would have had basketball hall of famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson buying Ebony and Jet publisher Johnson Publishing reportedly has fallen through.

IPC Falls on Guidance

Despite a 34 percent jump in quarterly profit, shares of IPC the Hospitalist Co. Inc. lost 9 percent Tuesday after the company provided a 2010 revenue outlook that was lower than Wall Street expected.

Ducommun Loss Narrows

Ducommun Inc. reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss, with inventory costs and higher interest expense offset by new revenues from an East Coast acquisition.

Monday, February 22

Physicians Formula Names CFO

Physicians Formula Holdings Inc. said that interim Chief Financial Officer Jeff Berry had been named permanently to the position.

Plan for Independent Contractor Tax on Hold

State Sen. Darrell Steinberg has postponed his plan for a 3 percent withholding tax on payments companies make to independent contractors. The plan had galvanized opposition from business interests.

TCW Investors to Pull $1.3 Billion From Credit Funds

OTHER NEWS

TCW Group Inc. said investors with $1.3 billion in assets will liquidate their holdings in two distressed-mortgage funds after the ouster of Jeffrey Gundlach as chief investment officer.

Ports Loading Up on Jobs

Retail orders increased the number of dockworkers by 34.5 percent at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach during the first three weeks of February.

Northrop Venture Wins Chopper Contract

Defense contractors Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin said that their joint venture was awarded an $86 million contract to develop and repair radar systems for Apache helicopters.

Fading MySpace Embraces Techie

Noted L.A. exec charged with reviving site’s buzz.

Mike Jones brings his reputation as an Internet product genius to his new role as co-leader of MySpace.

Not All Roads Lead to Wall Street

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

Few in the cutthroat world of investment banking have the name recognition and command as much respect as Ken Moelis.

INTRO: Locking Up Talent and New Clients

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

The Business Journal spotlights local investment bankers who are capitalizing on Wall Street’s chaos.

Staying Home Pays Off for L.A. Native

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

Fresh out of Cal State Northridge in the early 1980s, Scott Beiser had his sights set on a career in finance. But the L.A. native had no intention of moving across the country, even if all the jobs, it seemed, were in New York.

Beverly Hills Seeks Cure to Rash of New Medical Space

Plastic surgeons, other doctors face nip and tuck at hand of City Council.

Beverly Hills may pull the plug on doctors looking to set up new medical space in the city.

Surgeon Stumped By Teak Farming

Billionaire inventor accuses former friend of fraud.

A fraud lawsuit has gotten personal for an L.A. billionaire seeking millions from a former close friend.

Hollywood Bars Mix It Up

Capitol City faces off against Big Wang’s to score sports fans.

A new challenger has entered the ring for Hollywood’s sports bar crown.

Taking The Reins

TV producer turns equestrian passion into how-to video Wed site.

A local TV producer has proved her horse sense with a line of equestrian videos.

Driving Recovery Discussion

New UCLA index looks at truckers’ fuel bills to gauge economy.

Truckers’ diesel consumption drives a new economic index at the UCLA Anderson Forecast.

‘Wake Up and Smell the Money’

PAGE 3

Local business owner and attorney Jeff Hughes thought it might be a good move to appear on the ABC reality television show known as “Shark Tank.”

NEWS OF THE WEEK

News Round-up & Corrections from the Print Edition

Pepperdine University School of Law Dean Kenneth Starr is leaving his post this spring to become president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Posh Push

Luxury shops buy into a $265 million rebuild of Santa Monica Place

Santa Monica Place has lined up high-end tenants for the mall’s August relaunch.

Hollywood Sign Home to Nothing but Controversy

Hollywood Sign Home to Nothing but Controversy

The owner of land near the Hollywood sign signals the area is not slated for homes.

Shopping Center’s Rebirth Comes at a Low Price

Discount fashion stores become the focus at new Beverly Connection.

Beverly Connection has turned to discount chains to compete with the flashy Beverly Center across the street.

Northern Exposure for Local Workers’ Comp Firm

Canadian company picks up Zenith in deal valued at $1.4 billion.

A Canadian company is buying Woodland Hills workers’ comp firm Zenith.

Business Fund Thinks Small at Beverly Hills Firm

BANKING & FINANCE: RW Capital hopes to get SBA approval, $100 million contribution.

RW Capital Partners LLC, a newly established private equity firm in Beverly Hills, has launched a fund that will invest in small businesses across the country.

