Stories for February 2007

Wednesday, February 28

Public Storage Shares Slip on Loss

Public Storage Inc. shares slipped 1 percent after the company reported a loss due to charges associated with its merger with Shurgard Storage Centers last year.

Fed Says Markets 'Working Well'

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the administration and federal regulators are closely monitoring financial markets in the wake of the biggest sell-off in stock prices in more than five years but so far the markets appear to be "wo

Airbus Cleared For LAX Landing

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that Airbus and Qantas Airways officials have agreed to make Los Angeles International Airport a high-profile stop for one of its new Airbus A380's first visits to the United States.

L.A. Living Wage Law on Hold

An L.A. Superior Court judge stays the city's living wage ordinance on Wednesday hours after hotels and other opponents file a lawsuit.

L.A. Stocks Recovering from Crash

Los Angeles-area companies hit by Tuesday's market collapse rebounded slightly Wednesday along with the rest of Wall Street as investors took comfort in comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Maguire Names New CFO

Maguire Properties Inc. said that it has appointed Martin Griffiths its chief financial officer to replace Dallas Lucas, who announced he is leaving the company.

Gemstar Doubles Profit

Gemstar TV-Guide International more than doubled its fourth quarter net income, sending shares up slightly in after-hours trading.

Options to Cost CSC $59 Million

Computer Sciences Corp. said Wednesday that an internal probe of the company's stock options granting practices has uncovered problems that will cost the company about $59 million in restated earnings.

More Woes for Fremont

Shares of Fremont General Corp. hit a three-year low Wednesday as the subprime lender announced it was postponing its fourth quarter earnings release, giving no reason for the delay.

Edison Shares Still After Earnings

Edison International said its fourth quarter earnings fell as lower production hurt results at the company's power plants. A $22 million gain from sale of overseas power facilities by the state's largest utility provider helped offset the decline.

Tuesday, February 27

Univision Has New CEO

Univision Communications Inc. is close to naming long-time advertising executive Joe Uva as its new chief executive officer.

DreamWorks Posts Loss, Beats Forecast

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss Tuesday after a costly write off of expenses related to the film "Flushed Away," which failed to meet box office expectations.

Cruise's MGM Unit Near Funding Deal

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.'s long dormant United Artists movie unit , which Cruise and his producing partner are attempting to resuscitate , is close to raising about $500 million.

21st Century Reports Job Cuts, Earnings

After receiving a $690 million buyout offer from American International Group Inc. (AIG) in January, 21st Century Insurance Group said Tuesday it is cutting 4 percent of its workforce and reported lower fourth-quarter profit.

PS Business Parks Reports Tepid Earnings

After hitting a 52-week high just two weeks ago, shares in PS Business Parks Inc. dipped more than 3 percent Tuesday after the commercial real estate investment trust reported underwhelming earnings.

Dow Drops 416 on Global Market Plunge

Stocks had their worst day of trading since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Tuesday, briefly hurtling the Dow Jones industrials down more than 500 points on a worldwide tide of concern that the U.S. and Chinese economies are stumbling and that share

Hansen Shares Dip After Partial Report

Hansen Natural Corp. reported fourth-quarter and year-end sales but not earnings on Tuesday, saying it had to wait for an internal stock options probe to be completed in order to fully report financial results.

Additional Gates Promised at LAX

Los Angeles officials on Monday announced they will build more parking spots for aircraft on the back of LAX's aging international terminal.

Immigrants Boost Most Workers' Pay

A just-released analysis of four decades of Census data found that immigrants have increased rather than decreased the wages of most native-born workers in California.

DirecTV Plans $1 Billion Stock Buy Back

DirecTV Group Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to buy back as much as $1 billion of common stock to return cash to investors.

Disney Seeks to Halt Anaheim Project

Walt Disney Co. filed a lawsuit against the City of Anaheim seeking to prevent a residential development near the company's Disneyland resort, Disney said.

Monday, February 26

Big 4th Quarter For Jakks

Jakks Pacific Inc. said Monday that its profit more than doubled for the fourth quarter but cautioned investors not expect the same this year.

'You Want to Get Rich, but That's a Byproduct of Success'

William Woodward founded Paracomp, predecessor of multimedia software company Macromedia Inc. Founded Launch, now Yahoo Music. Chairman of Neben Vision, now owned by Google Inc.

Guitar Centers Stock Slips

Shares in Guitar Centers Inc. dropped Monday after the music equipment retailer reported a greater-than-expected fourth quarter loss.

Shares in Ducommon Gain After Strong 4Q

Shares in Ducommon Inc. gained more than 6 percent after the company reported double-digit growth in profits and revenues.

Strong Sales For Herbalife

Herbalife Ltd. reported fourth quarter net income of $41.7 million (56 cents per share) a 36 percent increase over $30 million (41 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Marketing Director Keeps Focus on Customer Experience

Brandi Friel

Mayor Shuffles Business Team

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday beefed up his business leadership team with added focus on housing and development.

Smart & Final's Property Holdings Critical to Buyout

In a flurry of activity, Apollo Management LP bought Smart & Final Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc. picked up Wild Oats Markets Inc.

Bill Would Add Fee to Gas Guzzlers

A Northern California lawmaker wants Californians to pay as much as $2,500 extra to buy gas-guzzling muscle cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Insurers Angered by Garamendi's Hike of 'Intervener Fees'

California insurers are fuming over a last-minute regulatory action that will require them to pay for the costs of more challenges to proposed rate increases.

Ticketmaster, NBA Reach Deal

Ticketmaster Corp. said Monday that it has reached a deal with the National Basketball Association to manage ticket sales and re-sale services for all 30 NBA teams.

Decline in County Manufacturing Jobs May Have Hit Plateau, Study Suggests

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. projects fewer losses of industrial jobs.

WellPoint Names New CEO

WellPoint Inc. Chief Executive Larry Glasscock is retiring on June 1 and will be replaced by Executive Vice President Angela Braley.

Hefty Profits

More apparel companies are launching plus-size lines, and Hot Topic Inc. has had success with Torrid, its line of stores for curvy women.

Parlaying MySpace Success

There will soon be an answer to a question making the music industry very nervous: is having a lot of friends on MySpace better than having a record deal?

Driving Force

Herb Citrin's Valet Parking Service in Beverly Hills has had one of the longest-running contracts in Tinseltown.

Crossing the Line

Bank of America hit raw nerves in appearing to encourage illegal immigration and profit from it, too, according to Dan Stein.

Clearstone Venture Partners Invests in Individual and Idea

Bill Elkus discovered the Internet's commercial potential in an unlikely way. The year was 1997, and the Web was seen as not much more than a hobbyist's toy.

ImaginAsian Center Faces Permit Tangle

ImaginAsian Entertainment Inc.'s downtown Asian-themed entertainment complex is running a little behind schedule, but should be open by late summer.

'Investing in People That Have the Passion and Experience'

After working as management consultant at Andersen Consulting, he later became vice president of marketing at Legent Corp. In 1994, he founded GeoCities Inc. one of the most visited Web sites in the late 1990s which was acquired by Yahoo Inc. in 1999.

