Stories for June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

L.A. Planning Director Resigns

Los Angeles City Planning Director Gail Goldberg has resigned, the mayor’s office announced. There was no announcement from the mayor’s office on an interim replacement or a search for a new general manager.

New Business Bank Formed

Grandpoint Capital Inc. has launched a business bank in Los Angeles called Grandpoint Bank.

Abraxis To Be Acquired

L.A. biotech Abraxis BioScience Inc., controlled by billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is being acquired by a New Jersey drug company for $2.9 billion in cash and stock.

Tuesday, June 29

Marine Clerks at Ports Threaten Strike


Unionized marine clerks working at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach threatened to go on strike if a contract is not reached with the group representing 14 shippers and terminal operators.

REIT Acquires Large Hawaiian Project

Douglas Emmett Inc. said it paid $232 million to acquire Bishop Square, an office project in downtown Honolulu that is considered the largest complex of its type in Hawaii.

L.A. Called a 'Hot Spot' for Slave Labor


The depressed economy could make more people vulnerable to forced labor, human trafficking and related crimes, city officials and activists said today.

Janitors at LAX Vote to Authorize Strike

Just days before the Independence Day weekend, janitors servicing several airlines at Los Angeles International Airport have voted to authorize a strike, their union said.

Plan to Trade Box-Office Futures Contracts Abandoned


Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald wins regulatory approval for its plan to trade in box-office futures but decides to end its effort in the face of a likely government ban on such trading.

Forecast Has Gloomy State Outlook

Economists at California Lutheran University have a dour outlook for the state and national economy, with international trade and retail spending one of the few bright spots in California.

Superior Invests in Synergies Castings

Aluminum wheel maker Superior Industries International Inc. has acquired a nearly 9 percent stake in an Indian competitor and plans to increase it by the end of the year.

Monday, June 28

Golden State Water Signs Cadiz Agreement

A California water utility has finalized an agreement to buy water from an underground reservoir owned by Los Angeles-based Cadiz Inc.

Refueling Your Car at Home


Tucked away on the Torrance campus of Honda R&D behind a security guard and a locked gate, is the prototype of an at-home system for refueling a car that doesn't pollute.

Local Companies Join Russell Indexes

Several Los Angeles-area companies, including ReachLocal Inc., Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. and Hamni Financial Corp., have been added to the Russell Indexes, which is expected to increase investor interest in their stocks.

Marilyn Monroe Chest X-Ray Sells for $45,000

In a weekend sell-off of celebrity memorabilia, Julien’s Auctions in West Hollywood sold three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest for $45,000.

Broad Files for Permit for Grand Avenue Museum Site

Philanthropist Eli Broad has filed for a permit that would pave the way for grading at the Grand Avenue site he has targeted for a new art museum. It is the strongest indication yet that Broad will choose Downtown Los Angeles as the location for the Broad Collections.

Fundraising Drive Big Boost for Library’s Shelf Life

Huntington brings in $243 million from six-year campaign.

Huntington Library has booked a bright future as the institution greatly exceeded fundraising goals.

State Finding It Hard to Let Go

Plan to sell offices ditched for lease deal?

A billion-dollar proposal to sell and lease back state-owned buildings to ease state debt may have morphed into an unusual plan for California to keep the properties.

Tease photo

Towers of Power

PROFILE: Chatsworth’s DataDirect has taken a byte of the digital storage business with clients NASA, CNN.

Chatsworth’s DataDirect Networks offers clients massive servings of byte-sized digital storage options.

Tease photo


More businesses self-insure for workers’ comp

Some local companies have found industry-based workers’ comp pools worth the risks.

Tease photo

Stock Sale Lifts Bank and L.A.

Preferred final endangered local institution.

Analysts say Preferred Bank’s stock sale has moved the bank – and the local industry – out of the danger zone.

Tease photo



Pasadena Firm Helps Clients Get Handle on Seats

SPORTS BUSINESS: TixTrack’s software maps out sales for venues and ticket vendors.

For event promoters, tracking millions of ticket sales can be quite a challenge. That’s where a Pasadena startup called TixTrack helps out.

Calendar & Events


News of the Week

News of the Week

Mass-Transit Initiative a Chance to Unlock L.A.’s Freeways


Joel Epstein sees the 30/10 Initiative revving up transit options in Los Angeles.

Giving L.A. Businesses a Break


Charles Crumpley welcomes a city proposal to lighten the tax burden on local startups.

Padding Consumer Choices

OP-ED: New media delivery systems such as the iPad could undermine L.A.’s prime role as content producer.

Joseph Walker sees devices such as the iPad further undermining L.A.’s dominance as an entertainment producer.

MySpace Hopes Ads Boost Its Profiles platform puts price on popular users’ posts.

