Stories for April 1997

Monday, April 28


A Northern California developer has broken ground on a $23 million hotel in Hermosa Beach that is being touted as a "real estate investment with a twist." The twist is that the 96-room, seafront hotel is being sold as a combination condominium and timesha


For years the 10 p.m. newscast on KTLA-TV Channel 5 has been a model of dignity and decorum steering clear of the sex, celebrity and space alien stories that pepper the evening news during the rating sweeps period.


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, traditionally known for its mergers and acquisitions work, has turned to prominent bankruptcy attorney Richard Levin to develop a bankruptcy group at its Los Angeles office.

Hed -- A Still-Forgotten Econo

On the five-year anniversary of the L.A. riots, it's perhaps easier to speak of the subsequent failures than the successes.


As the new editor of Los Angeles magazine, Spencer Beck is promising a more provocative and sophisticated approach and no, he says, it won't just be a softer version of the present publication.


For all the hopes and expectations for the South Central economy, one undeniable fact remains: There are fewer jobs and businesses there than before the 1992 riots.


Glendale-based specialty real estate investment trust Public Storage Inc. has established a $220 million "off balance sheet" joint venture with a major public pension fund to develop 50 to 60 self-storage projects around the nation over the next three yea

Weekly Briefing

Q I own a machine shop and sell fabricated metal parts to a number of Valley manufacturers. I'm paying 40 cents per foot (industrial net) right now for an 8,000-square-foot building. The owner has asked me to purchase the building for $500,000. Does that

Westwood Letters

In response to your article relating to the "theater project" in Westwood ("Theater Project Would Revitalize Westwood, Study Says," March 31), I note that you quote an attorney from the law firm of Irell & Manella pointing to the "garbage in vacant storef


When the proposed City of Los Angeles and L.A. County budgets were released last week, government officials scrambled to explain how they would pay for such services as police protection, health care and libraries over the next year.

Company Index

Alex. Brown & Sons 5


As active members of the international trade community, we have to take issue with the March 31 story, "Trade Explosion Poses Security Risk." To start with, the article characterized a recent successful interdiction of illegal goods as indicative of the U


The Los Angeles Business Journal has frequently characterized The Los Angeles Convention Center as underutilized and underbooked. A review of the status of the recent Convention Center Expansion Project might enlighten your readers.


On a rickety-looking loft in a Santa Monica warehouse that's older than most of the people working in it, there sits a beat-up metal garbage can stuffed with silver and gold.


Local television stations were less than pleased with the digital channel allocations handed out last week by the Federal Communications Commission because many of the market's biggest stations will end up losing hundreds of thousands of viewers.


Several of the top civic, business and political leaders in Los Angeles convened last week for a one-day conference on possible strategies for nurturing economic growth over the coming years.

The Tobacco Cancers

FINALLY. We now know what causes lung cancer (and mouth cancer, throat cancer, larynx cancer, esophageal cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreas cancer, cervix cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, emphysema, and heart disease - the list goes on and on). T

Digest Add

The industrial division of Dallas-based real estate giant Lincoln Property Co., in partnership with an affiliate of investment house Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, has completed a $26 million acquisition of three buildings, two of which are in El Segundo.


While waiting for the results of his California Bar examination and teaching law at UCLA, Sid Sheinberg went to work for a television production subsidiary of MCA Inc. He didn't know it at the time, but his law career was about to evaporate; he went on in


It's too soon to state definitively that first quarter earnings will stay up, but some preliminary news from Prudential Securities Research seems to indicate a northward drift.

The New Science of Corporate H

The New Science of Corporate Health and Fitness: Accurate Evaluation Leads to a Prescription for Higher Productivity By An Energized Employee and Management Team


The non-profit Cancer Detection Center, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is pleased to announce our jointly sponsored, second annual, "Father's Day All Month" prostate health campaign. During the month of June, which is also National Pros


The Los Angeles Business Journal won the top award, for overall excellence, in its category at the Greater Los Angeles Press Club's 1996 Southern California Journalism Awards.


This has to be a first. Environmentalists are now on the front lines of our national defense. They did what Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, and a pack of other conservatives tried, but failed, to do. They stopped the Communist Chinese from invading America. At


In its April 21 edition, the Business Journal misstated the status of real estate appraiser Eichel Inc. In fact, the Van Nuys-based firm is still in business and operating as usual.


When you're dealing with complaints, it's a good idea to bear in mind Al Capone's motto: "Don't take it personally, it's just business."


With L.A.'s controversial "living wage" ordinance set to take effect May 5, city contractors and concessionaires are scrambling to determine whether their businesses will be affected by the wage boost.


