Stories for June 1999

Tuesday, June 29


With the Asian financial crisis deepening, an increasing number of Far East investors are looking to unload their Los Angeles-area properties.

Monday, June 28


It may not have celebrity endorsers like Shaq or Michael Jordan. But athletic shoemaker K-Swiss Inc. of Westlake Village is scoring steady earnings gains, even as its flashier competitors including Nike Inc. and Reebok International Ltd. seem to be st


The economy has been on a tear, and the expectation is that things will keep smoking at least through the end of the year and most likely, for many months beyond that. The general manager of a local Lexus dealership went so far as to tell a Business Jou


Now that many of us have learned to navigate in and around our favorite Web sites, the next priority is to do it a lot faster (the typical American answer to most any pursuit). At present, the technology of choice for making that happen is a cable modem.


While the Asian economies may have stabilized and are in some cases growing again, the resurgence is not yet filtering through to Los Angeles-area financial institutions.


America Online launched a new offensive in the broadband wars by announcing its plan to invest $1.5 billion in Hughes Electronics Corp. to promote satellite delivery of Internet services.


If it wins state approval, Health Net could become the first HMO to add both Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture to its coverage. As a measure of how mainstream alternative medicine is becoming, Health Net believes as many as 700,000 of its members wi


The health maintenance organization could become the first in the state to add both Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture to its plan if the Department of Corporations approves its pending application.


The college-search season is pretty much over for high school seniors. The mouse has been passed to juniors, whose turn it is to find a school.


As new executive director of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, John L. Gray wants people to know the museum isn't just about Gene Autry.


Shopping and charitable giving? It's an odd mix, but one that the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Santa Monica is hoping to latch onto.


The owners of the Playa Vista development have extended an offer to build the studio portion of DreamWorks SKG's planned headquarters facility and then lease it back to DreamWorks, the Business Journal has learned.


The Redondo Beach money manager has seen his investments in Japanese equities rise by 50 percent since the start of the year. His Korean portfolio has made similar gains.


In case you thought the passage of charter reform ended the debate over how the city conducts its business, think again. The real battle is just getting started.


There are 65 bills currently moving their way through the California Legislature that target the health care system. Most of the proposals will have major economic impacts for employers, consumers and health plans.


For years, the Asian economy has been generalized, categorized and stereotyped to death. First there were the miracle stories of the '80s and early '90s that had Japanese and Korean companies besting their American counterparts in almost every way. Then c

Company Index



An army of American investors has descended on Asia to take advantage of huge real estate opportunities created as a result of the Asian economic crisis.


The latest example is RREEF Funds's acquisition of a 484,624-square-foot industrial portfolio on behalf of the California Public Employees Retirement System for about $28 million. The purchase includes properties in Irwindale, Azusa and Sun Valley that we


If Dr. Koop could make a killing on the Internet, the odds are even better for Dr. Drew Pinsky.


The merger of the two companies that provide L.A. with its traffic news is unlikely to lead to many changes in the sky.


At least four shopping center developers believe that open air is the key to their success, hot days or no. They're in the midst of renovating their centers to include outdoor plazas and streets where folks can while away the day or night dining, shopping


In 1983, Sharon Evans was a single mother of three with limited work experience. When she couldn't find a job, she co-founded Collection Fine Jewelry, based in Saginaw, Texas. The company focused on producing corporate gifts and eventually expanded into m


Along a strip of drab mini-markets on East Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena stands a leafy oasis behind a black metal gate.


Like it or not, ISPs both large and small will be enlisted as foot soldiers in the federal government's impending war on Internet gambling. While the job won't be as difficult as some service providers complain, the plan still sets a bad precedent for con


Even in L.A., a city that has nearly year-round sun, folks are flocking to Brian Reason's Electric Sun Tanning Salons in Silverlake and Burbank. Reason spoke with Jolie Gorchov about the business of running a tanning salon.


With his upset victory earlier this month, Boyle Heights resident and Deputy District Attorney Nick Pacheco is one of two newcomers to the Los Angeles City Council. And, at age 35, he's also its second-youngest member. He replaces Richard Alatorre, who re


A former director of the Koo Koo Roo Inc. restaurant chain has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he illegally profited from inside information about his board's decision to appoint Lee Iacocca acting chairman last year.


