Stories for May 2014

Friday, May 30

Honest Co. Partners with Target

Santa Monica’s Honest Co., an online retailer co-founded by actress Jessica Alba to sell eco-friendly products, has partnered with Target Corp. to sell its wares in stores nationwide, with an expanded line available on Target.com.

Attorney Denies Sterling Is Mentally Incompetent

An attorney representing Donald Sterling rejected the claim the Clippers owner is mentally incompetent, setting the stage for a legal showdown over the sale of the team.

Grocery Chain Says Workers Trying to Decertify Union

The owners of the El Super grocery chain said that even as some workers were on the picket line, others are trying to decertify the union.

Grocery Workers Ratify Contract

The grocery workers’ union has ratified two-year labor agreements for 60,000 employees at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons supermarkets, the union announced Friday.

TrueCar, CytRx Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week.

Dow, S&P, LABJ Rise; Nasdaq Falls

At close of trading on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 18 points to 16,717. The S&P 500 rose 3.5 points to 1,924. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 4,243. The LABJ Stock Index was up a point to 193.

Ballmer Buying Clippers After Sterling Deemed Mentally Unfit

Former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer sealed a $2 billion deal with Shelly Sterling to buy the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday after Donald Sterling was deemed mentally unfit, USA Today reports, noting that means he does not have to sign off on the sale before approval by the NBA.

Sony Imageworks Moves Headquarters to Canada

In a huge blow to L.A.’s visual effects industry, Sony Pictures plans to move its Imageworks division from Culver City to Vancouver, Canada, the L.A. Times reports.

V.A. Chief Shinseki Resigns Amid Furor Over Hospitals

Eric Shinseki resigned as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department today after meeting with President Obama about mounting evidence of widespread misconduct and mismanagement at the agency’s vast network of medical facilities, the New York Times reports.

Fox TV Chief Steps Down

Kevin Reilly will resign from his programming post in June, the New York Times reports, a victim of poor ratings for “American Idol.”

Bills Advance on Minimum Wage, Sick Pay

California legislators advanced a measure Thursday that would raise the state's minimum wage to $13 in 2017, the L.A. Times reports. A separate measure would also guarantee workers three paid sick days a year.

Lawsuit Challenges DirecTV’s Merger with AT&T

DirecTV investor Teresa Silvestri has filed a class action lawsuit opposing the satellite TV provider’s proposed merger with AT&T;, the Wrap reports. She charges both companies with failing to maximize shareholder value.

Sony Names New Entertainment President

Sony Corp. has named Nicole Seligman president of its U.S. entertainment business, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Tyson Swoops In for Hillshire

Tyson Foods Inc. offered $6.1 billion in cash for Hillshire Brands Co. Thursday, the L.A. Times reports, topping an earlier bid of $5.5 billion from Pilgrim's Pride Corp.

Downtown Building Gets New Owner

The Broadway Mall building in Downtown L.A. has been sold for $6.3 million to the owner of Parallel Acquisitions & Holdings, a boutique development firm, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AMC Wants to Open Bar at Burbank Theater

Movie theater chain AMC plans to serve beer and alcohol at its Burbank 16 multiplex, the L.A. Times reports.

Why Is Amazon Fighting With Hachette?

The New York Times argues that Amazon is willing to risk damaging its credibility with consumers during its fight with publisher Hachette because the company is short on cash.

Dow, Nasdaq Falling; S&P Up

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 21 points to 16,678. The Nasdaq was down less than a point to 4,247. The S&P 500 was up less than a point to 1,921.

Poll: Where would you invest today?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition.

Thursday, May 29

SpaceX to Unveil Manned Spaceship Thursday

Elon Musk’s SpaceX will unveil the Dragon V2, its first manned spaceship, Thursday night at its Hawthorne headquarters.

El Super Workers Picketing

Workers at an El Super grocery store in East Los Angeles picketed Thursday in what could be a prelude to a strike at a handful of the chain’s locations.

Stocks Rise

At close of trading on Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 66 points to 16,699.

Nix Hydra Raises $5 Million

Nix Hydra, a Los Angeles mobile-game maker for women, has raised a $5 million Series A round from Colorado venture capital firm Foundry Group.

Hot Sauce War Ends

Irwindale City Council members agreed to drop a lawsuit and public nuisance declaration against manufacturer Huy Fong Foods after the company promised to address all problems, reports the L.A. Daily News.

Ambitious Goal Set for Green Vehicles

California and seven other states want to put 3.3 million electric and fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2025, the Los Angeles Times, reports.

Warner Center Project Shows New Approach to Malls

Westfield Group’s $350-million open-air shopping mall serves as an example of how malls have changed over the years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Malibu Village Shopping Center Sold to Atlanta Buyers

The outdoor mall at Cross Creek Road and Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu’s biggest shopping center, has been sold to Atlanta real estate investment group Jamestown, the L.A. Times reports.

Snapchat CEO Ashamed of Frat-Boy Emails

Snapchat Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said he's "mortified" by obscene personal emails leaked to the Gawker blog ValleyWag, which he sent to fraternity brothers while a Stanford undergraduate five years ago, the Los Angeles Times reports.

City to List Buildings at Risk in Quake

The Los Angeles City Council has instructed inspectors to identify thousands of “soft-story” buildings that pose a serious risk of collapse during an earthquake, reports the L.A. Times.

Apple Bets on Beats' Jimmy Iovine

In the wake of Apple's $3 billion deal for Beats Electronics, the New York Times examines how the computer giant is betting on veteran music mogul Jimmy Iovine, a man whose background differs from other tech industry heavyweights.

Brad Pitt Assaulted on “Maleficent” Red Carpet

Brad Pitt was attacked while walking the red carpet at the premiere of Angelina Jolie's new film, “Maleficent,” reports the Wrap.

Dole Continues Restructuring

Dole Food Co. continues to reorganize Dole after taking the company private last year, the Packer reports, with Chief Executive David Murdock divesting minority interest in the French holding company for Compagnie Fruitière Group.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 13 points in Thursday morning trading to 16,646.

Wednesday, May 28

L.A. Gets Federal Manufacturing Assistance

In a major victory for the region, Los Angeles on Wednesday was named as one of 12 metropolitan areas nationwide eligible for $1.3 billion in federal manufacturing assistance.

Assembly Approves Hollywood Tax Credit Expansion

Trying to match generous tax incentives in other states and keep entertainment production jobs here, the California Assembly on Wednesday approved an expanded version of its tax credit program for the film and television industries.

Deadline Expires for Clippers Bids

The deadline has passed for Los Angeles Clippers bidders to make offers for the NBA team, according a Bloomberg news report.

Reading Rainbow Gets Digital Reboot

Actor LeVar Burton and his Burbank digital publishing company, RRKidz, have launched a $1 million Kickstarter campaign to create a Web version of Reading Rainbow’s educational app.

Apple Seals $3 Billion Beats Deal

Apple Inc. has completed a $3 billion purchase for Santa Monica’s Beats Electronics, the companies confirmed on Wednesday.

Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Down; LABJ Flat

At close of trading on Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 42 points to 16,633.

Sterling Says No Deal

In a scathing response to the NBA, Clippers owner Donald Sterling said through an attorney he has no intention of selling the team, contrary to statements made by his wife's lawyer that he authorized sale talks, USA Today reports.

S&P Slaps Tesla With ‘Junk’ Rating

The credit-rating company gave the Palo Alto electric-car maker a “junk” rating, Bloomberg reports. Standard & Poor's said the low grade was due to “considerable uncertainty” about Tesla's long-term prospects.

Mayor Appoints New Port Chief

Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed Gene Seroka, a shipping executive with American Presidents Line, to lead the Port of Los Angeles, the Daily News reports.

New Starbucks-Owned Restaurant to Open at the Grove

Starbucks will launch an L.A. branch of its restaurant chain La Boulange at the Grove on June 12, the L.A. Daily News reports. The eatery will feature a build-your-own-burger bar and will offer alcoholic beverages.

New FTC Chief Warns Big-Data Collectors

Edith Ramirez, the new head of the US Federal Trade Commission, threatened big-data collectors with lawsuits if they violate privacy and security protections, The Verge reported.

Union Station Upgrades Moving Forward

The $350 million Southern California Regional Interconnector Project could reduce wait times by 15 to 20 minutes and allow trains to travel through Union Station, the L.A. Times reports.

Money Pours to Southern California Congressional Races

Congressional incumbents in Southern California are raking in lots of campaign cash, the L.A. Times reports. Seven candidates have raised more than $1 million in advance of the June 3 election, according to filings.

Sony Animation Pacts with Netflix

Netflix has started offering Sony Animation content to its subscribers under a new licensing deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Starz will still retain rights to Sony's live-action movies.

'Mannequin' Director Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Screenwriter and film director Michael Gottlieb, best known for the 1987 film “Mannequin,” died in a motorcycle accident on May 23 in La Cañada Flintridge, The Wrap reports. Gottlieb was 69.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23 points in Wednesday morning trading to 16,652.

Tuesday, May 27

Ex-Whisper CTO Launches Recommendation App

Knowzz, a business recommendation app founded by Steve Sobolevsky, former chief technology officer at Whisper, has launched its 1.0 version for iPhone and Android.

Convention Center Remodel Moves Ahead Without NFL

Los Angeles city officials on Tuesday moved forward with a plan to remodel the Convention Center without a long-planned football stadium.

Bank of America Speaking to Clippers Suitors

Bank of America has been hired to arrange a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and has already approached potential buyers, according to media reports.

Stocks Higher

At close of trading on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 69 points to 16,676.

Ballmer Eyes Clippers

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly at her Malibu mansion to discuss buying the Clippers, according to CBS Sports, which cited reports from TMZ confirmed by ESPN.

Hollywood Hopes to Cash In on Summer Blockbusters

The movie industry is on track to beat last year's box-office record after "X-Men: Days of Future Past" grossed $111 million over the Memorial Day Weekend, reports the L.A. Times.

Pfizer Fails in AstraZeneca Takeover Bid

Pfizer ditched its $118 billion bid to buy AstraZeneca on Monday after the British drugmaker refused to budge before the imposed deadline, Reuters reports.

Tennis Channel Bucks Pay-TV Model

The Tennis Channel will start selling a digital subscription service directly to consumers, according to the L.A. Times, a move that breaks the mold of the pay-TV industry’s traditional package deals.

Company Profile: Cornerstone OnDemand Sees Room to Grow

The L.A. Times profiles Santa Monica's Cornerstone OnDemand, a company that provides cloud-based software for businesses sold on a subscription basis.

Media See Growth Potential in India

News organizations BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post plan to open offices in India later this year, the New York Times reports, as global media look to cash in on the country's digital media boom.

Chinese Government Accuses U.S. of Cyber-Spying

A Chinese government report accused the U.S. of Internet surveillance into the highest levels of its leadership and key national institutions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move comes a week after the Obama administration moved to crack-down on Chinese cyber-hacking.

Pilgrim's Pride Tries to Buy Hillshire

Pilgrim's Pride Corp, the world's second largest chicken producer, has made a $6.4 billion offer to buy packaged food company Hillshire Brands Co., Reuters reports, in order to add pork and beef products to its portfolio.

Consumer Confidence Surges

U.S. consumer consumers rose in May to the second-highest level since 2008 as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy and labor market, Bloomberg reports. Rising stock and home prices have played a big role.

Stocks Up

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 67 points to 16,673. The Nasdaq rose 37 points to 4,223. The S&P 500 ticked up 9 points to 1,909.

Monday, May 26

In Presence of Bugatti Greatness

Local attorney and car enthusiast Tim Lappen recently scored the gig of a lifetime: test driving and reviewing a $2.5 million Bugatti roadster.

Worth a Look?

Early jump on viral videos pays off for Jukin

Jukin pursues healthy returns by finding videos before they go viral and monetizing them.

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Car-Shopping Site Steers Investors Right on IPO

INTERNET: Analyst credits TrueCar for backing off higher price projections.

TrueCar’s shares trade above IPO price after the auto-shopping site put the brakes on higher projections.

Giving Some Credit to Philanthropy

Pride looks to swipe customers with card donation program.

Pride Card Services takes credit for donating part of its processing fees to non-profits.

