Stories for August 1998

Monday, August 31


Normally, when a Los Angeles government agency puts out a request for proposals on a $1.67 million P.R. contract, the biggest agencies in the area can be relied upon to pursue it hungrily. But the Los Angeles International Airport's expansion plan is putt

Guarding Against Disaster

While disasters may seem infrequent, the reality is that they occur every day across the nation. From earthquakes and fires that periodically threaten entire communities to more isolated incidents that affect only a single building, disasters take a toll


Our publisher wants the Business Journal to be a relevant and important publication for Los Angeles, so he can't help feeling a little dismayed each year over all the attention that's paid to our list of top-grossing restaurants.


After several sluggish years, L.A. is in the midst of a bona fide restaurant boom, with new eateries opening all over town. Some of the city's old favorites, meanwhile, are reporting substantial increases in their average check sizes, largely the result o


Business executives are growing less confident in the California economy, especially in the northern half of the state, according to a new survey.


As Daewoo Group begins selling cars in the United States this week, its low-key marketing approach and questionable choice of models leave analysts wondering if there's anybody behind the wheel at the Korean auto giant.


Your article, "Boeing in L.A.: Big, But Rootless" (July 27) does not totally portray the Boeing Co.'s presence in the Los Angeles area. That we are the largest employer in L.A. County wasn't by "happenstance."


While disasters may seem infrequent, the reality is that they occur every day across the nation. From earthquakes and fires that periodically threaten entire communities to more isolated incidents that affect only a single building, disasters take a toll


Think it would be fun to open a restaurant? In L.A., those words can be a kiss of death.

Restaurant List

Creating a list of top-grossing restaurants poses some challenges because several restaurant chains, like Planet Hollywood and The Cheesecake Factory, do not break out sales for individual locations. Other popular establishments choose not to disclose the


20 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Boeing Co. dealt its European competitor Airbus Industrie a blow by winning $1 billion worth of initial orders for its newly developed 757. The deal included a contract for 19 jets from British Airways, which delayed the entry of a


After years of hype, High Definition Television sets, the much-touted TV of the future, have arrived in Los Angeles.


In this highly competitive business environment, a strong base of long-term customers can make all the difference between a company's success or failure. Those businesses willing to spend a little extra time and effort to maintain a solid base of existing


When Northrop Grumman Corp. announced last week that it would eliminate some 8,000 jobs by the year 2001 with most of those cuts coming locally the national media characterized the downsizing as yet another blow to Southern California's aerospace indu


In a move reflecting the ongoing attraction of Old Town Pasadena, two retail and office properties in the area have changed hands.


Would you believe $10 million for a house? What about $20 million or even $60 million?


The fusion of American International Group with SunAmerica Inc. is a marriage of the old style of American financial services with the new.


"They say, 'It's a Bono,' " said Agostino Sciandri, co-owner and executive chef of Ago, which has been open for about a year on Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood.


If you've been thinking about buying a luxury suite at the new downtown sports arena, you'd better act fast 13 months before the Staples Center is scheduled to open, 100 of the 160 available suites have already been sold.

Real Estate Option

PPLBs may offer a way for firms to meet future expansion needs while controlling real estate costs.

Voice Mail

It's often best described as a love/hate relationship: Many employers love what voice mail systems can do for their businesses, but they, too, hate getting caught in a web of voice mail selections that leave them yearning for a human voice on the other en


Regal Hotels International Holdings has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to find a buyer for its 25-hotel portfolio including the Biltmore, which was purchased just two years ago. Analysts say Regal may be looking to pay down debts incurred during the recent e


One of L.A.'s most economically depressed areas has grabbed the attention of developers.

Utility Company

The stories are strikingly similar: Rising labor costs and strict air-quality regulations prompt a Buena Park furniture maker to consider moving his company--and its 400 jobs--out of California. In Santa Barbara, a major aerospace company employing 292 pe


Farina is the newly appointed president of the Los Angeles office of iXL Inc., which after a series of acquisitions has emerged as the biggest Web-site development firm in L.A. The next phase of the company's growth, he said, will come as clients learn to

Company Index



To its powerful media and financial elites, New York has been crowned, in Vanity Fair's phrase, "the champagne city." Yet as the full weight of a growing global financial contraction extending beyond Asia to now encompass Russia, Latin America and Afric


Back in the days when a letter was a piece of paper folded into an envelope, we used to talk about getting "sacks of mail" or "a ton of mail." Clearly, the e-mail era demands new terminology. So we'll say that we got a digital dump of daunting dimensions


Dozens of property and business owners around the Staples Center arena project are fighting the city's efforts to buy them out.


Upon entering the Ivy restaurant sporting a T-shirt and leather jacket, actor Danny DeVito acknowledges the fawning looks and demure hellos of fellow patrons and quickly dispatches the server to bring him a special order for the table: an egg-white omelet


This is one of the most confused stock markets in years. While some money managers are chirping that the S & P; 500 is still up nearly 11.5 percent for the year, others are sulking about a bear market, and repeating a statistic of uncertain origin that the a


Shareholders of Bank Plus Corp., irked by declining profits and a depressed stock price, have issued an ultimatum to management: either sell the company or face being ousted.

Tenant Survey

Hurricane Bonnie attracted significantly more attention last week than the financial storms battering Russia and understandably so. Bonnie was a real and immediate threat to U.S. shores easy to grasp and pretty much over in a matter of days. By contra


Ron Margolis, a West Hills resident with extensive computer consulting experience, knew that the major movie studios spent millions of dollars on the sophisticated equipment used for producing the audio and video portion of their projects.