For years, Angelenos have been told by academics and media gurus to look toward Silicon Valley as a model for economic development. Yet although that area remains a wonder of technological innovation, a closer look suggests that depending totally on the d


An unusual advertising experiment in which a Spanish-language commercial aired on local English-language TV has resulted in a number of angry phone calls, letters and e-mails and is raising new concerns about the practicality of using traditional broadcas


Two years after its economic meltdown, Asia is once again showing early signs of life. But the fledgling recovery is spotty at best, and so are the benefits it is bringing to Los Angeles.


Desperately looking to shore up their flagging economies, Asian governments have been opening key industries to foreign participation.


Rumors keep flying that state Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa is going to take his hat out of the ring for L.A. mayor and instead run for the seat being vacated by Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg.


As Asia shows signs of recovery from its severe economic flu, there are signs of another bug the traveling kind.


The Business Journal asked a group of local executives, "Are you noticing an uptick in business from Asia?"


George Lucas applied his defibrillator in the nick of time. The May 19 release of his "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace" was direly needed to resuscitate the movie theater business this year. Lucas' latest film garnered almost $300 million in its


L.A.'s cable modem furor is a lot less complicated than it seems and pretty much boils down to this: When a neighborhood becomes wired so that customers can get high-speed Internet access through a cable modem, should the cable company already serving the


Asia may be shrugging off its worst economic turmoil since the end of World War II, but West Coast exporters and shippers have yet to really benefit.


Published in April 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright & #352; 1999 by Thomas L. Friedman. All rights reserved.


After more than two months of near-flatline performance below $24 a share, the stock of Diagnostic Products Corp. inexplicably took off in mid-June on heavy volume. It closed at $30.44 on June 21 before easing back to $29.81 the next day.


Question: Did you see the TNT movie, "The Pirates of Silicon Valley?" It was a real eye-opener for me. It scared me to death thinking about whether my new products and ideas could be ripped off. How does a young entrepreneur/inventor protect against that


To get the latest take on the economic recovery in Asia, the Business Journal spoke with Ross C. DeVol, director of regional studies and demographics at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica.


What happens when 15,000 additional vehicles each day are brought into what is already one of the most congested areas in all of Southern California?


In the Advertising and P.R. column of June 21, a downtown wallscape sign donated by Eller Media Co. and currently running an ad from the "Message From God" campaign was incorrectly categorized. The building had a billboard painted on it before the city of


Welcome to Burbank Airport, one of the nation's oldest, most outdated facilities.


30 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Rising loan interest rates led to increased second-quarter earnings that ranged from 8 percent to 22 percent at four major banks, including Security Pacific, First Western and United California, all based in Los Angeles Scandinavi


For L.A. architecture firms that were opening up offices and designing projects in Asia before the financial crisis hit in 1997, the ensuing years have been a mixed bag.


The pressure in a bottle of champagne is close to 90 pounds per square inch, or roughly three times the pressure in your automobile tire. So when opening a bottle of Dom Perignon, be sure not to squeeze out the cork with your thumbs.


L.A.'s largest trading partners are all Asian countries. While their respective economic conditions play a big role in the fate of the local trade community, politics can be just as important. The following is a look at the relationships between the Unite


Last week's Advertising and P.R. column claimed that a wall-sized Eller sign in downtown Los Angeles that is currently portraying an installment of the national "Message From God" campaign was illegal. Not true.


Things are going so well over at Staples Center that the owners have decided to purchase the Great Western Forum for the overflow.


It may not have occurred to you how hard it is to use typical computers if you can't see well, have to type with a tool called a mouth stick, or can't hear the computer's occasional chimes and alerts.


Venture capital veteran Frank Kline, founder of Kline Hawkes LLC, has chased some bad pitches, like even the best investors, but on the recent initial public offering he blasted a Ruthian shot to the bleachers. Two of Klines' funds own a combined

Tuesday, June 22


Something may be perking at Torrance-based Farmer Bros. Co., the coffee distributors traded on the Nasdaq.