Reversed Course

INVESTMENT: Small private brokerage B. Riley to go public via merger with property appraiser Great American Group.

B. Riley looks to raise its stock by going public through a reverse merger with Great American Group.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Whisper, a Santa Monica maker of a mobile app that lets users share content anonymously, raised $36 million in Series C funding from new investors including Tencent, Shasta Ventures and Thrive Capital, who were joined by existing backers Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Museum Left Hanging On Home

Architecture institution hopes to build case for permanent location.

On-the-move architecture museum has designs on making its fifth home permanent.

Java Franchisee Turns Up Heat

RETAIL: Coffee Bean accused of misleading on profitability.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is in hot water with a franchisee who claims the chain misled him on profitability.

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Property Buyer Sees El Segundo Market on Rise

ACQUISITION: DivcoWest shells out $75 million for office-retail complex.

Miracle Mile developer J.H. Snyder Co. has sold a five-building office and retail complex it redeveloped in El Segundo in 2009.

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Port Talks Carry Baggage of 2002

shipping: Parties seem open to avoiding costly shutdown.

Analysts say terminal operators and union workers hope to avoid making waves during contract negotiations.

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Search for Buyer Sheds Light on Solar’s Future

ENERGY: Installation-only Verengo looks into sale as industry consolidates.

Sun may set on Verengo’s business model as the solar panel installer explores a sale.

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Thinking Inside Box On Health

Vending machine firm launches snack service for small businesses.

Helping Unite Mankind and Nutrition looks to box in small businesses with its new healthy snack service.

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Hedge Fund Operator Says Oil Man Pumped Up Career

INVESTMENT: Willem Mesdag still gushes over Marvin Davis.

Willem Mesdag credits his friendship with oil man Marvin Davis for making him a slick hedge fund operator.

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Bulging With Burgers?

Is there still room for growth in the gourmet burger market?

Is there still room for growth in the gourmet burger market?

Independent Truckers Do Just Fine

Independent truckers should have free run at the ports, write Shawn Yadon and Alex Cherin.

conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

calendar

Weekly calendar of events.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland Resort division has raised its ticket prices to $96 for a one-day, one-park ticket for visitors 10 and older.

Bankruptcy Boutique Makes Move to National Firm

MERGER: Peitzman Weg lawyers join Robins Kaplan as part of sector trends.

Century City firm Peitzman Weg has announced it is joining Minneapolis firm Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, marking the latest shakeup of the bankruptcy law landscape in Los Angeles.

Outdoor Horror Show Takes Stab at New Cities

PRODUCTION: Interactive event goes on road backed by Mark Cuban’s money.

The people behind the annual Haunted Hayride at Griffith Park are taking a new show on the road after recently scoring a $2 million investment from Mark Cuban on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Restaurant Chain Looks To Add to Overseas Plate

DINING: Middle East foray spurs Cheesecake Factory to try Asian markets.

Cheesecake Factory now looks to Asia after getting a taste for overseas expansion in the Middle East.

Used Clothing Site Tailors Big Name Series B Interest

INTERNET: Marketplace for secondhand clothes Tradesy aims to expand offerings.

Secondhand clothing marketplace Tradesy fashions $13 million Series B funding round.

T-Shirt Maker Goes From Boutique to Mass Market

APPAREL: Signorelli gets big boost from deals with Forever 21 and Wal-Mart.

High-end T-shirt business proved a good fit for Meredith Garrett after a rough start.

Friday, May 23

Puma, DreamWorks Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week.

Post-Production Shop FilesChapter 11

Hollywood post-production company Todd-Soundelux has filed for Chapter 11 while creating a restructuring plan in advance of a sale.

Report: Sterlings Offering to Sell Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has reportedly given the go-ahead for his wife Shelly to sell the NBA franchise.

USC's Keck Hospital Sues Kaiser

Keck Hospital of USC has sued Kaiser Permanente, the Los Angeles Times reports, alleging California's largest HMO reneged on its obligation to pay for a patient's open-heart surgery that cost $544,000.

Northbound 405 Carpool Lane Opening

It’s been a long time coming: The 405 Freeway’s long-awaited carpool lane opens today, the Los Angeles Times reports, and officials said that it could save commuters up to 10 minutes on each trip.

Sterling Investigation Details Keep Coming

The NBA’s investigation of the Donald Sterling case produced an array of details, including text messages showing that his companion V. Stiviano sent the infamous recording to a Clippers employee after she was admonished not to make a scene at a game, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Toyota to Recall Some Lexus Sedans and Siennas

The Japanese automaker will recall about 10,500 Lexus GS 350 sedans, from the model year 2013, and about 370,000 Sienna minivans, from the model years 2004 to 2010, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Metro Fares Set to Rise

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors voted to raise one-way bus and rail fares from $1.50 to $1.75, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Panasonic Wants to Make Tesla's Batteries

A senior Panasonic Corp executive said today that the Japanese company wants to be the exclusive producer of lithium-ion battery cells at U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc's planned multibillion-dollar battery factory, Reuters reports.

DWP Honors Employees Killed on Job

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees honored fellow workers Thursday who died on the job for the public utility and those who served in the military, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Verance Offers Internet Piracy Strategy

Verance, a San Diego technology company that works with studios to prevent content theft, has identified six types of pirates, The Wrap reports. The types range from harmless "Occasionals" to dangerous "Library Builders."

'Godzilla' Director to Helm 'Star Wars' Film

Walt Disney Co. has hired “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards to direct Lucasfilm’s first standalone “Star Wars” film slated for release in 2016, according to Variety.

Eric Eisner Invests in Tech Startup

Eric Eisner, the son of former Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner, has invested in a San Francisco digital company called Storehouse, which allows users to create projects combining video, audio, photos and text, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Rising

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up nearly 56 points to 16,599. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 4,168. The S&P 500 was up 7 points to 1,899.

Thursday, May 22

True[X] Media Raises $6 Million

True[X] Media, an interactive ad developer in Brentwood, has raised $6 million in additional funding from previous investors Pinnacle Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Jafco Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.

Proxy Fight Heats Up at Spark Networks

There’s no love lost between Internet dating company Spark Networks and its largest shareholder.

DreamWorks Animation Announces Manila Venture

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will design an education entertainment attraction for a resort complex to open this year in Manila, the company announced Thursday.

Grocers, Union Reach Tentative Deal

Three major grocery store chains and the union representing Southern California grocery workers have reached a tentative deal for a new contract, both sides have announced.

East Coast Company Acquires ValleyCrest

ValleyCrest Companies LLC, a leading Valley groundskeeping firm, is being acquired by an East Coast competitor in a deal that will create a company with deep nationwide reach in landscape design, construction and maintenance.

Stocks Go Higher

At the close of the markets Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points to 16,543. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 4,154. The S&P 500 ticked up 4 points to 1,892. The LABJ Stock Index was up 1 point to 190.

Vivendi to Sell Activision Stake Worth $850 Million

Vivendi, once the controlling shareholder in Santa Monica video-game maker Activision Blizzard Inc., is selling half of its remaining stake in an offering valued at more than $850 million, Bloomberg reports.

Walt Disney's Grandkids Battle Over $400 Million Fortune

Accusations of conspiracy, mental incompetence and financial misconduct, plus insinuations of kidnapping and incest, fly faster than "Frozen" merchandise off shelves as Brad and Michelle Disney Lund go to battle over their inheritance, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sterling Adds to Property Holdings

Donald Sterling, the billionaire who may lose ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers after his racist comments surfaced, is still buying property, Bloomberg reports.

Boxer Navigates Gridlock to Aid Ports

Although lawmakers can no longer earmark funds for home-state projects, Sen. Barbara Boxer has written into a massive water bill a measure that promises to bring more money to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti's Budget Gets Council's OK

The Los Angeles City Council approved Mayor Eric Garcetti's $8.1-billion budget Wednesday, offering modest service increases while taking the first step toward carrying out his four-year plan for cutting business taxes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Media Companies Join to Extend the Brands of YouTube Stars

In the latest mash-up of old and new media, a division of book publisher Simon & Schuster has teamed with Hollywood’s United Talent Agency to create a new imprint to publish books by Internet entertainers, The New York Times reports.

Comcast Investor Meeting Draws Protest

Comcast Corp. was hoping to focus on its financial achievements and the benefits of its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable during its annual shareholders meeting, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, the company Wednesday was taken to task by consumer advocates and some customers who believe the cable giant already is too big and powerful.

Retailers, Restaurants Put Together Soundtracks for Spending

The Playlist Generation of Los Angeles is one of a number of companies experimenting with custom playlists for stores and restaurants, the Los Angeles Register reports.

Rent or Buy? The Math Is Changing

In the country’s most expensive places, including Los Angeles, buying a home again looks like a perilous investment, The New York Times reports. And in some other areas, including Boston, Miami and Washington, prices have risen enough that buying is no longer the bargain it looked to be a few years ago.

Hotel With Indoor Water Park Arriving Near Disneyland

A big hotel with its own indoor water park is being built near Disneyland, the Los Angeles Times reports. Construction officially started Wednesday on the $300-million woodsy-themed inn and family entertainment complex in Garden Grove that will be the first of its kind in Southern California.

Stocks Up

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points to 16,559. The Nasdaq rose 22 points to 4,154. The S&P 500 ticked up 5 points to 1,893.

Wednesday, May 21

Match.com Partners with Dating Concierge Service

Three Day Rule, a matchmaking concierge service in Los Angeles, has partnered with popular online dating service Match.com.

OriginOil Makes Middle East Deal

OriginOil of West Adams has made a licensing deal to bring its water cleanup technology to the Middle East.

Stocks Go Higher

At the close of the markets Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 159 points to 16,533. The Nasdaq fell 35 points to 4,132. The S&P 500 dropped 15 points to 1,888. The LABJ Stock Index was up 1 point 189.

Poll: This year’s summer travel:

The Los Angeles Business Journal has posted a new weekly poll for readers on issues in the news.

NBA Alleges Sterling Tried to Cover Up Scandal

Donald Sterling tried to persuade companion V. Stiviano to say the Clippers owner was not responsible for the inflammatory statements about blacks after a now infamous audio recording became public, the Los Angeles Times reports. The revelation is part of the NBA’s 30-page allegation it is using to remove Sterling as owner of the Clippers.

China and Russia Sign Natural Gas Deal

Beijing and Moscow said they signed a much-anticipated contract to supply China with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Russian natural gas following a decade of difficult talks, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Disneyland's Overcrowding Problem

“The Happiest Place on Earth” has become one of the most crowded, the Los Angeles Times reports. Industry experts say the crowding problem leaves Walt Disney Co. with two options: Keep hiking rates until attendance becomes manageable, or expand the park.

MTA to Vote on Public Transit Fare Increases

A steep fare hike that will raise the price of a bus or train ride from $1.50 to $1.75 by fall and cost seniors and the disabled 43 percent more for a monthly pass will go to a vote Thursday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

‘Subway to Sea’ Gets Federal Funding

The proposed “Subway to the Sea” that would stretch from mid-Wilshire to Westwood will receive a $1.25 billion grant from the Department of Transportation today, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. It will bring the amount of federal funding for the controversial subway extension to $2.1 billion

Supervisors End Contract with Firm Accused of Overbilling

Los Angeles County supervisors voted to end a contract with an agency that auditors say overbilled the county by almost $1 million in handling job-training programs for jail inmates and the unemployed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Firms That Challenge China on Trade Face Cybertheft

Solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld recently lost a large amount of data from its Camarillo facility to Chinese cyberattacks, The New York Times reports. As it turns out, SolarWorld had been publicly pushing back against China’s trade policies.

Number of Citizens Receiving Disability Reaches Record

People claiming disability in the United States shot up by over 10,000 people in April, setting an all-time record for beneficiaries, the Daily Mail reports.

Debt Rises in Leveraged Buyouts Despite Warnings

Wall Street banks are financing more private-equity takeovers with high levels of debt, despite warnings by regulators to reduce the amount of risky loans they make, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Film, TV Productions Flocking to Massachusetts

A growing number of filmmakers have recently turned to Massachusetts, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Bay State has become a fast-growing hub for film and TV production, joining dozens of states that have cut into a business once concentrated in California.