The battle over unionization in the apparel industry is moving to a new front the realm of publicly funded art.


For many of us, making health care decisions in the 90s can seem as puzzling as mastering the Rubik's Cube of the 80s. But putting the puzzle together step by step can take some of the frustration out of the process. These steps include selecting a hea


Have recent events finished off what the government calls the "white-collar mugging" of elderly people? They're talking about insurance salespeople who charge huge fees for advising seniors about reverse mortgages.


Responding to community pressure, the developer of the planned Village Center Westwood will release a revised plan for the project this week that cuts the amount of space set aside for theaters and restaurants and increases the retail component.

Thinner: For Life

Fifteen years ago when, as a clinical psychologist, I first began treating patients for obesity and eating disorders with behavioral weight management programs, few if any men appeared asking for my help to lose weight. Those who did were either scared w


While many of L.A. County's aerospace workers have lost their jobs in recent years, the industry is still made up of some of the area's largest private-sector employers.

LA Stories

Vestar Development Co. is going to demolish the Glendale Fashion Center and build a new mall in its place. The name will be retained since it is well known to shoppers. But a look at Vestar's tenant list indicates the new Glendale Fashion Center will be v


For all the challenges of doing business in South Central L.A., hundreds of enterprises have remained faithfully committed to the area.


For many Angelenos, the hundreds of vacant lots dotting South Central Los Angeles are a sober reminder of the economic destruction left by the 1992 L.A. riots.


Ronald Wise, the longtime spokesman and vice president for public relations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has left the center to become a vice president at the as-yet-unnamed health care company being formed by Dr. Bernard Salick.


Carlton Jenkins and Paul Hudson are on the front lines of the battle to rebuild South Central Los Angeles.


In a March 31 story on the security risks associated with international trade, the Business Journal misstated the number of cargo containers moving through the L.A-Long Beach port complex. The correct number is 3.4 million containers.

Health Care

Many Los Angeles employers are likely to face double-digit increases from their health plans in 1999. Health care benefits consultants predict that many health maintenance organizations will follow the lead of Kaiser Permanente, which asked the California


Visitors to the Continental Candle Co. are hard pressed to leave the Compton facility without brothers Richard and Jorge Rodriguez making one thing absolutely clear.

Monday, April 21


Scott Ferrall is frenetic, encyclopedic, hoarse and crass downright rude sometimes. But those are just tools of the trade when you consider his ambition: Ferrall wants to be the next Howard Stern.


Higher vacancy rates and lower prices in Ventura County's industrial and office real estate continued to attract companies from the San Fernando Valley in the first quarter of 1997.


Faced with a growing demand for low-income housing, shrinking budgets and a potential crisis stemming from federal welfare cuts, Los Angeles agencies are being forced to do more with less.


With plans by the Port of Long Beach to build a new container terminal for the China Ocean Shipping Co. in jeopardy, officials from the rival Port of Los Angeles are making a bid for the fast-growing, Chinese government-owned shipping line.


As it moves into the new world of public-private partnerships, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has come face-to-face with a thorny problem protecting the tax-exempt status of its municipal bonds.


An avalanche of L.A.-area properties is landing in the portfolios of mortgage lenders, leaving lenders with a record number of homes to sell.


Susan Goldsberry, a single mother of four and a sheet metal worker from Burbank, believes that the state's repeal of the daily overtime law could mean financial disaster for her family.

Correction Starbucks

In an April 14 story, the Business Journal misidentified the source of a comment that motorists would be served at a walk-up window at Starbucks' Sunset Strip location. The comment was made by company spokesman Alan Gulick.


Like a crystal ball, the eye of Edward Nalbandian's sewing needle gives customers a glimpse into the past, present and future of L.A.'s Miracle Mile district.

Letter Barash

I am writing in response to your April 14 article about the Los Angeles Community Development Bank's (LACDB) co-lending program, "Inner City Can't Get the Money." Despite my spending considerable time on the phone with your reporter and painstakingly taki


The County of Los Angeles, having last week approved a blueprint for massive redevelopment of Marina del Rey, is moving quickly to solicit developers to bring the blueprint into reality.


One of the nation's largest single-family home mortgage lenders and California's largest independent escrow company will soon join forces.


Industry experts expect the trend to result in both a decline in the total number of REITs, as well as big growth on the part of the surviving companies.


The San Gabriel Valley is one of the strongest industrial real estate markets in Southern California, with robust demand from both Fortune 500 and Asian electronics firms for warehousing and distribution space.


With the stock market choppy on the bear side, and investors looking for more-secure returns, what's the picture now for real estate investment trusts?

