AMC ships Film-Buying Operations to Kansas City

AMC Theatres is moving its film-buying operations to the company's Kansas City headquarters, L.A.-based employees were told Thursday. As a result, Richie Fay, AMC president, is resigning, The Hollywood Reporter said. The film-buying operation will continue to be headed by AMC Film Group chairman Dick Walsh, who is based in Kansas City. The move has not been well received within the distribution community. While it may have been prompted by cost-cutting measures on the part of the company's new owners, in the long run it may hurt the second largest U.S. exhibitor.

Study Supports Independence of LAX Police Force
The LAX Police Department is a model for airport security nationwide and should remain independent from the LAPD, according to a study released Thursday. Despite the findings of Maryland-based Counter Technology Inc. L.A. Mayor James Hahn said for the first time that he supports folding the LAX force into the LAPD. The report concluded there's no reason to combine the departments because the 354-officer LAX force is "very proficient" at safeguarding the airport. The study's release, and Hahn's comments, sparked the first round of public skirmishes in the battle over a May ballot measure on the police merger issue.

Rep. Maxine Waters Backing Mayoral Bid of Villaraigosa
South Bay Rep. Maxine Waters endorsed Los Angeles City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday, a move that threatens to dismantle the coalition that elected Mayor James Hahn four years ago, Copley News Service reported. Waters, who backed Hahn in 2001, promised to put her considerable political clout behind Villaraigosa by placing him on a political voting guide that she sends to nearly 200,000 voters in south Los Angeles a section of the city that went heavily for Hahn four years ago. Waters said her decision was based on Hahn's $11 billion plan for modernizing LAX.

Northrop Sees Defense Growth
Despite speculation that the Iraq War may divert federal funding from Northrop Grumman Corp.'s high-tech programs, the Century City-based firm expects to remain on solid footing with the Department of Defense, the Daily Breeze reported. The federal defense budget, which accounts for most of Northrop's annual sales, took center stage at the company's institutional investor conference Thursday in Redondo Beach. During a dinner for the investors Wednesday, Bob Helm, Northrop's vice president for government relations, assured the crowd no significant company program has been affected.


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