Stocks Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 142 points to 16,516. The Nasdaq was up 25 points to 4,122. The S&P 500 ticked up 12 points to 1,884.

Tuesday, May 20

Survios Raises $4 Million

Survios, a virtual reality lab in Los Angeles, has raised $4 million in a Series A financing round led by Menlo Park’s Shasta Ventures.

Tradesy Nabs $13 Million

Santa Monica’s Tradesy, a peer-to-peer fashion marketplace, raised $13 million in a Series B financing round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation from Richard Branson, Rincon Venture Partners, Bee Partners, Northgate Capital and others.

B. Riley Going Public Through Merger

West L.A. brokerage and investment bank B. Riley & Co. is going public in a merger with Great American Group Inc., a Woodland Hills liquidation company.

Solar Firm Verengo Up For Sale

Residential solar company Verengo Solar of Torrance has put itself up for sale, hiring Bank of America Merrill Lynch as an advisor, according to a document obtained by the Business Journal.

Cheesecake Factory Expands Into Asia

Cheesecake Factory Inc. entered into an agreement on Monday to open at least 14 restaurants in Asia over the next 10 years.

Stocks Go Lower

At the close of the markets Tuesday the Dow Jones industrial average was down 138 points to 16,374. The Nasdaq fell 29 points to 4,097. The S&P 500 lost 12 points to 1,873. The LABJ Stock Index was down 1 point to 188.

NFL Pivotal to AT&T's Deal for DirecTV

AT&T Inc.'s proposed $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV comes with a big caveat: Without football rights, there may be no deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Camarillo Firm Targeted by Chinese Hackers

A Camarillo solar-panel company was among the targets of hacking by Chinese military officers, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports.

Sterlings Have Long Record of Lawsuits

Donald and Shelly Sterling have aggressively pursued all manner of litigation from small claims cases to appellate matters worth millions, the Los Angeles Times reports. Now facing their greatest challenge the NBA's attempt to force them to sell the Clippers it's no surprise the Sterlings are girding for a legal fight.

Challenge Survives to L.A. City Hall Pension Cuts

A Los Angeles City Hall panel on Monday delivered a significant victory to municipal labor unions, breathing new life into a legal challenge to pension benefit reductions that could save billions of taxpayer dollars over the next 30 years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Entertainment Jobs Grow 5 Percent in April

In a surprising plot twist, Hollywood's overall jobs picture continues to improve despite the long-term effects of production flight and studio cost cutting, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti, Blumenfield Tour West San Fernando Valley

Growth, fresh opportunity and a sense of a future lined with jobs greeted Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Bob Blumenfield Monday on a tour of the West San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Hearings Set on High-Speed Rail

The California High-Speed Rail Authority will be holding a series of public meetings in Southern California this week to talk about the alignment of the future Los Angeles-to-San Francisco train, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. These will be the first public meetings hosted by the Rail Authority in two years.

Supreme Court Revives 'Raging Bull' Copyright Case

The Supreme Court on Monday revived a copyright suit against film studio MGM over recent profits from the 1980 film classic "Raging Bull," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Turnaround Seen at NBCUniversal

Steve Burke took the top job at NBCUniversal when the entertainment division was losing money; the network is now poised to end the current prime-time season on top among coveted 18- to 49-year-olds, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blockbuster’s Wave: Disney Makes ‘Frozen’ an Ice Show

The Walt Disney Co., scrambling to capitalize on unrelenting consumer interest in anything related to “Frozen,” has unveiled plans for an ice skating show based on the blockbuster film that will begin touring arenas in September, The New York Times reports.

Stocks Down

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 37 points to 16,475. The Nasdaq was down 13 points to 4,112. The S&P 500 was losing 4 points to 1,881.

Monday, May 19

NBA Moves Against Sterling

The National Basketball Association on Monday announced it was moving forward with the plan to allow team owners to decide whether Donald Sterling can keep ownership of the Clippers.

Whisper Raises $36 Million

Venice’s Whisper, maker of a mobile app that lets users share content anonymously, raised $36 million in Series C funding from new investors including Tencent, Shasta Ventures and Thrive Capital, who were joined by existing financial backers Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

CBRE Names New Chairman

Downtown Los Angeles commercial real estate firm CBRE Group announced Monday that Ray Wirta has been chosen to succeed Richard Blum as chairman.

Stocks Go Higher

At the close of the markets Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points to 16,512. The Nasdaq was up 35 points to 4,126. The S&P 500 ticked up 7 points to 1,885. The LABJ Stock Index was up 1 point to 189.

AT&T-DirecTV Deal to Further Transform Media Landscape

AT&T; is acquiring satellite broadcaster DirecTV for nearly $49 billion, the latest in a series of big deals that are transforming the media and telecommunications landscape, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal puts increased pressure on pay-TV companies that don't have a partner, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Apartment Construction Surges Across Southland

As rents continue to rise, apartment construction is surging in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Analyst Predicts $2.5-billion Windfall for California

California's income will be about $2.5 billion higher than Gov. Jerry Brown predicted in his latest budget, the Los Angeles Times Reports. It's surprise cash that Democratic lawmakers will almost certainly use to challenge the governor's call for continued austerity.

Facebook Reportedly Building New Snapchat Competitor

After a failed attempt to purchase the video and picture messaging app Snapchat for $3 billion last year, Mark Zuckerberg is now personally supervising an internal effort to build a competing "ephemeral messaging" app called "Slingshot" internally, the Verge reports.

YouTube Acquires Videogame-Streaming Service Twitch

Google’s YouTube has reached a deal to buy Twitch, a popular videogame-streaming company in the Bay Area for $1 billion, Variety reports.

‘Godzilla’ Towers Over Box Office

“Godzilla,” a new take on the 1950s Japanese monster classic, opened at No. 1 in domestic theaters this past weekend, surpassing forecasts with $93.2 million for Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment LLC and partner Warner Bros., Bloomberg reports.

Anschutz's Movie Firm Seeks Studio Partners Across Cultural Divide

Since last year, Philip Anschutz's family-oriented Walden Media, which produced the "Narnia" movies, has been in the throes of a transformation that finds it courting allies from across a deep cultural divide to get movies made, The New York Times reports.

Disney Raises Park Prices

Disneyland Resort raised its ticket prices on Sunday, with a one-day, one-park ticket for visitors 10 and older going to $96. The $4 boost at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure means that single-day ticket prices have more than doubled since 2003, the Orange County Register reports.

Low Budget Films Rely on Shortcuts

Last year, 584 feature films sought permits to shoot in Los Angeles. Some had budgets as high as $170 million for a Marvel Studios hero flick. But also filming on the streets of the city are super-low-budget films made by students and other Hollywood hopefuls, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some are working without permits despite a city ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to film without one.

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down

SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Sunday, bringing back nearly two tons of science experiments and old equipment for NASA, the Associated Press reports.

California Chrome Triple Crown Bid Could Ride on $10 Nose Strip

California Chrome's co-owner said Monday that he'd like to see the horse compete for a shot at horse racing's prestigious Triple Crown, despite questions over whether the horse will be allowed to wear a breathing strip on his nose, CNN reports.

Stocks Up

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose less than a point to 16,492. The Nasdaq was up 28 points to 4,118. The S&P 500 ticked up 3 points to 1,881.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 7. Do Won ‘Don’ & Jin Sook Chang

Revenue at Changs’ Forever 21 retail chain estimated at more than $4 billion.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

LG Chem, a Seoul, South Korea, chemical company, has completed its $200 million acquisition of NanoH2O, an El Segundo maker of seawater desalinization membranes.

New York Lender Looks To Move In on Landlords

EXPANSION: FirstKey opens L.A. office to target sector in California, Western states.

FirstKey Lending, a New York firm specializing in loans to owners of single-family rental homes, has opened an L.A. office with plans to build business in California and other Western states.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 50. Lowell Milken

Presumed gains from broad investment portfolio and improved performance of education company Knowledge Universe.

Property Owner May Pull Plug on Tech Mainstay

REAL ESTATE: Landlord says parties, late rent are grounds for eviction.

Landlord looks to break with workspace operator that has become synonymous with Silicon Beach.

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On the Line

Internet network rips royal rates at telecom hub

Network operator U.S. Colo fears rent hikes at an already extremely expensive telecommunications hub will pull the plug on its business.

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VCs Catch Wave To Silicon Beach

TECHNOLOGY: Silicon Valley dives into local investment boom.

Silicon Beach is on the rise as companies raise bigger sums and even draw dollars from Silicon Valley.

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Ticket Seller’s Next Stage To Line Up More Venues

ENTERTAINMENT: AXS to challenge Live Nation by moving beyond AEG sites.

AEG’s AXS looks to improve its position but market leader Ticketmaster poses a huge hurdle.

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Tall Order

DINING: Four franchises fold after Counter redesigns menus, restaurants in bid to compete in gourmet burger space.

Counter clashes with franchisees as the gourmet burger chain serves up expensive improvements.

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City Picks Up Business Pace

GOVERNMENT: Mayor pairs two permits to speed process.

City of L.A.’s small steps on permits could yield big time savings for commercial buildings and restaurants.

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L.A. a Magnet for Magnates

L.A. is a magnet for magnates, and that is one of the city’s greatest assets, says Charles Crumpley.

U.S. Bank Tower Maintains Identity in Lease Deal

Renewal: Anchor tenant signs for another 10 years in tallest building in the West.

The name atop the tallest skyscraper west of Chicago will remain in place for the next decade.

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Upcoming local conventions

calendar

Upcoming calendar of events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

The National Basketball Association has named prominent African-American businessman Dick Parsons as interim chief executive of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Chef Makes History With Small-Plate Approach

PASADENA: Raymond letting go of formal lineup in milestone menu change.

Pasadena’s historic Raymond Restaurant has changed up its menu, the first major realignment in nearly 36 years.

Diagnostic Test Maker Misses Mark With Investors

BIOTECH: Shares tumble after Response Genetics’ poor earnings, revenue.

Response Genetics draws a negative reaction on Wall Street after missing earnings expectations.

L.A. Port Thinks Deep With Improvement Project

SHIPPING: Facility clears hurdle to prepare terminal for influx of bigger vessels.

Landlord looks to break link with workspace operator that has become synonymous with Silicon Beach.

Sometimes Speaking Loudly Carries Day

Last month’s Walk to End Genocide at Pan Pacific Park drew more than 3,000 people, the largest iteration yet of what has become the biggest annual anti-genocide demonstration in the country.

Beverly Hills Off to See ‘Wizard of Oz’

Chamber sky high on drive-in movie event at Greystone Mansion.

Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce rolls into Greystone Mansion with a drive-in movie benefit.

New Magazine Turns Focus On Photos

Co-publishers picture thick, ad-free Wolf as outlet for creativity.

Wolf Magazine frames itself as a creative outlet for photography.

Electric Cars Tapped For Positive Buzz

Property manager gets down to business with clean-energy fleet.

Property manager Concord Real Estate Services hopes to fuel business by touting its new fleet of electric cars.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 49. Isaac Larian

Co-founder and chief executive of MGA Entertainment made fortune producing popular Bratz line of dolls to rival Barbie. Little Tikes toy line and Lalaloopsy dolls have also done well.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 48. Aubrey Chernick

Definition of low-profile, Chernick has no disclosed holdings outside of El Segundo software firm National Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination, or NC4.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 47. John F. Shea

Chairman of J.F. Shea Co. saw slow growth in homebuilding industry and across 5.5 million-square-foot portfolio of office, industrial and retail properties in California and Colorado.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 45. Richard ‘Ric’ Kayne

Majority owner of Century City investment firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisers, which has seen assets under management grow in recent years to top $25 billion.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 44. Jeffrey Katzenberg

Gains driven by increasing value of 10 million DreamWorks Animation shares. Studio chief also took home $13.2 million payday, up from previous year’s $5.2 million.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 43. Vera Guerin

Guerin joined ranks of L.A.’s super-wealthy last year when homebuilding arm of family’s real estate business, Shapell Industries Inc., sold to Toll Brothers Inc. for $1.6 billion.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 42. Antony Ressler

Chief executive of Ares Management joined billionaire’s club with private equity and asset management firm’s IPO this month.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 41. Eric Smidt

Majority owner of discount hardware retailer Harbor Freight Tools, co-founded by parents in 1968. Bought his parents out in 1999 (more on that below).