Local Firm Grows Role in Entertainment Sector

LAW: New partners join Sheppard Mullin at two L.A.-area offices.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP has boosted its presence in the entertainment industry with the addition of attorneys Kelly Crabb and Rick Kopenhefer.

Online Video Site Failed To Click With Audience

TECHNOLOGY: Michael Eisner had backed now-bankrupt Veoh as YouTube rival.

A much hyped Internet company backed by one of L.A.’s wealthiest businessmen has shut down.

Buttoning Up

PROFILE: Santa Monica app designer Mobile Roadie tries to get a line on customers with quick, low-cost service.

Santa Monica’s Mobile Roadie helps customers get a cheaper and faster line on smart phone apps.

Checked In

INTERVIEW: Jesse Torres returned to the community where he was born and took the reins of East L.A.’s Pan American Bank.

Jesse Torres has checked back into East L.A. as chief executive of Pan American Bank

Wine Business Has Vintage Appeal for Restaurant Exec

FEATURED NEWSMAKER

Growing up in the kitchen of his parent’s Honolulu restaurant, Michael Jordan learned to embrace his Italian roots by sharing food and wine with family and friends.

Lots of Space

OP-ED: Shuttered dealerships offer building opportunities to cities willing to navigate the development process.

Empty car dealerships could be engines of economic growth, according to David Waite.

Diesel Should Be in Driver’s Seat in Emissions Debate

OP-ED

Diesel has been unfairly consigned to the back seat in clean air discussions, writes T.L. Garrett.

West Coast Provides A Fresh Direction

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

After spending his entire 20-year career at investment banking titan Goldman Sachs, Peter Comisar last year became a prominent example of the rise of boutique investment houses.

Tease photo

NEWSMAKERS

Tennis Channel, a Santa Monica-based cable TV channel, has named Lee Schlazer vice president of distribution.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Aerospace Titan’s Ex-Home Lands Sky-High Price

CHIEF DWELLING: Kent Kresa’s former Beverly Hills residence goes for $13 million.

Listings and sales of L.A. executive homes.

Ready for the Next Level?

COMMENT

They may be in a lull now, but L.A.’s video game companies could get a good ride on the next wave of technology, writes Charles Crumpley.

Torrance Moves on Property for Transit Center

REAL ESTATE: City pays $17.6 million to buy sites lated for bus terminal.

Torrance has paid $17.6 million for a 15-acre parcel, where it plans to build a bus terminal as soon as this year.

Local Focus Delivers Deals

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

In the global finance industry, Bryant Riley has succeeded by thinking local.

San Francisco Pickup Fuels Family Firm

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

Gary Wedbush is on a hiring spree. In the last two years, he has doubled the size of the investment bank his father founded.

Wells Fargo Boosts Local Player’s Game

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

For Mike Rosenberg, it seems, all roads led to Wells Fargo.

Shelved IPO Fails to Curb Growth Plan

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

Some financial professionals specialize in a specific niche. Jason Reese, on the other hand, is something of a renaissance man.

Restructuring Helps Offset M&A Decline

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

Greg Range makes no bones about it: In this economy, traditional mergers and acquisition activity “is terrible.”

Medical Sector Focus Delivers Healthy Returns

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

With the future of health care reform more than a little hazy, opening an investment banking office with a significant focus on health care services may seem risky.

Blank Check Offers Perspective

SPECIAL REPORT: Who's Who in Banking

When entrepreneurs want to sell their business or go public, they typically enlist investment bankers to help pull off the transaction. John Johnson knows firsthand what it’s like to sit on both sides of that table.

Smaller Operator Feasts On Big Rivals’ Failures

SPECIAL REPORT Who's Who in Banking

Bill Doyle did not shed a tear for the big investment banks when they ran into trouble.

Friday, February 19

OneWest Buys Another Failed Bank

Pasadena savings and loan OneWest Bank has acquired the assets of La Jolla Bank, which was closed by regulators.

VCA Antech Reports Lower Profit

VCA Antech Inc. shares fell after Los Angeles veterinary hospital company reported lower fourth-quarter profit and provided a cautious outlook for 2010.

This Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week, as investors were heartened by a Federal Reserve decision to start dismantling emergency lending programs to banks.

Ixia Reports Larger Loss

Ixia shares after the Calabasas maker of network hardware reported larger losses in its fourth quarter and full year.