List Story

Real estate appraisers report that business is looking up, although only four of the 10 firms on this year's List reported employing more appraisers this year than last and a few reported less.

Weekly Briefing

Cliff Michaels says he has always wanted to help people become more successful. A successful mortgage banker himself, he developed an idea for a Web site that he thought would be an instant hit selling books, tapes and CD-ROMs over the Internet.


Acceptance of the real estate investment trust as an investment vehicle has exceeded everyone's expectations and driven current prices to levels far above initial offering prices.

Computer Column

No, gentle reader, you didn't turn to the Food section by mistake. You're on the right page, and this is, in fact, the personal computer column. It just so happens that "cookies" and "spam" with neither term used in its culinary sense have become cont

Black Business Expo

COMPTON Myra Wallace has built a successful business outfitting some of the NBA's biggest stars including A.C. Green, Byron Scott and Sam Perkins.


If all goes as planned, South Bay residents won't have to drive far to catch a movie or buy a used car.

Letter Toccoli

I commend state Senator Polanco for remembering all consumers in the new electric marketplace ("Let's not make the same deregulation mistakes," March 24). Small business and residential customers actively supported AB 1890, the legislation opening the mar


Fears that the historic Santa Anita racetrack would be demolished and redeveloped for higher-value uses appeared to be put to rest last week with the announcement that Santa Anita Cos. has agreed to merge with the nation's biggest health care real estate


The stampede of business people searching for industrial and office space outside Los Angeles found pickings increasingly slim during the first quarter in the North County.

RE Column

L.A.County's fast-growing Mini Suites operation has now expanded into San Diego, leasing the entire 20,400-square-foot sixth floor of a seven-story mixed-use complex in the Hillcrest district, according to Tom Dean, the former Cushman & Wakefield Inc. exe


Aaron and Teresita Sayes, who launched a small medical services firm in Covina that has revenues of more than $1 million annually, were named Small Business Persons of the Year in a regional competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration


Sitrick and Co. has promoted Anne DeWolfe to senior vice president. In her new position, DeWolfe will supervise accounts in corporate, litigation support, transactional and crisis management areas. Sitrick and Co. is a Los Angeles-based strategic communic


The Westside commercial real estate market, on a roll for the past 18 months, continued its robust bull-run through the first part of 1997 and shows little sign of letting up. Vacancy rates continue to fall, lease rates are edging up and some large-scale


The news about the San Fernando Valley's tightening real estate market during the first quarter had less to do with the tightening itself, and more with the dilemmas it has brought for brokers and businesses.

Letter Jacobs

In your otherwise excellent discussion of the changing face of private club membership ("Not So Private Anymore," April 7) many of us were surprised and disappointed that you did not choose to reference City Club on Bunker Hill.


In the movie "Jerry Maguire," a sports agent who is disgusted with the ruthless competition among agents and the shallow relationships that result has an epiphany one evening and writes a memo to his colleagues that ultimately gets him fired. So he sets o


Old industrial space is gradually making way for the new in the Mid-Cities market.

L Molloy

Your Guest Opinion by Larry Walsh of the South Park Economic Development Corp. ("L.A. Deserves a Viable Stadium Plan," March 17) had the correct byline, but unfortunately, the wrong content.


The April 7 article "Phone Cards For the Masses" incorrectly stated that Pacific Bell had left the pre-paid telephone card market. Pacific Bell continues to sell pre-paid telephone cards.


Dr. Bernard Salick, founder and until last week CEO of Salick Health Care Inc., is seeking funding to launch a new company to compete with his namesake firm in the specialty clinics field he helped create.

Company Index

American Flywheel 13


In what could be the first of many such partnerships, the country's largest physician practice management company and second-largest for-profit hospital chain have agreed to form a provider network in Southern California.


Real estate analysts keeping tabs on the downtown Los Angeles market are warning that while the area is showing some improvement, no one should expect an overnight turnaround.


Owning stocks is like riding the roller coaster at Disney World, where you're entirely in the dark. You feel every rise and fall, every sharp and shallow turn, but you can't see what's ahead. You can only guess when the ride might end from what has gone b


Beth Bornhurst is used to working with characters ones with names like the Pink Panther and James Bond.


Hollywood's decade-long attempt to stage a comeback appears to be gaining momentum, in historic preservation and renovated office buildings.


Wanted: Top executive to run $5 billion organization. Must work closely with seven-person board involved in day-to-day activities. Employees represented by strong union. Facilities in disrepair. Pay far less than that of any similar position.


The first wave of commercial construction to hit L.A. in the 1990s is on the horizon in Burbank and Glendale.