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 40. Ray Irani

Net worth unchanged from 2013 as 5 percent rise in Occidental share price more than offset by 9 percent drop in number of unrestricted shares owned.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 39. Marc Nathanson

Mapleton Investments has money spread across real estate, art, stocks and bonds. Falcon Waterfree Technologies saw sales up especially internationally.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 38. Charles Munger

Partner of Warren Buffett since they met at dinner party in 1959. Helped steer Berkshire Hathaway toward See’s Candies and other big companies.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 37. Bassam Alghanim

Upon their father’s death, Alghanim and brother Kutayba each inherited half of Alghanim Industries, a multibillion-dollar Kuwaiti conglomerate that does everything from selling General Motors cars to manufacture building insulation.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 36. Ryan Kavanaugh

Wealth derived from ownership stake in entertainment studio Relativity Media. Other holdings include real estate development in Pacific Palisades and stakes in companies making everything from dog food to video games.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 35. Thomas Barrack

Head of private equity firm Colony Capital, active in range of industries; most investments saw robust gains.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 34. Michael Milken

Former Wall Street financier benefited from financial rebound of closely held education company Knowledge Universe and presumed gains in large investment portfolio.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 33. Bradley Wayne Hughes Jr.

Second-largest shareholder in self-storage giant Public Storage Co. behind sister Tamara Gustavson. Hughes has seen net worth balloon as father, B. Wayne Hughes, has transferred shares.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 32. Michael Eisner

Net worth has been on rise thanks to shares in Disney.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 31. George Joseph

Founder of property and casualty insurer Mercury General saw net worth rise as value of shares rose 3 percent over past year. More significantly, padded by hefty dividend income.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 30. Neil Kadisha

Bulk of wealth tied up in millions of shares of San Diego telecom giant Qualcomm Inc., where he was an early board member.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 28. Bruce A. Karsh

President and co-founder of downtown L.A. private equity firm Oaktree Capital Group saw value of company stock stay relatively flat.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 29. Gary Michelson

Big payday for retired spinal surgeon and inventor came in 2005 with $1.35 billion settlement from medical device giant Medtronic over device and patent licenses.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 27. Nicolas Berggruen

Investor and philanthropist manages family fortune through Berggruen Holdings Inc. Company has interests in diverse industries such as car rental services, for-profit education, hotels, publishing and retail.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 26. Don Hankey

Hankey’s eight companies, all under Hankey Group umbrella, had big year, especially subprime auto finance company Westlake Financial Services, which saw revenue climb by 20 percent thanks in part to an expansion of its business with new-car dealerships.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 25. Andrew & Peggy Cherng

Sales at Panda Restaurant Group – including restaurant chains Panda Express, Panda Inn and Hibachi San – last year topped $2 billion for first time.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 24. Rick Caruso

Developer of Grove and Americana at Brand saw robust growth of ultra-Class A retail portfolio.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 23. Marion Anderson

After 2011 death of John Anderson, the Business Journal is keeping his wife, Marion, on list based on previous years’ valuations and confirmation that the wealth remains in the family.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos:22. David Murdock

Completed acquisition of Dole Food Co. Inc., taking company private in deal valued at $1.6 billion.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 21. Alec Gores

Great year for private equity boosted Gores’ fortune through eponymous firm, which is moving from Westwood to Beverly Hills this month.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 20. Jeffrey Skoll

THE MONEY: Canadian native still retains billions from stock grants and options as first eBay employee.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 19. Anthony Pritzker

One of 11 heirs to Hyatt hotel fortune, runs family-funded private equity and venture capital firm Pritzker Group with brother J.B. Wealth continued to grow after sale of remaining shares in industrial conglomerate Marmon to Berkshire Hathaway and continuing expansion of Pritzker Group.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 18. Ed Roski Jr.

Chairman-chief executive of Majestic Realty Co. benefitted from slow but steady growth in industrial real estate market. Minority owner of Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and Staples Center made modest gains in sports holdings.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 17. A. Jerrold Perenchio

Former Univision owner rose due to uptick in broader markets. Manages money through Century City family firm Chartwell Partners.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 16. Tom Gores

Gores’ Beverly Hills private equity firm Platinum Equity started raising its third fund in 2012 and spent much of the last year deploying the cash.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 15. Tamara Hughes Gustavson

Largest stakeholder in self-storage giant Public Storage Co., with 11 percent of shares; benefited slightly as shares rose 4 percent.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 14. Steven Spielberg

Value of 5.1 million shares in DreamWorks Animation hit $127 million as stock value rose by 46 percent over course of last year.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 13. William Barron Hilton

Blue-chip stocks, in which Hilton keeps bulk of his money, performed very well last year, helping to boost his fortune.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 12. Haim Saban

ains driven by increasing value of Spanish-language broadcast network Univision Communications, in which Saban a major shareholder.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 11. Steven Ferencz Udvar-Hazy

Personal wealth gained almost 60 percent in last two years as Air Lease Corp.’s revenue jumped.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 10. Donald Sterling

Expansive portfolio of more than 160 apartment buildings continued to appreciate, though property acquisitions have all but stopped.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 9. Stewart & Lynda Resnick

California agri-barons continue to sit atop vast farming empire, running strong pistachio and almond businesses that make up huge chunk of Roll Global fortune.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 8. John Tu

Memory-disk makers had banner year in 2013 and Tu’s Kingston Technology shared in growth.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 6. David Geffen

Retired mogul once again presumed to have gained from large investment holdings.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 3. Sumner Redstone

Viacom and CBS executive chairman got nice bump from soaring value of more than 40 million shares in each company.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 5. Kirk Kerkorian

Still has strong grip on MGM Resorts International shares, which have rocketed more than 80 percent in value over last year.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 4. Eli Broad

Savvy entrepreneur, philanthropist and arts patron made fortune building and selling two Fortune 500 companies.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 2. Elon Musk

Share of publicly traded companies took off faster than one of his SpaceX rockets in 2013, sending net worth into stratosphere.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 1.Patrick Soon-Shiong

South Africa-born pharmaceutical billionaire has big exposure to stock market, which had solid returns over past year.

Investors Share in Big Bounce in Stock Markets

L.A.’s wealthiest share in the good fortune of rebounding stock markets.

Concentrated Holdings Can Lead to Boom, Bust

Big stakes in a single business can offer more control but also heightened risk.

Counting It Up

In the 20 years since the Business Journal began ranking the richest Angelenos, L.A.’s wealth has migrated from oil and show business to biotech, electric cars and private equity.

Twenty years after the Business Journal’s first list, wealth from tech and private equity are on the rise while show business and real estate have faded.

Warning-Label Bill Sticks It to Small Businesses

State’s proposed labels for beverages means sticker shock for small businesses, warns Jimmy Ferguson.

Why Port Drivers Keep Striking

Continued smooth sailing at ports may hinge on truck drivers getting fair share of revenue they produce.

Janice Hahn sees fair treatment of truckers as an issue for the ports.

A Sterling Question

Do you think the NBA’s punishment of Donald Sterling was fair?

After tapes of racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling were made public, the National Basketball Association banned him for life and fined him, and is pushing him to sell the team. So the Business Journal asks: Do you think the NBA’s punishment of Donald Sterling was fair?

Friday, May 16

Two L.A. Execs Push a Seattle Hockey Team

Two prominent L.A. businessmen are trying to bring a National Hockey League franchise to Seattle.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Falls

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in April as 30,000 more residents found jobs during the month, according to state figures released Friday.

Reading International, Demand Media Among Week’s Biggest Movers

Gainers outpaced decliners 94 to 63 on th Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies for the week ending Friday.

Stocks Up

At the close of the markets Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 45 points to 16,491. The Nasdaq was up 21 points to 4,091. The S&P 500 ticked up 7 points to 1,878. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 188.

UberXL Launches in Los Angeles

Uber, the San Francisco ridesharing service, launched a new, lower-priced option today for Los Angeles customers seeking a ride in a larger vehicle.

TrueCar Goes Public at $9, Shares Rise

Shares of auto shopping website TrueCar began trading on the Nasdaq stock market this morning. Shares, priced initially at $9 each, moved higher in early trading, rising to $10.47. It had been expected to price its offering at between $12 and $14 a share.

Sterling Rejects NBA Sanctions

Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s attorney is threatening to sue the NBA, Sports Illustrated reports. The attorney claims that Sterling has not violated the organization’s rules and that he was denied due process over his $2.5 million fine.

Plans for Aerial Walkway in Downtown L.A. Stir Debate

A developer wants to build a private pedestrian bridge in downtown Los Angeles, saying it would protect residents from a nearby homeless encampment, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the plan is running into opposition.

FCC Moves Forward on Preferential Web Traffic

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to advance rules that would let broadband providers charge companies for preferential handling of Web traffic, The Wall Street Journal reports. l

Worries Increase Over Growth

Five years after the financial crisis ended, soft growth in Europe, a stop-and-start U.S. recovery and waning momentum in China have policy makers groping for what to do next, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Home Builders' Confidence at Lowest Level in 12 Months

U.S. home builders remained downbeat in May, reflecting a housing market struggling to regain traction well into the spring selling season, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Fox and Apollo May Create TV Production Giant

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and private equity giant Apollo Global Management are in preliminary talks to create a global television production house, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Snapchat Under Fire

A leading civil liberties organization has singled the company out for being particularly weak on privacy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Are Filmmakers Using Drones Illegally? Yep.

It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash, but at least one industry - Hollywood - has decided that it doesn't care and it's going to put drones to work anyway, NPR reports.

'Godzilla' to Devour Weekend Box-Office Competition

A 55-foot-tall lizard is poised to crush box-office rivals this weekend as "Godzilla" arrives in theaters, the Los Angeles Times reports.

USC Marshall Snags Elon Musk, Steve Ballmer for Commencement

The University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business has lined up two of technology's biggest names, Elon Musk and Steve Ballmer, to speak at Friday's graduation, SoCal Tech reports.

Dow, S&P Up, Nasdaq Down

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points to 16,457. The Nasdaq was down 7 points to 4,063. The S&P 500 was up 1 point to 1,872.

Thursday, May 15

JustFab Reportedly Seeking Up to $100 Million

El Segundo online fashion retailer JustFab is reportedly seeking $50 million to $100 million dollars in pre-IPO funding and has hired Morgan Stanley to facilitate talks with investors.

'Avatar' 3-D Camera Supplier Purchased

VER, an entertainment industry equipment supply house in Glendale, has acquired Cameron-Pace Group, a Burbank joint venture that supplied 3-D cameras to “Avatar” and other James Cameron films, according to media reports on Thursday.

Strip Club Evacuated After Oil Pipe Burst

A Thursday morning oil spill that sent 10,000 gallons of crude oil spewing skyward over Atwater Village forced the evacuation of a strip club.

L.A. Port Traffic Rises 10 Percent

Traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach rose 10 percent in April compared with the same month last year, according to figures released Thursday.

Fandango Deals Add 1,000 Screens to Service

West L.A. online movie ticketing firm Fandango has made deals with three new theater chains, adding 1,000 screens to its ticketing service, the company announced Thursday.

Stocks Go Lower

At the close of the markets Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 167 points to 16,447. The Nasdaq dropped 31 points to 4,069. The S&P 500 lost 18 points to 1,871. The LABJ Stock Index was down 2 points to 187.

Geyser of Crude Oil Erupts From Burst Pipe in L.A.

An oil pipe ruptured in the L.A. neighborhood of Atwater Village today, spilling more than 50,000 gallons of crude onto streets over an area of around a half-mile, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall to Lowest Since 2007

The fewest Americans in seven years filed applications for unemployment benefits and consumer prices rose by the most in 10 months, adding to signs the economy is gaining momentum, Bloomberg reports.

New York Times Ousts Jill Abramson as Executive Editor

Abramson's relationship with New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. had recently become strained, The New York Times reports. She was replaced by former Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet. Abramson's dismissal has brought up questions of whether she was earning less than some of her male subordinates, the Wrap reports.