Merger of Sirius and XM Redraws the Radio Landscape

The proposed merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio companies has greater implications for investors in the broadcast sector than it does for the audience.

Prism VentureWorks Finds Fertile Ground in L.A. Market

As an established venture capital firm in the mature Massachusetts market, the partners at Prism VentureWorks decided to open their second office in a decidedly different environment.

Regional Report

News and happenings from around the L.A. area.

LiveDigital Lets Programmers Select Ads for 'Personal Brand'

LiveDigital has developed a new software platform that allows Internet video users to select which advertisements will appear on their user-generated channels.

Someone Give Geffen a Day Job

Last Friday a dozen people from various parts of the entertainment industry sat down to lunch at the home of Arianna Huffington in Brentwood.

'You Have to Expect Some of Them Will Go Out of Business'

Cremin was an entrepreneur in digital music publishing until his board member and backer Tim Draper approached him about founding a venture capital firm. Cremin joined Zone Ventures in 1998.

DTS to Sell Movie Side and Concentrate on Licensing

DTS Inc., which with Dolby Labs has dominated the movie sound system landscape for the past decade, is putting its cinema business on the block.

GRP Partners Finances Startups and Late Stage Companies

The business environment was far from ideal when Steve Lebow and Yves Sisteron began their first independent venture capital fund in 2000.

'Few Women in Venture Capital and Few Entrepreneurs'

Renee labran was an executive at Los Angeles Times where she met Rustic Canyon founding partner Tom Unterman. LaBran was co-founder and chief executive of, Times Mirror-backed startup now known as CareerBuilder. Also managed L.A. office of

Estimated Price Tag for Schwarzenegger Health Plan Is Too Low

The estimated costs of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's insurance plan are far too low, writes Glenn A. Melnick, and that will create significant problems.

Leases May Signal Resurgence in Glendale Office Market

Two recent lease deals at a Brand Boulevard high rise in Glendale may signal the beginning of a rebound for an office market that pales in comparison to its neighbors.

'Very Opportunistic With Regard to Biotech and Pharma Deals'

A former oncologist, he moved into the corporate world when he became vice president of development for Salick Healthcare Inc. He co-founded and was president of Value Oncology Sciences Inc., which developed and sold cancer management products and medical

Plastic Surgeon Starts Building Sleep Medicine Practice

A growing side practice for Dr. Joseph Broujerdi, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, is working with a medical colleague in developing the relatively young field of sleep medicine.

Zell Bids For Tribune Co.

Chicago Real estate magnate Sam Zell has made a late bid for the Tribune Co.

Venture to Tomorrow

Los Angeles is poised to come into its own as a center for venture capital, with a blend of savvy entrepreneursand creative talent drawing moreventure money.

Investor Combines Interests in Science and Business

In his youth, Brad Jones had two great interests: science and business. After graduating with degrees in physics and chemistry from Harvard University and getting an M.B.A. from Stanford University, he was looking for a way to connect these disparate purs

'When You Fund a Company, You're Dealing With a Human Being'

Prior to starting Kline Hawkes in 1994, was with Lamda Capital for 10 years, which funded Super Shuttle in Los Angeles, among other companies. Before that, was at International Data Group, publisher of Computer World, PC World, etc.

Irell & Manella Victorious in Defense of Texas Instruments

Irell & Manella LLP scored a big win for Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc. earlier this month when a U.S. District Court judge in L.A. issued a summary judgment dismissing a patent infringement case.

Windy City, Blown Away

The race between Chicago and L.A. to win the U.S. committee's pick to host the 2016 Olympics is shaping up as an intriguing sprint, writes Charles Crumpley.


Hirings, promotions and kudos.

BitTorrent to Offer Studio Movies

BitTorrent Inc. said it would begin offering Hollywood films, TV shows and music videos for a fee on its Web site.

LAX Caught In Holding Pattern

At Los Angeles International Airport, Airbus wants expensive improvements and airlines are complaining about increasing costs.

Smith & Wollensky Acquired

Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group Inc. said Monday it has agreed to be acquired by Patina Restaurant Group LLC for $9.25 a share, apparently spurning a lower, unsolicited offer from Landry's Restaurants Inc.

Cogent Shares Up Despite Loss

Cogent Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $13.7 million (14 cents per share) a 34 percent dip from $20.7 million (22 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Herbalife 4Q Earnings Jump

Nutritional supplement maker Herbalife Ltd. increased its first-quarter and full-year profit outlook after reporting fourth quarter earnings rose 39 percent on stronger worldwide sales.

SunAmerica Ventures Brings Deep Pockets to Investments

Troy Fukumoto entered venture capitalism just as the Internet and technology boom was gaining momentum in the late 1990s.

Huge'Wi-Fi' Project Is in For Some Static

Realizing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's vision for a citywide Wi-Fi network won't be easy.

Tribune Likely to Try 'Self-Help' Plan

When the battle for control of Tribune Co. got underway more than eight months ago, investors hoped a sagging share price would be bolstered as bidders assessed the true value of marquee assets.

These Health Care Investors Step In at the Incubation Stage

For Eve Kurtin, health care venture capital is all about funding businesses that have ideas for services and products that lower costs while providing a better level of care.

Video Games Firm Reaching Out to Players Via DVRs

Video game company Scope Seven wants consumers to use DVRs to download the company's wares.

Small Business Malady

Nearly nine in 10 small businesses in California say the lack of availability and high cost of health insurance is a problem.

Abraxis Shares Up on Record 4Q Sales

Abraxis BioScience Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $28.4 million (18 cents per share), a 992 percent jump from $2.6 million (2 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Dominant Player in Niche Faces Competition for Redevelopment

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc.

'Sneak King' Peaking

Burger King executives credited sales of video games created by L.A.'s Equity Marketing for a big boost in earnings.

'We Took Little Pieces of Deals And Didn't Find It Satisfying'

Tom Unterman worked at Times Mirror Co. from 1992 to 1999 holding executive vice president and chief financial officer positions. Previously was partner in Los Angeles office of law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP, which he joined after serving as a partner

Orient Express

John E. Jackson is head of sales for Korean Air, which is becoming an international force.

The Venture Adventure

Terms used in the world of venture capital investing.

Food Flight

SkyMeals offers a range of made-to-order meals, mainly for airline passengers, that are ordered in advance and delivered before the flight.

FCC Slaps Univision with $24 Million Fine

The Federal Communications Commission slapped Univision Communications Inc. with a record $24 million fine for failing to meet government rules for educational children's programming.

Queasy Riders

Broker Paul Jones of Los Angeles handles policies for 100 reality TV programs every year.

Friday, February 23

Indie Films Come to Handsets

You might think a hip guy like Cory McAbee, a Brooklyn-based artist, musician, and independent filmmaker with a preference for all-black outfits, would scoff at the idea of his work appearing on a screen about the size of a belt buckle.

Movers and Losers

Something's cooking at Grille Concepts Inc. and American Reprographics while K-Swiss got kicked and the subprime slide continued for Ryland Group Inc. and Fremont General Corp.

Entravision Profit Soars on Sales

Entravision Communication Corp. reported nearly a six-fold gain in profit after the Univision Communications Corp. affiliate sold some of its Texas broadcast assets.