Don't Separate LAX Runways, Report Advises

The parallel runways on Los Angeles International Airport's north airfield should not be separated for the sake of safety, according to a long-anticipated report by an academic panel and NASA Ames Research Center.

California Pizza Sees Wider Loss

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported a larger fourth-quarter loss on charges and slower sales at its casual dining restaurants.

Capstone Plans Stock Offering

Capstone Turbine Corp. shares fell more than 10 percent on Friday after the maker of turbines for power generation uses priced a $40 million secondary offering.

Thursday, February 18

Salem Buys HotAir.com

Salem Communications has acquired HotAir.com, a popular blog showcasing the news, analysis and commentary of conservative commentators such as Ed Morrissey and Michelle Malkin, the blog site’s founder.

DirecTV Slips to Loss

DirecTV Group Inc. said that charges related to its merger with Liberty Media properties led to a loss in the fourth quarter.

CKE Restaurants to Expand in Vietnam

CKE Restaurants Inc. said that it signed a development agreement granting a franchisee exclusive development rights to open Carl's Jr. restaurants in Vietnam.

Canadian Company to Acquire Zenith National

Zenith National Insurance Corp. and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. said that they have entered into a merger agreement, under which Fairfax will acquire the Woodland Hills workers compensation insurer in a deal valued at $1.4 billion.

Wednesday, February 17

Skechers’ Quarter Beats Expectations

Skechers USA Inc. said stronger retail sales and margins resulted in fourth-quarter earnings that beat not only their own earlier forecasts but also Wall Street expectations.

United Online Shows Profit

United Online Inc. said it turned to a profit in the fourth quarter on stronger performance at its online floral delivery business and tighter control of costs.

Independent Examiner Urged in Tribune Co. Bankruptcy

The U.S. trustee's office has asked a bankruptcy judge to appoint an examiner to investigate charges that Sam Zell's 2007 leveraged buyout of the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Times was improper.

3 Tesla Employees Killed in Bay Area Plane Crash

A small plane registered to a Tesla Motors engineer that was heading to Hawthorne crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday in East Palo Alto, killing all three on board. No one on the ground was injured.

Tribune Gets Extension on Bankruptcy Plan

Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Co was given until March 31 to file a plan of reorganization, avoiding for now a "litigation nightmare" over its 2007 leveraged buyout.

ValueClick Moves to Profit

ValueClick Inc. said it turned from a loss to a profit in its fourth quarter despite only a small increase in revenue in the poor economy.

Forecast Sees 'Jobless Recovery' Continuing

After a horrible 2009 for the Los Angeles area economy, 2010 will be only slightly better, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp, with a jobs recovery on hold until 2011.

Port Activity Up Slightly

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reported combined January traffic up slightly for the second straight month but individual port activity mixed.

Tuesday, February 16

Icahn Renews Bid for Lions Gate

Carl Icahn said that he’s willing to pay roughly $79 million to increase his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. It's the activist investor’s latest attempt to gain greater control over the independent studio.

Burkle to Leave Yahoo Board

OTHER NEWS

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle plans to leave the board Yahoo Inc. after the next annual meeting in order to devote more time to other business interests.

Jacobs Makes Acquisition

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has acquired a 500-person professional services firm in Atlanta called Jordan, Jones and Goulding Inc.

Tetra Tech Awarded Wind Energy Project

Tetra Tech Inc. was awarded a $40 million contract to design and build a 152-megawatt wind farm outside Woodward, Okla.

Monday, February 15

Battle Heats Up Over Auto Insurer's Initiative

The Mercury Insurance-sponsored Proposition 17 would rewrite state law to allow insurers to lure new customers with discounts, as long as drivers have been insured for most of the previous five years.

Arnall’s Widow Questions Vow

Brother has no paper to prove his claims on estate.

Roland Arnall’s brother, claiming he never got his big payoff, is suing the late businessman’s estate.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Career Hits High Point With Downtown L.A. Tower

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

In his 30 years at architecture firm Gensler, Andy Cohen has overseen some of the most prominent developments in this part of the country.

Checked In For Hotels’ Long Haul

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

When Ted Tanner first started working on AEG’s downtown Los Angeles Convention Center hotel, the world was a very different place.

Retail Presence Proves a Towering Achievement

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

In the late 1990s, Jeff Kreshek worked for a developer that was building a retail project at the historic intersection of Sunset and Vine.

Texan Strides Into Starring Role at W Hollywood

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

Marty Collins knew he wanted to build a W Hotel & Residences in Los Angeles. He knew that it had to be in Hollywood, and he wanted it at the famed intersection of Hollywood and Vine.