Surprise - Bonds Outperform Stocks

Stock prices are near all-time highs, but the real place to be this year is the bond market, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Uber Drivers Protest Shrinking Pay

Drivers for ride-share service Uber say they’re tired of falling rates and rising fees the company has imposed. Last week, 100 drivers voiced their dismay at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, and now drivers in Los Angeles are frustrated, the Los Angeles Register reports.

CBS Hopes Viewers Are Ready for Some Football and Drama

The network is betting on football and five new dramas to lift its ratings this fall, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Musicians Ask Lions Gate to Hire Local Talent

Earlier this week, a group of L.A. musicians – some heard on “Frozen” and “Godzilla” – walked into the Lions Gate offices in Santa Monica to plead for more local musicians in studio productions, the Los Angeles Register reports.

Kaiser Faces Pharmacist Strike

Kaiser Permanente has warned insured members that it might have to shut down most of its pharmacies in Southern California, including those in Los Angeles, starting Monday because its 1,400 pharmacists in the region are threatening to walk off their jobs, the Orange County Register reports.

Hollywood's Come-to-Jesus Moment

With faith-based movies making bank at the box office, years of under-the-radar planning is coming to fruition, the Wrap reports.

Oprah Lands Michael Sam Show

Her network has ordered a reality show centered on Michael Sam, the gay football player who was just drafted by the NFL's St. Louis Rams, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Down

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 181 points to 16,433. The Nasdaq was off 54 points to 4,047. The S&P 500 was losing 23 points to 1,866.

Wednesday, May 14

15 Charged in Bank Fraud Case

Federal officials have charged 15 people, mostly from Los Angeles, with bank fraud in a $15 million check-kiting scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles announced Wednesday.

Quixote Studios Buys Equipment Firm

Quixote Studios of West Hollywood has purchased Movie Movers, a Sun Valley production equipment firm, Quixote announced Wednesday.

Rubicon Rises on Earnings, Upgrades

Shares of advertising technology firm Rubicon Project of Playa Vista rallied Wednesday after the company reported higher revenue that a year ago. The stock was also upgraded by two analysts.

Stocks Down

At the close of the markets Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 101 points to 16,614. The Nasdaq dropped 30 points to 4,101. The S&P 500 lost 9 points to 1,888. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 189.

Poll: Gourmet Burger Restaurants:

READER POLL

The Los Angeles Business Journal has posted a new weekly poll for readers on issues in the news.

Howard Jarvis Group Won't Oppose Bill to Close Prop. 13 Loophole

The staunchest defender of California's politically untouchable property-tax initiative, Proposition 13, has tacitly approved a bid to change the landmark law for the first time since voters passed it 36 years ago, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mayors Back Bill to Expand California's Film Tax Credit

Leaders of California's largest cities are backing legislation that would expand and improve California's film and TV tax credit program, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Santa Monica Axes Bergamot Project

The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday axed the Bergamot Transit Village – a nearly 800,000-square-foot development near a future Expo Light Rail stop in an industrial part of the city, the Los Angeles Register reports. The repeal allows the project to come back to City Hall in about a year.

On Street, Sterling's Comments Called Fouls

Across the Los Angeles area, the verdict came down Tuesday and it was not generous to Donald Sterling, the 80-year-old billionaire Clippers owner, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Brown Says Rising Seas Could Force Costly Move of LAX

California will face billions of dollars in spending to cope with the consequences of rising sea levels if low-lying communities along the coast are ultimately submerged, as scientists predict, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Southern California Housing Market Slowly Heating Up

Southern California’s housing market improved a bit in April, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Competition Heats up Among Spanish-Language Media Firms

Soccer, spicy love stories, a search for a next-generation Latino boy band and even NASCAR racing have become armaments in a stepped-up battle for Latino television viewers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More Shonda Rhimes for ABC

For the sake of its bottom line, the ABC network, a division of the Walt Disney Co., plans to have more from Shonda Rhimes, who is responsible for hit dramas like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” The New York Times reports.

'Alien' Artist H.R. Giger Dies at 74

Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger who designed the monster and revolutionary sci-fi sets for the film "Alien" has died, Reuters reports.

At Cannes, New Blood in Short Supply

Critics claim that the world's most prestigious movie showcase, which begins Wednesday, increasingly runs the risk of becoming too cozy, too predictable, and too reliant on its rotating super group of international auteurs, the Guardian reports.

Stocks Dip

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 49 points to 16,666. The Nasdaq dropped 7 points to 4,123. The S&P 500 dipped 4 points to 1,894.

Tuesday, May 13

Beverly Hills Landmark Kate Mantilini’s to Close in June

Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills will be closing its doors next month after 27 years in business.

L.A. Small Business Outlook Scales Down on Hiring, Growth

Small business owners in Los Angeles are less likely to hire and less confident they will grow revenue this year, according to a survey released Tuesday by Bank of America.

Architect Ken Liu Dies at 62

Architect Ken Liu, who was instrumental in improving the earthquake safety of California’s hospitals, has died. He was 62 years old.

Samsung Vs. Amgen in Arthritis Market

Samsung Group, the largest company in South Korea, plans to enter the drug trade by competing directly with Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks.

MannKind Narrows Loss, Awaits FDA's Decision

MannKind Inc. reported a smaller loss for the first quarter on Monday as it awaits government approval to sell its brand of inhalable insulin.

Dow, S&P Rise; Nasdaq Falls

At the close of the markets Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 20 points to 16,715. The Nasdaq fell 14 points 4,130. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,897. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 190.

Swagbucks Raises $60 Million

El Segundo’s Swagbucks, an online consumer rewards service, has raised $60 million from Technology Crossover Ventures, a venture capital firm in Palo Alto.

‘The Ravings of a Sick, Delusional Man’

That was Shelly Sterling’s description of estranged husband Donald’s TV interview that showed the Clippers team owner apologizing for racist comments while also attacking Lakers great Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Daily News engages mixed views of feminists on the possibility that Shelly will take ownership of the team.

Sriracha to Stay in Irwindale

David Tran, chief executive at Huy Fong Foods, said as long as there is a demand for the popular hot sauce, he would keep the Irwindale Sriracha factory open and add a second plant, possibly in Texas, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

AT&T Could Strike $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV Within Two Weeks

AT&T; Inc. is close to sealing a takeover of DirecTV that could put a value of nearly $50 billion on the satellite-television provider, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Valeant Plans Improved Offer for Allergan

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said today it will boost its offer after Allergan Inc. formally rejected a $46 billion unsolicited takeover bid, the Associated Press reports.

Former Times Mirror Chairman Erburu Dies at 83

Robert F. Erburu, the last chairman of Times Mirror Co. with close ties to its founding Chandler family, which owned the Los Angeles Times for more than a century, died Sunday at his Santa Barbara home, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Funding to Build Affordable Housing Declines

Funding to help build affordable housing in Los Angeles has plunged sharply in recent years a drop that city officials say has intensified the difficulties facing poor tenants, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fox and NBC Strut New Shows to Marketers

NBC and Fox opened the television upfront week for the 2014-15 season with presentations on Monday that were long on new series, The New York Times reports.

For Sony, Turnaround Is Elusive

Two years after Kazuo Hirai took over as chief executive of Sony Corp., it is slipping into a familiar pattern as the company is set to report its fourth annual loss in five years, The Wall Street Journal reports.

At Long Last, TV Money Flows to Web

Online video outlets are finally starting to chip away at television's hold on advertisers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

L.A.'s '311' Hotline Costs More, Performs Worse

Angelenos trying to get information through City Hall's main service hotline have faced longer waits than residents of other large cities and the cost for each answered call is higher, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 25 points to 16,721. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 4,147. The S&P 500 ticked up 3 points to 1,900.

Monday, May 12

OpenGate Buys Three Coupon Publications

Century City buyout firm OpenGate Capital has purchased three Southern California coupon and advertising publications, the company announced Monday.

BizFed Endorses Dunn for Long Beach Mayor

The Los Angeles County Business Federation on Monday announced its endorsement of businessman Damon Dunn for Long Beach mayor.

Daily Journal Reports Loss

Downtown Los Angeles legal publisher Daily Journal Corp. company reported a loss of $473,000 (-27 cents) for six months ended March 31, compared with net income of $2.9 million ($1.44) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue was $20.8 million, up 20 percent.

Stocks Up

At Monday’s close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 112 points to 16,695. The Nasdaq rose 72 points to 4,144. The S&P 500 ticked up 18 points to 1,897. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 191.

No Quake Fault on Hollywood Building Site

Geology and engineering experts hired by the developer of a proposed 16-story Hollywood development just east of the Capitol Records building say there is no active earthquake fault line on the property, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sterling Apologizes for Comments

Pleading for forgiveness for what he called a "terrible mistake," Clippers owner Donald Sterling apologized Sunday for making derogatory remarks about blacks, the Los Angeles Times reports. He also appealed to NBA owners to let him keep the team.

FAA, Drones Clash on Rules

There is new urgency by regulators to impose new rules on the proliferation of unmanned aircraft, The Wall Street Journal reports. New rules could affect businesses such as production company Drone Dudes of Los Angeles, which has used drones to film commercials for Wal-Mart.

U.S. Firms Seek Acquisitions Abroad to Lower Their Tax Bills

Increasingly, U.S. companies such as Pfizer Inc. are eager to establish legal residency overseas, putting distance between themselves and tax authorities in Washington, The Wall Street Journal reports.

NBC Scales Down Comedy Ambitions

In the 2014-15 schedule unveiled Sunday morning, the NBC network backed away from its aggressive Thursday night comedy block after years of sub-par ratings, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, starting in February, the hit crime drama "The Blacklist" will anchor a night kicked off by "The Biggest Loser."

Overextended, Music TV Shows Fade

The phenomenon of music-based television shows, which have dominated the ratings for more than a decade, seems to be over or in steep decline, The New York Times reports.

Fox Looks for Hope in Gotham City

With its ratings down, Fox is feeling a particular pressure to impress marketers at this year's annual TV showcase for advertisers, or upfronts, The New York Times reports. And the network is counting on a young Bruce Wayne for help.

Automated Ad Sales Need Work for TV

Automated software systems are rapidly replacing telephones, fax machines and email as the preferred method of buying advertising on the Internet. But when it comes to buying TV ads, it is a different story, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Dr. Dre Set to Close on Tom Brady’s $50 Million L.A. Mansion

Dr. Dre — the self-proclaimed first billionaire of hip-hop — is celebrating Apple’s bid to buy Beats Electronics by picking up Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s sprawling, $50 million mansion in Brentwood, the New York Post reports.

Louis Zamperini, 97, Named Rose Parade Grand Marshal

Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who went on to become a World War II hero and inspire a bestselling novel, has been named grand marshal of the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 88 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,671. The Nasdaq rose 60 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,132. The S&P 500 was up 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,892.

Calendar--Week of May 12

Upcoming calendar of events.

Accelerator May Brake on Space

INTERNET: Launchpad LA could abort free-office model.

Accelerator Launchpad LA mulls pulling the plug on free office space for its classes of tech startups.

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Rising Up

REAL ESTATE: Meta Housing to build Vernon’s first private multifamily project, partly in response to corruption questions.

Developer breaks ground on multifamily project designed in part to prevent corruption in Vernon.

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Aquifer Owner Soaks Up Win

WATER: Judge rejects lawsuits against Cadiz’s desert project.

Plan for Cadiz’s desert aquifer looks ready to heat up after judge dismisses opponents’ challenges.

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Alternative Fuel Vehicles Get Lift From California

AUTOMOTIVE: Automakers look to tap investment to grow charging network.

State’s investment in charging infrastructure could rev up makers of alternative energy vehicles.

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Old-Guard Fund Sees Investors Bond With Rival

INVESTMENT: DoubleLine has Pimco at loss for now.

Rival DoubleLine may be pulling in investor dollars but advisers aren’t ready to cash out of Pimco just yet.

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Reel Outdoors

Stars line up for alfresco movie screenings

Movie series at Hollywood Forever Cemetery has helped outdoor screenings come alive in Los Angeles.

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BeautyCon Owner Hopes Online Fame Worth Look

MARKETING: Made With Elastic lines up Internet stars to boost convention.

Made With Elastic links up with online stars to grow its BeautyCon events.

