Stories for January 2003

Monday, January 27

Chain Retailers Taking Biggest Hit as Customers Take to Web

Piracy, claim those determined to halt the free distribution of copyrighted material, is pile-driving the music business, and the retail sector is taking the hardest beating.

Legislators Ready New Bills to Stem Wide Code Abuse

Spurred by widespread complaints that a state law aimed at protecting consumers has resulted in a shakedown of local merchants, legislators are mounting yet another an effort to refine the law.

Truck Industry Predicts Exodus if License Fees Rise

Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson's bill to restore vehicle license fees to 1998 levels already has a vocal opponent and it's not the anti-tax faction of the legislature.

NEWSMAKERS

Businesses and people in the news, on the move...

LABJ FORUM: No Pay to Play

The Business Journal asks: Do you think it's proper to download music off the Internet, even if it's illegal?

Some Not Sticking Around for Santa Monica Remake

With the start of nearly three years of construction to remake Santa Monica Boulevard on L.A.'s Westside just weeks away, some stores are already closing their doors and moving rather than face a slowdown in their business.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - Property Management Firms, ranked by office and retail square footage managed in L.A. County

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Ruling Aids Industry in Attempt To Target Individual Illegal Users

A U.S. district judge's ruling that Verizon Communications Inc. must hand over the name of a subscriber alleged to have downloaded as many as 600 music files in a single day is another incremental win in the industry's effort to halt online piracy.

Few Shippers Found In Compliance With Anti-Terrorism Rule

Nearly every steamship line calling on the Ports of L.A., Long Beach and Hueneme during a 60-day trial period have failed to comply with a new U.S. Customs Service anti-terrorism regulation that formally goes into effect next week.

Cherokee Grabs Up Two Once-Hot Labels In a Rival's Fire Sale

Cherokee Inc., the former blue jean maker now concentrating on licensing trademarked lines, paid $3 million for the right to license several well-known labels once produced by a bankrupt L.A. company.

Hardware, Software Providers Among Piracy's Legal Winners

While record companies stand to lose sales to online pirates, others have plenty to gain by helping those pirates out.

Friday, January 17

Head of Artisan Pictures Departs With Little to Show for Big-Budget Initiative

Robert Cooper's brief tenure as chief executive of Artisan Pictures was like a bad date. Both parties got something out of it but neither was especially satisfied.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Never Lacking Vision, Revival's Success Proves Elusive

Never Lacking Vision, Revival's Success Proves Elusive

Infinity's KFWB Back In Limbo With FCC's Switch on Trust Status

Infinity Broadcasting Inc. radio station KFWB-AM (980) remains in regulatory limbo after the Federal Communications Commission rescinded its approval of the company's application to put the station into a trust only a week after it gave its okay.

Big Game's Economic Impact Expected to Top Earlier Bowls

There may be fewer corporate jets parked at Lindbergh Field for Sunday's Super Bowl than the two previous times San Diego hosted the event.

NEWSMAKERS

People and businesses in the news, on the move

Rising Premiums Driving Many Firms Off Insurance Rolls

Unable to afford skyrocketing premium costs, thousands of businesses in Los Angeles are believed to be going without workers' compensation insurance, as required by law.

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Chairman's Exit Douses Sale Talk At GBC Bancorp

Li-Pei Wu has resigned as chairman of GBC Bancorp settling, at least temporarily, a boardroom battle over whether to sell the parent of General Bank, one of L.A.'s oldest Taiwanese-American-run banks.

LABJ FORUM: Hollywood: Half Empty or Half Full?

Hollywood has undergone a facelift over the past few years. There's a huge new shopping complex, new entertainment attractions and restaurants, increased security and cleaner properties. But not everyone is sold on the so-called Hollywood Renaissance. So

Cautious Tenants Keep Office Leasing Action Sluggish

Cautious Tenants Keep Office Leasing Action Sluggish

Case Delay Rejected as Judges Opt for Docket Discretion

The decision by the 24 active judges in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, to reject a proposal to delay hearing certain cases had more to do with autonomy than caseload.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List, Architectural firms ranked by 2002 L.A. County billings

Approval Anticipated as Dockworkers Vote on Labor Pact

Eight months after contentious negotiations were launched, West Coast port workers and officials of shipping companies expect a new six-year contract to be accepted by union members when the votes are counted this week.