Attorney Makes Case For Burgers

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

In Los Angeles, restaurants and bars are often hot one day and not the next. But restaurant developer Charles Lew is betting that Angelenos will always have a craving for burgers and beer.

Gaucho Grill Founder Doubles as Property Owner

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

Restaurateur Adolfo Suaya is mostly known in Los Angeles for his once-ubiquitous chain, Gaucho Grill, and the other chic restaurants and lounges he’s opened.

Former San Francisco Secretary Goes Against Type

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

Had Lynda Boyer typed more slowly, she might never have gone into real estate.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Reveals Itself at Early Age

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

Gabe Kadosh said that he’s aspired to be a businessman since childhood and even found a way to explore his entrepreneurial side on the playground.

Dialed Into Democracy

OP-ED: Governments must gear up to work for an increasingly tech-savvy public used to speedy results and service.

Paul Little believes tech-savvy citizens will increasingly pressure governments for faster service.

Regional Cooperation Key to California Recovery

OP-ED

California leaders should follow a strategic plan that draws upon the state’s regional strengths, writes Bill Allen.

Heavy Impact of Light Rail

OP-ED: Metro’s Expo Line plan will hurt businesses and neighborhoods in L.A.’s South-Central and Westside.

Mark Ridley-Thomas believes L.A. neighborhoods are being railroaded by Metro’s Expo Line.

Public Plea for Privatization

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley wants to make a public issue of privatizing city services.

Fundraiser Has Money for Home in Hollywood

REAL ESTATE: Donor Services takes L.A. Weekly’s former office in $3.5 million deal.

Donor Services Group, a fundraising company that handles telemarketing for non-profits, has signed a $3.5 million lease for a Hollywood building with a publishing business pedigree.

NEWSMAKERS

Hillsides, a Pasadena-based foster care non-profit, has named Joseph Costa chief executive.

Ex-Nike Exec a Shoo-In at Hollywood Marketing Firm

FEATURED NEWSMAKER

Emmanuel Kofi Brown is used to being ahead of the curve.

Full Plate

French woman Sophie Gayot guided the jump of her family’s restaurant review business from print to the Web.

Sophie Gayot handled the tall order of moving her family’s restaurant review business to the Internet.

Rewiring the Business

Torrance computer vendor PC Mall aims to boost sales by pursuing government and corporate customers.

Computer vendor PC Mall’s new business plan targets corporate and government customers.

REGIONAL REPORT

The Small Business Development Center at Antelope Valley’s College of the Canyons will expand its business consulting and training services with the help of a $10,000 donation from Wells Fargo Bank.

Westside Firm Makes Double Play in Pickup Game

ADVERTISING & PR: Phelps grows services for clients with acquisition of two agencies.

One Westside advertising agency has acquired two others.

Algae Biofuel Firm Dives Into Production Phase

MANUFACTURING: OriginOil in talks with wastewater agencies to set up system at plants.

OriginOil, an L.A. startup working on technology that can extract oil from algae, is looking to turn a profit.

Fontana Track Gets New Look With Video Boards

SPORTS BUSINESS: Venue also will unveil audio upgrades at Feb. 21 event.

Auto Club Speedway may be one of the few places in Southern California where digital billboards don’t cause controversy.

HMO Makes In-House Calls With New Program

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Kaiser sets up workplace clinic to treat steel company staff.

The Southern California region of Kaiser Permanente has launched a workplace health experiment that has the potential to further cement its relationships with large business clients.

Consultancy Applies Advice on How to Branch Out

Score looks to add women, minorities to reach more businesses.

A free business consultancy hopes women and minority advisers will expand its reach.

Democrats Revive Vetoed Withholding Tax Proposal

State’s business groups rip plan as loan from contractors.

Business groups fear the Democrats’ withholding tax plan will squeeze independent contractors.

Taking Flights

Long Beach Airport’s multimillion-dollar upgrades help it to land two low-cost air carriers.

Long Beach Airport has launched an upgrade plan and has landed more flights.

Not Just an Ordinary Bookkeeper

PAGE 3

As a chief financial officer, Robert Bothamley deals with lots of numbers. In his personal life, however, he’s more enamored of another medium: printed words and pictures.

Healthy Web Link

Local couple leverages wife’s TV fame to push medical advice site

Spanish-language TV’s Doctora Aliza and her husband hope their medical advice site connects with fans.