Deal Signals Koreatown's Rebound

Koreatown's charms have caught on with Jay Yeun, who moved there more than a year ago.

L.A. Homes Too Costly for Most

Los Angeles maintained its firm grip on the unenviable title as the nation's least affordable housing market in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a survey of released Thursday.

LAX Losing International Business

Eight times a week, travelers arrive at Los Angeles International Airport after a long journey from Sydney, Australia, eager to stretch their legs and spend money at tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants.

UAE to Buy Northrop Tankers

he United Arab Emirates became the third nation to choose the air tanker being developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. and Airbus for its next generation air-refueling tanker.

Home Builder Target of Federal Probe

KB Home is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors over its backdating of executive stock-options.

MySpace Buys Ad Tech Firm

Fox Interactive Media has acquired Santa Monica advertising technology company Strategic Data Corp.

Thursday, February 22

Disney Giving a Boost to its Cruise Line

Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that it is purchasing two new ocean liners in an effort to more than double its cruise line business.

ValueClick Shares Surge on Earnings

Shares in ValueClick Inc. surged Thursday after the online marketing service provider posted a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

Safeway Shares Dip on Stellar Earnings

Safeway Inc. reported another great quarter but shares still fell 4 percent.

Tetra Tech Lands Air Force Deal

Tetra Tech Inc. said Thursday that it has been awarded a $200 million, 10-year contract with the U.S. Air Force's Air Education and Training Command.

KB Home's Mezger Earns $5.9 million

KB Home's chief executive earned $5.9 million in total compensation and stock awards last year, less than half of what he earned the previous year and a fraction of the pay raked in by his predecessor, according to a company filing Wednesday.

Franchise Openings Boost Earnings

Shares in IHOP Corp. were up 5 percent Thursday after the restaurant chain owner reported higher fourth-quarter earnings, helped by franchise openings.

Homebuyers Ditching the Down Payment

Born during the Great Depression, the 20 percent down payment traditionally used to buy a house has now joined $1.50 gasoline as ancient history.

DaVita Asked About Use of Anemia Drug

Dialysis center operator DaVita Inc. said Thursday the U.S. government was seeking additional records regarding use of Amgen Inc.'s anemia drug Epogen to determine whether the drug was being over prescribed.

K-Swiss Shares Drop on Poor Earnings

Shares in K-Swiss Inc. lost 13 percent Thursday after the shoe maker reported a dip in profit and domestic sales.

Wednesday, February 21

Alaska Airlines Joins LAX Fee Fracas

Alaska Airlines has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding higher terminal charges at Los Angeles International Airport.

Tag It Buys

Tag-It Pacific Inc. has acquired Web-based apparel trim design and sourcing tool provider Financial terms of the agreement announced Wednesday were not disclosed.

Downtown Gains People, Loses Jobs

Downtown L.A. is beginning to look more like uptown , and it's happening much more quickly than even its biggest boosters could have imagined.

Warner Shares Gain More on Merger Talk

Shares in Warner Music Group Corp. jumped for the second-straight day after upgrades by two investment firms and continuing rumors of a buyout of rival EMI Group plc. continued to push the stock up.

Skechers Shares Rise on 4Q Earnings

Shares in sneaker maker and retailer Skechers USA Inc. gained more than 5 percent Wednesday thanks to record profits and sales for the Manhattan Beach-based company.

Cost of Living On the Rise

It's official: living in Southern California is getting more expensive.

Univision Looking for New CEO

A report says that Univision Communications Inc. may choose a replacement for outgoing Chief Executive Jerrold Perenchio by next week.

Central Parking to Be Sold

Nashville-based Central Parking Corp., which operates more than 80 parking structures in the Los Angeles area, said it has signed a deal to be acquired by a holding company in a deal worth as much as $725 million.

Tuesday, February 20

Gelson's Deal Puts Pressure on Grocers

Gelson's has become the second Southern California supermarket chain to reach an agreement with its workers union, removing the threat of a strike at another regional grocer as talks continue with the three national players.

Downtown Produce Market Under Fire

A rash of serious health violations at Downtown's Seventh Street Market resulted earlier this month in a searing indictment of the inspection practices of county health inspectors.

Shares Dip After Solid Quarter for PC Mall

Shares in PC Mall Inc. dipped 2 percent despite the computer equipment marketer reporting jumps in net income and sales.

Equity Firm Acquires Smart & Final

Smart & Final Inc., which operates food warehouse stores, agreed Tuesday to a takeover by private equity firm Apollo Management LP for about $700 million.

Investment Firm Buys R.V. Company

Los Angeles investment group Riley Investment Management LLC said Tuesday that it has bought Country Coach Inc. for $38.8 million, including $13 million in debt.

Shares Rise on Merger Buzz

Shares in Warner Music Group Corp. gained nearly 5 percent Tuesday as news of a possible merger between Warner and EMI Group Plc resurfaced, this time with better prospects for regulatory approval.

Hollywood Strike Threat Dims Forecast

Los Angeles County's overall economic future looks bright, but the prospect of strikes in Hollywood is a major concern, according to the 2007-08 Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook, released Wednesday.

Gelson's Deal Pressures Markets

Gelson's, the high-end grocery chain owned by Arden Group Inc., has followed the lead of Stater Bros. in signing an agreement with its workers' union.

Satellite Radio Deal Would End Rivalry

The nation's two satellite radio services, Sirius and XM, announced plans yesterday to merge, a move that would end their costly competition for radio personalities and subscribers but that is also sure to raise antitrust issues.

Gov.'s Plans Stir up Business Rift

As the 2007 Legislature dives into another session of lawmaking, business lobbyists are on alert, the Los Angels Times reports.

DTS to Sell Cinema Division

DTS Inc. said Tuesday that its board approved a plan to sell its cinema and digital images business.

PS Business Parks Makes Purchase

PS Business Parks Inc. has acquired Overlake Business Center in Redmond, Wash., for $76 million.

Monday, February 19

For New Line, an Identity Crisis

For six weeks in 2005, Robert K. Shaye, the founder and co-chairman of New Line Cinema, lay in a coma in a New York City hospital, fending off death from a sudden infection.

The War Between Glendale Malls Keeps Going and Going

Developer Rick Caruso is vowing to proceed with his antitrust lawsuit against General Growth Properties Inc. despite losing in court in a related case.

L.A. Businesses Take Lead Roles in Olympics Preparation

Disney, Parsons and others help committee prepare its formal bid to host the Summer Games to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

'Little Miss Sunshine' Star Seeks Jeans Company's Duds

Designers pray stars pick their duds to wear to awards shows. But 11-year-old Abigail Breslin, up for honors for her work in "Little Miss Sunshine," actually asked Lucky Brand to outfit her.

Bad Reception for Free Wi-Fi

In Los Angeles, officials want to blanket the city with wireless Internet access that's affordable to the masses. But their counterparts here can't even give it away.

Bead Deed

Craig Martin, co-owner of Caf & #233; 50's, came home from his 2005 trip to New Orleans with bagfuls of carnival beads. Now he's selling them, and many others, to raise money for post-Katrina reconstruction.

Regional Report

Regional business news from around L.A. County and beyond.

