Review
Feb. 27 - Mar. 4

Sweeps Results: CBS and NBC ranked first and second during the February ratings sweeps, boosted by long-running hits like "CSI" and "Friends." For the sweeps period through Feb. 29, CBS was watched by an average of 14 million, followed by NBC at 12.1 million, ABC at 10 million (though ABC might be helped by the premiere of "Kingdom Hospital," a series from horror writer Stephen King), and Fox at 9.1 million.



Council Vote: The Los Angeles City Council, as expected, voted to prohibit city commissioners from raising campaign donations for elected officials. The vote comes in the midst of ongoing county and federal investigations into allegations of a "pay-to-play" environment in which campaign contributions are traded for preferential treatment in the doling out of city contracts. The ordinance was signed into law by Mayor James Hahn and will take effect April 11.



Animal Activism: Jerry Greenwalt, general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services Department, under attack from activists unhappy over the city's policies on putting dogs and cats to death, will retire on April 12. Greenwalt, who has had the job for three years, said his decision to step down was unrelated to the protests, which had included vandalism at his home.



'Dinosaur' Suit: Dick Clark, the 74-year-old former host of "American Bandstand," was sued by a 76-year-old TV producer Ralph Andrews, who says he was passed over for positions at Dick Clark Productions in favor of a 30-year-old. Andrews claims Clark told him in a letter that "people our age are considered dinosaurs." The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges violation of state fair employment laws and seeks unspecified damages. Dick Clark Productions declined comment.



Oscar Ratings: ABC said that 43.5 million viewers watched its broadcast of the Academy Awards, the show's biggest audience in four years. Last year's ceremony was believed to have lost viewers because of the war with Iraq, which started four days before the broadcast.

Gas Update: Higher and higher. The weekly survey by the Energy Information Administration found Los Angeles again topping the list of major markets, with a gallon of self-serve regular running at an average of $2.179 for the week ended March 1. That's up from $2.094 the previous week. A separate survey by the Automobile Club of Southern California showed similar results. (See related story, page 1.)



Earnings Results: Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $491.4 million, compared with a loss of $1.3 billion for the like period a year earlier. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based publisher of TV Guide fell to $217.1 million from $244.7 million. Hot Topic Inc. reported fourth-quarter net income of $22.5 million, compared with $16.6 million for the like period a year earlier. Revenue for the City of Industry-based teen retailer rose 31 percent, to $194.1 million.



Record Cuts: Warner Music Group, which was purchased from Time Warner Inc. by an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. for $2.6 billion, will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, or about 1,000 jobs, as it consolidates some divisions. In addition, several executives said they would be leaving, including Elektra Records Chairwoman Sylvia Rhone and Atlantic Records Co-Chairman Val Azzoli.

Preview
March 8 - 14

Earnings Checkout: Among the companies reporting quarterly earnings this week are Albertsons and Kroger (9th), offering the first solid measure of the financial impact of the recently settled labor dispute with grocery workers. Also due to release quarterly financials are SCPIE Holdings (9th), 3D Systems (10th) and Homestore (11th).



Sports Beat: The Lakers are on the road all week while the Clippers' lone home game is Sunday (14th) against Dallas. The pros are clearing out at Staples as the Pac-10 Tournament gets going Thursday-Saturday (11th-13th). The Kings are home on Tuesday (9th) against Phoenix and Sunday afternoon against Anaheim.



Cancer Benefit: Rita Wilson, Patricia Heaton, Jean Smart and Lea Thompson are among the scheduled performers as the Friends of the Breast Program at UCLA hosts the second biennial What a Pair! concert on Sunday (14th) at Royce Hall. Proceeds will benefit Dr. Helena Chang's cancer research at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center. For information: 310-726-9350.



Economic Reports: Wednesday (10th): January's merchandise trade figures. Friday (12th): January business inventories and March's preliminary consumer sentiment figures from the University of Michigan.



Mixed Media Exhibit: The complex relationship between humans and the environment through the lens of Los Angeles is the subject of "L.A.: Light, Motion, Dreams, which opens on Sunday (14th) at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The exhibit shows how the physical environment of L.A. has changed over time. The experience is enhanced by video installations, music and contemporary art. Through Jan. 9, 2005. For information: 213-763-DINO.



Jazzing It Up: Terence Blanchard, Cedar Walton and Lew Tabackin celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival at UCLA's Royce Hall on Saturday (13th). Others on the bill include Broadway singer Lea DeLaria and guitarist Howard Alden. For information: 310-825-2101.



Economic Talk: The state's efforts at economic recovery will be the subject of the California State Forum on Wednesday (10th) at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica. Panelists will include Secretary for Education Richard Riordan, County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, L.A. City Controller Laura Chick and L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti. Program begins at 6:30 p.m.

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