Handy View of The Future

Company streams aerial surveillance to smart phones, PDAs.

A Van Nuys firm is looking to get aerial surveillance footage on handheld devices.

Disney Dresses Up ‘Alice’

L.A. designer crafts new couture line tied to upcoming movie.

A local dress designer has joined in the product push to promote Disney’s new “Alice in Wonderland.”

Fate of Pollution Permits Remains Up in the Air

REGULATION WATCH: Fight continues over the right to discounted credits.

Sometimes you think the war is over, but the battle rages on nevertheless.

REBOOTED

Local chip maker snuffs crises, boosts revenue

Rising revenue has rebooted the fortunes of El Segundo chip maker International Rectifier.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Steven Udvar-Hazy stepped down as chief executive and director of American International Group Inc.’s aircraft leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp.

Team Effort Delivers Deals in West Los Angeles

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

As founder and president of Conroy Commercial, Brad Conroy has spent the last decade of his life working on real estate deals worth millions of dollars.

Assertive Approach Ropes in Restaurant Tenants

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

Christine Deschaine credits much of her success to assertiveness.

Is W Hollywood A Scene Stealer?

Older hotels revamp to fend off new rival.

Hollywood hotels Roosevelt and Renaissance have no reservations about competing with the new W.

Saturday, February 13

Anthem Blue Cross to Delay Rate Increases

Anthem Blue Cross said it would delay until May 1 controversial price increases of up to 39 percent for its individual health insurance policyholders in California, but maintained its rates were fair, legal and necessary.

Friday, February 12

Cherokee Signs Agreements for Sideout

Cherokee Inc. said that it has entered into three new exclusive license agreements that will expand its Sideout sports brand.

This Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up slightly for the week.

HCP’s Fourth Quarter Declines

HCP Inc. reported a 24 percent drop in fourth quarter earnings as the real estate investment trust took charges on properties that had lost market value.

Thursday, February 11

Costs Hurt Molina’s Results

Molina Healthcare Inc. said that despite revenue growth, higher medical costs lead to a net loss in its fourth quarter.

Deal Spares Century Plaza Hotel

An agreement between the Century City hotel's owner and preservationists would save 400 rooms and calls for a 'sensitive rehabilitation' of the iconic 1960s property.

Activision Lays Off 200

Video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. is laying off about 200 employees and shutting down its Santa Monica-based development studio Luxoflux.

Macerich Turns to Loss

Macerich Co. said declining occupancy at its predominately West Coast shopping malls resulted in a fourth quarter loss.

Alexandria Has Better Quarter

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. said it had an improved fourth quarter due to higher rental revenue and lower operating costs, but projected 2010 performance would be a little below analysts’ expectations.

MGA Celebrates Despite Uncertain Future

The Bratz fashion dolls are turning 10, and MGA Entertainment Inc. is celebrating with an updated line of the toys that Mattel owns pending appeal.

Wednesday, February 10

MySpace CEO Leaves

MySpace Chief Executive Owen Van Natta has stepped down, less than a year after taking over the troubled Beverly Hills-based social networking site.

Congress Opens Probe Into Anthem Rate Hikes

OTHER NEWS

Congress opened an investigation into Anthem Blue Cross' impending rate increases in California as President Obama cited the premium hikes -- some as high as 39 percent -- in his bid to pass national healthcare legislation.

Gundlach Seeks $1.25 Billion in Damages

OTHER NEWS

Former TCW bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach fired back at his old employer, charging the firm owed him and his team as much as $1.25 billion under a 2007 "oral agreement."

Larger Loss at Rentech

Rentech Inc. shares fell 14 percent Wednesday after the renewable fuels developer reported its second straight quarterly loss that was worse than analysts expected.

Douglas Emmett Has Lower Quarter

Douglas Emmett Inc. reported a larger net loss in the fourth quarter as the real estate investment trust continued to suffer from a depressed commercial real estate market.

Capstone Turbine Loss Narrows

Capstone Turbine Corp. reported a smaller net loss in its fiscal third quarter as the company sold a greater number of its higher-margin, low-emission microturbine systems.

Activision Blizzard Loss Widens

Activision Blizzard Inc. reported a larger fourth quarter loss after taking changes that included reducing the value of its music and other “casual” video game titles.

Tuesday, February 9

Walt Disney Profit Edges Down

Walt Disney Co. reported slightly lower fiscal first quarter net income as restructuring charges offset cost cuts and some gains at its cable TV channels.