When Nelson Davis was 18 years old, he packed up his Samsonite hardcase in his parents' Niagara Falls home and took a bus to a small town in the Fingerlakes region of New York state. Davis had been hired over the phone to work at a radio station there, an


After years of relative leniency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is cracking down on small businesses resulting in a sharp hike in the number of citations and growing complaints by business owners.

Monday, June 21

Company Index



Fresh from his this month's election victories including the passage of charter reform and the selection of his preferred candidate for a Board of Education spot Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan sat down last week with the Business Journal's editoria


The Trading Edge, the online marketplace for high-yield bond traders, continues to sign up customers and win new financing.


More than 30 years after the first real estate projects sprouted on county-owned land in Marina del Rey, the area is awash in a new wave of development.


What would your newspaper look like if it were designed by the same people who made your car?


As Rebecca Clark sees it, her customers are pretty loyal considering the trouble they have finding parking near her store.


Peek into the records room of a typical doctor's office and you're likely to notice a sea of paper. Larry Lai sees an ocean of opportunity.


Robin Burns was promoted to management supervisor at DDB Los Angeles. She will be responsible for senior-level development and day-to-day management of client advertising objectives and strategy. Burns was most recently an account supervisor.


Over the past few months, computer viruses with the power to wipe out data have been in the news. First the Melissa virus struck in late March and then the Chernobyl virus hit on April 26. And last week, the "Worm.Explore.Zip" virus struck tens of thousan


For years, the Hotel Del Capri has seemed like an anachronism: a two-story motel-like property dwarfed by luxury high-rise condominiums along Westwood's "Golden Mile."


The chairman of the Los Angeles city Information Technology Commission resigned amid a growing dispute over how L.A. residents will receive high-speed access to the Internet.


As many of you know, Bloomberg has seen amazing growth since it published its first story in 1990. By last count, it has 700 reporters in 80 bureaus around the world including Los Angeles. Its stories appear in hundreds of newspapers.


The Lakers have signed superstar coach Phil Jackson to a five-year, $30 million deal encouraging news for a team that hasn't played in a championship round since 1991 (when they lost to the Jackson-coached Chicago Bulls). They haven't won a championship


I was very pleased in reading the March 29 list of contingency search firms to discover that Source Services/Romac International was listed as No. 1. However, I was disappointed to see the detailed description of the services because the legal division wa


It was a near free fall for a while, but Asian consumers are again snapping up U.S. record labels good news for an industry that has come to rely on the Pacific Rim markets.

Featured Newsmaker

TV Guide is taking major steps to adapt to the interactive age, and Lucy Hood is at the helm of one of those efforts.


People wishing to drop off their cars at one of the five new stations along the Red Line extension in the hope of making a quick trip downtown could be in for a rude awakening.


We asked a group of local business people and economic observers the following question: Are you concerned about the pervasive attitude among free-spending L.A. consumers that "the good times will go on forever"?


I just finished reading the special report on Women in Commercial Real Estate in the June 14 issue. As a 32-year-old woman who has worked in the real estate industry for 11 years, I commend you on giving these 25 women the recognition they deserve. Howeve


Joe Timko and Randy Neece opened their Canyon View Training Ranch for Dogs six months ago on a five-acre estate in Topanga Canyon. It's complete with a waterfall, two ponds and a two-story farm-style home. They charge anywhere from $100 for six weekly obe


A group of residents in Stevenson Ranch, a 2,400-home subdivision near Valencia, wants to be annexed to the city of Santa Clarita because the city offers more control over local planning issues and better services.


Lakers Executive Vice President Jerry West was no doubt pleased last week when the team signed former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson as its new coach. But for West, not all the news was so good.


L.A. businesses would be able to switch to a new tax system immediately or keep their old rates for a maximum of five years under the latest version of tax reform taking shape at City Hall.


Your somewhat insightful piece on the state of Los Angeles' civic culture ("Hello, L.A.! Anybody Home?" June 14) misses a critical point we don't have a civic culture because most of us don't want one.


Coca-Cola Co.'s new entry in the bottled water wars tastes, well, like tap water.


'Net users should keep this in mind while considering the music industry's sluggish steps toward distributing music online. The Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group that represents record labels, won't endorse the sale of songs on the


Good times pervaded Los Angeles during the first half of 1999, and while the national picture may be getting a little murky, the local outlook for the rest of the year is expected to keep getting better.