Kendra King has put together a lot of baskets, but none so extravagant as a "coming of age" gift she assembled on behalf of a major TV network executive who had forgotten his daughter's 21st birthday.


The managed care industry's latest cost-saving innovation, the hospitalist, is catching on in a big way at Los Angeles-area hospitals and for patient advocates, that's not necessarily good news.


The abrupt departure of director James "King of the World" Cameron and effects genius Stan Winston from the board of Digital Domain has left L.A.'s tech and entertainment industries abuzz over the fate of the Venice-based visual effects house.


Question: I'm a young musician trying to sign my first record deal. I consider myself more of an "artist" than a business person. I know in order to get my music heard I need distribution, but it seems like I've got to give up a lot in order to get a litt

Location Burbank Businesses

One word perhaps best describes the state of business in Burbank today: Booming. Over the last several years, the city has experienced a significant amount of both commercial expansion and relocation activity. With approximately 34.7 million square feet o


As manager of the Mars Exploration Program, Donna Shirley became famous last July when the Pathfinder safely landed on the Red Planet and its rover bounced its way into American history.


A union attempting to organize workers at two Catholic hospitals claims that church officials are violating their own moral code by threatening employees who favor collective bargaining.


Intent on becoming a center of international commerce, the city of Lancaster is applying for federal designation as a foreign trade zone in the hopes of attracting companies that would like a break on import and export taxes.


I read the recent letter from Lisa Manheim and the "response" in the Aug. 17 issue by Prudence Macgowan Faxon ("Manager Should Mind Own Business"). I strongly support Ms. Manheim and disagree with Ms. Faxon.

Results of Tenant Survey

When Parker Properties broke ground on a 70-acre, 1.7 million-square-foot, masterplanned campus-style office park in southern Orange County last year, it knew it would create a business environment that would satisfy the needs of today's--as well as tomor


David Hoyt inherited Principle Plastics from his father in 1990. The company that started out manufacturing plastic rain boots in 1948 now also makes all kinds of golf equipment. Wilson, Spaulding and JEF World of Golf distribute products manufactured by


Rosa Rivera, a janitor at the Delta Air Lines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, got a raise this year.


One word perhaps best describes the state of business in Burbank today: Booming. Over the last several years, the city has experienced a significant amount of both commercial expansion and relocation activity. With approximately 34.7 million square feet o


The threat of increased terrorism in the face of U.S. cruise-missile attacks have the phones ringing furiously at Delta Scientific Corp.


It's 4:45 p.m. in the kitchen of Campanile, and workers are hurrying back and forth with the urgency of a submarine crew on alert. According to a list posted above the pick-up counter, 96 guests are expected within a two-hour stretch this evening, and the


The next phase of the controversial plan to expand Los Angeles International Airport has hit a roadblock after airport officials were forced to withdraw a request for bidders on the program management services contract.


Anyone who turned to more than one media source on Aug. 26 for news about the job cuts announced by Northrop Grumman Corp. might be confused and understandably so.


When tables need clearing at the Pacific Dining Car restaurant near downtown, Jaime Leon is there grabbing plates, putting down flatware and making endless orbits between the kitchen and dining areas.


Like many businesses, Seastrom Manufacturing started out small. Founded in 1928, the company operated for 20 years from a Glendale garage. As it grew to become one of the nation's leading suppliers of electronic and assembly hardware for aerospace and com


Redevelopment of the former General Motors Corp. assembly plant already has begun to revitalize a broadening area of Van Nuys and Panorama City.


If an HMO harms you by denying or delaying treatment that your health plan should cover, what can you do? In most states, almost nothing, when you have an employee plan. You can sue doctors and hospitals, but federal and California laws prevent you from s


What is expected to be the largest apparel trade show ever held kicks off Aug. 31 in Las Vegas, marking a major milestone for the show's producer, MAGIC International of Woodland Hills.


Rex Vollmer has been promoted to senior in Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP's accounting and auditing department. Prior to joining SLGG, he worked in private industry. In addition, Jane Hautman and James Foster have been appointed senior consultants

Monday, August 24

Hotel Inter-Continental

In an effort to provide business travelers with all the comforts of home and more, the Downtown Los Angeles based Hotel Inter-Continental Los Angeles has recently introduced two new programs to take some of the stress out of business travel. Kids In Tow,


Venture capital investments in Los Angeles and Orange counties jumped 22 percent, to $197.2 million, during the second quarter compared with the same period last year, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Two more immigration consultants were recently convicted by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office as part of crackdown by task force combating fraud against immigrant community.


Two proposals widely considered the most important HMO reform bills pending in the state Legislature have effectively been killed, according to Gov. Pete Wilson's office and several state lawmakers.

Bridges in Los Angeles

The second Spanish settlement in the Downtown area, which became the Pueblo of Los Angeles was established next to Yangna along the river. The waters drew the native Gabrielinos here, and later Spanish explorers. A few blocks west of the 4th Street Bridg


Petersen Cos. Inc. has had a busy summer. Over the past few months, the Los Angeles-based publishing house best known for testosterone-fueled titles like Hot Rod and Guns & Ammo has acquired more than a dozen magazines and shaken up its top management.

Make A Difference

Make A Difference, L.A.!

Common Interest

One of the keys to successful relationships that are created between business entities lies in the area of shared common interests. The real estate broker, as well as the client should have the same interest in seeing that the business opportunity (be it


Move over, Kaufman & Broad. There's a new name at top of the list of Los Angeles homebuilders Lennar Homes of Mission Viejo.