Topps Names Ex-TV Guide Exec as CEO

Topps Co., the sports card company controlled by Michael Eisner, has hired the former president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com as its chief executive.

Smaller Lions Gate Loss Still Disappoints

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. reported a smaller fiscal third-quarter net loss that still was larger than Wall Street expected, though revenue was higher.

Manhattan Bancorp CEO Leaves

Manhattan Bancorp said that Chief Executive Jeffrey Watson had left the company. The South Bay-area business bank did not provide a reason for his departure.

Local Ports Expected to See More Imports

OTHER NEWS

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will receive a stronger surge in imports than previously expected in the first half of 2010, according to a new report by the National Retail Federation.

Aecom Quarter Better Than Expected

Aecom Technology Corp. said growth in its management support services segment contributed to fiscal first quarter earnings that were slightly better than Wall Street expected.

Calavo Expands Into Salsa Business

Avocado products producer Calavo Growers Inc. has acquired a majority interest in a Minnesota fresh salsa company in order to expand into the salsa market.

Monday, February 8

Motorcar Parts Reverses Quarterly Loss

Motorcar Parts of America Inc. moved to a profit in its third quarter, which it attributed to new customers, higher gross profit and a stronger balance sheet.

Lions Gate May Pounce on Miramax

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. intends to submit an "aggressive" offer for Miramax even as it advances to the second round of bidding for MGM, according to sources.

Fandango to Expand L.A. Headquarters

Fandango Inc., one of the nation's leading movie ticketing websites, is planning to nearly double the size of its Westside headquarters.

BreitBurn Reaches Quicksilver Settlement

BreitBurn Energy Partners' two founders will step down from the board but retain top management roles as part of a settlement with a large Texas investor.

Mercury Reports Profit

Mercury General Corp. said it turned to a profit in the fourth quarter as the home and auto insurer paid out less in claims than it took in premiums.

Hanmi To Explore Strategic Alternatives

Hanmi Financial Corp. said that its board authorized management to explore a broad range of strategic alternatives for its struggling Koreatown bank.

Putting a Chill on California’s Economy

State’s greenhouse gas law is a financial, competitive hurdle that does nothing to ease global warming.

Jon Coupal warns that the state’s greenhouse gas law would hinder business without helping anyone.

Railing Against This Costly Track

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley worries that California’s high-speed rail line will be a costly trip to nowhere.

Minding Obama’s Pledge to Help Small Businesses

OP-ED

Jorge C. Corralejo and Gilbert Vasquez hope Obama keeps his promise to aid small businesses.

Saturday, February 6

Lifetime CEO Andrea Wong to Step Down

Andrea Wong, the chief executive of Lifetime Networks who spent three years making over the once-frumpy cable network into a showcase for splashy shows, is stepping down before her contract expires in April.

Friday, February 5

Udvar-Hazy Leaves ILFC

American International Group Inc. said Steven Udvar-Hazy will step down as chief executive and director of its aircraft leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp.

Cathay General Closes Stock Offering

Cathay General Bancorp said it netted $125 million from a secondary offering of common shares.

This Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week as investors worried about troubling domestic and global economic news.

Plans for Westside Rail Route Approved

Los Angeles transportation officials took a major step in bringing commuter rail to the Westside, approving plans for a Expo Line route linking downtown L.A. to Santa Monica.

Kennedy Wilson to Make Loans

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. said it is starting a commercial lending program and has hired a veteran executive to manage it.

TV Guide Loses President

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said that the president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com is leaving to take a new job in New York.

Thursday, February 4

Battery Maker Plans Expansion

Quallion LLC announced that a large addition to its Sylmar lithium ion battery factory will bring up to 200 more jobs to the northeast San Fernando Valley.

NBC Affiliates to Oppose Comcast Deal

Wary broadcast TV stations are among those to submit testimony in advance of hearings by House and Senate subcommittees on Comcast Corp.'s proposed acquisition of NBC Universal.

Imperial Capital Postpones IPO

Amid a dismal climate for initial public offerings, Century City investment bank Imperial Capital Group Inc. said that it would postpone its planned IPO.

Northrop Profit Below Estimates

Northrop Grumman Corp. said its adjusted fourth quarter results missed Wall Street estimates due to the sale of one of its units.

Wednesday, February 3

CB Richard Ellis Reports Profit

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said that it moved to a profit in the fourth quarter that was better than Wall Street expected.