The Los Angeles Business Journal has been named the nation's best regional business weekly by the Association of Area Business Publications.


20 Years Ago This Week: UCLA economists predicted a recession during the final two quarters of the year, with negative economic growth reaching 3 percent before a slow recovery expected to begin in early 1980 Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. said it w


L.A.'s best-performing companies on Wall Street between now and the end of 1999 are likely to be of the larger, conservative stripe.


Bill Gross' Internet incubator Idealab! may be getting all the headlines these days, but the incubator over at USC is hatching its own share of start-ups as well though at a much slower pace.


Never mind all the hoopla over new Internet stocks it's been a tough year for most L.A.-based IPOs.


That's why he's departing his senior vice president post at Catellus Development Corp. this fall to devote his attention to his own investment/development firm, the Yellin Co.


Groucho Marx once said, "Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others."


Walt Disney Co.'s Internet division is not the happiest place on Earth these days.


Finding that rare, out-of-print Blue Oyster Cult album may soon be a lot easier than poring through the used album bin at your local record store or getting into a bidding war on eBay.


The Women's National Basketball Association kicked off its third season June 10 seemingly stronger than ever, with the Los Angeles Sparks becoming the first WNBA team to reach 100 points. But the Sparks' box-office performance shows that women's basketbal


You know the drill: Spread your money over different types of assets big stocks, small stocks, internationals, bonds. Diversification limits your risk and, over the long run, can improve your total returns.


God is in violation of a Los Angeles city ordinance, and the city has a good shot at a conviction because where He lives, it's pretty tough to find a lawyer.


The Web site that Chase designed for the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is laden with the kind of creepy cool that makes the program such a hit with teen viewers.


Here's a scary scenario: Your new delivery boy runs a red light, hits a parked car, and smashes up the company van.


Some of the magic seeped from the wizardry of Walt Disney Co. in its court battle with former studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, which will determine the size of a bonus due him. Old deals, scrutinized in the trial, look like hobgoblins now.


For soccer fans, it's the mother lode of sports channels soccer from Mexico, soccer from Chile, soccer from Italy, soccer from Argentina, soccer from Germany.


Angelenos aren't buying the old maxim that what goes up must come down. But that's about the only thing they're not buying.


When Joseph Haggerty took over as president at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles in 1995, the organization was in turmoil. A struggling economy had led to a plunge in donations. Faith in the charity's integrity had been rocked by the resignation and e


An army of American investors has descended on Asia to take advantage of huge real estate opportunities created as a result of the Asian economic crisis.


In the early '90s, the Van Nuys apparel maker famous for its Indian-head logo had hundreds of employees, a handful of retail stores, a 110,000-square-foot factory in the San Fernando Valley and annual revenues of $200 million.

Tuesday, June 15


The family set up its own foundation in 1955 that gives large contributions to medical research and education. Over the past 43 years, it has given money to USC, UCLA, Caltech, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Doheny Eye Institute, to name a few.

Monday, June 14


Judy Weber-Frye works on real estate deals for Marvin Davis a tall order given that the billionaire Los Angeles businessman is usually secretive and always on the lookout for buying low and selling high.


The mail-order baby products company began adding brick-and-mortar stores in 1992 to create a retail mix that performed well. And in 1993, the Westlake Village-based firm acquired Children's West Digest, an older kids apparel sales catalog.


The person many believe is the most powerful woman in L.A. real estate doesn't even live here. She's based in New York.

Forum 6-14

Last week's vote to implement a new city charter is arguably one of the most important developments in Los Angeles governance since 1924, the year the current charter was put in place. But the election only drew about 17 percent of L.A.'s voters. So the B


Claim to Fame: Oversees portfolio of over 2 million square feet of commercial property.


Nancy Haag often gets to work at 5:30 a.m., not surprising for someone who has the reputation of keeping on top of a deal's every detail.


As promised almost seven months ago, Havas Interactive Inc. formerly Cendant Software, formerly CUC Software has finally landed its new chief executive.


Claim to Fame: Heads property management of Catellus' 21 million-square-foot portfolio.