Major institutional investors and wealthy individuals, spooked by volatility on Wall Street and seeking to diversify, are diverting a record amount of money into Los Angeles-area private investment funds.


L.A.'s top anchors and TV reporters routinely earn more money than the president of the United States, members of Congress and many a corporate CEO. But is sitting at a Formica desk and reading from a teleprompter really worth millions of dollars?


The weekly lists that appear on the Business Journal's pages have proven to be one of our most enduring and popular features. They also are often a source of news.

Residential Developers

For the first time in years, Kaufman & Broad is not the biggest homebuilder in Los Angeles County. Miami-based Lennar Corp. has dethroned the local giant after buying several smaller developers that were involved in local home projects.


With millions of dollars in venture capital, favorable national press and industry accolades, Cyrano Sciences Inc. has everything a tech start-up could want.


Both companies share certain characteristics with Santa Monica-based GeoCities, which soared almost 120 percent on its first day of trading this month, including a strong brand name with online potential for consumers and advertisers.


Los Angeles is the trade and manufacturing center of the world's largest economy and home to hundreds of companies that are spearheading the development of new products and industries. "At its best," says The Economist magazine, "looking forward, there i


For prices ranging from $99 to $219, John Marshall, owner, founder, and sole operator of Biplane Adventures Inc., will fly you in a biplane with an open cockpit. Customers can experience loops, rolls and upside-down flight, or just a breathtaking sightsee

Company Index



It's been a tough year for Pasadena's Ameron International Corp., which has been hit by string of setbacks that's led to disappointing earnings, a falling stock price and layoffs.


Seven TV stations, six of them owned and operated by networks, compete fiercely for viewers in Los Angeles, the nation's second-biggest TV market. And yet, their audience continues to erode as more people turn to the Internet or other sources for news. Th


As part of its new $50 million wing, the California Science Center in Exposition Park planned to develop "a next-generation aquarium, beyond the traditional aquariums in Monterey or Long Beach," according to the center's Deputy Director Ann Muscat.


Century City-based Kann Capital Ltd., a private investment banker, last week announced it had arranged the financing for Compton-based Tibrand Industries Inc. to acquire Los Angeles-based home lock manufacturer Weslock National Inc. The company has been r


According to legend, Edward L.Doheny was in the downtown area when he noticed a cart with a black substance on its wheels. He asked the driver where he had come from and the man pointed in a northeast direction. Doheny investigated and soon borrowed mone


Castle & Cooke Inc., the holding company that owns Dole Foods, is pushing ahead with plans to build 117 luxury homes in the Santa Monica Mountains, despite a new Los Angeles city plan that forbids them from building that many residences.


The leadership of Los Angeles, both public and private sectors, have come together for the purpose of renovating the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum into a modern, state of-the-art National Football League


Interior designers in L.A. County have been staying busy as commercial construction in the area continues its comeback. Revenues at the 25 largest commercial interior design firms increased to $94.9 million, up 16 percent from $81.9 million reported by la


Just last year, the distributor of pre-paid phone cards was based in Westwood and topped the Business Journal's list of L.A.'s fastest-growing companies, posting a blistering 3,208 percent rate of revenue growth.


After 13 years as executive director of the Writers Guild of America West, Brian Walton is abruptly out as of Sept. 1. What happened to the veteran negotiator?


Microsoft's Entertainment Pack for Windows CE is an important advance in Microsoft's drive to make Windows CE the operating system of choice for handheld and palmtop PCs. Don't laugh.


Ron Cohen has been named vice president, producer and director at Los Angeles-based Another Large Production. Cohen previously worked with ALP on a freelance basis. He will be responsible for producing and directing broadcast promotional campaigns for cur


Citing cost overruns, the Air Force ordered a special management review of the B-1 bomber program, which was being developed by Rockwell International in El Segundo ... Ford was planning to begin production (in San Jose) of its Mustang II, which was based


David Ryan first made headlines as a stock-picking wunderkind in 1985, when he was only 26 years old. That year he won first prize in an investment championship sponsored by a former Stanford professor. Ryan won by demonstrating that he had increased the


So you want to be a network news star? Los Angeles is one of the best places to start just ask Tom Brokaw, Bryant Gumbel or Lisa McRee, all of whom went from local news gigs in L.A. to network stardom.


Los Angeles City Charter reform launched as an antidote to San Fernando Valley secession has suddenly touched off a political range war of its own, one that pits some of L.A.'s top corporate leaders against Valley activists.

Auto row

Three auto dealerships along the stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley known as "Auto Row" are building larger lots, part of a national trend of consolidation and expansion that is resulting in fewer but larger automotive retailers.


While airline alliances have faced intense government scrutiny from regulators claiming to protect the consumer, the flying public stands to benefit significantly from these arrangements.


While it's crucial for home-based business owners to know how to generate new leads, it's equally important for them to understand how to turn down work. Accepting work that you are too busy to do, or underqualified for, can lead to dissatisfied clients a


Although the Year 2000 Problem is getting the lion's share of attention, there is another issue brewing that could be just as serious for small-business entrepreneurs who own real estate.

Felipe de Neve

Felipe de Neve, Founder of L.A.


As the man in charge of housing for the new Playa Vista development, Chuck Colton faces an unusual challenge for a built-up community like Los Angeles getting 3,246 homes built and sold in just four years.


Tear down Dodger Stadium? Unthinkable, say preservationists and die-hard Dodgers fans. Nonetheless, the team's new owner is thinking the unthinkable.