Social networking site MySpace hopes to lure high-profile users with a local firm’s platform that places ads on posts.

Tease photo

Curtain Call

Mall owner sees upgraded theater as key attraction for remodeled Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

A Baldwin Hills mall looks to be a marquee attraction with the upgrade of its movie theater.

Tease photo

Charter Business Lands in Van Nuys

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Executive team at Dreamline had previous operation at airport.

The recovery may be weak, but it’s had enough lift to get a new charter air business off the ground.

Tease photo

Advertising Exec Got His Feet in the Door of Movie Biz


As an advertising exec, Jeff Blodgett favors computer graphics and his “vintage junkyard chic” work space in Santa Monica to storyboards and a Madison Avenue high-rise.

Investors Back Expansion Of Online Fashion Vendor

RETAIL & APPAREL: Downtown L.A.’s HauteLook closes $31 million round.

Online retail site HauteLook Inc., which sells fashions from premium brands such as Marc Jacobs, Herve Leger and Joe’s Jeans at a steep discount, is preparing a significant expansion.

Tease photo

Looking at ‘Big’ Picture

Former film producer hosts variety of talent on TV-styled website.

A former movie producer’s website channels a curious range of talent and TV-styled shows.

Spirited Showing for Retailers

L.A. Mart brings back pep rally event to boost facility’s tenants.

L.A. Mart’s pep rally aims to keep its vendor and manufacturing tenants in the game.

Loft-y Goal for Startups

Couple’s Santa Monica site offers office space on an as-needed basis.

CoLoft in Santa Monica makes room for businesses seeking temporary office space.

Does the Great Emancipator Rest in Peace or in Pieces?


So what does a small business and anti-tax advocate do in his spare time? Joel Fox writes mystery novels about dead presidents.

Regional Report

Regional Report

Homework Pays Off for Westside Tenant Brokers

REAL ESTATE: Cresa duo scores renewal for Singer Lewak below asking rate.

CresaPartners brokers Dave Toomey and Brian Davies had considerable leverage with Equity Office Properties in a recent lease they negotiated for Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP.

Changed Tune

Christine Essel’s early career as a pop songwriter yielded a No. 1 hit in Europe. Now she’s taking cues on L.A.’s future as head of the CRA.

Former songwriter Christine Essel now looks to tune up L.A. as head of the Community Redevelopment Agency.

Tease photo

L.A. City Attorney’s Office Hates to Go Outside

LAW: In-house push means less case work and money for local firms.

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office received another $1 million in funding for outside counsel earlier this month, but business has actually been shrinking for local law firms wanting to work with the city.

Saturday, June 26

KB Home Explains SEC Probe


KB Home said the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the large hombuilder's joint ventures, and the way it accounted for declining home and land prices, a probe that could have implications across the industry.

Friday, June 25

DOJ Investigates AeroVironment Billing

Military drone maker AeroVironment Inc. said that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating its billing practices.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week after a week of mixed economic reports both domestically and overseas.

Narrower KB Home Loss Still Disappoints

KB Home shares dropped on Friday after the company reported a loss that was steeper than analysts had forecast.

Thursday, June 24

Tax Break Repeal Heads to Voters

A measure repealing state tax breaks for business has qualified for the November ballot.

AeroVironment Profit Jumps

AeroVironment Inc. reported fiscal fourth quarter revenue and profits that exceeded Wall Street expectations, driven by higher sales of its unmanned drone aircraft to the U.S. military.

Burkle Accumulates American Apparel Stake

Billionaire Ronald Burkle over the past two weeks has accumulated a 6 percent stake in beleaguered apparel maker American Apparel Inc., making him the second largest individual shareholder after founder Dov Charney.

Goldman Gets Weinstein Film Library Stake


Independent film studio The Weinstein Co. has agreed to a major debt restructuring that gives Goldman Sachs Group and an insurance company possession of more than 200 films in its library.

uSamp Acquires AOL Unit

Online market research company uSamp has acquired Digital Marketing Services Inc., a developer of market research technology, from AOL.

Higher Profit at Ameron

Ameron International Corp. reported better-than-expected second-quarter net income, which was boosted by greater pipe sales to oil and mining companies.

Wednesday, June 23

Lions Gate Talking to MGM about Possible Merger


Lions Gate Entertainment reportedly has been holding merger discussions with management at Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

L.A. Office Landlord Goes Public

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. shares closed up on their first day of trading Thursday. The West L.A. office building owner had priced shares for its $218 million IPO at $17, the bottom of the expected range.

Disney Signs Expanded Imax Deal

Walt Disney Co.'s studio unit has signed a deal with Imax Corp. to release three more 3D movies for Imax’s huge-screen theaters next year.

