Stories for March 2010
Wednesday, March 31
AeroVironment Inc. said that Chief Financial Officer Stephen Wright has resigned to pursue “other business opportunities.”
Regency Theatres has bought the Westwood Village's historic Bruin and Village movie theaters near UCLA.
The struggling studio's 140-plus lenders delay the due date for interest payments on $3.7-billion in debt to May 14. That gives MGM's stakeholders more time to weigh purchase offers.
Ameron International Corp. said its first-quarter earnings dropped 72 percent, largely due to lower sales in the slower economy. The industrial products maker also disputed an activist shareholder’s criticisms about its executive compensation.
Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. has named James Wolford its chief financial officer. The announcement follows the naming of a permanent chief executive earlier this week.
Tuesday, March 30
Premium denim maker Joe's Jeans Inc. said that it is expanding into the women’s shoe market after signing a manufacturing and distribution licensing deal with shoemaker Burano LLC.
The stock of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. dropped after opening weekend domestic box office receipts for the company’s 3D film "How to Train Your Dragon" came in lower than expected.
Reed's Inc. said its net loss narrowed in 2009 as lower costs offset a small decline in sales.
Electric carmaker Coda Automotive Inc. and a partner have secured a nearly $300 million line of credit for the production of lithium-ion batteries at a facility in China.
The nation's largest video game publisher has shuffled its senior management team and realigned its internal structure without telling investors or the public.
Monday, March 29
Unico American Corp. said its fourth quarter earnings fell more than 70 percent, blaming a tougher insurance market in which competitors are pricing their products at rates it believes are inadequate to support an underwriting profit.
A compromise designed to preserve the Department of Water and Power's financial stability and build up a solar energy program has been reached between Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council.
Demand for Skechers' new Shape-ups shoe has helped the company's share price quintuple in the past year. Now, insiders are walking away from some of their shares.
Jamie McCourt's divorce attorney Dennis Wasser argued passionately that his client deserved support to continue the lifestyle she had before her separation from her husband, Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt.
Response Genetics Inc. said that Thomas Stankovich has resigned as chief financial officer effective April 2 “to pursue other interests.”
Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. said that it named James Ingebritsen, a co-founder and major shareholder, as its chief executive officer.
Trutanich’s actions called unfair, excessive.
L.A. building owners and sign companies are stunned and upset by the city attorney’s crackdown on supergraphics.
Korean Air calling on City Hall to speed up permit process.
Korean Air calls on Los Angeles City Hall to speed up the permit process for its transformation of the Wilshire Grand.
Before Sit ’n Sleep achieved a success fueled in part by hit TV and radio ads, Larry Miller says the furnishings business flirted with bankruptcy.
Sit ’n Sleep founder Larry Miller spent nights tossing and turning in the early days of his business.
Vernon’s Overhill Farms has seen its stock rise along with restaurant sales of its frozen-food products.
Restaurant sales have lit a fire under the stock of frozen-food maker Overhill Farms.
ADVERTISING & PR: Harvey Alpert opens Brand in the Hand to get ads on packaging.
Talk about high-end marketing: Advertisers now have a medium that reaches affluent consumers at altitudes above 35,000 feet.
REGULATION WATCH: Penalties for region’s pollution will be lower than under previous proposal.
The regional air quality authority took steps last week to lighten fees for hundreds of local polluting businesses that will be assessed because the region failed to meet federal standards.
Business owners worry about landmark legislation.
Business owners predict that health care reform is going to cost them more money.
Paper wins general excellence award, plus ‘Best of the Best.’
The Los Angeles Business Journal wins two significant awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Avery Dennison getting traction with RFID
Avery Dennison is getting some traction with its RFID tags used for retail and baggage tracking.
As the founder of L.A. public relations firm Levine Communications Office, Michael Levine is not unaccustomed to rubbing elbows with the rich and famous.
Maker of high-end strollers opens first store in El Segundo.
El Segundo stroller maker Bugaboo has rolled out its first store.
Online car site scores real dough from owners upgrading their rides.
Long Beach’s Cie Digital Labs draws real dough from virtual car enthusiasts.
Beverly Hills PR vet helps execs shine in Web site videos.
A Beverly Hills consultant has added to her repertoire, now helping executives make appearances on Web site videos.
JM Eagle says attacks on PVC products don’t hold water.