A silver anniversary is always a major milestone. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the City of Angels land of the glitzy, glamorous, trendy and oftentimes fleeting. This is why downtown luxury hotel, the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles is celebrati


While many entrepreneurs dream of turning their hobbies into careers, Mark Billik and Rick Stark have accomplished a variation on that theme: They have turned somebody else's hobby into a career.


What used to be thought of as "emerging markets" now look like submerging ones. In Asia, the newly developing countries drowned in their own success.


With its share price down, Arden Realty Inc. has adopted a "poison pill" takeover defense to protect itself against unwelcome suitors.


In a hushed studio beneath a forest of lights, Fritz Coleman stands, gesturing broadly.


With temperatures in the triple digits recently, Annie Catalano and her 13-year-old daughter were cooling off with sodas at the Horseless Carriage coffee shop in North Hills after driving up from San Diego.

Housing Authority

Housing Authority To Provide More Child Care Facilities

Central Library

Most talk surrounding the recently remodeled Los Angeles Central Library focuses on the physical beauty of the structure or the library's impressive 2.5 million volume collection. What is sometimes overlooked is the fascinating urban legends that surroun

Expanded Convention Center

Now a spectacular landmark transforms the City's skyline, the Los Angeles Convention Center, one of the largest and finest convention and exhibition facilities in the world. The expanded Center offers 870,000


There's the preoccupation with crime, freeway car chases and anything involving celebrities.

Monday, August 17


Due to a production error, the earnings chart with the Aug. 10 Corporate Focus on Newhall Land and Farming was incorrect. The correct earnings are: (quarter ended) 9/96: $4.2 million; 12/96: $9 million; 3/97: $10.6 million; 6/97: $17.2 million; 9/97: $12.


In a few short years, the Internet has grown from a novelty to a major medium. Many businesses that were formerly reluctant to put up the money to launch a Web site are now giving it a second look in order to keep up with their competitors. So the Busines


It's taken some time, but venture capital money is finally starting to become attracted to Los Angeles and much of the interest is centered on the Internet.


Aerospace subcontractor Ducommun Inc. has seen increasing business from Boeing Co. the last few years, resulting in a higher net income each year since 1994 and double-digit earnings increases for the first two quarters of this year.


He owns television studios that produce popular TV shows like "Law & Order" and "Xena: Warrior Princess."


Celeste Anderson operates Los Nettos, a non-profit computer network that links L.A.'s top computer-science research centers (including USC, Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and TRW) with each other and with businesses through the Internet.


They haven't made a film for more than 30 years; in fact, they're all dead. But the Three Stooges are making more money than ever, according to the Glendale-based company that owns the threesome's licensing rights.


While a concert producer, Kevin Wall quickly realized the Internet's potential as an entertainment medium when he began going online in 1995. Three years later, he is the highest-ranking executive at iXL-Los Angeles, the area's largest new-media company.


Like many of those at the forefront of the electronic revolution, Nick Rothenberg arrived via academia through the anthropology department, not the computer lab.


A development company is planning an upscale retail development on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood that would include about 200,000 square feet of shops, a hotel and parking.


As the stakes get higher for companies doing business on the Internet, conflicts inevitably arise. And one of the top attorneys dealing in such issues is Morgan Chu at Irell & Manella.


Boeing Co. had good news and bad news for Los Angeles last week, announcing it would open a next-generation 737 assembly plant in Long Beach, but saying it would close several labs in the county.


Question: About five years ago, my sister and I started our own secretarial service business. It was a dream come true for both of us, but for the last year or so, this dream has become a nightmare for me. I don't enjoy going to the office, my relationshi


Jim Griffin envisions a world where books have disappeared, but the choice of reading matter is greater than anything imaginable where compact discs are obsolete pieces of plastic, but the music is richer and more varied than anything now available.


Retail rents are soaring throughout Los Angeles, driven by strong consumer spending and aggressive expansion by national chains.


J.J. Yore is not what you would call a model motorist. Darting across town in his 1991 Subaru coupe, he routinely flouts the speed limit, zooms through yellow lights and even runs the occasional red.


In four years, Sky Dayton has gone from owning a local coffee house to being chairman of a publicly held company with a market capitalization of $1.3 billion.


The Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority last week chose to open negotiations with a team led by Sylmar-based Tutor-Saliba Corp. to design and construct a 10-mile-long trench, the largest part of the $2 billion Alameda Corridor project.


When Sandra Lee needed curtains in her first apartment, she bought a length of pink cloth, draped it between two forms she shaped from wire, and made herself a sweeping window scarf, with ruffles at each corner.


I felt very uncomfortable reading Lisa Manheim's letter regarding the Village Center Westwood project ("Westwood Amenities," Aug. 10). Speaking as the store manager for Macy's Westwood about a controversial project seemed inappropriate. It was surprising


Robert Brisco has a special challenge in the Internet Age: He has to develop popular Web sites, but without stealing customers from his company's core business in the process.


Terry E. Bess wasn't the classic technophile in college. Computer lingo wasn't even in his lexicon when he graduated from Pepperdine University in 1970.


The Los Angeles Zoo has taken corporate sponsorship to a whole new level, signing up to 19 different sponsors for a single exhibit its new $5 million "Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains."


Los Angeles is the birthplace of the Internet or so proclaim the ubiquitous banners flying from street lamps throughout the city, which also claim that BBQ chicken pizza, two-piece bathing suits and assorted other breakthroughs were born here.

Company Index



With more than three decades of newspaper reporting and magazine editing experience under his belt, you might expect Lew Harris to have a pretty firm handle on his current task as editor-in-chief of E! Online, E! Entertainment Television's acclaimed Inter


Last year at this time, Toby Lenk was an entrepreneur with little more than an enticing, but untested, idea: that shoppers would prefer buying toys on the Internet rather than deal with the chaos of brick-and-mortar retail stores like Toys 'R' Us.


