GAMBLE: Former casino executive and media novice Richard Mirman has been named interim publisher and chief executive of the Orange County Register, taking over for Aaron Kushner, who will remain principal owner and chief executive of the paper’s parent company, Freedom Communications Inc. Mirman held several executive marketing roles at Harrah’s Entertainment in Las Vegas. The shift comes as Freedom has fumbled in its attempts to spread its reach, killing the short-lived Los Angeles Register last month and stopping daily publication of the Long Beach Register in June. Both changes resulted in layoffs.
UP IN VAPE: The Santa Monica City Council has voted unanimously to ban the use of e-cigarettes in most public places, effectively subjecting them to the same restrictions as regular cigarettes. The decision came after months of discussion about the safety of the devices. Proponents of “vaping” say they help people quit smoking and are a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. Critics say sellers target young people in marketing a habit that could be a gateway to smoking. The new ordinance will take effect Nov. 14, and also requires vapor retailers to obtain a tobacco license. The cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Beverly Hills passed similar measures earlier this year.
SMART: Legendary Entertainment has purchased Austin, Texas, site Smart Girls at the Party, founded by comedian Amy Poehler. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Launched in 2008, the site featured video interviews with adolescent girls and young teens with the stated aim to “celebrate individuals who are changing the world by being themselves.” It has grown to have more than 5 million views on its YouTube channel. Smart Girls will join Legendary’s digital division, which includes the culture site Nerdist and the recently acquired Geek & Sundry.
ASSIST: The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday gave Anschutz Entertainment Group six more months to find a National Football League team for its proposed downtown L.A. stadium. It also agreed to make the developer a participant in what city officials have been calling Plan B: the effort to figure out how to upgrade the Los Angeles Convention Center if no stadium is built. As part of the agreement, AEG will provide $750,000 for design work on a Convention Center modernization that would not include a stadium. If AEG manages to lock down a team by mid-April, it would then receive another six months to finalize all the agreements with the league and the city.
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