Walt Disney Co. plans to outsource about 1,000 jobs in its information technology division to save costs, although the move is expected to result in minimal layoffs, the Los Angeles Times reported. The company told employees in a meeting Thursday that most of the workers would be moved into new jobs with two vendors, IBM Corp. and Affiliated Computer Services Inc., after negotiations are completed this month. Affected employees are in California, Florida and New York. The move is expected to affect one-third of the division's overall workforce.
Farewell to the People's Fighter
With tears and laughter, Los Angeles bid farewell Thursday to Miguel Contreras as workers and management paid tribute to the man who built organized labor into a powerful force in the city, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. More than 3,000 people turned out to honor Contreras, the 52-year-old executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, who died unexpectedly May 6 of a heart attack. Many in attendance wore black T-shirts with his likeness on the front and the words "Don't Mourn. Organize" on the back.
Hahn, Villaraigosa Step Up Ad Barrage
With days left before Tuesday's mayoral election, L.A. Mayor James Hahn and Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa launched another expensive and nasty ad blitz against each other, focusing on crime and corruption, Copley News Service reported. Villaraigosa aired a spot that serves as a response to one Hahn ad aired earlier this week, where he criticized Villaraigosa for voting against a 1996 bill that would have increased the penalty in child abuse cases that result in the death of a child. Hahn intensified his attack on Villaraigosa for voting against that bill, featuring the woman who helped win passage of the bill describing the death of her son and criticizing Villaraigosa's vote.
Daly Retained by Viacom to Serve as a Consultant
Viacom Inc. has hired former Warner Bros. studio chief and industry veteran Robert Daly as a consultant, the company announced Thursday. Daly said the part-time position would involve advising Viacom on a variety of entertainment matters, especially its ongoing efforts to restructure Paramount Pictures, the Los Angeles Times reported. Daly also will counsel Viacom on any issues that arise if the media company splits its entertainment and broadcast operations. Daly was tapped for the role by Tom Freston, co-president of Viacom, and Paramount Chairman Brad Grey. Daly has known both men for years and has been informally advising them for months.
MPAA Sues Web Sites Over Online Piracy
The Motion Picture Assn. of America escalated its battle against online piracy, filing lawsuits against six Web sites that allegedly helped people download bootlegged TV shows, the Los Angeles Times reported. The studios' trade group claimed that the sites enabled users of BitTorrent software, a popular file-sharing program, to find and copy TV shows and other copyrighted works. Five of the sites were registered in the U.S. and the sixth, which specialized in Spanish-language programming, was registered in Spain.
Woman Named Top SEC Enforcer
The Securities and Exchange Commission named Linda Chatman Thomsen as chief of its enforcement division Thursday, making her the first woman to head the unit at the forefront of the agency's corporate-fraud crackdown, the Los Angeles Times reported. Thomsen, who was the division's second-ranking official, succeeds Stephen Cutler, who said last month that he would return to the private sector. She takes over at a time when the SEC has overcome an image of being lax in enforcing securities laws, a criticism the agency heard in the wake of corporate and Wall Street scandals after Enron.
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