Seeking to turn around more than two decades of lackluster performance at the Promenade mall in Woodland Hills, the shopping center's owner is considering converting it into a "big box"-oriented center.


Career Turning Points: Succeeding in law school, working with Jack Kent Cooke starting in 1967


Jay Samit is a self-proclaimed "techno-nerd" and proud of it. But he has also got a strong entrepreneurial streak and a lot of patience, which have served him well in carving out his own working niche as a vice president at Universal Studios' New Media Gr


When candidates for superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District were rejected last year in favor of insider Ruben Zacarias, most of them went back to their previous jobs.


The British government was taking steps to allow the copyrighting of computer software ... Shareholders of Air West were poised to vote on a takeover by Howard Hughes ... Norton Simon Inc., formed by the merger of Hunt Foods, Canada Dry and McCall Corp.,


So how do the folks in Brentwood treat Monica Lewinsky when the infamous former intern dines out on the town? Politely.


Thanks for your continuing coverage of the struggle against the Playa Vista development at Ballona ("DreamWorks Nightmare," July 13). We must be doing something right the attacks on us and the response from the coalition of almost 90 groups trying to sa


While studying economics at Stanford University, Ken Ramberg went to the campus career center to check out job listings. What he found was a lot of missing pages in the binders, as students had torn out the plum positions for themselves.


After years of playing catch-up to Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon, Walt Disney Co.'s cable channel has made a series of dramatic changes that have sent its revenues and subscriber base soaring.


Here are excerpts from a Business Journal discussion with Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Executive Julian Burke:


We've been messing around lately with the latest, hot-off-the-press version of Netscape's flagship product: Netscape Communicator, ver. 4.5. The good news is that this complex piece of software costs exactly nothing. The bad news is, that's about what it'


Joseph Tang co-founded Guidance Solutions Inc. in 1992 as a database consultant. But the Marina del Rey-based firm didn't stay that way for long.


A total of $1.28 million was raised at last week's fund-raiser for gubernatorial candidate Gray Davis at the home of Kaufman & Broad Home Corp. Chairman Bruce Karatz. But Karatz's favorite moment at the party was unrelated to financial matters.


Some might question the sanity of a person who voluntarily leaves the green pastures of Microsoft, but Llew Roberts has done just that, and says he has no regrets.


Despite the fact that nearly everybody is going global these days, being local is still where it's at.


Not only has Jake Winebaum led Walt Disney Co. into the digital age, he has established the Burbank-based $22 billion entertainment giant as an Internet leader.

Customer Driven Change

Pomona,Following a series of negotiations, Pomona-based non-profit health maintenance organization, Inter Valley Health Plan has launched a unique benefit program in conjunction with USC's University Affiliates Integrated Practice Association. The progr


Tensions are running high in the Los Angeles County supervisors' board room, with Gov. Pete Wilson expected to decide this week whether or not to withhold $265 million in state funding earmarked for the new County-USC Medical Center.


In past years, the Business Journal has listed the top 25 S & Ls; in L.A. County but as of this year there are only 20 left, so the list has been reduced to the top 15. Further reductions are imminent with the pending acquisitions of the two largest local


Doug Beach has been promoted to principal at West L.A.-based Roth, Bookstein & Zaslow LLP. Beach, who previously was tax manager, specializes in the areas of real estate, construction, manufacturing and distribution, and high net-worth individuals. In add

Weekly briefing

When sometime business partners Mickey and Steve Lewis and Brad and Julie Shames bought a failing business called The Cake Place, they saw it as a chance to save a local company that had a good reputation, and to make a profit. Brad Shames told Karen Teit


Who says geeks can't be body beautifuls? Certainly not Randy Gale of Weider Publications, which publishes Men's Fitness, Shape and other fitness magazines.


Now that most of L.A.'s big banks have been swept up in a nationwide wave of consolidation, the local commercial banking landscape is dominated by medium-sized specialty and community banks. These cater to specific corporate and small-business needs, whic


The self-described "computer geek" has hatched many a successful entrepreneurial egg, but his latest company, Idealab!, is dedicated to raising capital for the ideas of others specifically, start-up Internet companies.


Starting with this week's issue, we have redesigned the section (pages 66 and 67) providing a more orderly package that includes the Business Journal editorials, the LABJ Forum, cartoon, commentaries and letters to the editor.


Have you ever had a miscommunication with your employees or co-workers that resulted in costly errors? This situation is not uncommon to most business people, but there are definite communication techniques that can save companies money and increase their


Market drops test an investor's resolve. Are you really in stocks for the long term, or do TV's breathless reports on a price plunge scare you away?


If you bought a fancy residential complex in West Los Angeles 10 years ago on the advice of a national securities brokerage, and plan to sell it now, are you going to make money?

Industry Resume

When it comes to resumes, there's a right way and a wrong way, especially in the Insurance industry where the people you are trying to reach are likely to have specific needs. The right way, obviously, is the one that works best for employment managers a


To land an entry-level staff associate job at Rogers & Associates, a Century City public relations firm, you have to be able to pass a simple editing test finding the misspellings and punctuation errors on a business letter.


For fledgling companies that want to get ahead in the Internet world, Barry Wilson is a man to know. Wilson is chief operating officer for EC2, the well-respected Annenberg Incubator Project at USC.


When executive recruiters look to fill job openings, they typically focus on wooing talent away from competitors within the same industry.