Last year was the trip to the Takoradi River Valley in western Ghana. Currently, there is an expedition up the Tibetan side of Mount Everest. Soon there will be treks to the deepest portions of the world's oceans.


The Business Journal recently gathered five top women real estate executives for a discussion on how they operate in the male-dominated industry. The panelists were:


Rhonda DeMore Nelson has racked up $500 million in deals in the past three years including development of a $150 million, 51-story high-rise in the heart of San Francisco that will include apartments and condominiums.


L.A.'s sixth-largest homebuilder didn't even exist until 1993 the thick of the real estate recession.


For most of this decade, organized labor has been the ascendant power in Los Angeles politics. But last week's election marked a significant setback to labor's power, prestige and even moral standing.


As an 8-year-old immigrant from South Korea, Mee Hae Lee didn't know a word of English, but was determined to make her parents proud.


Web-site designer Tim Glaesemann faced a dilemma common to many entrepreneurs. His client list was growing, and he needed to hire an assistant to help him at Circa New Media, based in Pelham, N.Y.


Middle-class people rarely hear about payday lending. Until recently, these loans were principally a danger to the working poor.


Lured by the promise of stock market riches and driven by economic necessity, local law and accounting firms are increasingly accepting stocks and options as a form of payment from their clients.


The Internet may exist only in virtual space, but it flows through equipment that sits in actual countries, counties and towns.


Insignia/ESG signed up another heavy hitter last week. David Doup & #233; joined the firm's Capital Advisors Group, a real estate investment banking arm, as an executive managing director.


Halfway through this year's session of the state Legislature, Democrats and their labor and trial-lawyer allies have pushed through dozens of bills aimed at California workplaces over the objections of Republicans and statewide business groups.


A trio of key executives at, one of L.A.'s pioneering Internet businesses, has jumped ship less than one month after the company was officially acquired by Big Entertainment Inc., a Boca Raton, Fla.-based concern.


Businesswoman, community leader and sometime government official, Linda Griego is virtually omnipresent in L.A.'s business community.


In the early '80s, a couple of women at Prudential Insurance Co. of America's real estate division spread the word among other female professionals about a cocktail party they were organizing.


Prompted by concerns about the marketing of violent movies to children, the nation's largest theater owners said they would seek to require young moviegoers to show photo identification at R-rated films.


Her boss calls Willa McNamarra an "entertainment guru" because so many of her clients have been in the film and recording industry.


There's the large glass case behind the front desk that houses a reclining live nude woman. There are the inflatable white sofas and metallic silver beanbag chairs in each of the 138 rooms.


Claim to Fame: Asset manager for some of the largest properties on the West Coast


Theresa Dunn first broke into commercial real estate to earn spending money for visits to Disneyland.


L.A. real estate isn't quite a club for men only but it's close. The Business Journal asked several prominent men in the real estate community who they pick as the leading women in their industry, and why there is such a dearth of women in the upper ech


Claim to Fame: Involved in the acquisition of more than $600 million in commercial assets

Weekly Briefing

Alfred Ritter and his partner Linda Yu opened Zen Zoo Tea six months ago on a busy street in Brentwood. Patterned after a traditional Asian teahouse, the cafe offers packaged teas and products with sit-down tea and dim sum. Ritter spoke with Jolie Gorchov


That's the question being debated these days in all professions and opinions vary wildly. In fact, the pace at which women are making progress in corporate America, along with professions like law and accounting, is the subject of assorted studies and r

NEW Featured newsmaker

After 19 years with downtown L.A.-based Stutman Treister & Glatt, leading bankruptcy attorney Kenneth N. Klee has left to start his own firm, along with two partners from Stutman Treister, Michael L. Tuchin and Lee R. Bogdanoff.


Question: I've been in business for myself about a year. I'm finding it really slow-going. Are there any shortcuts to growing my business fast?

lustig bower

The properties handled by Laurie Lustig-Bower include some of the Westside's most fashionable and expensive apartment buildings and condominiums.


If something seems a little off on your next visit to Dodger Stadium, it might be this: You're no longer hearing the distinctive sound of concessionaires yelling "Cool-A-Coo! Cool-A-Coo!"