Herbalife Trustees Win Round In Battle With Founder's Wife

WALL STREET WEST. A Superior Court judge said he would dismiss a lawsuit seeking to remove the trustees of the estate of Herbalife founder Mark Hughes, who died in 2000 of a drug and alcohol overdose.

Monday, January 13

Cost of Doing Business Expected to Rise as New State Laws Take Effect

California businesses are bracing for the full impact of a slew of new laws, many of which will add to the cost of doing business in an already lackluster economy.

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

NEWSMAKERS - Growth Challenge Lures Health Veteran

Businesspeople and businesses in the news, on the move...

Secession Sentiment Remains High

San Fernando Valley business leaders reflect what many involved in the cityhood movement have said since the November election: secession is not a dead issue.

LABJ FORUM: The Debate Over Tax Cuts

President Bush introduced an economic stimulus package last week that called for tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, a $400-per-child tax rebate for some families and the elimination of taxes on dividends, which the administration said would gi

Hispanic Owners Make Further Gains In Latest Survey of Los Angeles Radio

The most recent Arbitron ratings for Los Angeles have a decidedly Spanish accent. Of the seven biggest radio companies in the L.A., only three showed gains in overall listenership during the fall period and all of those own stations with Spanish-languag

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Motion Picture Distribution Firms, ranked by total U.S., Canada box-office receipts for 2002

Employers Decry Expense of New Layoff Law

Employer groups are concerned about a new law significantly lowering the threshold at which companies are required to notify employees and government entities of impending layoffs.

Technicolor Pulls Out Of Digital Equipment As Demand Dries Up

Technicolor Digital Cinema, one of two digital movie projection and equipment makers in the United States, has stopped marketing its equipment until Hollywood develops a standard for digital filmmaking.

Dividends Not Always Right Fit for Companies

President Bush's proposal to eliminate the dividend tax prompted a flurry of Wall Street activity last week an initial surge in prices, followed by a separation of the prospective winners from the losers.

Resolving To Seek Higher Pay Sets an Achievable Goal

Every New Year, most of us make resolutions intended to make our personal or working lives better. Of course, we tend forget about them nearly as quickly as we make them. But there's one resolution that can be made and actualized quickly: you can get a ra

SAG, AFTRA Plan More Talks to Work Out Differences

The two largest performers' unions are trying to resolve their differences over digital television and other issues in advance of contract talks with advertisers later this year.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Monday, January 6

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - City Vendors, ranked by vendor payments from the City of Los Angeles

Failed Health Group Planning to Start New Network for Doctors

The board of failed Latino Health Care is in negotiations to start a similar doctors network, even as the group's demise has sparked civil litigation and a police investigation.

Executives at Cash-Starved ArtistDirect Agree to Defer Pay

In another sign of its deteriorating cash position, ArtistDirect Inc.'s three top executives, including its billionaire Chairman Frederick "Ted" Field, have agreed to salary reductions until the company can find at least $20 million in financing, is merge

NEWSMAKERS

Exporting Trove of American Characters

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Lasting Impact: Top Deals of 2002

Deal of the Year Dockworkers Pact

Trio of Deals Reshaping Local Hispanic Radio Market

A spate of end-of-the-year dealmaking will further transform a local Hispanic radio market that already was headed for big changes with the pending merger of Univision Communications Inc. and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp.

Sport Chalet Founder Sets Stock Plan

As the sports equipment industry becomes increasingly cluttered, closely held Sport Chalet Inc. is trying to give investors a clearer indication of the company's future plans.

L.A. Looking to Business to Ease Budget Crunch

To close part of a looming budget gap now estimated at $90 million, L.A. city officials are contemplating raising or instituting new fees or taxes, many of them to be paid by businesses.

Bonaventure Out Of LACVB After Dues Go Unpaid

L.A.'s largest hotel, the Westin Bonaventure, has been thrown out of the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau after its owner refused to pay $58,775 in back membership dues for the last year and a half.

LABJ FORUM: Seasonal Movie Going

Retailers ailed during the Christmas season, but Hollywood was going full throttle. As usual, the last few weeks of the year were a time for the studio's to release their most prized films no doubt to garner attention for the upcoming awards season. And