JM Eagle, the world’s largest maker of plastic pipe, finds itself in a legal battle that could damage its reputation and cost it hundreds of millions of dollars.
KFWB up for sale after more static from FCC
CBS Radio has been forced to put Los Angeles station KFWB up for sale.
SPECIAL REPORT: Banking & Finance Quarterly
Was it just another thift that fell under the weight of too many shaky home loans? Or was FirstFed’s fall hastened by a combative CEO who rankled federal regulators?
Mark C. Miller gently ribs Lawry’s red-blooded approach to eating meat.
Business leaders must step in to stop L.A.’s increasing division into upper and lower classes.
Anti-poverty programs help foster economic stability, according to Elise Buik and Manuel Pastor.
Charles Crumpley writes that if Carmen Trutanich’s biggest problem is really supergraphics, his budget might need to be cut even more.
REAL ESTATE: Company uses images to settle questions over construction projects.
Two real estate industry veterans have started a new Woodland Hills business filling what they say is a void in the marketplace.
Long before anyone had heard of a tweet or Facebook friend, Jay Hughen was experimenting with online social networking sites to communicate with other music industry professionals and music fans.
Thursday, March 25
The Los Angeles County jobs picture brightened slightly in February as the county gained 24,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 12.4 percent, according to figures released Friday.
Shares of American Apparel Inc. fell more than 17 percent Friday, a day after the apparel maker reported a lower fourth quarter profit largely due to higher expenses.
Shareholders are being invited to get involved in the tussle between Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who already controls about 19 percent of the company's stock.
Shenzhen New World Group, a Chinese development company, has purchased the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown Hotel, which had filed for bankruptcy last year.
Caltius Equity Partners in Los Angeles has acquired a controlling interest in Diversified Human Resources, a Phoenix-based HR firm that sells insurance, payroll services and temporary staffing solutions.
Santa Monica architecture firm WWCOT has merged with national design firm DLR Group to create a new company.
Shares of UTi Worldwide dropped 9 percent after the logistics company’s fourth-quarter profit didn’t meet analyst forecasts.
Wednesday, March 24
Nazarian Enterprises and SBE announced today that their SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills has refinanced its $70 million mortgage, easing a debt crisis for the owners of the chic new luxury hotel.
Shares of Jacobs Engineering Group rose 4 percent Wednesday after a JPMorgan analyst upgraded the company on the prediction that it will be among the first construction companies to rebound from the sector’s current slowdown.
Cereplast, a manufacturer of biologically made plastics in El Segundo, has entered into an agreement to supply bioplastic resins to customers in Chile and Peru.
The recession may be over, but employers and workers in California won’t feel any recovery this year, according to the latest quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast released Wednesday.
Tuesday, March 23
Natural soda maker Reed’s Inc. said Wednesday that it has given Jones Soda, a Seattle acquisition target, the right to pursue another offer.
Natural soda maker Reed’s Inc. said Wednesday that it has given Jones Soda, a Seattle acquisition target, the right to pursue another offer.
The City of Hermosa Beach has petitioned the California Supreme Court to end a legal battle with an oil company that could mushroom into a $700 million dispute.
Homebuilder KB Home on Tuesday reported a smaller net loss for the first quarter, citing improved margins on home sales.
Maguire Properties Inc., the biggest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles reported a net loss of $299 million on Tuesday.
Monday, March 22
Softball has been at the center of Ashley Herrera’s life since she was 7 years old.
Why L.A. County remains No. 1 in factory jobs
L.A. County remains the leader in factory employment despite a steady decline in jobs.
Variety’s latest cutbacks ‘almost bewildering,’ says Web rival.
Dips in ad revenue and circulation have Hollywood wondering if the curtain will fall on its two trade papers.
Report faults lax business, personal practices.
Report by bankruptcy trustees details sloppy conduct by businessman Ezri Namvar and his company.
Payroll exec’s wife says attorney hid husband’s money.
The wife of a founder of bankrupt payroll company Axium alleges her husband’s divorce attorney helped him hide money.
Cluster of L.A. stores pulls crowds with urban-wear focus.
A grouped effort seems to be working for an L.A. cluster of street wear stores.
Non-profit aims to keep assisting disaster sites after media moves on.