Clarity From Crisis

Sometimes a crisis is good for a workplace, Charles Crumpley opines.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: 46. Frederick W. ‘Ted’ Field

Production company Radar Pictures turned slight profit on $98 million global box office haul for latest “Riddick” installment. Private portfolio benefitted from uptick in capital markets.

Poor Quarter Envelopes Internet Postage Business

Online: Stamps.com’s shares tumble after missing on earnings, revenue.

Stamps.com’s shares fall after online postage business fails to deliver in first quarter.

Driven Out?

Toyota recently announced that it will move its North American headquarters from Torrance to Texas. So the Business Journal asks: Do you think Toyota is moving because of California’s unfriendly busin

Do you think Toyota is moving because of California’s unfriendly business climate?

Developer Hopes to Clean Up With Carwash

Acquisition: Ben Neman plans mixed-use tower at site across from L.A. Live.

A family-owned carwash across the street from L.A. Live was sold late last month to a developer who plans to build a mixed-use high-rise in its place.

conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelly, said she wants to retain ownership of the Clippers despite the National Basketball Association’s drive to ban Donald Sterling from the sport after he allegedly made racist remarks to his companion V. Stiviano.

Firm Heads to Westside to Link With Tech Scene

REAL ESTATE: Co-working space lets Sheppard Mullin cozy up to startups.

Established law firms have been opening up offices in Santa Monica as they attempt to cozy up to the Westside’s growing tech community.

Airport Vans on Board With Ride-Sharing Apps

INTERNET: Prime Time’s new service lets customers track vehicles in real time.

App-based ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are shaking up the cab industry, but taxi companies are not the only ones being forced to adapt.

Earnings Projection Hits Marketer With Bad Buzz

INTERNET: ReachLocal’s shares tumble following firm’s yearly assessment.

Online marketer ReachLocal loses touch with investors after release of its yearly earnings projection.

Oil Giant Not Broken Up Over Anti-Fracking Cities

ENERgy: CEO says Oxy will pursue oil projects in other parts of California.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. to make a clean break with anti-fracking communities and focus on other California sites.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Mag Move: Diversis Capital, a Santa Monica investment firm has acquired New York lifestyle magazine Nylon.

Conference Resists Ukrainian Chill

Monica Dodi is a managing director of the Women’s Venture Capital Fund on the Miracle Mile and co-founder of MTV Europe.

Brothers Still Bitten by Beatles Bug

Record vendors pile up pricey collectibles for Fab Four’s 50th.

Record shop co-owners cue up memorabilia to mark the Beatles’ first trip to America in 1964.

Teller Job Takes Future Into Account

Bank program offers high schoolers chance to check out business.

Bank program lets high school tellers open window on future careers.

Condo Broker Bids for TV Fame

Rhett Winchell to sell Glendale residences for HGTV program.

Vet broker Rhett Winchell channels 30 years of experience into auctioning condos for a new HGTV show.

Friday, May 9

Business Veteran Takes Charge of Clippers

The National Basketball Association has named a prominent African-American businessman as interim chief executive of the Clippers, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday. The appointment is effective immediately.

IPC Makes Texas Acquisition

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. is acquiring Total Inpatient Services in Sugar Land, Texas.

Radnet, ReachLocal Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed higher for the trading week.

Markets Rise

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 32 points to 16,583. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to 4,072. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,878. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 190.

ImaginAb Raises $21 Million

ImaginAb, a clinical stage biotech company in Inglewood, has raised $21 Million in Series B financing.

Metacloud Raises $15 Million

Pasadena’s Metacloud, a cloud service company for businesses, has raised $15 million in Series B funding.

LAX Considers Plan to Alleviate Traffic

With passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport nearing an all-time annual high, airport officials have begun examining plans to alleviate traffic in the Central Terminal Area, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Apple Poised to Buy Beats for $3.2 Billion

Apple Inc. may buy Beats Electronics, the Santa Monica maker of headphones that recently launched a subscription-music service, the Business Journal reports. The Wall Street Journal says Apple is attempting to play catch-up while the New York Times notes the stunned reaction on the Twitterverse.

Omnicom and Publicis End Merger Plans

Omnicom Group Inc. and Publicis Groupe on Thursday abandoned their $35 billion plan to create the world’s largest advertising company, saying they couldn’t overcome obstacles that slowed progress toward the deal’s completion, Bloomberg News reports.

City Fails to Force Banks to Maintain Homes

The foreclosure crisis may be easing in Southern California, but the damaged houses it left behind still litter the landscape. The Los Angeles Times says an L.A. city registry designed to hold banks accountable for maintaining the properties appears to be doing little to help.

Postal Service Posts Another Quarterly Loss

The U.S. Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months of this year and this morning pleaded again for reforms to its troubled financial system, the Associated Press reports.

Job Openings, Hirings Dip in March

USA Today reports that the U.S. labor market had slightly fewer job openings and hirings in March, according to government data released today.

Off the Record in a Chat App? Don’t Be Sure

The popular mobile service, Snapchat, agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that messages sent through its app did not disappear as easily as promised, the New York Times reports.

Tesla Earnings Spark Questions

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. plunged Thursday after the Palo Alto electric car maker reported losing $49.8 million in the first quarter and outlined a host of challenges, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Talk Radio Pioneer Ben Hoberman Dies at 91

Ben Hoberman, who as manager of KABC-AM in the 1960s helped pioneer the all-talk radio format, died Saturday at age 91 at an assisted living facility in Westwood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

FEC OKs Bitcoin Donations to Political Committees

The Federal Election Committee ruled Thursday that Bitcoin can be used for donations to political action committees under certain conditions, Reuters reports.

Winklevoss Twins to List Bitcoin Fund on Nasdaq

Despite the current caution over investing in virtual currency, the Winklevoss twins disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday that they plan to list their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund on the Nasdaq, the New York Times reports.

Fewer Star-Fueled Projects Coming to Cannes

With A-list stars more in-demand than ever — thanks in part to television — foreign sales agents are finding it harder and harder to package film projects, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Romney Says He Supports Raising Minimum Wage

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said today that he supports an increase in the country's minimum wage, noting his own break from many other Republicans who oppose such a hike, NBC News reports.

Markets Lower

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 3 points to 16,548. The Nasdaq was down 4 points to 4,047. The S&P 500 was down 3 points to 1,872.

Thursday, May 8

Report: Apple Eyes $3.2 Billion Bid for Beats

Apple Inc. reportedly is looking to acquire Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics, the Santa Monica maker of premium headphones that earlier this year launched a subscription-music service.

Talenthouse Closes $10 Million Funding Round

German media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1 Group has led a reported $10 million financing round in Talenthouse, an online networking service for creatives headquartered in West Hollywood.

Intuit Acquires Lettuce for Reported $30 Million

Venice’s Lettuce, an inventory and order management service for small businesses, has been acquired by Intuit, which offers business and financial management solutions for small- and mid-sized businesses.

BizFed Endorses Shriver for County Supervisor

The Los Angeles County Business Federation on Thursday joined other local business groups in backing Bobby Shriver for county supervisor in next month’s hotly contested primary election.

Brisk Business Boosts Air Lease Profits

Air Lease Corp. late Thursday said first-quarter net income jumped 53 percent as the airline demand for plane leases was on the upswing.

Seacrest Buys Marketing and PR Firm

Ryan Seacrest’s investment firm, Seacrest Global Capital, has acquired marketing and PR firm Culture Shop through a subsidiary, Seacrest’s company announced Thursday.

Earnings: J2 Global, Marcus & Millichap, Apollo Medical

J2 Global Inc. on Thursday reported a 26 percent rise in first-quarter net income, as the Hollywood provider of media services saw increasing strength in its cloud data backup services business. Marcus & Millichap Inc. reported soaring revenue the quarter, citing the continued recovery of the commercial real estate market. Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. reported a narrower loss and higher revenue in its last fiscal year, crediting a string of recent acquisitions and expansions.

Freeman Spogli Eyes IPO for Boot Barn

Freeman Spogli & Co., the L.A. private equity parent of Western wear retailer Boot Barn Inc., reportedly is looking to take the Irvine company public

Dow Rises, Other Indexes Fall

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 32 points to 16,551. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 4,052. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,876. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 188.

Sterling’s Wife Wants to Keep Clippers

Shelly Sterling — who considers herself a co-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers with her husband Donald -- says she intends to maintain ownership of team and will attempt to do so despite an NBA ban against her husband, the Los Angeles Times reports.

State Seeking Tesla's Battery Factory

The Los Angeles Times reports that California is back in the game as a potential site for Tesla Motors' proposed battery factory but still remains a long shot, the Palo Alto electric car company's Chief Executive Elon Musk said Wednesday.

Obama Calls for ‘Sense of Urgency’ at L.A. Fundraiser

At a $10,000 per person Democratic fundraiser at Disney Chairman Alan Horn's Bel Air home last night, President Obama asked Hollywood elites to feel a “sense of urgency” about the upcoming midterm elections, the Wrap reports.

Liberty Media Plans Spinoff of Charter Holdings

John Malone’s Liberty Media announced plans to spin off its cable holdings, largely comprising its stake in Charter Communications, into a new publicly traded company called Liberty Broadband by the end of the year, Variety reports.

Cedars-Sinai, MemorialCare Partner on Health Tech Fund

Cedars-Sinai Health System and MemorialCare Health System are joining forces to form a venture-capital fund aimed at developing healthcare technology, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Investment Group Urges Skechers Board Firings

CtW Investment Group, which works with union pension funds investing with Skechers, is pushing other shareholders of the Manhattan Beach shoemaker to clean house at this month's annual meeting, according to a letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Yellen Silent on Rate Hike Timetable

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen avoided being specific when asked during Wednesday's congressional testimony to put a date on when the Fed might start raising interest rates, Bloomberg News reports. Yellen is back on Capitol Hill today, the Wall Street Journal reports.

'Dr. Doom' Says Bigger Crash May Come

The 2008 financial crisis could be just a precursor to a more severe economic fallout on the horizon, closely followed contrarian investor Marc Faber told CNBC this morning.

Execs Say Merger Would Hinder Choice

Cable and Internet company executives testifying at a House antitrust panel today warned of consolidated control and decreasing diversity as reasons to oppose the proposed deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the New York Times reports.

Backer of Hollywood's First Sci-Fi Museum Turns to Kickstarter

The New Starship Foundation wants to build an educational center around a discarded and refurbished “Star Trek” bridge, with help from some famous Trekkies and Kickstarter, the Wrap reports.

Pasadena Playhouse to Get Retro-Themed Neighbors

Two major developments with 1920s appearances — an office tower and a luxury apartment complex — are under construction in a once-sleepy neighborhood around the Pasadena Playhouse theater, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Entrepreneurs High on Pot Potential

The demand for marijuana-related products and services is expected to grow sharply as more states loosen marijuana laws, and the Los Angeles Times reports that an increasing number of entrepreneurs are jumping on the opportunity.

Ad Dollars Flow to Pirated Video Sites

More ad dollars than ever before, in most cases inadvertently, are backing video websites with pirated TV and movie content, thanks to the rise of automated ad-buying technologies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Rise

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 85 points to 16,603. The Nasdaq was up 38 points to 4,105. The S&P 500 was up 9 points to 1,888.

Wednesday, May 7

Saban Announces ‘Power Rangers’ Film

Billionaire Haim Saban is announced a partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on a theatrical film based on the 1990s children’s TV show that launched his media empire.

NBCUniversal Agrees to $7.6B Olympic Deal

NBCUniversal will continue broadcasting the Olympic Games in the United States through 2032 under a $7.6 billion deal announced Wednesday with the International Olympic Committee.

Workers Vote to Approve Strike at El Super Supermarkets

Local 770 of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union on Wednesday said that members working for the El Super supermarket chain have voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations break down.

Glendale to Form Economic Development Corp.

The Glendale City Council has approved the creation of a nonprofit economic development corporation as it seeks to boost business following the elimination of local redevelopment agencies two years ago.

Earnings: Health Net, Live Nation, Activision, PennyMac

Shares jumped Wednesday for Health Net, Live Nation Entertainment, and Activision Blizzard after the companies reported better-than-expected first quarter results. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust struggled, but affiliate PennyMac Financial Services met analyst expectations.