At first blush, commercial real estate would appear to be a homogeneous universe of white guys in monogrammed shirts, driving around in their late-model Mercedes and attending alumni reunions at USC.


When you're vice president of marketing for a major commercial developer, you don't spend your time dreaming up glossy brochures or print ads. You do hard-core leasing, which is Kathy Delgado's forte.


The Los Angeles Business Journal won a total of six awards including one for overall excellence in the Greater Los Angeles Press Club's annual journalism competition.


For nearly two decades, Marva Smith Battle-Bey has been leading the charge for urban development.


10 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: A group led by L.A. investor Al Checchi made a $4.05 billion offer for Northwest Airlines that bested three other suitors, including billionaire Marvin Davis Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park said its first-ever outside venture wou


Claim to Fame: Decision-maker at one of L.A.'s most active real estate investment trusts


As a child, Susan Loranger worked at her father's car dealership in Ontario, Canada each summer doing everything from filing documents to negotiating car sales. Now, as head of Douglas Emmett's leasing portfolio of about 45 buildings in the San Fernando


After long having the highest unemployment rate of any ethnic group, L.A.'s African Americans are finally finding it easier to get jobs.


When Mary Ricks played center field for UCLA's national-champion softball team, she caught the eye of a pro scout though not the sports kind.


Karoline Sauls was trying to work out a deal on a pristine property high atop Sunset Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But there was a complication: It was near the Revello Slide, where landslides have occurred.


Mary Marx has a way with managing stuff whether it's buildings, client relationships, tenant negotiations or legal and governmental issues.


Alisa Freundlich already had a very successful career as a lawyer when multimillionaire investor Louis Gonda picked her to spearhead his growing real estate empire.


After several weeks of intense pressure on the entertainment industry to get tough on movie violence, the apparent response has been to get tough on the moviegoers themselves specifically kids under 17 trying to get into an R-rated film.


Direct Stock Market Inc. has successfully raised $3 million in its third round of financing, and is targeting another $30 million to $50 million in growth equity, according to founder Clay Womack.


In her 20 years with CB Richard Ellis, Darla Longo has handled deals involving 50 million square feet of industrial property with a total value of more than $2 billion.


When Gretchen Spence moved into her 1,200-square-foot warehouse space in the Brewery Arts Complex in Lincoln Heights three years ago, a banner on the roof of one of the buildings advertised available space.


Alex Capri has been named manager of KPMG LLP's trade & customs practice in Century City. He will be involved in developing the firm's West Coast trade and customs capabilities. Capri was formerly a manger with the U.S. Customs Service.


In John Le Carr & #233;'s latest novel, "Single & Single," renegade banker Tiger Single ominously advises his cohorts that "human blood is a commodity."


Nine days after the opening of "Star Wars: Episode One, The Phantom Menace," Universal Studios Inc. released "Notting Hill," a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.


Last Tuesday, 136,000 L.A. residents made a decision that will affect the lives of nearly 3.7 million of their fellow Angelenos for decades to come: They voted for a new city charter that overhauls the structure of city government.


Maurice "Corky" Newman long has been one of the L.A. garment industry's most prominent players the man many say was responsible for turning around CaliforniaMart, the nation's largest apparel and textile showroom.


As executive administrator of the Vermont Village Community Development Corp., Marian K. Penny is helping spearhead $30 million in new projects along Vermont Avenue between Florence Avenue and Manchester Boulevard.


Women play a critical role in managing, leasing or building some of the major properties in Los Angeles. Here are a few of the more prominent such women, and the buildings they're involved with.


The year was 1970 and she was working her way up through the investment marketing department at Coldwell Banker in downtown Los Angeles. But each day, before she began her regular work, there was coffee to make for her male colleagues. And when the brew w


Due to incorrect information provided to the Business Journal, a May 31 Corporate Focus on Computer Sciences Corp. misstated the status of a contract with Raytheon. In fact, no agreement has been made, although negotiations on the contract are ongoing.


Every year, this publication and others create lists of the biggest advertising agencies, ranking them by the size of their media billings.


Call Coleen Kirnan on a typical afternoon and you're likely to hear her children squealing in the background.