Market Column

The people at KCET-TV Channel 28 in Hollywood think so, although they wouldn't use the word "commercial" to describe the 30-second corporate messages that have been running at the station since September 1995.


The Galleria at South Bay is set to be Union Bank of California's testing ground for the West Coast's first interactive banking kiosk, where customers can perform all of the transactions of an ATM and also apply for loans, discuss investments and speak


L.A. Care, the public half of Los Angeles County's "two-plan model" for shifting Medi-Cal patients into managed care, received approval from the California Department of Corporations to direct patients to all seven of its private HMO partners.

Letter Hidalgo

The Los Angeles Business Journal's March 16 editorial, "Ballona Misspeak," correctly pointed out that multimillion dollar subsidies to developers and billionaire movie moguls for the Playa Vista development is not a wise use of our hard-earned tax dollars


Cleveland-based Lincoln Electric Co.'s request to have a $1 billion class-action product liability lawsuit dismissed has been denied, according to the attorney representing the steel-frame building owners that filed the suit.


Mounting concern over sweatshop working conditions in the apparel industry has sparked a new cottage industry independent monitoring firms that investigate apparel firms with an eye towards bringing them into compliance with state and federal labor laws


Two major property owners Zufu Property Co. Ltd. and a partnership headed by Lewis P. Geyser and Jerome Snyder filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws.


Alan Levine and Mark Canton of Sony Pictures Entertainment are having their best year ever at the box office.


Forget the 14- or 15- screen multiplex cinema and 275,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space what area residents want on a prime Westwood Village site, according to a local residents group, are live playhouses, a public library, parkland and a c


Just a few blocks away from the Great Western Forum, sports fans for decades have been stopping by Mike Gubner's store to pick up Lakers and Kings merchandise.


The New York Times reported last week that Americans are spending less time at lunch under a half-hour on average. Heavier workloads take most of the blame for people eating lunch at their desks, although others are taking less time at lunch so they ca


It has been five years since riots broke out after the acquittal of four police officers in the beating of Rodney King. Many city officials, politicians and business owners vowed to bring Los Angeles back after the devastation of those few days and nights


Rising numbers of homeowners and small business owners in the San Fernando Valley are slipping into bankruptcy and foreclosure.


The biggest real estate news of the first quarter actually occurred a few days into the second.


Responding to complaints that the process is unfair, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Laura Chick moved last week to scrap plans to collect back taxes from home-based businesses.


The stock market is getting to be an increasingly uncertain even scary place. But it's not the prospect of a 10 percent-plus correction that's cause for concern. Corrections and occasional bear markets are the inevitable consequence of market gravity.


There's been a change in control at Merisel Inc., the $3.5 billion-in-sales El Segundo-based computer hardware wholesale distributor, and Russ Belinsky of Chanin & Co., the Westside boutique investment banker, is in the background of events.

Tax Free

Making good on a reelection campaign promise to help the city's most impoverished areas, Mayor Richard Riordan is pushing for the creation of a "tax-free zone" for much of East Los Angeles, Pacoima, South L.A. and Watts.

Small Biz

Take waste paper and cardboard, license a technology developed by the federal government, and you have the basis for a product much stronger than the sum of its parts.

Monday, April 14


Oct. 31, 1994: Michael Ovitz, former chief of Creative Artists Agency, helps put together a joint venture between Pacific Telesis, Bell Atlantic and Nynex called Tele-TV, which will develop technology and create programming for a new television service.


AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney has threatened "stronger, international actions" in the increasingly bitter labor battle at Little Tokyo's New Otani Hotel & Gardens, after the hotel's owners refused to meet with the U.S. labor leader during his recent v


In 1988, Tom Cordner was offered the opportunity to live a businessman's wildest dreams: To start up a company from scratch according to his own design and with someone else's money.


For decades, Southern California communities united as one against Northern California to ensure their access to one of the state's most precious commodities: water.


Kirk Souder was a physics major at the University of Delaware when he had an epiphany during his junior year.


The folks over at Century City-based Mergerstat have worn their fingers down to nubs, trying to count up all the M & A; activity in the United States.


Whether you're an executive traveler or just a vacationer longing to get as far away as possible from the rigors of executive life, perhaps the most desirable commodity on your trip will be quality service. Wherever you go, and however you get there, th

Sun America

SunAmerica Inc., the Century City-based financial services company, is aiming to score big under a new promotional deal it has entered into with NBC Sports.

Letter Malamed

The Belding bowl: It's not just an award, it's an engraved cereal dish. Put one on your head, and you look like a shining Celtic warrior.