Dow, S&P and LABJ Rise, Nasdaq Falls

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 117 points to 16,519. The Nasdaq fell 13 points to 4,068. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,878. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 2 points, or 1 percent, to 189.

Poll: Was Donald Sterling’s Punishment Too Harsh?

READER POLL

The Los Angeles Business Journal has posted a new weekly poll for readers on issues in the news.

AOL Buys Convertro for $101 Million

AOL Inc. has paid $101 million for Santa Monica’s five-year old Convertro, a programmatic platform developer whose service enables businesses to track the sales conversions of marketing campaigns.

Magnet360 Buys American Data Company

Santa Monica’s American Data Company, a cloud computing and tech services firm, has been acquired by Magnet 360, a Minneapolis marketing and tech consultancy firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Survey: L.A. Has World's Best Urban Brand

Is there any other city in the world as good at branding, or selling, itself as Los Angeles? According to a new survey by the U.K. newspaper Guardian, the answer is no, Southern California Public Radio reports.

City Council Urges Brunei to Sell Hotel

The Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution condemning new laws targeting gays and women in the Southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei, and urged the government to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Hollywood Reporter looks at the growing economic fallout of the ongoing boycott of that hotel and its sister, the Hotel Bel-Air.

Bill Would Tax Motorists for Every Mile They Drive

A bill introduced in the state senate would test the revenue to be gained from taxing vehicle miles traveled, CBS Los Angeles reports. The goal is to make up ”lost” revenue from the state’s gas tax, which isn't bringing in the money it used to because people are driving more fuel efficient vehicles.

Hospitals, Union Reach Accord

The California Hospital Association and a majority of the state's 430 hospitals said on Tuesday that they’ve reached a deal with one of the state's largest health care unions, the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, to avoid an expensive and potentially nasty ballot measure fight this fall, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Alibaba IPO Filing Leaves Questions

A number of investors and analysts said this morning that the more than 2,000 pages that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed Tuesday leave many important questions unanswered, the Wall Street Journal reports. MarketWatch notes that the IPO is a potential big opportunity for Yahoo Inc., which holds a 24 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Upbeat Assessment from Yellen

The economy is on track for solid growth this quarter, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in prepared remarks today, but warned that deterioration in housing or financial markets could alter that scenario, CNBC reports.

Agoura Hills Rentals Owner to Issue Bonds

American Homes 4 Rent, one of the largest players in the growing single-family rental industry, said Tuesday that it plans to issue bonds through a subsidiary backed by a stream of rental income from some of its more than 20,000 homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tribune CEO Looks to Future After Spinoff

As Tribune Co. prepares to shed its print business, which include the Los Angeles Times, Peter Liguori sees the Chicago media company's future resting on new TV shows, Bloomberg News reports.

Rising Use of 'Perma-Temps' Raises Ire

Unions and business groups are ready to do battle over the treatment of long-term temporary workers supplied to employers by staffing agencies, the Los Angeles Times reports.

King Digital Says New Mobile Games Boosted Sales

Propelled by new titles, "Candy Crush Saga" mobile game maker King Digital today reported record revenue in its first quarterly report as a listed company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Angry Birds Maker Aims for the Next Level

Angry Birds' Finnish maker, Rovio Entertainment Ltd., wants to prove to investors that its flagship video game has wings, but the Wall Street Journal reports that sluggish revenue growth and steep profit declines won't make that easy.

Bad Bets on Emerging Markets Add to Pimco's Woes

Investing in emerging markets has led to losses for many over the past year – but among big investors few got the timing of their wagers as wrong as bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co., Reuters reports.

Report: Hospitals Improving Patient Safety

A Health and Human Services report says hospitals are becoming safer for patients due to a quality improvement partnership between the industry and federal agencies, the Associated Press reports.

Parody Obama Movie Posters 'Welcome' President

Movie posters for a spoof entitled “Saving Barack Obama” hit Los Angeles ahead of the president’s visit to the city today, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Dow Rises, Nasdaq and S&P Fall

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 27 points to 16,428. The Nasdaq was down 51 points to 4,030. The S&P 500 was down more than 1 point to 1,866.

Tuesday, May 6

Survey: Local Companies Bullish on Business Conditions

Nearly two-thirds of local companies say business conditions are improving and 36 percent say they plan to add employees, according to an annual survey from the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed.

Currency Change Hurts DirecTV’s Quarter

DirecTV on Tuesday said that its first-quarter profit fell 19 percent largely because of currency fluctuations in part of its key Latin American market. Adjusted net income did beat analysts’ expectations, however.

Higher Profit at Disney

Walt Disney Co. beat analyst estimates in the second quarter on Monday, buoyed by strong home entertainment sales and the box office of its animated hit, “Frozen.”

Stocks Decline

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 130 points, or 1 percent, to 16,401. The Nasdaq fell 57 points, or 1 percent, to 4,081. The S&P 500 fell 17 points, or 1 percent, to 1,868. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 187.

Brunei Laws Spark Local Hotel Boycotts

The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, owned by a Brunei government-controlled luxury hotel group, are being boycotted and picketed by critics of the country's new Islamic criminal code, which will impose harsh penalties — including death by stoning — for homosexuality and adultery, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tourism Spending Hits Record in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that Los Angeles County’s tourism sector set records in 2013 for both the number of visitors and their economic input. A study by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board released today said it was the third consecutive record-breaking year.

Sterling's Apartment Managers Sue Over Pay

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made a fortune in the rental housing market, but the people who manage his properties contend they have to resort to welfare and food stamps to feed their families. Two of them are pursuing a class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 150 current and former managers, Southern California Public Radio reports.

The Women in Donald Sterling's Life

The Los Angeles Times examines the story behind Shelley Sterling's lawsuit against V. Stiviano, which triggered the events leading to Sterling's lifetime NBA ban.

U.S. Already Experiences Wide Impact of Climate Change

From prolonged drought in some places and torrential rains in others, the effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, according to a study unveiled this morning at the White House, the New York Times reports.

Merck Sells Consumer Care Business to Bayer

German drug maker Bayer will pay $14.2 billion in a deal with New Jersey’s Merck that will make it one of the world's largest providers of over-the-counter products, adding brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s, the New York Times reports.

Office Depot to Close 400 U.S. Stores

Office Depot Inc. today reported soaring first quarter sales — bolstered by its acquisition of former rival OfficeMax — but announced it would close hundreds of stores as consumers increasingly rely on online purchases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

High Court: L.A. County Liable for Stormwater Pollution

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Los Angeles County Flood Control District is liable for stormwater pollution that flows down both the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Blackstone Unit Sued Over Condition of Rentals

Blackstone's Invitation Homes unit has bet billions on the housing recovery, acquiring 44,000 homes nationwide in a bid to professionalize the single-family rental business. But disgruntled renters and other critics question the company's ability to renovate and maintain the properties, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AOL Relaunches Moviefone

AOL on Monday unveiled a new Moviefone, the film-listings brand previously best known for the booming voice greeting on its now-defunct call-in service, the Los Angeles Times reports. The relaunch includes a revamped website, new apps and an expansion into TV listings.

Making Drugs More Efficient

Drug companies are researching ways to boost the power of existing drugs as a path to better medicine at a time when inventing new drugs is increasingly difficult, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Drop

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 87 points to 16,444. The Nasdaq was off 25 points to 4,113. The S&P 500 was down 8 points to 1,876.

Monday, May 5

UberMedia Nabs $8 Million Investment

Pasadena’s UberMedia, a mobile ad platform maker, has received $8 million from investor Gordon Crawford and Blue Chip Venture Co. in Cincinnati.

Occidental Will Not Challenge Fracking Bans

Occidental Petroleum Chief Executive Stephen Chazen told analysts Monday that the company’s new California spinoff will not drill in communities that oppose fracking.

Three L.A. Agencies Claim Ad Industry Awards

Ad agencies Deutsch LA, CAA Marketing and North Kingdom might go head-to-head when competing for new clients, but last week they celebrated with wins at the 50th Annual International Andy Awards in New York.

Ceres Expands Mexican Operations

Energy crop developer Ceres Inc. on Monday said that it was expanding its plant breeding development in Mexico.

Stocks Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 18 points to 16,531. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 4,138. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,885. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 187.

CrowdGather Buys Boston Social-Gaming Firm

CrowdGather Inc., a Woodland Hills operator of online forums, on Monday said that it has acquired a social-gaming company for $5 million.

SmartyPants Raises $2.2 Million via Crowdfunding

SmartyPants Vitamins, an online vitamin retailer, has secured $2.2 million in funding from a pool of private investors through San Francisco’s CircleUp.

Google, Amazon Launch Same-Day Delivery in L.A.

Google and Amazon are going head to head over Los Angeles-area shoppers, launching same-day delivery services in the area within days of each other, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Supreme Court Allows Prayer at Municipal Meetings

The Supreme Court this morning ruled that a town in upstate New York may begin its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month,” the New York Times reports.

Target CEO Out

Target Corp. Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel, dogged by a holiday-season data breach that exposed the personal information of tens of millions of shoppers, resigned this morning, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. Forbes notes the retailer had other problems and the data breach was probably the last straw.

TrueCar's IPO May Value Company at $1 Billion

Car comparison website TrueCar this morning said that its initial public offering was expected to be priced at $12-$14 a share, raising as much as $109 million from the 7.78 million shares on offer, Reuters reports.

Buffett, Gates and Munger Pan High-Frequency Trading

Warren Buffett, his longtime business partner Charlie Munger, and Bill Gates told CNBC this morning that they are no fans of high-frequency trading. L.A. billionaire Munger quipped, "It's the functional equivalent of letting rats into a grainary."

U.S. Service Sector Smokin'

Reuters reports that growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated in April, rising at the fastest pace in eight months as new orders jumped and overall activity quickened by the most since early 2008, an industry report showed this morning.

Sterling Will Fight to Keep Clippers, Garcetti Predicts

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday he will continue to press Clippers owner Donald Sterling to give up his ownership of the NBA team, but warned it may take a "protracted fight" before the 80-year-old billionaire agrees to sell, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Herbert Hyman, Founder of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dies

In 1968, decades before "latte" and "barista" became everyday terms, Herbert Hyman and his wife Mona opened a small store in the tony Westside district of Brentwood to sell "real" coffee. Hyman, who transformed his business into the trendy Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain, died last week at age 82, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Buffett Displays His Nuanced Side

Warren Buffett is widely celebrated for his plain-spoken, straight-shooting manner, but the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. showed on Saturday before thousands of shareholders that he sometimes values degrees of nuance, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bank Sees Growth in Thinking Small

Banc of California executives say the financial crisis and recession left a big hole in the state's banking industry, and it's an opening they want to fill, the Los Angeles Times reports in a business profile.

Takeovers Put Fuel in Stocks' Empty Tank

The fastest start on record for corporate takeovers is providing fuel for a stock market stuck in low gear, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Return of 'Mansionization' Brings Grumbles

As the housing market rebounds, many L.A. homeowners complain that "mansionization" has revved up — reigniting long-standing policy battles and sometimes bitter fence fights over the feel of the city's neighborhoods, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New York Takes Larger Bite Out of Hollywood Productions

The Los Angeles Times looks at how Tinsel Town is being upstaged by the Big Apple — in film location shoots, TV shows and even glitzy premieres like the one for "Spider-Man."

Banks Again Offering Leverage for Complex Debt

Banks these days are more agreeable to doling out money to hedge funds and other investors to finance purchases of complex debt securities, returning to a practice that helped fuel the debt boom ahead of the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Symantec: Antivirus Software Is 'Dead'

Symantec Corp. invented commercial antivirus software to protect computers from hackers a quarter-century ago. Now the company, which admits such tactics are doomed to failure these days, is developing new ways to deal with cyber-hackers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Greenland Looks on Global Warming's Bright Side

Greenland is one of the few countries cheering global warming, or at least openly making the most of it. Bloomberg BusinessWeek looks at why.

Nasdaq Up, Dow and S&P Down

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 10 points to 16,505. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 4,126. The S&P 500 fell less than 1 point to 1,881.

Business in Need of Relief

Cutting tax on gross receipts a step in right direction, but Los Angeles must pursue full phase-out.