U.S. Auto Parts Network Shifts Gears in Public Trading Debut

U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc., which has sold auto parts online since its startup in 1995, went public earlier this month in a strong debut.

Canadian REIT Wants to Consider Offer

A Toronto real estate investment trust specializing in senior residences is asking a Canadian court to rule on whether it can consider a $1.2 billion buyout offer from Long Beach-based Health Care Property Investors Inc.

Siemens Opens L.A. Facility Specializing in 'Biomarkers'

The U.S. medical division of Siemens AG is becoming an important player in the field of personalized medicine with Los Angeles key to the vision.

'Happy Accident' Lands Media Veteran at Access 360

Lon Otremba

Court Sets Sale On Queen Mary

The leasehold rights to the Queen Mary and the surrounding bay front area in Long Beach are up for sale. The buyer will likely build a large mixed-use development.


Hirings, honors and promotions.

Cougar Biotechnology Shares Get a Fast Start in Trading

Cougar Biotechnology finally obtained its registration papers from the Securities and Exchange Commission and began trading Feb. 8 on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.

USC's Reconfigurable Robots Have a Future in Space

To the layman, Wei-Min Shen's latest creation looks like a Transformer toy and acts like a sand beetle.

Donation Station

Ken Ramberg's is a search engine that pays a non-profit about a penny every time a user conducts a search.

Homegrown Creation of Content Raises Creative Rights Questions

Films and commercials could give rise to authorship battleground.

Don't Blame The Bank

Charles Crumpley says that if you're concerned about illegal immigrants, blame the government for not keeping them out, not Bank of America for giving them credit cards.

Red Lobster Snaps Up Opportunity to Open in Inglewood

Red lobster chain comes to Inglewood in a homecoming for CEO.

Chamber Should Deploy Leadership to End Homelessness

Business should take a role in addressing the problem of homelessness, writes Michael Dear.

Making His Mark

Timothy Kephart's Graffiti Tracking contracts with cities to photograph and analyze the work of taggers.

KB Earnings May Signal That Worst Days Are Ending

Home builder KB Home reported fourth quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates an indication that the worst of the real estate slump may be over. Or is it?

MTV Job Cuts Beginning to Trickle Down

Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone and new Chief Executive Philippe Dauman have made it clear that reviving MTV Networks is a top priority.

LAX Hotels, City Making Their Cases

The operators of a dozen hotels around Los Angeles International Airport, as well as local business groups, said they are preparing to go to court to stop the city's living wage law.

Paper-TV ties stall sale of Tribune

Tribune Co. took a calculated risk when it purchased Times Mirror Co. in 2000, acquiring newspapers in markets where it already owned TV stations despite federal rules barring such combinations.

French Connection

Jean-Lou Chameau started teaching at Purdue University in 1980 and has worked his way up the ranks of academia since. He's the new president of Caltech.

Warner Music's Future Linked To Industry Trends and Merger

Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG)

Maguire, Blackstone Sign $3 Billion Deal

Maguire Properties Inc. is adding $3 billion worth of office space to its Southern California portfolio.

Morphed Mouse Pad

Walt Disney Co. has finally delivered its much-ballyhooed Web site revamp, and video features are the most prominent addition

More in Store for Grand Avenue?

With the long-awaited Ralphs Fresh Fare months from opening, Related Cos. developer of the massive Grand Avenue project is in talks to bring in a second market.

Millennium Marketing

Interpublic Group Emerging Media Lab introduces corporate clients to the latest consumer technologies so they can get a better grasp of the challenges in marketing.

Everyone Can Contribute to Easing L.A. Traffic

There are many actions individuals can take to ease congestion on Los Angeles streets and freeways, according to Alberto Gonzalez.

Movers and Losers

Capitalizing on foreign connections paid dividends on Wall Street for two L.A. County firms last week.

XM and Sirius Radio to Merge

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. have agreed to merge, the two companies said Monday.

Friday, February 16

Report: Area Economy to Expand

The Southern California economy is going to flourish in the next decade, according to a report by a Palo Alto-based think tank.

Tetra Tech Gets Army Deal

The U.S. Army Research and Development Command Acquisition Center has awarded a $62 million contract to a joint venture of Tetra Tech Inc. and Belcamp, Md.-based STEM International Inc.

Stamps Shares Surge After Earnings

Shares in Inc. surged nearly 20 percent after the company announced better-than-expected earnings fueled by holiday sales.

LADWP Purchases Green Power

The City of Los Angeles agreed to a 20-year purchase agreement that will provide L.A. residents and businesses with 185 megawatts of renewable wind-generated energy.

Landing X Prize in Earthly Endeavors

More than two years ago, after the first privately funded manned rocket soared into space to claim a $10-million prize, the man behind the contest brimmed with jubilation, a profound sense of relief and visions of the next frontier to conquer.

Activision Inks Pact With Dolby

Activision Inc. is working with Dolby Laboratories Inc. to improve the sound in its game titles.

UCLA Hires USC Real Estate Expert

Stuart Gabriel, the director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate Development, was appointed Friday as director of the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA.

Ports Seek LNG Trucks

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have issued a joint request to truck manufacturers and fleet management candidates to build and manage a new fleet of heavy duty trucks that would be powered by liquefied natural gas, instead of diesel.

Housing Construction Plunges in January

Construction of new homes and apartments plunged by 14.3 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Abraxix Gets FDA Warning

Abraxis BioScience Inc. said it received a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over sterilization problems at an Illinois drug plant.

Senate Warned on Health Plan's Cost

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have underestimated the cost of his health care overhaul by $150 million to more than $3 billion, the Legislature's nonpartisan budget adviser said Thursday.

Thursday, February 15

Mattel Recalls Yellow Bunnies

Mattel Inc. is recalling 1.2 million of its Fisher Price brand toy bunnies, whose noses may break off and pose a choking hazard.

Airbus Does Fly By on LAX

Los Angeles airport officials said Wednesday that Airbus officials reneged on a promise to bring the new A380 jetliner to Los Angeles International Airport on its first U.S. test flight after the airport spent $9 million to accommodate the huge jet.

Former AdWeek Editor Kerry Dies at 89

Lee Kerry, former editor of L.A.-based advertising trade publication AdWeek/West died Sunday of a massive stroke. He was 89.

Sales Surge Boosts Reliance

Shares in Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. gained more than 3 percent Thursday after the company reported increased fourth quarter profits on booming sales.

MySpace Suit Thrown Out in Texas

A Texas judge has dismissed a lawsuit against that placed blame on the popular Web site for not establishing enough safeguards to protect underage users.

Wednesday, February 14

California Gas Prices Heading Up

Gasoline prices are rising again in California. The average gallon in the state hit $2.66 on Tuesday, up 5 cents since a month ago, according to a monthly survey by AAA of Northern California.

Guess Shares Spike on Robust Earnings

Shares in Guess Inc. surged following the release of stellar fourth quarter numbers.

Oxy Shares up on Buyout Rumors

Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp. rose slightly Wednesday on reports the oil company may be the target of a takeover.

Mayor Wants Citywide Wireless Access

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined plans Tuesday to blanket Los Angeles with wireless Internet access in 2009, in what would be one of the nation's largest urban Wi-Fi networks.

