Direct TV Offers Interactive Tennis Coverage

Direct TV Group Inc. said it has entered into agreement with USA Networks and the U.S. Tennis Association to provide interactive TV coverage of this year's U.S. Open. The new service will be called U.S. Open Interactive and will be broadcast on USA on Direct TV's network. The service will be free to Direct TV customers, the El Segundo-based satellite TV provider said, and will provide statistics and information on demand as well as the ability to view up to five matches simultaneously on a special channel. In all, Direct TV customers will have access to up to 300 hours of tournament coverage that includes more than 100 additional matches.

Buena Vista to Re-Organize
Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment, a division of Walt Disney Co., said he plans to combine Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment International into one global division. Chapek will lead the new division, to be called Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment, which will cover North America, Asia Pacific/Latin America, and Europe/Middle East and Africa. The announcement comes in conjunction with other changes at the studio. Last month, Disney said it would cut its film production to around 10 features a year under the Disney banner and two or three from its Touchstone division. As part of this restructuring, Disney will cut about 650 jobs worldwide, according to the company.

Alexandria Hotel to Become Affordable Housing
Work began Tuesday on the conversion of the single room occupancy Alexandria Hotel into affordable downtown Los Angeles housing. Alexandria Housing Partners LLP plans to spend $14 million on the two-year renovation, which will create 463 apartments available to households with incomes of 60 percent or less of the county's median income that will be rented for between $600 and $700 a month. A business center, community room and fitness center, and a diner will be included in the facility. The hotel is owned by Alexandria Housing Partners LLP, which includes co-general partners Paul Buxbaum, chief executive of Calabasas-based Buxbaum Group; and Ruben Islas and Jules Arthur of the Amerlan Group of San Diego. The project has received $47 million in bonds and direct financial assistance from the Community Redevelopment Agency. The partnership's purchase closed last week for $30 million.

Tag-It Post Profit
Tag-It Pacific reported second quarter net income of $655,000 (4 cents per share) turning around a net loss of $12.5 million (-68 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the Woodland Hills-based apparel zipper and trim maker dipped 8.9 percent to $14.2 million. The company attributed the profit turn around to global expansion of its branded Talon zipper line as well as improvements in time-to-market manufacturing in overseas plants.

Molina Names President of California Unit
Long Beach-based managed-care company Molina Healthcare Inc. on Monday named Stephen T. O'Dell as president of its Molina Healthcare of California division. O'Dell will be responsible for California health plan operations and for the implementation and execution of various strategic initiatives. Molina specializes in Medicaid and other government-sponsored programs. He replaces Joann Zarza-Garrido, who became vice president of compliance for the parent company. O'Dell previously was senior vice president of the health plan business unit at First Consulting Group., a Long Beach-based health care consultant.

Mossimo Earnings On Target
Mossimo Inc. reported second quarter net income of $2.7 million (17 cents per share), up 22 percent from $2.2 million (14 cents) from the same period a year earlier. Sales for the Santa Monica-based apparel maker were up 14 percent to $10.3 million. The company attributed the increased revenues and earnings to gains in both men's and women's sales at Target stores.

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