When Michael G. Agate returned to his native Los Angeles in 1992 after a four-year stint with Grey/Daiko in Tokyo, he found that his nearly four decades in the advertising business had left him "too overqualified, too old and too overpaid" for practical


In Los Angeles, as in most metropolitan areas, consumers have three options for receiving their TV programming: through rooftop or rabbit-ear antenna, underground cable or satellite dish.

Company Index



For Jerry McGee, the most satisfying aspect of advertising is to watch an idea come to life.

Kyser OPED

What is the value of a new job? It's a pertinent question, given the coming transition to welfare reform and doubts about whether the city is generating too many of those "hamburger flipper" jobs.


After vowing to secure a donation equal to or larger than Atlantic Richfield Co.'s $10 million gift, Eli Broad chairman and chief executive of SunAmerica Inc. and a leader of the fundraising effort made good on his word last week.


Bruce Miller is on the business side of the hot Suissa Miller Advertising agency the guy who makes sure the creative artists have the tools they need to get the job done.


Pytka, one of the hottest and best-paid commercial directors in the business, has been known to rip new breathing holes for crew members who fail to live up to his expectations. He is at once disarmingly frank, self-deprecating, and as ego-driven as a sta


Last year, Mendelsohn/Zien attracted headlines when a TV commercial it created for juniors clothing retailer Clothestime was rejected by all the major broadcast and cable networks.


Cliff Einstein recently took a day off from his duties at Dailey & Associates, not for a round of golf with clients, but to play the role of a surgeon operating on the Nicholas Cage character in the upcoming film, "Face/Off."

Health Column

The California Supreme Court heard arguments in Los Angeles last week over Kaiser Permanente's use of binding arbitration as a way of settling disputes with disgruntled patients. Kaiser is the state's largest managed care company, with more than 5 million


Traffic will increase as much as 10 percent at the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood boulevards if the proposed Village Center Westwood is built, according to an environmental impact report on the project.


Many of L.A.'s biggest advertising agencies reported healthy gains in billings between 1995 and 1996, led by Venice powerhouse TBWA Chiat/Day Inc., which picked up nearly $200 million in new accounts.


A wide smile creeps across Rob Siltanen's face as he starts to drop hints about the TV spots his team has just finished developing for Infiniti, Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A. luxury car line.


Starting from ... well ... ground zero just three years ago, an obscure little ad agency in Santa Monica is emerging as one of the hottest new players in the business.


To David Suissa, an advertising campaign is not unlike a military battle especially when the campaign involves luxury automobiles.


Dave Park is into power and passion, and he gets most of his inspiration by surrounding himself with people who are passionate about their work.


A half-dozen prominent real estate firms have begun preliminary talks to develop the DreamWorks SKG studio in Playa Vista, well-placed sources told the Business Journal last week, even though the ultimate ownership of the Playa Vista site remains in doubt

RE Column

As commercial real estate markets continue to recover from the depths of recession in L.A., most of the growth of the tenant base has come from internal expansion of companies already operating here.


Born in a 5,000-square-foot Sun Valley job shop in 1983, it had grown into a $89 million (annual sales) company with hundreds of employees working in a big Chatsworth factory by 1994.

Letter Moran

As president of the Latin Business Association, I am pleased to see plans moving forward for a new major sports and entertainment arena in downtown Los Angeles. The new facility, planned on and adjacent to the current Convention Center site, will contribu


Think of a major ad campaign that has burrowed its way into the public consciousness in the last decade or more. Chances are, one of the following images comes to mind:


He's baaack! Richard J. Riordan will be at the reins of Los Angeles for another four years following his overwhelming victory over state Sen. Tom Hayden. His list of accomplishments in the first term include the development of a business team; streamlinin


Robert Kuperman can trace back his interest in art from his days as a boy growing up in Brooklyn.


Jay Chiat, David Ogilvy, William Bernbach and Howard Zieff may be the titans of advertising, but for Jo Muse chairman of Muse Cordero Chen Inc. there was another man who most motivated him into the business: Darren Stevens.


Andrew Butcher likes the advertising business here, especially when he compares it to the ad game in his native Britain almost a generation ago.


Los Angeles voters last week approved the City Charter Reform Commission championed by Mayor Richard Riordan, but largely rejected the mayor's hand-picked candidates instead favoring the slate backed by City Hall's most powerful employee union.


To some degree, it did very well, given the reelection of Mayor Riordan, the endorsement of charter reform and the somewhat surprising defeat of Proposition 7, which would have extended a 3.75 percent business surtax.


Before launching B.D. Fox & Friends, one of the industry's leaders in television and motion picture promotional ads, Brian Fox was heading down an entirely different career path.