By voting overwhelmingly in support of charter reform during the recent election, Angelenos at least those few who bothered to cast ballots made one thing clear: They think city government is broken and they want it fixed.


Anyone who has been in L.A. commercial real estate for more than five minutes knows the stereotype: USC grad, Jonathan Club member, Mercedes owner and most of all, a guy. Like all stereotypes, there is more than a modicum of truth to it; so much so that


Few real estate brokers like to specialize in narrow sectors because it tends to limit their production. But that usually isn't a problem when the sector is supermarkets, which have been consolidating at a blistering pace in Southern California.


Claim to Fame: Negotiating a 2 million-square-foot consolidation of Drexel Burnham Lambert's headquarters in New York


One of the top office brokers at Trammell Crow Co. might have been working for a bank somewhere in Asia if not for a fateful on-campus interview.


Kit Marchel says being a woman in the male-dominated real estate field can be an advantage because it sets her apart from the crowd. But it's more important to "always believe in yourself, no matter what your gender nothing takes the place of hard work


Walter Cruttenden III is set to bring initial public offerings to the masses. But Cruttenden's 5-month-old online investment bank, Newport Beach-based E*Offering, is launching at a time when Internet stocks are going through a nasty tumble-and-dry cycle.


Bearded, balding and a study in beige, Mike Caro doesn't mince words when he talks about the art of playing poker and of winning.

Company Index



A broken guitar led Bob Riskin into McCabe's Guitar Shop on Pico Boulevard 40 years ago. He's been there ever since.

Monday, June 7


After several lackluster years, smiles have come back to local comedy club owners.


A high-stakes battle has broken out over "payday lending," the business of providing Californians with quick cash until their next paycheck.


One more time, it's musical chairs at the Los Angeles Times and one more time, a relative neophyte is taking the helm of the nation's fourth-largest newspaper.

Real Estate

Arden Realty Inc. added another piece to the Howard Hughes Center puzzle last week, with its $53 million purchase of a 16-story tower there.


Bill Gross, already by many accounts the world's preeminent e-commerce entrepreneur, is just warming up.


A little over a year ago, Joseph Shayfar acquired a 96-unit apartment building on Valerio Street in Van Nuys.


During a meeting last week in which Michael Ovitz presented to the Coliseum's governing board his plan for bringing pro football to L.A., the word "they" was on everyone's lips.


Industry watchers estimate that the local restaurant business is up about 10 percent this year, and there is other anecdotal evidence to suggest that many eateries around town are filling up. So the Business Journal asks:


He is not a super-agent, nor a studio chieftain, nor a top box-office draw. But Michael Goddard has been called the most powerful man in Hollywood.

Computer Col

Everybody already knows the usual procedures for backups, right? Save often, make backup copies of long documents while you're working on them, and back up everything really important at least every couple of weeks or so.


RESTAURANT In these flush times, lines to get into L.A.'s favorite restaurants are getting longer; once inside, Angelenos are spending more money. 1


While many stocks, especially those sexy Internet issues, have sold off in recent weeks on inflation fears, one decidedly unsexy L.A. stock has held steady and remains high on analysts' "buy" lists, despite having risen more than 60 percent over the past


When the 800 doctors employed by L.A. County voted to unionize, they hailed the victory as one for their patients.


Legislation that would exempt home-based writers and other creative artists from local business taxes passed the state Assembly last week, over the strenuous objections of local cities and business groups.


L.A. is such a huge place that newspaper editors often find it hard to generate common themes that can be appreciated by the largest number of readers. No matter how important charter reform or the business tax might be to the city's wellbeing, they don't


Comedy is serious business, and few know that better than Budd Friedman, founder of the Improv in Hollywood, where such comics as Jay Leno, Rodney Dangerfield, Robin Williams, Andy Kaufman and Freddie Prinze cut their teeth.

At Home

I felt the need for spring cleaning a few weeks ago when my husband and I had weekend guests. As I looked around our home office through the eyes of our visitors, I noticed small piles that had grown into messes. Business supply catalogs were piled up in


In regard to "Commuter's New Nightmare" (May 31), there is one good idea for solving traffic problem not addressed in your story. The Ueberroth plan for the 1984 Olympics was proven to be effective: stagger all working hours in the whole metropolitan area


With the approaching initial public offering of Kushner-Locke Inc.'s Internet spin-off, US Search, there's buzz around town about an obscure S-3 filing Kushner-Locke filed back in February.