Shares Rise After DaVita Beats Estimates

Shares of dialysis center operator DaVita Inc. rose modestly Wednesday after reporting fourth quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations and raised its 2007 guidance.

Abraxis Completes Plant Acquisition

Abraxis BioScience Inc. said Wednesday that it has completed the acquisition of the Cruce Davila manufacturing facility in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico formerly owned by Pfizer Inc.

DirecTV and Nielsen Team Up

Marketing research firm Nielsen Co. has signed a deal with DirecTV Group Inc. to study viewing habits of customers who subscribe to interactive satellite television services, the companies announced Wednesday.

Gov. Names Business Secretary

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday appointed L.A. attorney and former Wilson administration official Dale Bonner as Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing.

Warner Music Lands Norwegian Mobile Deal

Warner Music Group said it is forming a partnership with Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor ASA to allow its content to be featured through Telenor's network of mobile companies.

Tuesday, February 13

City Council Approves Living Wage

Despite objections from the business community and the prospect of a lawsuit, the L.A. City Council voted 9-3 on Tuesday to impose a living wage on airport area hotels.

DirecTV Teams With Toy Makers

DirecTV Group Inc. said Tuesday that it will begin offering a game channel in a partnership with companies including Mattel Inc., Nickelodeon, Leap Frog and PBS Kids to attract younger viewers.

MySpace Adds Video Copyright Protection said Monday that it is offering free software tools that will allow media companies to block the uploading of unauthorized video clips, expanding on an earlier program to block unauthorized music.

KB Shares Up Despite Loss

Shares of KB Home rose after the Los Angeles home builder posted a narrower loss than expected and announced housing demand should pick up this year.

Hansen Stung by Downgrades

Less than a week after signing distribution deals with PepsiCo Inc. and Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., shares in Hansen Natural Corp. fell more than 10 percent Tuesday on a downgrade by two analysts.

Strong Q4 for Health Care REIT

Health Care Property Investors Inc reported its net income jumped 552 percent in the fourth quarter as the company recorded a $229 million gain on real estate sales as it sold most of its skilled nursing facilities.

Blue Shield Sued by Realtors

The California Assn. of Realtors said Monday it had sued Blue Shield of California to stop the health plan from canceling its contract and dropping coverage for as many as 8,000 Realtors and family members.

Economist Bullish on Downtown

Los Angeles' Central City Association presented its annual downtown economic forecast on Tuesday with a mostly rosy prediction for 2007.

City, County OK Grand Avenue Project

As expected, the Los Angeles City Council and the County Board of Supervisors have given approval to move ahead with the $2 billion Grand Avenue project slated to break ground this fall.

Northrop Names New Executives

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Tuesday that it has appointed Chief Financial Officer Wesley Bush as its new chief operating officer, a position that has served as the spring board into the chief executive suite.

Developers Unveil Playa Vista Complex

Two real estate firms are planning to build an office complex on 64 acres of land at Playa Vista's eastern edge, adding a major commercial component to a Westside project that so far has yielded mostly homes.

Making Bucks off of Beckham

When a disappointed David Beckham stalked out of the stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, after England's loss to Portugal during last summer's soccer World Cup, he was wearing a scowl.

Gas Facility Resumes Production

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said that production has resumed in some parts of its Elk Hills oil and natural-gas field, less than a week after a fire shut down nearly 95 percent of the facility.

Macerich Shares Up on Earnings

Macerich Co. reported strong earnings growth in the fourth quarter, citing a robust retail sector that is allowing the Santa Monica mall operator to raise store lease rates.

Hansen Feels Sting of Downgrades

Less than a week after signing distribution deals with PepsiCo Inc. and Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., shares in Hansen Natural Corp. plummeted more than 10 percent Tuesday on a downgrade by two analysts.

Molina Profits Increase

Molina Healthcare Inc. said fourth quarter net income rose 30 percent on premium growth from an acquisition and existing operations, plus improved returns on investment income.

Monday, February 12

'The Buildings Are Unique We Wanted to Make the Tax Savings Unique'

For developer Mark Weinstein, the idea was simple: If the owner of a historic building is entitled to tax breaks, then condo buyers in a historic building should get those same breaks.

Mercury Shares Fall on Earnings

Mercury General Corp. reported higher earnings Monday on rising premium and investment income but it missed analysts' estimates sending shares downward.

Hansen Inks Canadian Deal

Shares in Hansen Natural Corp. got a boost Monday on news the company partnered with PepsiCo Canada to bottle and distribute its popular line of energy drinks.

Past Perfected

The adaptive reuse movement most often expressed as the conversion of old office buildings into new condos has led to preservation of distinctive architecture around Los Angeles.

Proposed Codes for Hazardous Waste Anger Manufacturers

State manufacturers are up in arms over a proposal to expand the number of codes used for hazardous waste products.

Right Clubbing

City of Industry-based Nickent Golf sponsored a surprisingly successful rookie golfer on the pro tour this year.

Historic Pasadena Bungalows Get a New Lease on Life

After sitting empty for more than two decades, the historic bungalow court on the grounds of the former Vista del Arroyo hotel is about to welcome permanent residents

Organic, Shmorganic: Pass Me the Fried Pork Bellies

A number of new restaurants are catering to diners determined to treat themselves to tasty and nearly over-the-top dishes calories, oils and fats be damned.

Building on the Past

Los Angeles has a reputation as a city that little values its past, often treating its architecture as disposable. But now that's changing rapidly and in a big way.

The Demise of the Ambassador Viewed as a Lost Opportunity

Despite intense efforts, preservationists failed to save the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.

Redefining the Renovation Game

Tom Gilmore has fond memories of sitting down in Mayor Richard Riordan's office a decade ago and pounding out a little known city ordinance on adaptive reuse.

Long Gone

Many of L.A.'s distinctive facades have vanished, including the hat-shaped Brown Derby restaurant and Perino's, a hangout of the stars.

Networks, Studios Prep For Potential Strike by Writers Guild

Hollywood writers aren't scheduled to begin talks with the studios until this summer, but the prospect of astrike is already affecting film and TVproduction schedules.

Bruins Do Some Fancy Footwork to Turn Gymnasium Into Hall for Dancers

For about four decades, the dance department at UCLA was headquartered in a gymnasium.

Regional Report

Business news from around the L.A. area.

Maguire Is Winning The Waiting Game

The higher-than-expected price to purchase Equity Office Properties Trust bodes well for Robert Maguire, who wants to sell Maguire Properties Inc.

Lions Gate Films on iTunes

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said it has signed a deal with Apple Inc.'s iTunes that will make the studio's films and complete library available for download on the popular site later this month.

Here's One Trader Who Can Bench Close to 405 Pounds

Chris Shepard

Jakks to Make Disney Toys

Jakks Pacific Inc. said Monday it has entered into an agreement with Walt Disney Co.'s consumer product division to develop a new line of Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls toys and dolls.

Northrop Opens U.K. Office

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday that it has opened a new office in the United Kingdom to focus on advanced military and civilian technology.

Public Relations Executive May Have Fumbled Own Campaign

It's easy to see irony in the stiff sentence recently handed down to public relations exec Douglas Dowie.