Some 18 months have passed since Vice President Al Gore, L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan and a host of dignitaries gathered for the gala grand opening of the Los Angeles Community Development Bank. Grand proclamations were made that the bank's $430 million in

Small Biz

In today's competitive business environment, you probably understand the cost in terms of time, effort and money of attracting customers. But what about the cost of losing customers?


Ask Robert Farina his idea of taking risks in life, and he'll probably talk about some bold move that clinched an advertising deal.

Letter Schloessman

Given the importance of the proposed downtown arena to the City of Los Angeles and the enormous amount of support that has been shown by numerous organizations (labor, residents, businesspeople and taxpayers), I find the headline of the March 31 article,

Corporate Jets

Angelenos are known for their love of status symbols. And few high-ticket toys surpass the "ultra-long-range" Gulfstream V corporate jet which made its virgin long distance flight last week from Van Nuys to London.


One block in Beverly Hills is getting a new lease on life with the help of some venerable names in the restaurant business.


California state Controller Kathleen Connell is mulling a run for governor in 1998, and already seems to be campaigning getting in a subtle dig on Election Day last week while making a speech at Santa Monica College.


Since joining BBDO West in 1993, CEO and chief creative officer David Lubars watched as the agency's core account, Apple Computer Inc., "almost imploded in front of him," as one ad industry observer put it.


Scott Kramer is the kind of guy who likes to tell you what to do and where to go for a night out on the town.


Education: University of Kansas, bachelor of arts degree; Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking, graduate degree

Small Biz Feature

LAWNDALE When Marc Granovitz made the transition from retail florist to primarily a wholesale florist, he faced a difficult challenge: offering less customer service.


Dennis Holt remembers the simple days of the advertising business, back in the early 1960s when agencies were self-contained operations and agents earned flat 15 percent commissions.


With the merger of Foundation Health Corp. and Health Systems International now complete, Los Angeles and two other municipalities where the pre-merger companies had their headquarters are firecely lobbying to be selected as the new corporate headquarters

Letter Jarrow

In response to Sen. Richard Polanco's commentary regarding electricity deregulation ("Let's not make the same deregulation mistakes," March 24), it is refreshing to know that our elected officials are listening to the concerns of residential consumers and

Overview Box

In arriving at this year's Who's Who in Advertising, the Business Journal solicited input from industry observers, analysts and executives. Among the factors considered was the track record of the individuals and their agencies, with special emphasis give

Computer Column

The personal computer industry is selling upwards of 30 million new PCs every year, and more than half of them fall into the category of "replacement" machines that is, they are purchased specifically to replace old computers. Which leads to a question:


After nearly a decade of getting hammered, industrial employment in Los Angeles County appears to be building again.


Diane Krouse once lived in New York's fast-paced ad industry and loved it. Even so, she thinks it's more "interesting and dynamic" in Los Angeles, where DMB & B; transferred her in 1985.


Jeff Alperin wouldn't exactly describe himself as a gambling man, but just the same he sees the insides of a lot of casinos and he has a strong familiarity with California's lottery.


Gazing at the faces of the Business Journal's Who's Who in Advertising, one thing becomes instantly apparent: the vast majority of the industry's top L.A. power positions are held by males.


One of the experiences Joe Cronin most relishes is one that many others dread overseas flights. "I know it's weird, but the time spent on long flights is the most relaxing time I have," he said.


Alan Bunton has been named co-executive creative director of Ogilvy & Mather. Bunton directed Ogilvy's creative department in its South African office prior to joining the L.A. office.


Rick Carpenter isn't about to exaggerate about his success, even though a character he created for a famous car ad just might.


Patrick Lenow's business card says he is director of marketing for Boston Market. But he might as well be called the Road Warrior.


The Love Boat soon will be making another run. And another, and another, and another.


Finding a creative rush can be the bane of any advertising executive's existence. But Gerry Rubin need only turn to his apartment above the Broadway Deli in Santa Monica to be inspired.


The Seattle-based chain has opened its first drive-through service in Southern California at a newly opened store on the Sunset Strip.


Are the salad days over for U.S. stocks? For 15 years, we've seen the strongest, most dynamic bull market in American history. From 1983 through 1996, big company stocks rose 16.5 percent a year, according to the investment firm, Goldman Sachs.


The welfare reform provisions enacted in August by the federal government, combined with proposed actions in California being considered by the Wilson administration, could derail L.A.'s economic recovery, according to a study released last week by the Un


Business travelers' technological expectations and needs while on the road are growing as fast as new technology is developed. Consequently, the demands business travelers place on hotels is on a sharp upswing, just as their companies place


Imagine the ability to provide business travelers with instant answers to questions on the stock market or to trace any express


Larry Postaer's early advertising career was spent on the shores of Lake Michigan, where he channeled his creative juices into campaigns for Wrigley Field, Hubba Bubba bubble gum and Bud Light.