Profit Jumps at 99 Cents

99 Cents Only Stores shares jumped 15 percent Thursday, a day after the retailer said cost-cutting enabled it to nearly double quarterly profits.

THQ’s Quarter Disappoints

THQ Inc. swung to a profit in its third quarter, but results fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The video game maker also cut 60 jobs to focus more on digital distribution.

Weinsteins Consider Buying Back Miramax

In what may be the final dramatic twist for Miramax, the Weinstein brothers are circling their old studio with an eye to buying it back from the Walt Disney Co.

'Guitar Hero' Chief Leaves For Other Job

After less than a year on the job, Dan Rosensweig, head of Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Guitar Hero unit, unexpectedly quit to take another job.

Health Net Reports Loss

Health Net Inc. slipped to a loss in its fourth quarter due to a charge related to selling a unit. But the results still were better than analysts expected.

Tuesday, February 2

International Rectifier Posts Profit

International Rectifier Corp. swung to a profit in its fiscal second quarter profit and forecast third-quarter revenue above analyst expectations.

Obama: Scrap C-17; 5,000 Jobs at Risk

OTHER NEWS

For the second year in a row President Barack Obama wants to scrap the C-17 cargo plane, a move which if accepted by Congress would mean 5,000 lost jobs at the Long Beach plant.

Sony Pictures to Cut 450 Workers

Sony Pictures Entertainment is laying off more than 6.5 percent of its workforce, as part of a studio-wide belt-tightening blamed on the growth of piracy and changing media consumption patterns.

Burkle Targets Barnes & Noble

Activist investor Ron Burkle sent a letter to Barnes & Noble Inc. seeking to acquire as much as 37 percent of the company, up from his current stake of 19 percent.

ValueClick to Divest Businesses

ValueClick Inc. announced that its preliminary fourth-quarter revenue would fall short of Wall Street expectations, and plans to sell a non-core business.

MannKind Loss Narrows

MannKind Corp. shares fell 7.5 percent on Tuesday after the biotech said it might delay launch of its experimental insulin inhaler so it can use an updated inhaler.

Monday, February 1

Image Entertainment to Be Delisted

Image Entertainment Inc. said its stock would be delisted on Wednesday due to Nasdaq violations that took place when the company obtained new capital and paid off debt.

Cathay to Sell More Stock

Cathay General Bancorp priced and expanded a public offering of 13.07 common shares, and now expects up to $115 million in gross proceeds.

Disney Said To Be Seeking Miramax Buyer

Walt Disney Co. has been quietly shopping what remains of its Miramax film unit and has attracted seven to 10 interested bidders, according to a mergers and acquisitions expert with knowledge of the process.

SAG Considering Joint Talks with AFTRA

The Screen Actors Guild has voted to explore a bargaining partnership with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Small Biz Owners Skeptical of Obama Plan

OTHER NEWS

Area small business owners and lenders hope that more federal money will work its way to the thousands of small firms that dot the Southland and into the economy. But they also see roadblocks.

J2 Global Makes Three Acquisitions

J2 Global Communications, a provider of outsourced, value-added messaging and communication services, said that it completed three acquisitions for undisclosed terms.

Rentech Fertilizer Subsidiary Gets Financing

Rentech Inc. said that its wholly-owned nitrogen fertilizer operation had secured $62.5 million of debt financing.

Funding a Thorny Issue for Rose Bowl

Pasadena venue may turn to ads to pay for renovations.

Pasadena’s Rose Bowl may field-test corporate sponsorships to pay for much desired venue improvements.

Tease photo

NEWS OF THE WEEK

News of the Week and Corrections

Live Nation Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. closed their merger after reaching agreements with U.S. and Canadian anti-trust regulators.

Food Giant Gives Readers Something to Chew On

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Dole’s new book focuses on fighting diseases through diet.

A lot has happened in the nutrition field since 2002, when healthy eating billionaire David Murdock had his Dole Food Co. sponsor “The Encyclopedia of Foods,” a traditional, general-interest coffee table nutrition book.

Law Needs More Public Recognition

OP-ED: State’s Infrastructure Financing Act could be leveraged to involve the private sector in L.A. city projects.

Penny Cobey encourages the city of Los Angeles to utilize a state law on public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects.

Putting Sustainability on the Table

OP-ED: Restaurant’s business practices offer proof that going green can be both productive and profitable.

Mary Sue Milliken believes businesses can be sustainable and profitable.