The profile and personal fortune of David Bohnett soared last week, as his Santa Monica-based company issued its initial public offering and investors bid up the $17 offering price to $37.31 on the first day of trading. The runup made his 8.1 percent stak


Tucked away in the massive $77 billion state budget expected to be signed by Gov. Pete Wilson this week is a package of tax breaks for business.


Jon Postel is one of the genuine pioneers of the Internet, in part because he was at the right place at the right time.


Mike Flaskerud has been around long enough to know a few tricks when it comes to getting his imported freight cleared through U.S. authorities.


The folks at GeoCities are probably still popping bottles of champagne in Santa Monica to celebrate their runaway initial public offering. But could they have had even more to celebrate?


Lifestyle changes, including an increasingly bi-coastal community of entertainment employees and the economic recovery, are fueling a boom in the local luxury apartment market.


In these days of multimillion-dollar supermarket mergers, when the big chains just keep getting bigger, shopping at Sparky's Apple Market is like taking a step back in time.


What do a former 7-Eleven clerk, a one-time concert promoter, an ex-coffee house owner and a former graduate student in anthropology have in common?


The man who brought antique sports car racing to the streets of Los Angeles last year is at it again, but this time he's brought in the pros Nascar drivers and their souped up Tauruses, Grand Prixes and Monte Carlos.


They're back, they're angry and they insist that things can only get worse despite appearances to the contrary. In Hollywood it might be called the "Return of the Killer Intellectuals," but for scholarship's sake, let's just call it the triumph of the d


Fedora-topped Matt Drudge proves two things: that the Internet has become a powerful new communications medium and that the old rules for becoming a nationally known commentator don't apply anymore.


Foundation Health Systems Inc. had been in the midst of major changes for several months, but it wasn't until two weeks ago that it really caught some attention.


If you're looking for a new benefits package for your employees but don't know where to start, a good quality employee benefits brokerage firm might be just what you've been seeking. Such firms aim to deliver leading-edge benefit solutions to meet the ev


Hines Interests, the Houston-based developer that made its mark with high-rise and mid-rise projects, is ready to try its hand at developing a media and entertainment campus.


Plenty of consultants are offering advice these days on how the Internet can be used to boost business. But not many can boast the client list of Eric Pulier, whose clients include AT & T;, Deloitte & Touche, the National Football League, Toshiba and Warner

Monday, August 10


As a long-time subscriber to the Los Angeles Business Journal, I want to commend you on the article on the federal court ruling on Playa Vista ("DreamWorks Nightmare," July 13). I disagree with Playa Capital Vice President David Herbst's criticism of the

Hospital list

The number of beds in Los Angeles County hospitals has been steadily declining as financial pressures and technological improvements combine to reduce the average number of days that patients are hospitalized.


A Wharton School alumnus has parlayed what started as his MBA graduation project into a rapidly growing Internet start-up company that landed $4.5 million in venture capital funding at the end of July.


The 1,500 members of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce strongly disagree with the July 20 Commentary by Joel Kotkin, which erroneously implies that businesses are "uninterested or even dismissive of regional efforts." They have invested in chamber


Local broadcasters will soon find out whether the ratings system that helps determine how hundreds of millions of dollars worth of radio advertising in Los Angeles gets spent each year is all wrong.


If you're looking for a very fast sailboat, you'll find it at Venice-based MultiMarine. The company deals in multi-hulls boats with more than one hull, like a Catamaran or a Trimaran which sell for between $80,000 and $120,000. Michael Leneman, owner

Company Index



Real estate tycoon Donald Trump pulled out of a partnership planning to develop a retail complex at the Ambassador Hotel site and leveled some choice words last week at the Los Angeles Unified School District.


Denny Rabineau and his wife Judy have successfully grown their women's apparel company, Average Joe Inc., into a $16 million enterprise. Not bad after nine years in business.

Feature newsmaker

While executive producer of talent and entertainment features for HBO in the late '80s, Marta Tracy was asked to help create a cable network that would be "the CNN of entertainment." The resulting presentation tape formed the basis for E! Entertainment Te


It's always news when a team of respected money managers creates a group of low-cost mutual funds. For nearly a year, you've been able to pick from six new funds offered by TIAA-CREF.


Some of L.A.'s top corporate executives are launching a non-profit foundation to raise private funds for the LAPD.


Even though she's still six weeks away from debuting her syndicated talk show, Roseanne's competitors are already bad-mouthing her.


Magic Johnson has become the latest celebrity to discover that talk show hosts are not easily created, made-for-TV commodities.


Robert Greenberg, who built L.A. Gear Inc. into a fashion giant reaching nearly $1 billion in sales but was forced out when the company came apart at the seams, is back with a whole new shoe.


It shouldn't have come as a big surprise when Sacramento lawmakers took so long to agree on a budget, especially in a year when there was $4.4 billion in unexpected tax revenue to divvy out. As with the typical household, it is often more difficult to dec


With a pair of blockbuster exhibitions expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors in the months to come, the L.A. County Museum of Art is undergoing a serious facelift.


25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Painer Webber announced a deal to acquire L.A.-based Mitchum, Jones and Templeton, the largest regional brokerage in California ... El Segundo-based Rockwell International Corp. was spending $74 million to sew up its acquisition of


So Copley Press is suing the New Outlook for trademark infringement. ("Attorney to Publish Santa Monica Paper," Aug. 3)


As an alumnus of UCLA and store manager of Macy's Westwood, I strongly support Village Center Westwood. It will revitalize the Village in a number of ways, particularly through the valuable amenities it will provide all of Westwood.