The Czar of the Adaptive Show

Downtown players call him the "Adaptive Reuse Czar."

Tribune Likely to Pass on Bids

In the end, nobody is helping Tribune Co. It is going to have to help itself.

Sake Hits Its Stride as Americans Get A Thirst for Japanese Potent Potable

Sake finally seems to be hitting its stride in the United States.

'A Certain Type of Person Really Enjoys This Type of Architecture'

The old Subway Terminal Building in Pershing Square was almost entirely vacated and worn with years of perpetual use when Forest City Enterprises acquired the property in 2003 with plans to remodel. Remnants of sets left by film crews were spread sporadic


Hirings, Promotions and Honors.

Affordability Is A Major Goal of These Architects

One of the early pioneers in the residential renaissance of downtown, Killefer Flammang Architects established its presence while partnering with developer Tom Gilmore in 1998.

Immigrant Affairs

It's no secret that Los Angeles County has many businesses started by immigrants, but a study said L.A. leads the country in the number of Hispanic- and Asian-owned companies.

Renovation Reveals Much Ado About A Phantasmagorical Hill Street Locale

Pacific Electric Lofts embodies Los Angeles' phantasmagorical spirit. In the 1990s, the building served as a setting for more than 450 movie and television productions including "Forrest Gump," "Spiderman," and "L.A. Confidential."

Church of Scientology Makes Its Mark on Hollywood With Architectural Style

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Holllywood was in a serious state of decay. But that didn't matter to the Church of Scientology International, which began opening beautifully restored old buildings renovated to suit its needs.

Foley & Lardner Makes Its Major Move Into Downtown

Century City law firm Foley & Lardner LLP is adding a downtown office.

Gas Field Could Reopen This Week

The largest natural gas field in the state could reopen this week after an explosion and fire that shut it down last week.

Giving Crenshaw a New Look

For the Crenshaw Corridor, rehabilitation has been a slow and stunted ordeal. But developer Abe Shofet last year opened the Coliseum Center an adaptive reuse project that has jump-started the process.

Hit Man

Sylvain White's "Stomp the Yard" was made for $13.5 million and has grossed more than four times that. He discusses his success as a first-time director.

Boeing Unveils Air Force Tanker

Boeing Co. announced a newly designed KC-767 as its proposed aircraft for a $40 billion Air Force contract competition to replace 179 refueling planes.

Good Compromise?

The living wage compromise was good because a strong economy cannot be built on the backs of poor workers, according to Jessica Goodheart and Carolina Briones.

Sizing Things Up

IPhoto allows digital photographers to use images for accurate measurements, which could be good for contractors and law enforcement officials.

Business Took It In the Teeth

Labor won the "compromise" on the recent living wage issue, writes Charles Crumpley.

Chamber Star

David Fleming brings a distinctly San Fernando Valley point of view to his new role as chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Serving the Present, Preserving the Past

When she was growing up in California's Central Valley, Linda Dishman was fascinated by history and majestic old buildings. So it was quite natural that when she went to college, she found a way to marry her two passions: interning in the state Office of

Countrywide Shares Dip on Subprime Fears

Shares in Countrywide Financial Corp. continued to slip Monday as rising defaults heightened the perceived risk of owning bonds backed by subprime loans.

Bellrock Media Gets a Phone Link

A Santa Monica company headed by a former show business deal maker plans to announce today the acquisition of a San Francisco firm that pioneered the use of popular songs as cellphone ring tones.

Supermarkets, Unions Going At It Again

Driven by memories of the 2003-2004 supermarket strike a disaster for stores and unions the two sides have shifted strategies for the upcoming negotiations.

En Pointe Drops on Earnings Report

En Pointe Technologies Inc. reported first quarter net income of $227,000 (4 cents per share), a solid showing after a net loss of $997,000 (-14 cents per share), over the same period a year earlier. This marks only the third time in the past seven quarte

Family Builds Legacy of Care

Dr. J. Mario Molina is continuing a legacy started by his father, delivering health care to low-income families who might otherwise be ignored.

Home Sales Volume Falls to Lowest Level in Three Years

Home prices in Los Angeles County rose last month even as sales volume fell to its lowest level for a January in three years.

Google Making Its Mark on the L.A. Technology Scene

Since search engine giant Google arrived on the Southern California scene a year ago it has aggressively bought out and partnered with L.A. firms.

Eastern Columbia Clock Showing Time of Transformation

After decades as a landmark in the Los Angeles skyline, the Eastern Columbia Building's fluorescent clock tower is marking a new era of downtown development.

Academy Sells Out Short Film Showcase for Third Year

Short films have gone mainstream as the booming popularity of and other video film sharing sites attests.

Rates Up At L.A. Hotels

The average daily room rate at Los Angeles County hotels was up 10.4 percent in December, capping a year in which the hotel industry continued to show strength with downtown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the LAX area among the biggest gainers.

Health Net Wins $50 Million Military Deal

Health Net Inc. said Monday that it has won a five-year contract worth about $50 million per year to provide counseling to members of the U.S. military and their families.

Still Waiting Out West

The fallout from the recent hike in associate pay announced by law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLP has begun to be felt, but mainly in New York.

Friday, February 9

Hansen, Anheuser-Busch Ink Deal

Shares in Hansen Natural Corp. were up almost 7 percent Friday after the company announced it had signed a distribution and sales deal for its wildly popular Monster Energy drinks with the world's largest beermaker, Anheuser-Busch Cos.

Movers and Losers

Shares in denim designer and retailer Blue Holdings Inc. surged 33 percent for the week fueled by rumors of a buyout from fellow Commerce-based denim company Innovo Group Inc. Shares closed out the week at $2.25.

Countrywide Loans Up 13 Percent

Countrywide Financial Corp. benefited from the second consecutive month of rate increases with loans originating in the month of January up 13 percent, the company reported on Friday.

Trio Tech Shares Rise on Earnings

Shares in Trio Tech International soared nearly 20 percent as the company on Friday announced strong earnings spurred by growing sales and cost-cutting measures.

Alexandria Posts Strong 4Q, Shares Dip

Shares of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. fell Friday despite the life sciences real estate investment trust reporting quarterly earnings and future guidance that met or exceeded Wall Street's expectations.

U.S. Auto Parts IPO Starts Strong

Aftermarket auto parts supplier U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. priced its initial public offering at $10 per share for 10 million shares Friday and saw immediate gains.

L.A. Wage Plan Stays Hot Issue

The area around Los Angeles International Airport would get an infusion of taxpayer investment and incentives for business under a new "living-wage" measure released Thursday.

Farmer Bros. Profits Drop

Farmer Bros. Co. on Friday reported net income of $2.9 million (21 cents per share), a 29 percent drop from $4.1 (30 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Center Financial CFO Steps Down

Center Financial Corp. Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Hartman resigned Friday.

Tribune Likely Won't Face a Proxy Battle

In the midst of a lengthy auction process, Tribune Co. cleared one hurdle as the deadline for nominating directors to the company's board passed last night without incident, indicating the Chandler family has no plans to launch a proxy contest for the two

Profit Surges at Univision

Univision Communications Inc.'s fourth-quarter net profit more than tripled on growth in the company's advertising businesses.

