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LABJ Insider: January 16

Sparks of Fame

Clinton Sparks may be the biggest celebrity you’ve never heard of. 

He’s been a DJ, producer and songwriter who was nominated for a Grammy award in 2012 for his production work on Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” album. Also that year he won a BMI award for writing a Pitbull song. His syndicated radio show is reportedly in 22 markets. 

He’s turned entrepreneur and is the co-owner of Xset, an esports and lifestyle brand for gamers. 

Sparks

The 47-year-old is an author, too, whose second book, a self-published one, is coming out this week. It is titled: “Ten Traits That Made Me Millions in the Music Industry.”

He said he’s inspired by upcoming talent. “I know what it takes to win, and I am trying to be the voice of truth for these artists, in whichever medium they choose to work through.”  

• • • 

Bob Iger, the Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive, last week said employees soon must work in the office at least four days a week, joining several other top execs calling for in-person work. But a report out last week said a widespread return to the office, at least in major cities, is not happening. If anything, it’s slowing. 

Placer.ai, which tracks office use and foot traffic, last week said traffic in offices grew only a little last year and even fell a bit in the last half. For what it’s worth, office visits in the biggest cities – including Los Angeles – were down the most. 

It’s not as if workers are staying away entirely; they just don’t go in much. Placer.ai’s report said the number of office visitors is “close to 80% of what it was three years ago — meaning that the vast majority of workers appear to have returned to the office, even if they don’t come in as often as they used to.”

• • • 

You know homes are infamously expensive in Los Angeles. But think about how they’re almost prohibitively so for first-time buyers. A report out last week from RealtyHop, a website aimed at real estate investors, said Glendale has the worst barrier to homeownership in the country. No. 2 is Los Angeles and No. 5 is Long Beach.

The study figured how long a person with a median income in each city would need to save in order to have enough money for a 20% down payment on a median-priced home in their city. In Glendale, that person would need to save for a little more than 15 years. In Los Angeles, it would be 13.5 years and in Long Beach, 10.5 years. 

By contrast, it would take only 6.4 years of saving in Dallas, which is in the middle of the pack. The study assumes the person would save 20% of their income.

Of the 10 cities with the highest barriers to ownership, six are in California.

The Insider is compiled by Editor-in-Chief Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Charles Crumpley, Editor-In-Chief Author