Santa Monica’s Aid Still Required works to help disaster areas after they fall off the front page.
House Port does for houses what Ikea did for home furniture.
Prefab home maker House Port will soon have some residences popping up in L.A.
Joann Killeen, president of publicity agency Killeen Furtney Group in Brentwood, vividly recalls the day more than a year ago when she won the account of a lifetime.
Downtown L.A. condo tower racks up sales despite tough market.
Downtown L.A.’s upscale condo tower Evo has bucked the tough market with healthy sales.
MannKind shares tumble after agency’s request for data.
The FDA’s request for more trial information about MannKind’s inhaled insulin rocked the company’s stock.
Skechers’ new Moreno Valley warehouse to replace five in Ontario.
Manhattan Beach shoemaker Skechers will get a leg up with its big new warehouse in Riverside County.
LAW: Stanley Gold cuts role at Shamrock to take position at Gang Tyre.
Stanley Gold rejoined prominent entertainment law boutique Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown last week, ending his 25-year run as president and chief executive of the late Roy Disney’s investment firm, Shamrock Capital Advisors.
L.A. mayor touts surcharge plan as part of eco program.
L.A. city business leaders are shocked at the mayor’s push for a prompt DWP rate hike.
BANKING & FINANCE: L.A. firm and principal allegedly ran $14.7 million Ponzi scheme.
Financial fraud often goes unnoticed when the economy is strong. But in times like these, scams tend to fall apart.
TECHNOLOGY: Image Metrics goes public as means to raise money.
The executives of Image Metrics Ltd., a Santa Monica-based animation company that does work on video games and feature films, wanted to take their company public, but opted against a traditional IPO.
CM Squared boosts retail customers’ branding and foot traffic with edgy window displays.
CM Squared’s distinctive displays aim to build buzz and turn window shoppers into customers.
Sherman Oaks native Ron Tutor took his dad’s small construction business and turned it into industry giant Tutor-Perini.
Ron Tutor feels his company’s 15-year lawsuit with the MTA has gone on much too long.
L.A. could build a road to the future by offering business, municipal and retail services on a ‘24 Hour Street.’
Rob Carpenter believes a “24 Hour Street” would liberate locals timewise.
Charles Crumpley sees red over the L.A. mayor’s green-minded proposal for DWP rate hikes.
CHIEF DWELLINGS: Jeweler Gregg Ruth seeks $16 million for 20-acre estate.
Listings and sales of L.A. executive homes.
REAL ESTATE: Agents depart, offices shut after Sperry Van Ness deal.
Owners and lenders who insist on holding on to distressed hotels risk impeding economy’s recovery.
HOSPITALITY – Hotel industry owners and lenders need a reality check on property prices, writes Chauncey Swalwell.
GOVERNMENT – Cary Brazeman offers L.A. city officials guidance on dealing with the deficit.
Friday, March 19
Shares of Tetra Tech gained 6 percent Friday after an analyst upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” citing the Pasadena engineering firm’s growing project pipeline.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn upped the stakes Friday in his bid to control Lions Gate Entertainment, offering to purchase up to all of the Santa Monica film studio’s outstanding shares.
Electro Rent Corp. in Van Nuys announced Friday that it won an auction to acquire the assets of Telogy LLC, a reseller of electronic test equipment that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Thursday, March 18
Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. will pay $8.1 million to settle a class action lawsuit by former DaimlerChrysler AG shareholders who claimed the billionaire investor sold shares in 1999 based on inside information.
The holding company of First California Bank announced Thursday that it plans to sell 10 million shares of common stock to fund working capital needs, acquisitions and regulatory expenses.
Real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson reported a fourth quarter loss of $9.1 million due to costs related to a spate of mergers and acquisitions.
Shares of Hanmi Financial Corp. were down nearly 10 percent Thursday after the Koreatown bank holding company revealed that talks with a potential investor had ended without a deal.
Wednesday, March 17
Skyview Capital LLC in Beverly Hills has completed the acquisition of Traxcom Technologies, which processes online transactions for credit card companies.
Abraxis BioScience on Wednesday announced successful results of a Phase 3 trial for its cancer drug Abraxane. News of the results sent Abraxis shares higher by 30 percent.
Real estate management firm CB Richard Ellis Group will open a new service called CBRE Solar to help commercial buildings take advantage of solar energy.