Two Los Angeles stations are preparing to launch their own on-line editions within the next month. Both KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KABC-TV Channel 7 plan to provide news, weather, sports and other features for those who might miss their regular broadcasts.


For years, L.A. apparel firms have complained that local industry is being hammered by competition from low-cost subcontractors used by their U.S. competitors in places like Latin America and Asia.

Monday, April 7


So what do L.A.'s local, non-institutional investors think about the Federal Reserve's decision to raise rates and the subsequent market turmoil last week?

Company Index



The business community has complained loudly for years about the high cost of doing business in the City of Los Angeles particularly the high cost of paying the city's business license tax, which is based on gross receipts.

Fish King

It's a local landmark one that's spawned a seafood habit for many a Glendale area resident who say they couldn't live without their daily or weekly fix.

Small Biz Column

Profit enhancement requires becoming more effective, rather than just cutting costs. It requires a systematic approach to improving profitability at all levels of planning, management and operation.


Real estate investment manager Colony Capital Inc. will take a major role in the ownership and development of the Playa Vista master-planned community near Marina del Rey, well-placed sources confirmed last week.


Square Soft Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Square Co. Ltd., has moved its headquarters to Costa Mesa with plans to expand along with the upcoming release of the game "Final Fantasy VII."


California Gov. Pete Wilson last week announced the creation of a "Job Action Team" to develop ways the state can help create jobs for the estimated 600,000 people leaving public assistance over the next three years.


The Federal Reserve Board's decision to hike interest rates a quarter point, with more hikes anticipated later this spring, is perverse. The economy is finally growing at a decent clip, ordinary people are getting glimmerings of wage increases and Chair


With Southern California's economy again flexing its muscle amid encouraging signs of increasing growth and optimism, Southern California Edison (SCE) continued to play a leading role in the recovery during 1996 and into this year.


Exploding on to the Southern California economic scene, the Inland Empire is poised to become the premier development area for a new boom in business market expansion and housing market growth. Over the past decade, this region has established itself as t


In what is expected to be the biggest single influx of jobs into downtown Los Angeles in a decade, Prudential HealthCare has announced plans for a 1,400-employee regional customer service center.


The world of L.A. city government is a small one indeed. So small, in fact, that three out of four likely voters in a Los Angeles Times poll published last week said they had not heard or read about Proposition 8, the charter reform measure.


You may have read in the local papers recently that the Orange County Business Council is creating a new department to be known as the Orange County Tourism Council. The purpose is to distinguish Orange County as a distinct and separate world-class tour

Computer Column

The suicide of 39 cult followers in a Southern California mansion has stimulated a new round of debate about the Internet and its effect on society.

El Cholo

Located for 70 years in a gritty Mid-City neighborhood, the hacienda-like eatery hosts a grand mix of Angelenos from Hollywood high rollers to hipster wannabes, from nuclear familes to dating divorcees.

Burbank Airport

A federal judge last week dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority against the City of Burbank, saying the court has no jurisdiction to determine the case.




TBWA Chiat/Day enjoyed the ride at the 31st annual Belding Awards, winning the coveted sweepstakes award for its Nissan advertising campaign.

West Hollywood

West Hollywood's reputation is glowing and the economy is growing. Sunset Boulevard is seeing a flurry of hotel, and nightclub openings which have gained national attention. New major office leases bring a daytime boost as well to the City. A business im

Market Column

TBWA Chiat/Day Inc. won the Belding Sweepstakes award last week, which means that if you're an advertising executive you might want to wear surgical gloves when opening your mail next winter.

Web PR

A new "hub" of information for and about Orange County business in now just a quick click away with the debut this week of the Orange County Business Council's (OCBC's) new internet web site at

Businesses Expanding

1.) Containers Northwest Corp.: manufacturer of plastic bottle, expansion of 163,679 square feet in Montebello; major facility creating 100 new jobs. Scheduled occupancy first quarter 1997.


It's not Cannes. Heck, it's not even Toronto. But this month's Los Angeles Independent Film Festival is rapidly gaining respect in the movie business after only three years in existence.


In his new position as president of Hughes Space and Communications International Inc., Michael J. Houterman is helping shape the global village.