New Jobs Czar Should Torpedo Port’s Labor Push

OP-ED

Steve Duchesne urges jobs czar Austin Beutner to scuttle the Port of L.A.’s union-driving efforts.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

GOLDEN RULE

L.A. metals brokers mine inflation fears

Some local precious metal dealers peddle gold by tapping into customers’ fear of inflation.

Tease photo

Pasadena Thrift On Fast Track

IndyMac ties fail to bind OneWest growth.

The thrift created from the ashes of failed lender IndyMac has ambitious branding and expansion plans.

Finally Time for 12-to-2 in L.A.?

City again plans to ease permit process.

The city of L.A. has revived the drive to streamline the city’s permit process.

Flower Vendor Fields Don Rickles in Super Bowl Ad

RETAIL: Teleflora hopes comic will help sales, love bloom on Valentine’s Day.

Online flower vendor Teleflora has hired Don Rickles to sweet talk customers in its new Super Bowl ad.

Dean of Business School Quits to Tend to Family

Ira Jackson had boosted enrollment, added courses at Drucker.

Family issues have forced Ira Jackson to resign as dean of the Drucker business school.

Airline Leasing Executive Looks to Land Plane Deals

Ex-chairman of ILFC may buy firm’s craft to launch rival company.

The former chairman of an airplane leasing firm may be looking to get a rival venture off the ground.

New Agency Finds Fashion Industry a Good Fit

ADVERTISING & PR: Sherman Oaks’ Haute House focuses on small apparel makers.

Jordan Landes-Brenman and Kelly LaRussa met three years ago while working at Red Light PR in Hollywood.

First Lady

INTERVIEW: Min Kim recently stepped down after three years as Nara Bank chief executive. Becoming the first female CEO in the Korean-American banking community was a goal she had set for herself in co

Departing Nara Bancorp CEO Min Kim was the first female chief exec in the Korean-American banking community.

Tease photo

Added Attraction

PROFILE: Pasadena’s Hettema Group specializes in multimedia experiences for museums, hotels and other attractions.

Niche: Hettema Group’s multimedia projects add extra dimensions to tourist attractions.

Tease photo

REGIONAL REPORT

Fineman West & Co. LLP, an accounting services firm, has moved to downtown Los Angeles after more than 35 years in Beverly Hills.

Writer Followed Her Muse Into Public Relations Career

PR executive Julie Miller said that she began her career “as far away from Hollywood as possible.”

Work Restarts at Downtown L.A. Condo Project

REAL ESTATE: Series of lender woes had tripped up Sonny Astani’s Concerto.

After an impasse that lasted months, developer Sonny Astani has finally received approval to continue construction on the nearly completed condo tower at his Concerto development.

Let Them Have Their Say

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley sees recent decisions by CBS and the Supreme Court as promoting debate and free speech.

Raising Stakes

Fast-casual restaurant Sizzler hopes an interior redesign and fresher fare will turn up the heat on the chain’s business.

Fast-dining chain Sizzler hopes an interior redesign and fresh approach in the kitchen will boost its image.

Tease photo

Carrying a Torch - and Raking in Bucks

PAGE 3

Paul Harrington was on a road show to raise money for his company when he took a detour to Canada to carry the Olympic torch.

Local Channel Undergoes Olympic-Sized Expansion

SPORTS BUSINESS: Network to air Winter Games coverage from new larger studio.

A reduction in ad dollars and a migration of viewers to new media has hurt even established broadcast operations.

O.C. Billionaire Rolls Camera Firm Into Hollywood

Former Ren-Mar Studios to house Jim Jannard’s Red Digital.

An Orange County billionaire has picked up a Hollywood studio to house his digital camera company.

Los Angeles Makeover

Travel agents say city has improved its image as vacation destination.

Travel agents say the City of Angels has taken wing as a destination.

Building Connections Online

Web site hooks up construction firms with potential customers.

A Web site aims to build an online community for construction firms and potential customers.

Business Fears Getting Soaked by L.A. Rain Rule

REGULATION WATCH: Coalition says runoff fee will drive projects out of city.

A coalition of local business and real estate groups has formed to oppose some aspects of a storm water runoff regulation being considered by the city of Los Angeles, saying it could discourage development.

New Spin On Fighting Illegal Discs

Business groups put up $1,000 rewards to find DVD duplication sites.

Business groups have put a bounty on the heads of DVD pirates in downtown L.A.

Tease photo