Tuesday, March 16
Stanley Gold, the former chief executive of Shamrock Holdings, has rejoined the law firm Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown as of counsel, effective Tuesday.
Shares of 1st Century Bank in Century City rose 9 percent Tuesday after the company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $3.5 million.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was in the nation’s capital Tuesday heading up a delegation of 200 business leaders who will ask Congress for help in jumpstarting the local economy.
Real estate investment trust Maguire Properties has completed the sale of the Griffin Towers project in Costa Mesa.
Monday, March 15
OPED: L.A.’s financial cutbacks imperil a cable TV service that covers important civic issues.
Paul M.J. Suchecki fears the city of L.A. has tuned out cable channel LA CityView 35.
REAL ESTATE: Colliers says scuttling network led to scoring new talent.
Since centralizing its business structure in December, Colliers International of Seattle has been busy hiring and promoting others within the company in Los Angeles.
Suit says Yelp sought money to curb negative reviews.
A local veterinarian claims consumer Web site Yelp offered to stifle poor reviews for a price.
During the last 20 years, Rosanna Harrison has made a name for herself in the hospitality industry, winning awards for catering work at a host of area hotels.
Charles Dunn CEO Walter J. Conn says one reason for owning your own real estate firm is working every day with your kids.
Walter J. Conn and his children have made real estate brokerage Charles Dunn a family business.
Shift at Joe’s Jean pays off as company drops aprons and totes to focus on premium demin.
City of Commerce’s Joe’s Jeans has proved a good fit in the premium denim business.
ADVERTISING & PR: Space150 to promote Forever 21 on Times Square billboard.
Space150, a digital agency in Venice, has won a $1 million contract to supply content for a giant digital billboard in New York’s Times Square.
HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Chief exec of AutoImmune to return money to shareholders.
It’s a rare management team that’s willing to admit it’s time to throw in the towel before all investors’ money is lost.
SPORTS BUSINESS: Valencia’s XProTex claims its gloves curb impact of pitches.
Broken wrists or fingers from a 100 miles-per-hour pitch can ruin a season for a Major League Baseball player.
Korn/Ferry in Century City says profit, CEO outlook are up.
Does the profit spike at executive search firm Korn/Ferry point to a wider economic recovery?
Boeing to talk with state suppliers about work on project.
Boeing has reassured local companies that they can still land work on the Air Force tanker plane now even though Northrop Grumman is out.
REGULATION WATCH: State panel to hear petition on mandatory condom use.
A showdown between the porn industry and an AIDS activist group is coming to the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards board this week in a hearing over regulations for condom use on adult film sets.
Reed’s makes $9.8 million offer for Seattles’ Jones Soda.
L.A. drink maker Reed’s has uncorked a plan to merge with Seattle’s Jones.
Robert Stein wants to christen a shipyard, but the port wants to use what he calls a ‘community asset’ as a sludge dump.
A developer expected smoother sailing for his pitch to open a shipyard at the Port of Los Angeles.
It’s not every day that a local business owner gets humiliated on national television for the way they run their business.
News of the Week
Torrance hotel stages tax time-themed contest for toilet giveaway.
Miyako Hybrid Hotel hopes to make a splash with its toilet giveaway.
El Segundo maker of work apparel whips up energy drink line.
El Segundo apparel company Ironclad is proving its mettle as an energy drink maker.
Business adviser touts rock-paper-scissors as problem resolver.
Rock-paper-scissors comes in handy as a teaching tool for business adviser Daryl Wizelman.
Harold L. Katz opposes Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas framing transit issues as a rich vs. poor debate.
Online reviews of businesses have Charles Crumpley clicked off.
Individual investors help Saehan dodge danger zone.
Koreatown’s Saehan shored up its capital levels by tapping individual investors in the Korean-American community.
Some open to L.A.’s 10 percent request.
The city of Los Angeles has asked contractors to cut fees 10 percent, and it found some takers.
Calendar and Events
Friday, March 12
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has rejected Carl Icahn's unsolicited bid to increase his stake in the Santa Monica independent film studio. Its board also adopted a “poison pill” shareholders rights plan to discourage further efforts by the billionaire activist investor.
Thursday, March 11
BreitBurn Energy Partners LP on Thursday said it swung to loss in the fourth quarter partly because of lower energy sales and investment losses.