Ares, Ontario Teachers Buying GNC

Private investment groups representing L.A.-based Ares Management LLC and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan announced Friday they plan to acquire GNC Parent Corp., the parent company of General Nutrition Centers Inc. in a $1.65 billion deal.

Thursday, February 8

ESPN, Verizon in Platform Deal

ESPN said Thursday that it has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement to deliver the shuttered ESPN mobile sports content to Verizon Wireless customers.

Health Net Profit, Sales Jump

Health Net Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $84.8 million (72 cents per share), an 11 percent rise from $76.7 million (65 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Double-Decker Freeway a Solution?

In an effort to accommodate an expected tripling of truck traffic from regional ports over the next 25 years, planning officials are considering a concept to double-deck portions of the 60 Freeway.

Northrop to Make Tanker Bid

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Thursday that it will submit a bid for the U.S. Air Force's $40 billion aerial refueling tanker program after threatening last month to pull out of what it called an unfair competition.

Stater Bros. Profit Triples

Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. reported Thursday first quarter net income of $9.9 million, about triple the $3.3 million for the same period a year earlier.

Tribune Shares Stall on Strong Earnings

Tribune Co. released strong fourth quarter earnings Thursday, bolstered by cost-cutting measures, investments and asset sales amid reports of yet another investor who may be interested in acquiring the company.

F.Y.E. Opens Former Tower Local

The beat goes on at Tower Records' former Torrance location as F.Y.E. assumes the record retailer's former headquarters.

Napster Narrows Loss, Shares Drop

Napster Inc. reported a slimmer third-quarter loss Thursday of $9.51 million (-22 cents per share), compared to a $17 million loss (-40 cents) from the same period a year earlier, beating analysts' estimates of a 28 cent loss, according to Thompson Financ

Study: California Economy Still Strong

California's economy will continue to expand, generating slow but steady job growth over the next six months, according to an employment index released Thursday.

Warner Shares Drop as Profit Plunges

Shares in Warner Music Group Corp. lost 5 percent in midday trading as the record label announced worse-than expected earnings due to a weak release lineup and poor sales.

Disney's New Strategy

Ever since Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney Co. has rarely strayed from his original vision of what a theme park should be. But at a top-secret development goes well beyond its traditional model of luring people to resorts.

Wednesday, February 7

Herbalife Hires Goldman Sachs After Bid

Herbalife Ltd. has retained financial and legal advisers to help it review an acquisition proposal by private equity firm Whitney V LP the first acknowledgment the offer is being taken seriously, despite criticism it is too low.

MySpace's Pact With Google Hits a Snag

When Google and MySpace teamed up in a $900 million online advertising deal last summer, it looked like a marriage made in Web heaven. But MySpace's interest in striking a separate deal with eBay is holding up the finalization of its pact with Google.

CSC Shares Rise Despite Earnings

With Wall Street apparently convinced Computer Sciences Corp.'s cost cutting measures will pay off, the company's stock was up nearly 3 percent Wednesday, a day after releasing lackluster earnings.

UPDATE: Plant Fire Causes 95% Closure

Occidental Petroleum Corp. was forced to shut down a portion of its Elk Hills gas field in Kern County after a natural gas explosion Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

IndyMac Buys Mortgage Business

New York Mortgage Trust Inc. said Wednesday that it is selling its assets for $13.4 million to IndyMac Bank.

Chicago magnate may bid for Tribune

Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell has emerged as a potential bidder for Tribune Co., several people close to the matter said Tuesday.

Computer Sciences Wins Contracts

Computer Sciences Corp. said it has been awarded a contact to provide systems engineering and integration support to the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency.

Diodes Inc. Earnings Strong

Diodes Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $14.7 million (53 cents per share), up 47 percent from $10 million (36 cents per share), for the same period a year earlier.

Parsons Lands Tunnel Project

Pasadena-based Parsons Corp. was awarded a contract from the Cobb County, Ga., Water System division to supervise work on the $200 million South Cobb Tunnel.

Disney Reports Solid Quarter

Walt Disney Co. shares gained in after-hours trading Wednesday after the Burbank entertainment giant said its first quarter earnings more than doubled, thanks to strong DVD sales and profits from the sale of assets.

Potential Risk Detected in Amgen Drug

One of Amgen Inc.'s most popular drugs for fighting infections in patients undergoing chemotherapy may slightly increase the risk of secondary blood cancers in certain breast cancer patients, a new study has found.

Shares Gain on DirecTV Profit

Shares in DirecTV surged almost 6 percent Wednesday after the satellite TV provider announced better-than-expected earnings and strong subscriber growth.

Activision Reports Preliminary Earnings

Activision Inc. reported a huge jump in profit thanks to increased sales.

OSI Posts Loss, Shares Still Climb

OSI Systems Inc. shares gained 4 percent despite reporting second quarter loss due to some one-time charges.

MLS Banking on Beckham

Major League Soccer released its 2007 season schedule Tuesday, and it apparently is counting on a midsummer arrival of David Beckham because 11 of the Galaxy's 15 road games are slated for after the All-Star break.

Tuesday, February 6

SEC Ends Alberini Probe

Guess? Inc. said the Securities and Exchange Commission ended an investigation of President Carlos Alberini and doesn't plan to take any actions against him.

Mickey Eyes Middle East

The world's eighth-richest man is in talks with other investors to build an $8 billion Disney theme park in Bahrain, according to a Bahrain news report.

Barbie and Bratz Slug It Out

If the toy industry is one big popularity contest, Barbie and Bratz are wrestling over the queen's crown.

Strong Q4 for CB Richard Ellis

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said fourth quarter net earnings rose 31 percent, fueled by strong sales and leasing activity, particularly overseas.

Seven Seas Sold

IM Group, the district's largest commercial landlord, said it had agreed to acquire the Seven Seas building, a dilapidated structure that once housed a famous Hollywood Boulevard nightclub.

Thomas, CALSTRS Partner on Properties

Thomas Properties Group Inc. and the California State Teachers' Retirement System bought offices in Virginia from Equity Office Properties Trust for $167 million.

Maguire Drops Sales Talk

Maguire Properties Inc. apparently is bucking a consolidation trend in the real estate industry and has dropped plans to consider a possible sale.

Delay Seen for Staar Lens

Shares of Staar Surgical Co. fell Tuesday after the ophthalmic product maker said that federal regulators are unlikely to approve its new implantable lens this year.

Monday, February 5

State Street Buys Rival

State Street Corp. becomes world's third-largest custodian of investor assets with its $4.5 billion acquisition of Investors Financial Services Corp.

Judge Rules Against DirecTV

A judge on Monday blocked DirecTV Group Inc. from airing advertisements in which Jessica Simpson and William Shatner say its high-definition television service provides better pictures than Time Warner Cable's comparable service.

Style Files

Louise Wannier paired her tech savvy with textile know-how and founded Internet clothing retailer MyShape Inc.

Our Hammers, Our Selves

Heidi Baker, Eden Jarrin and Phil Breman created Be Jane Inc. to offer products and tips to a growing community of female do-it-yourselfers.