What do Universal Studios Hollywood, Venice Beach and the Beverly Center have in common? All three are among L.A.'s top 20 tourist destinations.


Looking to invest in a business that will never go out of fashion? Why not consider the death-care industry?


Steve Lustgarten owns Leo Films, a video distribution company based in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. In spite of a downturn in video rentals and sales due to cable, pay-per-view TV and the Internet, Lustgarten tries to keep up with the competition an


The Internet has changed the face of business in so many ways, but nowhere have the changes been as dramatic or fast moving as in the financial markets. Two events over the past two weeks underscore those changes.


Amid the most sustained period of economic prosperity in American history, the health care industry has witnessed a series of high-profile financial flops. Indeed, the highly publicized difficulties of health care organizations in California and elsewhere


In the last two years, Queen Mary Chief Executive Joseph F. Prevratil and his 750 employees have enjoyed smoother sailing aboard the 64-year-old Long Beach attraction. Last year, the company posted a $5.5 million profit on $36 million in revenues, a strik

Ent Note

But it's only June, you say. So what? Don't you wish you could recapture the enthusiasm for marketing your business that you felt back in January?


Carpets were worn, booths hadn't been reupholstered in years and the d & #233;cor was mostly yellow and gray not the most up-to-date color combination. Things were similarly well-worn at the dozen other Louise's locations throughout Los Angeles.


IPO Monitor is trying to ride two waves to success the Internet and the stock market.


That's not the wind-up for a joke. It's the question Times Mirror Co. executives currently find themselves trying to explain away.

Digest Add

The agency that runs Burbank Airport has submitted plans to the city of Burbank for a scaled-down air terminal in a move aimed at ending a 4-year-old legal battle with the city.


Toyota most certainly isn't broken, but that isn't stopping executives with the company's Torrance-based U.S. division and its ad agency from trying to fix it.


The marquee sponsorships are in place and advance ticket sales promise to make it the most well-attended women's sports event of all time.


Wall Street's frenzy for Internet stocks is already having an impact at local business schools, where many recent graduates have been lured by the equity stakes being offered by soon-to-be-public start-ups.

LA Stories

Disney animators are upset by advertising around town for the new "Tarzan" movie set to open June 18.

Oped 31

Many people believe doctors shouldn't have to worry about high medical costs that it's the turf of the insurance executive or HMO administrator. But today's practicing physicians have a vital interest in the cost debate.


Downtown Los Angeles has a much-publicized problem: too many obsolete old office buildings and not enough housing. Tom Gilmore thinks he has the answer.


Tarrant Apparel Group, one of L.A.'s most profitable public companies, has seen its share price plummet 40 percent in the last three weeks.

List Summ

With several years of high occupancy rates and essentially no new supply, hotel operators focused on raising room rates in 1998.


A dark-red 1934 Alfa Romeo P3 Grand Prix racing car going for between $2 million and $3 million. A 1947 166 Le Mans Ferrari Berlinetta, believed to be the second Ferrari ever built, running between $900,000 and $1.2 million. A 1958 Cadillac Eldorado once


The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into whether video game makers and other entertainment companies improperly market violent fare to children.

Show Biz

They may still call The WB a "weblet," but the infant network has become the industry's hottest player thanks mainly to shows like "Felicity" and "Dawson's Creek" that appeal to the 12-34 crowd. The WB's upfront sales for the fall season came to a whopp


5 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: As the Japanese economy weakened, banking giant Dai-Ichi Kangyo Ltd. decided to sell 10 of its California properties, including the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena Union Bank opened its first stand-alone check cashing and


David Ahn has joined Deloitte & Touche LLP in Los Angeles as a manager in the national creative tax services group. Also, Shawn Bjorkland has been named a senior in the international tax group.


Three years ago, after a decade as the editor-in-chief of a computer industry magazine, Lisa Bearnson had grown bored and burned out with her job. She still loved magazine publishing but not the highly technical topics covered by her magazine.