A member of the citizens' panel overseeing the L.A. Unified School District's expenditure of $2.4 billion in Proposition BB funds wants to assemble some of L.A.'s top architects to help design new and remodeled schools.


The state Legislature is expected to approve a $76 billion budget this week that calls for a $1.4 billion tax cut, including a 25 percent decrease in the so-called "car tax."


Century Boulevard, the row of nondescript office buildings, hotels and asphalt parking lots leading to LAX, doesn't exactly present a tony image to new arrivals.


BDO Seidman has admitted five new partners at its Century City office. Arya Farinpour, Chris Lord, and Mike Pelphrey are specializing in the area of business and technology solutions. Gary Freeman has been made a partner in the audit and assurance service


Reflecting the area's economic turnaround, the value of assessed property in L.A. County rose 3.1 percent last year the biggest gain since 1992 with single-family homes posting an even stronger average increase of 7 percent.


As of last week, the Cleveland Indians were worth about $140 million ($9 a share) on Wall Street, roughly 40 percent less than the $231.7 million the team was valued at upon going public June 3 at $15 a share. For investors, maybe that's not a strikeout,


That's the assessment of a number of insiders at Los Angeles City Hall, who say that Mayor Richard Riordan's recent decision to tap former Business Team chief Lesa Slaughter as his chief of staff reflects a more project-oriented approach from the mayor's


They're among the growing number of local groceries that have disappeared over the years through an ongoing consolidation that, as of last week, has left Southern California with just three major players: Ralphs, Albertson's and Vons.


As we've noted before, real estate holds a special place in the hearts of Angelenos. Maybe it's because the town has its roots in the dreams and schemes of land speculators. Or maybe it's because L.A. is a place where even inner-city neighborhoods are dot


Investors have been on a roller coaster ride in recent weeks, as major Wall Street indexes keep seesawing. Last week's 299-point plunge in the Dow has prompted more than a few investors to question whether stocks are still the safe bet they were last year


The Aug. 3 Newsmakers incorrectly identified a photo of Doug Carpenter from Reliance Steel Co. as Jim MacBeth.


The Valencia-based land development company recently reported record second-quarter earnings of $45.7 million, nearly triple the earnings for the like period last year.


Leland Wong has a knack for being in the middle of big public works projects. He was president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission from 1996 to 1998 as the commission oversaw a massive port expansion. And just last month, Mayor Richard Riordan appointed


With no new attractions and amusement park business generally soft this summer as a result of Asian financial turmoil, Universal Studios Hollywood is experiencing a slump in attendance during what should be the season's peak.


I recently heard about a business owner who purchased a new computer through an online auction. He visited the Web site, found the item he was looking for and entered the highest bid. At the end of the process, he walked away with a $1,300 desktop compute


The average market value of Los Angeles-area hotels has soared 50 percent over the last year, a definitive sign that the market slump of the '90s is over, according to New York-based HVS International, which tracks the nation's hotel industry for investor


Amid the flashy cars and nightclubs of the Sunset Strip, the Art Deco-style Argyle Hotel stands as a monument to refinement.


When Kelli Hedgpeth saw the rent on her Century City apartment go up $300 in one month this summer, she and her roommates hit the trail finding cheaper digs elsewhere.


Ventura County has become ground zero in what developers see as the war over growth control in Southern California.


Impressed by the longtime success of Pink's Famous Chili Dogs long lines can be found at that 59-year-old eatery day and night real estate developers Barry Hartsfield and Jonathan Cota are launching their own chain serving similar fare, and with a sim


There are many drivers these days that may cause you to think about selling, merging or refinancing your business.


With an Aug. 27 deadline fast approaching, a group pushing for the formal study of San Fernando Valley cityhood says it has gathered 100,000 of the 180,000 signatures it needs to petition for a study of San Fernando Valley secession.

Monday, August 3

Weekly Brief

Adele Wallace and her former sister-in-law Simone Wallace run Sisterhood Bookstore, a small independent women's bookstore in Westwood. Two years ago, Borders Books and Music opened directly across the street from them. Adele Wallace spoke with Alexa Apall


Amid all the furor about funding shortfalls and tunnel trouble, the MTA is quietly completing work on five new subway stations in the east Hollywood area much to the relief of local business owners.


The July 27 list and related stories on L.A.'s largest employers included only private-sector companies, and excluded all government entities.


The long-anticipated sell-off of Japanese-owned real estate in Los Angeles has begun in earnest, with the Century Plaza Hotel and much of Shuwa Corp.'s big L.A. portfolio up for sale, and a leasehold on the ABC Entertainment Center already in escrow, acco


California State Polytechnic University in Pomona has been selected as the site for a business incubator to develop commercial applications for NASA technology.


Century City's newest, flashiest skyscraper is generating lots of attention among L.A.'s most prestigious tenants before the first shovel of dirt has been moved, before the foundation has been set and a full three years before the 38-story tower on Cons

Dion Scott

It's nearly lost among the storefronts of South Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills, but the Dion Scott shop is becoming familiar terrain for a growing number of African-American athletes and entertainers.


One of the most difficult elements of owning or managing a business is collections. The laws in this area are often confusing and seem to sometimes benefit those that owe the money more than the companies that have earned it. Below are some tips to help


20 years ago this week: R.J. Reynolds Industries Inc. was moving to acquire San Francisco-based Del Monte Corp. ... a federal judge upheld the SEC's use of a special counsel in a criminal investigation of Hawthorne-based Mattel Inc. on securities law viol


What, exactly does it take to establish a consistent growth record in the business law field? While many firms boast rapid growth over the last two years, the recession-driven economy sag of the not-so-distant past caused many a business law firm to suf


Community Bank has the growing local economy to thank for getting Clinton L. Arnoldus to be its new president and chief executive.