Consideration of Bundy Village, an 11.5-acre medical facilities and senior housing project in West L.A., now moves to the Los Angeles City Council after the city’s Planning Commission on Thursday endorsed a downsized version of the developer’s original plans.
Wednesday, March 10
Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges Wednesday against Typhoon Restaurant Inc., the parent company of Santa Monica sushi restaurant Hump, with illegally selling Sei whale meat.
Hot Topic Inc. said that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell sharply on a 10 percent decline in sales. It also forecast a loss in its current first quarter.
Film industry veteran Mike Kehoe is hoping his latest production will promote awareness about the economic consequences in Southern California of so-called runaway production.
In a step that is unusual even for litigation-heavy Hollywood, the maker of “Iron Cross,” a small independent film that has yet to find a distributor, charged in a complaint that the trade paper Variety had damaged the movie.
Hurt by delays in orders for its military drone aircraft, AeroVironment Inc. reported lower-than-expected net income for the fiscal third quarter and provided a more cautious full-year outlook.
Tuesday, March 9
Colony Capital LLC has entered into a long-term agreement with Annie Leibovitz to help the celebrity photographer manage her debt and stay out of bankruptcy.
The Koreatown parent of Saehan Bank, ordered by regulators to shore up its capital levels, has privately negotiated a $60.6 million common stock sale to a group of investors.
Los Angeles gourmet soda maker Reed's Inc. said it planned to acquire Seattle competitor Jones Soda Inc. for about $9.8 million in cash and stock.
Developer Rick Caruso is looking to expand his retail empire to airports across the country, including Los Angeles International.
DirecTV Inc. has priced about $2.98 billion in new debt that it plans to use for general corporate purposes, share repurchasing and possible repayment of some earlier debt.
Despite a continued slow pace in hiring, staffing company Korn/Ferry International said it moved to a profit in its fiscal third quarter on higher revenue.
Monday, March 8
Northrop Grumman Corp. said it will not compete for the U.S. Air Force's multibillion-dollar aerial tanker contract
Federal prosecutors seek to punish ex-CEO Bruce Karatz, but also to improve the record of a massive stock-options crackdown that so far has yielded few convictions.
Northrop Grumman Corp. said it was awarded a follow-on contract, valued at up to $100 million, to electronically convert and store federal employee records.
O’Melveny a key witness to city’s history
The history of L.A.’s largest firm, O’Melveny & Myers, offers a look at the life and growth of the region.
INTERVIEW: L.A.’s new ‘jobs czar,’ Austin Beutner, has taken the $1-a-year gig because he believes it’s time for his generation to perform public service.
New city of L.A. jobs czar Austin Beutner has signed up for public service to the tune of $1 a year.
Ted Lux writes that a fear of high gas prices no longer drives local commuters.
OP-ED: Renewal process for city permits punishes bars, restaurants and clubs that play by the rules.
Leron Gubler rips a city of L.A. permit renewal process that makes all businesses start from square one.
Charles Crumpley believes the city of L.A. needs to take some queues on its business permit process.
CHIEF DWELLING: Gary Kreisel shells out $2.8 million for our-bedroom residence.
Listings and sales of L.A. executive homes.
REAL ESTATE: Re/Max Marquee had been targeted in series of trademark lawsuits.
A long simmering legal battle over the trademark of a real estate brokerage has picked up steam in recent weeks.
Personal Lines Growth Alliance, an industry group for independent insurance agents, has named Steve Brooks chairman.
When Starr Merten volunteered to help Burmese refugees in Thailand last year, she was surprised to find herself applying her graphic design background in ways that stretched far beyond her advertising career.
PROFILE: West L.A. e-book vendor Wowio likes what it sees in readers’ increased reliance on digital devices.
West L.A. e-book vendor Wowio is abuzz about the boom in digital reading devices.
ReachLocal Inc. has acquired SMB Live, a firm that monitors the online presence and reputation for small and medium-size businesses.
TECHNOLOGY: Activision feud with former execs may hurt blockbuster franchise.
Activision Blizzard Inc.’s shakeup of the local video game studio responsible for its famed “Call of Duty” franchise carries some risks for the Santa Monica-based publisher.
BANKING & FINANCE: Monrovia’s Green Dot touts pickup as cost-cutting maneuver.