Age a Factor in Wright's Departure

NBC Universal's parent, General Electric Co., is expected to announce Tuesday that 41-year-old Jeff Zucker will replace the 63-year-old Bob Wright as chief executive of the Burbank media company.

All About the Back Scratching

Chief executives say they deserve high pay for their vision and skills, writes Charles Crumpley. And if they'd appoint truly independent boards, people might believe them.

First View of Vista Comes With $500 Million Marketing Blitz

Local business reps flocked to the Los Angeles Convention Center to get a look as Microsoft Corp. rolled out its Windows Vista software.

Disney, Zemeckis to Collaborate

Walt Disney Co. is partnering with Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis to create a film unit specializing in cutting-edge "performance-capture" technology used extensively in Zemeckis' "The Polar Express."

Priority Should Be Placed on Doubling the Number of Buses

The number of buses in Los Angeles should be doubled, according to Manuel Criollo, lead organizer of the Bus Riders Union.

American Golf Corp. Offering Online Tee-Time Reservations

Los Angeles golfers will no longer have to rise at the crack of dawn to jockey for prime tee times.

Image to Distribute SCI FI Movies

Image Entertainment Inc. said it has entered into a multi-year agreement with NBC Universal Television Distribution to release 14 motion pictures originally produced for the Sci Fi Channel's popular Saturday night movie franchise.

Airlines Coming to Palmdale, Ontario

Los Angeles World Airports' Palmdale and Ontario airports are getting new commercial air services, part of a long-awaited plan to ease overcrowding at Los Angeles International Airport.

Amgen's Quarterly Report Gives Ammunition to Naysayers

Amgen Inc. naysayers have been predicting the company's inevitable fall as a fast-growing biotech darling long before its market cap passed $82 billion.

Printed Products Will Generate Profits Until They Disappear

By 2043, the U.S. may not produce any more printed newspapers but until then the printed word can generate big profits.

Texas Refinery Owner on Regional Map

Texas refinery owner Tesoro Corp. has made its entry in Southern California with a major purchase of Shell assets.

Talk of Fee Hikes Gaining Ground at Graduate Schools

UCLA's business and law schools, long considered a bargain compared to Ivy League competitors, could change soon as the idea of fee hikes gains ground.

Herbalife Gets Buy-Out Offer

Shares of Herbalife Ltd soared Monday after the Los Angeles health supplement maker said that its largest shareholder had made a bid to take the company private.

Hilton Earnings, Sheraton Sale Point to Strength of Sector

Two events last week underscored the sudden strength of the hotel market.

Hotel Veteran Looks Toward Expansion of Kor Group

Nicholas Clayton's priority as new president of Kor Hotel Group is getting to know the team.

Chopper King Says State Air Board Is Blowing Smoke

"Monster Garage" star Jesse James found himself on the wrong side of a state emissions law. He calls the enforcement action "hypocritical."

Don't Blame the Developers for Bad Traffic, Blame the NIMBYs

Don't blame developers for the ungodly tie-ups on the Westside, writes Harold L. Katz; blame the NIMBYs who oppose transportation projects.

Making the Cut

Lowell Kay's DR Group used to sell discount film to independent moviemakers. But when demand dwindled, the company shifted its emphasis.

Healthy, Wealthy?

Health care reform is the cause c & #233;l & #269;bre of many political leaders. As a result, several L.A. business leaders concede that some reform is on the way.

'Fresh Brewed Music' Comes To Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

International Coffee & Tea LLC's Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee houses have kicked off in-store CD sales.

Traffic Drop at LAX Tied to Airline Efforts to Boost Profits

Rising gas prices and belt-tightening airlines led to a modest decline in traffic at Los Angeles International Airport and LA/Ontario International Airports in 2006.

Reliance Completes Acquistion

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said it has closed its previously disclosed acquisition of the Encore Group of metals service center companies based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Hot Spots

Michael Sheldon is president of ThinkLA, a trade group for the marketing industry with the goal of raising L.A.'s profile as a center of creative thinking.


Promotions, hirings and honors.

Northrop Stays in Running for Refueling Planes but Barely

The Air Force unveiled the final terms in its $40 billion competition to buy aerial refueling tankers, but will the concessions keep Northrop Grumman Corp. in the running?

Pacific Alliance Opens in Rosemead As Latest in a Wave of Ethnic Banks

Pacific Alliance Bank has just opened its doors in Rosemead, becoming the latest in a wave of ethnic bank startups in L.A. County.

Devil's in the Details

Local business leaders were shocked to learn that the "quarantine" of the living wage was far from ironclad.

Red Cross Takes in $5 Million From Two Property Deals

A plan to restructure the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles by selling off real estate is nearly complete, with the organization selling four buildings in the last 12 months.

End of the Lines?

Seeking to improve overall service and shrink a $104 million deficit, the MTA proposes cutting about three dozen underused Los Angeles-area bus lines while studying a way for local commuters to get to jobs at the region's studios.

Regional Report

Business news from around the L.A.-area.

UPDATE: Bank Owner in Custody

Alhambra-based Omni Bank's majority owner, who is wanted in connection with a Taiwanese financial scandal, was returned to the U.S. over the weekend and is in the custody of immigration officials.

Chain's Pizza Dough Is Rising Steadily

With seven consecutive quarters of growth, California Pizza Kitchen Inc. isn't a turnaround story anymore.

Staples Singers

AEG is making a major push into music and event promotion as it oversees construction of the huge L.A. Live project.

Merrill Lynch Putting Stock in Fundraising for Cancer Society

Eddy Bayardelle, president of the Merrill Lynch Foundation, said the campaign boasted a 68 percent participation rate in its first year. As part of the drive, Merrill Lynch matches its employees' contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $3,000.

Saturday, February 3

Contractors Take on Biggest Role Ever

Without a public debate or formal policy decision, contractors have become a virtual fourth branch of government during the Bush administration.

Pluto's Fate Sends Shiver Through Toyland

While scientists debated Pluto's fate last summer, Fisher-Price executives were forced into a debate of their own: What would become of their Planet Heroes action figures if Pluto lost its planet status?

Chart Topper

It's months away from being on bookshelves, but fans can't get enough of the seventh - and final - Harry Potter book, no matter the cost.

Friday, February 2

Grand Avenue Project Wins CRA Approval

The $2.05 billion Grand Avenue project won unanimous approval from the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency despite concern over public subsidies.

Council OKs Construction Contract

The Santa Monica City Council has unanimously approved a construction contract with Pankow Special Projects LP for just over $28 million to build a public beach club on Pacific Coast Highway.

Thursday, February 1

City Earmarks $36 Million for Chinatown Project

A planned $146 million mixed use project in Chinatown has gotten a boost from the Los Angeles City Council, which has earmarked it $36 million in subsidies.

Sea Launch Says Platform OK

Long Beach-based Seal Launch Co. said that this week's rocket explosion caused only limited damage to the firm's Pacific Ocean launch pad, and should not seriously crimp the company's long-term plans.

Guitar Center Makes Acquistion

A subsidiary of Guitar Center Inc. will buy The Woodwind and The Brasswind, one of the nation's largest sellers of musical instruments, for $30 million out of bankruptcy.