L.A. Is No Banana Republic

I couldn't disagree more with the article Joel Kotkin wrote as a front-page commentary in the March 20 edition of the L.A. Business Journal ("The Chandler Sell-Out").

Wake up and smell the coffee everyone; this is not your grandparents' Los Angeles business community. No, it is not New York, Chicago or San Francisco either, and we should be thankful for that!

It is an incredibly exciting time to be doing business in Los Angeles and we, as business leaders, should take advantage of the new dynamics and money swirling around our community.

Just because a group of 20 old men in three-piece suits can't be depended on to call the shots in this town from their leather chairs at the California Club does not mean we are a "banana republic," as Mr. Kotkin would have us believe.

We are a changing business environment and the guys who once were in the inner circle have been replaced by a more diverse group of business leaders. In fact, some of the old guard have joined in and are now part of the fast-paced, informal business climate we now enjoy in Southern California.

The challenge for those of us who are going to live, work and die in this town is to sustain the commitment of the old guard. Support the arts, charitable organizations, the library, our civic and educational infrastructure as they so ably did. Show them that young, successful men and women can make a big difference in the quality of life in a community like Los Angeles.

The world is changing and what has historically defined a city is not what will define a city in the future. I see nothing wrong with one city like Los Angeles being defined by high technology and the entertainment industry and another being a world banking and finance center.

Fortunately, newspapers do not define a city its people do. This is particularly true today. With so many sources for news and information, I wonder how many people actually read the paper on a daily basis. L.A. will be just fine as its old-line businesses do what they need to do to survive, because it is time for the emerging economy and its business leaders to step up and take over. For those of you who are part of this new guard, I have just one request: Don't screw it up!

GLENN MEISTER

Office Leader

William M. Mercer Inc.

Not College Music

Reporter Laura Dunphy did a great job of capturing the excitement of launching a new artist ("Star Search," March 13), and we at KCRW are grateful to have a hand in this one not to mention the prominent mention on your front page (and elsewhere in the piece)!

For the record, the article spoke of our "college-aged audience." In fact, the audience for "Morning Becomes Eclectic" is not college-aged and its music is not "college music."

Morning Becomes Eclectic is important because of its impact on the music and entertainment industries and because its opinion leader/early adopter audience accepts new genres of music which later make their way into the mainstream.

According to Arbitron's fall 1999 survey, 66 percent of the audience for "Morning Becomes Eclectic" is between the age of 25 and 54. Only 12 percent are between the ages of 12 and 24, and the majority of those listeners are in the upper end of that age range.

SARAH A. SPITZ

Publicity Director

KCRW-FM 89.9

Note From the Cardinal

This is just a brief note to thank you for the splendid article in which the Business Journal compared the administration of the schools operated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and those operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District. ("A School System That Works," Feb. 28.)

This article was extremely helpful to us since so many in the business community value our Catholic schools, and more are increasingly interested in assisting with scholarship aid for our poorer schools in our inner city. Your article will help greatly to allow more young people to attend our fine schools.

CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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