Green Dot Bank? A funny name for sure – but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Equity firm makes $928 million all-cash offer for Carl’s Jr.
A private equity firm known for scooping up Dunkin’ Donuts wants to add Carl’s Jr. to the menu.
Alarcon would offer refunds based on length of city residency.
L.A. Councilman Richard Alarcon hopes a tax rebate plan will anchor businesses to the city.
Group offers deal valued at $427 million for L.A.’s SouthWest.
A group of institutional investors wants to dive in and take SouthWest Water private.
Dale Dye, military adviser to film and TV, aims to grow his business with publishing and motivational speaking.
Vietnam vet Dale Dye has marshaled his military experience into a successful show biz career.
Jakks Pacific Inc. said Jack Friedman, one of its founders and a co-chief executives, would step down April 1, but will continue to serves as board chairman and consultant to the Malibu toymaker.
About 300 attended what was called the “unveiling” of the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live last week (the ribbon cutting was held last month).
Art collection of the late Michael Crichton to get public showing.
The late author Michael Crichton’s painting collection is expected to be a best seller at auction.
Lake Arrowhead center offers low-cost retreat options for businesses.
A UCLA resort in Lake Arrowhead offers business conventioneers a lesson in frugality.
Community’s tourism campaign leverages new Metro line stop.
East Los Angeles hopes to use a new Metro extension to hook shoppers, diners and anglers.
February dip has analysts questioning market’s 2009 bounce.
The median sales price for homes in L.A. County fell for the second straight month in February.
Mercury pays millions in Proposition 17 drive.
Mercury General is the driving force behind a state proposition that would let auto insurers target rivals’ customers.
BYD seeks office, plant for electric vehicles.
Chinese electric car maker BYD is hunting for a place to park in Southern California.
Sidebar: L.A. Law
The local legal industry is courting a comeback as a dozen of L.A.’s top firms report higher profits in 2009.
Friday, March 5
L.A. County lost a whopping 74,000 payroll jobs in January, pushing the unemployment rate up to 12.5 percent, according Employment Development Department figures.
Moving to prevent numerous Internet-related businesses from leaving the city, the L.A. City Council voted to create a new, lower business tax category specifically for Internet companies.
The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week after the U.S. employment report showed fewer jobs were lost last month than expected.
White-collar workers are among thousands flooding local amusement parks with applications.
The real estate Internet site company Move Inc. reported a larger fourth-quarter loss as revenue slumped in a continuing slow market for home sales and leasing.
Thomas Properties Group Inc.'s fourth quarter net loss decreased slightly as the Los Angeles company enjoyed improved revenue from its office properties.
Thursday, March 4
CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said it promoted Gil Borok to chief financial officer.
KB Home said that Ron Burkle will not run for re-election to the Los Angeles homebuilder’s board at its annual stockholders meeting next month, so he can devote more time to other business interests.
The Food and Drug Administration sent 17 warning letters to food manufacturers, including the Los Angeles makers of POM pomegranate juice, as part of an effort to crack down on misleading labels on food packages.
RealNetworks Inc. said it will pay $4.5 million and drop its appeal of a court order barring sales of its DVD-copying software to settle a lawsuit by Walt Disney Co. and other Hollywood movie studios.
Movie stars, who not so long ago vied to make $20 million or even $25 million a picture, have seen their upfront salaries shrink as DVD sales fell, star-driven vehicles stumbled at the box office and studios grew increasingly tightfisted.
The two former heads of a local video game studio filed suit against Activision Blizzard Inc., alleging that the Santa Monica publisher terminated them without cause.
Crown Media Holdings Inc. reported a 71 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings, which were hurt by costs associated with contract terminations.
Wednesday, March 3
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp reported a 77 percent jump in fourth quarter earnings that barely fell short of analyst estimates, but its shares were not harshly punished on Wall Street.
The Walt Disney Company and Cablevision have each told viewers to take a side — their side in a brewing battle over distribution payments that are increasingly seen as vital for television broadcasters.
JAKKS Pacific Inc. reported a fourth-quarter net loss because of restructuring charges, and announced that one of its founders and co-chief executives would step down next month.
SouthWest Water Co. said that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired and taken private by a group of institutional investors for about $275 million in cash, plus assumption of debt.