The Westwood dining scene is going through another change, with California Pizza Kitchen Inc. planning to open a new restaurant at the site of Mario's at 1001 Broxton Ave.


We happen to work in a building where there are a number of entertainment production companies, and each day I see the faces of young hopefuls actors, writers, directors and producers.


Moving to capture a bigger share of the Latino market, Wherehouse Entertainment Inc. is opening a series of Tu Musica! stores specializing in Spanish-language compact discs and tapes.

Ask Lorraine

Question: Recently the company I work for hired a consultant to "fix" some problems it was having at the operations level. The consultant delivered a thick report, and an even bigger bill, yet the problems still exist. Any thoughts?

Co Index



The pending merger of the Pacific Exchange and Chicago Board Options Exchange will lead to the eventual closure of the Los Angeles trading floor near downtown, and that is causing emotions to run high among the 100 or so traders who work there.

Civil Rights

Public interest advocacy groups including Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy (META), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Asia


The ice cream business is hot these days just take a peek inside Fosselman's Ice Cream, the 79-year-old shop and factory in Alhambra where more than 500 customers flock each weekend for the creamy hand-made confection.


Billionaire investor Paul Allen has agreed to acquire Charter Communications Inc., a deal that will put him in control of a big portion of L.A. County's cable TV business and speed his efforts to create a telecommunications empire.

Child labor

Jose Millan, Chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (State Labor Commissioner) of the California Department of Industrial Relations testified recently, in Washington D.C., before the hearing of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Employment and

Co Index1



Last year's $16.6 billion merger of SBC Communications Inc. with Pacific Telesis Group was heralded as a big deal the first merger of regional Bells, and at the time one of the largest corporate marriages ever.


The widely touted Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), passed by the Congress in 1996, isn't delivering as promised at least not for everyone.


Tarrant Apparel Group may not generate as much notice as Tommy Hilfiger or Polo, but the name is very much in fashion on Wall Street.

LA Story1

The scrawny star of the now famous Taco Bell commercials has sparked a buying craze at local pet stores. The dogs have become so popular that local pet merchants have been besieged with request for lookalikes of the small Latino star.

Ent Note

Does business keep coming in the front door while profits escape out the back door? Growth may appear to be a goose with a golden egg, but if your internal controls are insufficient, or you are unaware of the real costs of your services or products, the g


First I'd like to thank you for running a first-rate story on the recent federal court ruling against the Army Corp. of Engineers and the Playa Vista developers ("DreamWorks Nightmare," July 13). Second, I'd like to respond to a comment made by City Counc

Workers Comp

L.A. threw an impressive party last week in its bid for the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and it was encouraging to hear so many out-of-town honchos say so many nice things about our city. At this point, Los Angeles seems to stand a good chance of

Market Colum

The "Goldman" in Bender, Goldman & Helper is defecting to Hill & Knowlton and taking BGH's TV division with him certainly not a killing blow for West L.A.-based BGH, but one that's got to smart a little considering the agency's flat growth in recent yea


Five months after the Santa Monica Outlook closed its doors, a local attorney is attempting to launch a new daily newspaper in the seaside city.


Health care industry officials say Catholic Healthcare West is close to completing a deal to acquire Burbank-based UniHealth, a move that would make CHW the second-largest hospital operator in Los Angeles County.


Back in the days before CDs, Memorex used to run ads showing Ella Fitzgerald singing and then asking viewers, "Is it live or is it Memorex?"

End July

Tenants' appetite for Westside "creative space" has been plenty healthy in recent months, and that has not escaped the notice of Westside landlords. Despite the recent downturn in entertainment employment, several Westside landlords are renovating their p


The company announced last week that holders of the 13 percent mortgage notes issued by its "subsidiary" American Rice are now threatening to foreclose. American Rice still has not made its Feb. 28 interest payment on the notes.

Column add

Bank of America has won its legal battle against its Arco Plaza landlord, Shuwa Corp., according to John Gibson, a partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, the bank's lead counsel.

LA Stories

At least that was the message city and business leaders were intent on communicating to members of the Democratic National Committee, who were in town last week to hear L.A.'s bid for the party's 2000 national convention.


The Santa Monica-based burger chain last month trotted out the Baby Fat, the downsized version of its signature Fatburger.


For over 20 years, Michael Tennenbaum was one of Wall Street's most important players in Los Angeles, running the West Coast investment banking operations of Bear Stearns & Co. out of its Century City offices.


There's no shortage of criticism about executive pay, but those numbers are, by and large, peanuts compared with the asking prices of Hollywood stars. Some actors demand $20 million or more per film, not including a percentage of the box-office take. So t

LA Sports Club

Sports Club Co. is probably best known for its Westside flagship on Sepulveda Boulevard, where a small army of valets hustle to open European-car doors for L.A.'s fit and wealthy.


DEP Corp., the debt-ridden Rancho Dominguez-based company that popularized hairstyling gel, is expected this month to be taken over by a German chemical conglomerate a move that will give Dusseldorf-based Henkel KGaA an inroad into the U.S. cosmetics ma

Computer Col

We demand a lot from our computers. The standard desktop PC today serves not only as a number-cruncher and word-processor, but also as telephone, fax, answering machine, Internet terminal, calendar, CD player, photo editor, Rolodex, etc., etc. Each new fe

Small biz

Divorced and a single mother with four children, Elisabeth Familian was in a jam. The socially prominent divorcee suddenly had to get a paying job for the first time.