The stock market continues to be battered following the hike of short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve Board. Additional interest rate hikes are expected which could further add to the volatility of the market. The Business Journal Forum asks:


The Los Angeles basin is experiencing an economic recovery with significant impact on the commercial real estate markets. What's different this time around is that the flow of capital into real estate is led by institutional investors and pension funds.


Spreading the gospel has been costly for the flamboyant, 58-year-old businessman. In the mid-1970s a gull-winged Bricklin "safety car" never caught on with drivers. And in the late 1980s, efforts to import the low-cost Yugo likewise flopped.


Last year, the company carried a dividend yield of about 5 percent on its REITs. It also pays the lowest dividend against other self-storage REITs because the company pours earnings back into operations.

Small Biz Feature

In the world according to Robert Lorsch, the future lies in plastics pre-paid plastic telephone cards.


Seeking to increase its market share, Public Storage Inc. has come up with a new twist: They will not only store your old furniture, they'll pick it up as well.


But there's a good chance both retailers will be selling off-the-shelf wireless phones when Pacific Telesis Group launches its new Personal Communications Services (PCS) wireless phone service next month in Los Angeles.


Commercial building owners in the San Fernando Valley were hit hard by both the Northridge earthquake which exposed weaknesses in steel-frame construction and the commercial real estate recession.

All for One



In Los Angeles government circles, there's plenty of room at the top with Help Wanted signs being hung out for people to lead the schools, police department, transportation network, utilities and other public services.


Two area groups have just published a 400-page catalog that proves otherwise. "The Guide to the Tech Coast" is a compilation of more than 3,000 tech-related companies in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties. Toget


The L.A. Times Poll shows L.A. mayoral candidate Tom Hayden trailing incumbent Richard Riordan by a 22-point margin and the challenger fares even worse in the Town Hall attendance sweepstakes. When Riordan appeared before Town Hall Los Angeles at a lunc


The fictitious company Blue Streak that was the subject of four successive Small Business columns during March should not be confused with an actual Los Angeles-based communications company called Blue Streak, which specializes in training executives to d

Westwood Letter

Fitness trainers never would have been a welcome sight in years past at the posh California Club, where downtown fat cats have sipped brandy and puffed fine cigars for decades.


The topsy-turvy stock market is putting a damper on Los Angeles-area initial public offerings.


The Business Council is a regional, private sector alliance of companies diligently working to improve business and economic growth as a means to enhance the quality of life in Orange County.

RE Column

It looks like the downtown L.A. commercial real estate market is about to get a major shot in the arm by way of a 300,000-square-foot sublease transaction at the well-known Garland Center building in the downtown area's Central City West district west of


Competition for jobs is fierce in Southern California's consolidating banking industry, but that hasn't stopped the average banking salary from growing by more than 4 percent over the past year.

Fox Plaza

Following what has been dubbed "the deal of the decade" the $480 million sale of the Century Plaza Towers LaSalle Partners is now offering up Fox Plaza for sale.


In earlier days, asset management was merely asset tracking. We created spreadsheets and simple data bases that gave us factual information about real properties such as address, square footage, rental rate or purchase price, and lease expiration date.


Kendall Bishop, as one of the nation's premier securities lawyers, is no stranger to major league deals.

Health Column

It was a long time coming. And management could have been forgiven, thinking it an April Fool's Day prank. But L.A. Care, the public half of Los Angeles County's "two-plan model" for shifting Medi-Cal patients into managed care, received full licensing la


A little-noticed proposal tentatively approved by the L.A. City Council could revolutionize the way neighborhood merchants organize themselves into increasingly popular business improvement districts, or BIDs.


Randy Vataha is well aware of L.A.'s star-crossed relationship with professional football.


In an unprecedented effort to keep L.A.'s entertainment industry centered in Hollywood, more than 150 show business companies have joined forces to halt the exodus of their peers to Burbank, Glendale and the Westside.


When Michael Pfeiffer drives south on Figueroa Street with the Santa Monica Freeway in his rearview mirror, he sees an area that has a lot of problems but he also sees an area with possibility.


A quiet revolution has begun at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which could significantly raise the pay of the agency's workers in response to power deregulation.


Until March 31, KZKI-TV Channel 30 in West L.A. was an obscure UHF infomercial station with ratings on the bottom reaches of the Nielsen Media Research chart.

Overtime Letters

Jim Weldon was an entrepreneur in search of an idea in 1995. When he heard from a neighbor how easy it was for her child to intercept school notices regarding bad grades, disciplinary problems and extensive truancies without her ever seeing them, Weldon s


Kim Walter has been named vice president of operations for Van Nuys-based AdOut. Walter previously worked as the advertising production manager of the Daily News of Los Angeles. In her new position, she will oversee a staff of 29 in the design and product