Tuesday, March 2
Northrop Grumman Corp. said that it won an U.S. Air Force contract valued at nearly $224 million to provide components for surveillance aircraft.
Ron Perelman is handing over Panavision Inc., the debt-laden camera rental company that is suffering from a steep downturn in movie and TV production, to its creditors, according to news reports.
Tix Corp. said that it acquired the assets of All Access Entertainment, a discount ticket service in Las Vegas.
Teledyne Technologies Inc. said that a subsidiary has acquired a minority stake in Optical Alchemy Inc., which makes sensors for surveillance equipment.
Monday, March 1
Green Dot Corp., a Monrovia financial services company, said it filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to make an initial public offering of its stock.
The cargo plane's Long Beach assembly plant is scheduled to close in two years. Boeing slows production to extend the life of the plant and work on sales.
Edison International said fourth-quarter earnings fell 2 percent as a Southern California Edison rate increase couldn’t offset a drop in revenue at its power generating Edison Mission Group.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said it would review an earlier announced bid by Carl Icahn to increase his stake in the Santa Monica independent studio.
ADVERTISING & PR: New entity Evolve Media to target $1 million accounts.
Four local online companies have moved in together under the same corporate roof.
PROFILE: Mall operator Macerich has been able to lighten its debt while moving ahead with retail center revamps.
Mall operator Macerich is looking shop shape to investors after lightening its debt load.
INTERVIEW: Leonard Aube parked cars and took pictures of marine wildlife before moving on to museum fundraising and eventually overseeing the $1.7 billion Annenberg Foundation.
Leonard Aube at one time worked as a marine photographer before plunging into non-profit fundraising at the Annenberg Foundation.
Corky Quakenbush has been making films since his 13th birthday, the day his parents bought him his first Super 8mm film camera.
Los Angeles Federal Credit Union has promoted John Dea to chief executive.
Backdating rules may favor former KB Home CEO.
A now-stock defense could help KB Home’s ex-CEO weather his upcoming trial over backdating options.
REAL ESTATE: Activision mulls move from Santa Monica to get lower taxes.
Activision Blizzard Inc., one of the world’s biggest video game publishers, is close to inking a deal to move its headquarters from Santa Monica to El Segundo.
OP-ED: Hey, why not? Donors could get inside look at how doctors, clergy and politicians work in Los Angeles.
Mark C. Miller would pay 250 bucks for close-up access to sensitive and personal work situations.
Harold L. Katz believes privatizing the Los Angeles Convention Center would shortchange the city.
Upper Deck caught making fake Yu-Gi-Oh game cards.
The U.S. distributor of a Japanese fantasy card game had no good hand to play when defending its piracy.
Brockovich back, taking roles in lawsuits
A decade after the movie made her a star, Erin Brockovich still takes supporting roles in legal crusades.
Charles Crumpley feels alternative-energy sources have been overbuzzed.
Struggling Saehan must raise capital by March 8.
Time is running short for Koreatown’s Saehan to raise capital.
Oblong’s glove tech lets users get literally hands-on with data.
A downtown L.A. firm’s glove is a handy way to interact with computers.
Two local women mean business with their new organizer.
Six-month promotion will give guests VIP passes to area venues.
Sunset Strip hotels have staged a promotion offering guests VIP passes the Strip’s famous nightclubs.
Mike Dingman is “Possessed” by his obsession for cars.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Bonnie Reiss, a Santa Monica private equity adviser, as secretary of education.
Reduced residential plan at Century Plaza could pay off for owners.
A scaled-back residential project has been booked at the Century Plaza hotel.
DTS of Calabasas spins disc format into income spike.
A Calabasas maker of Blu-ray audio equipment is proving a sound investment.
Hulu looks to original show to draw viewers and fight rivals.
Online video site Hulu hopes to channel more viewers by featuring original programming.
REGULATION WATCH: Business groups had touted bill as boost to 125 projects.
Business groups across California are frustrated that a state Senate committee last week delayed economic stimulus legislation that would have allowed 125 major construction projects to proceed without new environmental challenges.
SPORTS BUSINESS: AVP plans to stage matches longside large events and festivals.
AVP Inc., the L.A. operator of the professional beach volleyball tour, has a surprising “new” business strategy: play more tournaments on real beaches where fans already are.