The city of Los Angeles has a lot of work to do on its job-killing levy on gross receipts, writes Lloyd Greif.

Enhanced Image

INTERNET: Website publishers picture themselves breaking from YouTube and pulling in more money from online video ads.

Website publishers seek a bigger piece of video ad revenue by unplugging from YouTube.

Waiting Rooms

Hoteliers’ plans hinge on NFL stadium project

Downtown Los Angeles could score more hotel rooms if a plan for a pro football stadium fails to pan out.

Tease photo

Patent Trolls Trample Small Businesses

Daniel Nazer calls for legal reforms to tame patent trolls.

Internet Mailbox Service Thinks It Can Still Deliver

Virtual mail service Zumbox looks to post a comeback after announcing plans to shutter.

Now You See It …?

Local firms are split over how to make money with vanishing-message apps: Should they target consumers or other businesses? So the Business Journal asks: Do you see any business use for vanishing-mess

Do you see any business use for vanishing-message services?

Water Fears All Wet

Charles Crumpley thinks California’s water crisis is all wet.

Medical Company Has New R/x for Building

ACQUISITION: Buyer shells out $23 million for property; plans makeover.

A 46,000-square-foot, Class B Century City office building is about to get rescuscitated.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming Calendar of events.

Raise Voice

London-born Roxana Tynan had to bridge some cultural gaps while pushing living wage, union organizing.

London-born Roxana Tynan found her voice speaking up for laborers.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

AT&T Inc. has approached DirecTV about a possible purchase of the El Segundo satellite TV company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Malibu Newspaper Shores Up Advertising Business

PUBLISHING: New owner of free weekly touts ties with local businesses.

ix months after its relaunch, hyperlocal newspaper Malibu Surfside News is growing its advertising business and has turned a profit, the paper’s new owner said.

Shoemaker Gets on Track With New Running Lines

FOOTWEAR: Skechers’ stock climbs on strong earnings, Boston Marathon buzz.

Strong earnings report for shoemaker Skechers comes on heels of Boston Marathon victory.

Pepperdine Alums Aim to Help Business Classes Fly

EDUCATION: M.B.A. grads volunteer to guide students in executive programs.

Business school alumni volunteer to help Pepperdine produce a better class of M.B.A. students.

Santa Monica Took Step Up With Walking Mall

Development: Leaders came together 25 years ago to construct Promenade.

Santa Monica business and city leaders recall how they stepped up 25 years ago to turn an outdoor mall into the Third Street Promenade.

Apparel Maker Suited To Music Biz

Diystro cues up items in partnership with indie performers.

Diystro bands together with indie musicians to create special apparel items.

Lender Tries to Button Up Clothier

APPAREL: Pockets about empty for ex-maker of baggy jeans.

Lender pursues J&Company as sales sag for the former maker of hit baggy jeans JNCO

Sporting Goods Chain Drops Ball With Investors

RETAIL: Big 5 hits targets but slow sales of guns, ammo knock down stock.

Big 5’s stock falls as sporting goods chain hit by disappointing guidance.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Community Bank, an independent business bank based in Pasadena, has announced a plan to repurchase $2 million of its common stock.

Newscaster Finds New Home in Real Estate

Talk about a career change: Longtime local TV newscaster Laurel Erickson, who used to do hard-hitting stories on housing developments, is now showing houses for a living.

Marshalling Disaster Efforts

Team Rubicon enlists military veterans to aid in catastrophes.

Team Rubicon deploys military veterans to assist in disaster zones.

Cobbler’s Arty Sneakers Major Step Up

Buyers of Raul Ojeda’s Converse shoes tread into $25,000 territory.

Cobbler Raul Ojeda seeks buyers willing to foot the bill for $25,000 Converse sneakers.

Fast Turnaround for Torrance?

AUTOMOTIVE: City looks to Carson in how to replace carmaker.

Nissan’s departure from Carson might offer a roadmap to recovery for Toyota-losing Torrance.

Friday, May 2

Lackluster Opening for Ares Management Shares

Shares of Ares Management fell 4 percent in the company’s first day of trading on Friday after the private equity firm cut the size of its initial offering.

Equinox Leases Entire Retail Portion of Hollywood’s Camden Project

Camden Property Trust said today it had signed a 20-year lease with New York fitness club Equinox to take the entire 40,000-square-foot retail component of the Camden, a 287-unit residential project in development on Vine Street at Selma Avenue. The facility will be Equinox’s 15th in Los Angeles County.

KB Home Buys Lots in Santa Clarita

KB Home has purchased land to build two new subdivisions in Santa Clarita, the company announced Friday.

Earnings: Superior Industries, Crown Media, Molina Healthcare

Superior Industries International Inc. matched analysts’ net income estimates for the first quarter but just missed on revenue. Crown Media Holdings Inc. reported a drop in net income for the first quarter despite rising ratings and advertising rates. Molina Healthcare reported a profit for the quarter when analyst were expecting a loss.

Rubicon, CBRE Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

Stocks Decline

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 46 points to 16,513. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 4,124. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,881. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 186.

SpaceX Gets Court Order Halting U.S./Russia Rocket Deal

Elon Musk’s SpaceX succeeded in obtaining a court order temporarily halting a deal a that would have enabled the U.S. Air Force to obtain rockets from a Boeing/Lockheed Martin joint venture that would have sourced engines from a Russian company, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Sterling Battling Cancer

Sources have told the New York Post and ESPN that embattled L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been battling prostate cancer for some time.

Skechers Interested in Clippers Stake

Manhattan Beach sneaker maker Skechers USA Inc. said this morning that it is consulting with advisers about leading an investment group to buy part of the L.A. Clippers, joining a growing gaggle of potential celebrity and corporate buyers, Bloomberg News reports. USA Today looks at how Sterling could use divorce proceedings with wife Shelley to stall a sale of the team.

Fox Film Exec Declared Dead

Though missing Fox executive Gavin Smith's body has not been found since his disappearance two years ago, an L.A. County sheriff's detective says there is "physical evidence of his death," the Los Angeles Times reports. A public death certificate has been issued for Smith, dated May 1, 2012, the day he was last seen.

U.S. Adds 288,000 Jobs

Americans gained jobs at the fastest pace in more than two years last month and the unemployment rate plunged to 6.3 percent, which the Wall Street Journal reports may be a sign that the economy has rebounded from its winter rut.

Feds Probe Wagers on Herbalife

Sources tell the New York Times that federal authorities are looking at whether insider trading, disclosure and market manipulation rules were violated by some of the traders placing long and short bets on Herbalife, the embattled nutritional supplement company.

Was Toyota Driven Out of California? Not So Fast

The Los Angeles Times looks at whether the hang-wringing over California's unfriendly business environment, in the wake of Toyota's plan to ship 3,000 jobs from Torrance to the Dallas area, is actually accurate in this instance.

SoCal Building Permits Bounced Back Last Year

The number of building permits issued in Southern California jumped 44 percent last year, but still remain well below pre-recession levels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Port Continues Talks With Ports O’ Call Developer

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Thursday to extend negotiations with the L.A. Waterfront Alliance over whether a plan to revitalize the aging Ports O’ Call entertainment district are financially feasible, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

May Day Marchers Push for Reform

As part of the labor movement’s annual May Day celebration, crowds took over downtown Los Angeles’ streets Thursday to demand new immigration laws and higher wages for workers, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Famous Faces Cross Over to Online Video

Creators, producers and distributors at Digital Content NewFronts event now underway in New York are turning to TV and film stars to star in and promote their shows on the next-generation digital media, the New York Times reports.

Are U.S. Stocks Really the Only Game in Town?

Yahoo Finance's Daily Ticker looks at why CalSTRS, which has been attempting to rebalance its portfolio and pull away from U.S. equities, is having difficulty finding anywhere else to go.

Dow and Nasdaq Down, S&P Up

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 16 points to 16,543. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 4,129. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,884.

Thursday, May 1

Rentech Acquires Wood Pellet Producer

Rentech Inc. on Thursday said that it acquired New England Wood Pellet, considered the largest producer of wood pellets for the U.S. heating market.

CBRE Shares Rise on Strong Earnings

Shares of CBRE Group Inc. rose nearly 9 percent on Thursday after the real estate services giant reported better-than-expected first quarter net income and revenue growth.

Higher DineEquity Profit Still Disappoints

DineEquity Inc. on Thursday reported rising net income and revenue in the first quarter, but missed analysts’ profit estimates as its Applebee’s chain underperformed.

Oaktree Sees Lower Quarterly Earnings

Oaktree Capital Group on Thursday said its first-quarter profit fell 32 percent as the private equity firm’s revenue from incentive income declined.

Capstone to Raise $30.2 Millon Through Private Placement

Capstone Turbine Corp. on Thursday announced an offering of 18.8 million shares to a single institutional investor that will raise $30.2 million.

Dow and S&P Fall; Nasdaq and LABJ Rise

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 22 points to 16,559. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,127. The S&P 500 fell slightly to 1,884. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 187.

Rubicon Project Names Three New Board Members

Rubicon Project Inc., the newly public ad tech company in Playa Vista, has named three new directors, expanding its board to seven.

AT&T Approaches DirecTV About Acquisition

AT&T; has approached DirecTV about a possible acquisition of the El Segundo satellite-TV giant, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Caution Urged on Expansion of Production Tax Credits

A state report urges lawmakers to be cautious about expanding subsidies to address runaway production of TV and movies, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Wrap has a more optimistic take on the report, saying it shows expansion is feasible.

Writers Guild Ratifies Deal With Hollywood Producers

Members of the Writers Guild of America on Wednesday ratified their new feature film and primetime TV contract with Hollywood's movie studios and networks, the Wrap reports.

Carson Lifts Moratorium on Oxy Drilling Project

City Council members have abandoned their opposition to new oil drilling in the face of powerful interest groups and strong political pressure spawned by fears that a ban here would set off similar action across the state, the Daily Breeze reports.

Embattled D'Antoni Resigns as Lakers Coach

Mike D'Antoni resigned Wednesday as the Lakers' coach, ending a tumultuous two-year run with the team and putting a finishing touch on one of their worst seasons ever, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Los Angeles Daily News rounds up the reaction, including Magic Johnson's tweet, "I couldn't be happier!"

Magic Now Interested in Clippers

The Donald Sterling saga could be coming full circle, Southern California Public Radio reports. What began as the owner’s racist rant about not wanting Magic Johnson attending Clippers games could end with Johnson owning part of the team. The Los Angeles Times looks at additional potential bidders, including Oprah Winfrey.

Young Homebuyers Turn to Neighborhoods Near USC

Priced out of much of Los Angeles, young professionals are zeroing in on several neighborhoods around USC and to the west, as the expanding Expo light rail line delivers new residents to the area, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Port Truck Drivers End Picket

A two-day protest by truck drivers who haul freight in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ended Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ford Names Fields CEO

In a rare example of a major automaker making a smooth transition from one chief executive to another, Ford Motor today named COO Mark Fields to succeed Alan Mulally as chief executive, CNBC reports.

Viacom Growth Elsewhere Makes Up for Weakness at Paramount

Higher TV ratings at Nickelodeon and other cable channels helped fuel Viacom's fiscal second-quarter profit — making up for a soft quarter at movie studio Paramount Pictures, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sony Warns Loss Will Be Worse

Sony Corp. said today it faces a wider loss for the just-ended business year than previously expected, and slashed its operating-profit outlook by two-thirds due to the costs of getting out of its unprofitable personal-computer business, the Wall Street Journal reports.

FAA Pressed to Allow Commercial Drone Use

They film box-office hits. Amazon wants them to deliver packages. Many see a gold mine. Only problem? Use of small commercial drones is largely illegal. The Federal Aviation Administration is under pressure to change that, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Former Ghost Town Goes Green

The tiny Mojave Desert settlement of Nipton is one of many places trying to generate its own power — and maybe sell some back to the grid, the New York Times reports.

Actuaries Struggle With U.S. Health Law

Actuaries may have the toughest job in corporate America right now. The health law has reshaped the way insurers do business, and transformed the behind-the-scenes role of the industry's number-crunchers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Rising

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones rose 8 points to 16,589. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,888. The Nasdaq was up 33 points to 4,147.