Northrop Grumman Settles Gov't Lawsuit for $12.5 M


Defense contractor Northrop Grumman will pay $12.5 million to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. government, the Department of Justice said

Arrowhead Raises $8.65 Million in Offering

Arrowhead Research Corp. said that it had closed a direct offering of 6.6 million common shares and 3.3 million warrants, which raised $8.65 million.

Disney's New Thrill Ride: Selling Luxury Vacation Homes


Walt Disney Co. is launching an ambitious effort to woo some of the nation's most affluent travelers, building multimillion dollar homes in a new gated community it's creating at its famous Florida resort.

Tuesday, June 22

Change to Greenhouse Gas Law Goes to Voters

A controversial initiative that would postpone implementation of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction law for several years has qualified for the November ballot.

CKE Turns to Loss in Quarter

CKE Restaurants Inc. moved from a profit to a loss in its fiscal first quarter, hurt by one time losses and lower sales in its core California market.

3D's Diminishing Box Office Returns


The 3D crunch is hitting the domestic summer box office, as this weekend's boffo opener "Toy Story 3" marks the third consecutive 3D opening -- and 3D toon -- to earn a lower percentage of its gross from 3D venues than previous such offerings.

'Phineas' To Be Disney's Next Big Marketing Vehicle


Disney is giving its offbeat 'Phineas and Ferb' cartoon the full marketing treatment, with a full line of merchandise and a movie in the works.

Lenders Agree to Aid Lions Gate

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s lenders changed a provision on its lending agreement, which for now removes risk of default that emerged last week when activist shareholder Carl Icahn increased his stake.

uSamp Raises Funds

uSamp, an Encino online market research company, has raised $10 million in a “series C” funding round.

Monday, June 21

Spyglass Emerges as Lead Candidate to Run MGM


Spyglass Entertainment reportedly has emerged as the leading contender to run Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. as the beleaguered film studio races to restructure a roughly $4 billion debt load this summer.

Preferred Bank Raises Capital

Preferred Bank has raised $77 million through a private preferred stock placement that will enable it to meet terms of a regulatory consent order but significantly dilute current shares.

Michael Jackson Estate Targets Big Debt


Nearly a year after Michael Jackson's death, the managers overseeing his estate have stabilized its precarious financial situation, but at least one major liability still looms: a $300 million loan due at the end of this year.

SBE To Resurrect Hotel in Hollywood

Sam Nazarian’s hospitality company SBE announced a joint venture to take over a never-opened boutique hotel on Vine Street in Hollywood. The property was being developed by Avi Brosch, who lost control of it during the downturn.

California Pizza Lowers Expectations

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. shares fell nearly 11 percent Monday after the casual restaurant chain cut its second-quarter profit forecast, citing weaker-than-expected sales.

Hydra Acquired by Adknowledge

Hydra, which operates an Internet cost-per-acquisition affiliate advertising network, has been acquired by a Kansas City, Mo., company named Adknowledge.

In NBC-Comcast Deal, Quiet Concerns


The owners of local TV stations are worried that if Comcast owned NBC Universal, its market power would hurt competing stations and drive down the prices that those cable companies pay to retransmit local programs, potentially reshaping the local TV landscape.

Three Faces of Los Angeles


L.A.’s elected officials must have multiple personalities when it comes to business, Charles Crumpley says.

Beverly Hills Lights Up New Tax on Tobacconists

REGULATION WATCH: Annual fee of $205 will help city catch those who sell to minors.

Tobacco retailers in Beverly Hills are about to get hit with a $205 annual permit fee as part of a city ordinance to clamp down on retailers who sell tobacco products to minors.

Headhunter Places an Ideal Candidate – Herself

ADVERTISING & PR: Smooch Reynolds shuts down placement firm for new role at Irvine Co.

Pasadena headhunter Smooch Reynolds, who specializes in PR jobs, was asked to find the right candidate for a position.

Regional Report

Regional Report

‘It’s Mind-Boggling That We’ve Come to This’

OP-ED: Landlord tells harrowing tale of spending six years in failed effort to comply with L.A. building codes.

Los Angeles landlord Craig Coogan tells the harrowing tale of his long but failed attempt to comply with the city’s building codes.

Beverly Hills Home Sale Is Soccer Booster’s Goaaal

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Alan Rothenberg puts $2.3 million price tag on six-bedroom duplex.

Listings and sales of executive homes

Trades Take Aim At Union Deals

Contractors will ask L.A. voters to level the field.

Contractors will target Los Angeles in their battle to block deals that favor unions in bidding for public works contracts.

Tease photo

California Investment Paid Off Big


Five local bond firms and their strategies.

Assets Rising After TCW’s Turmoil Time


Five local bond firms and their strategies.

At Capital, Emphasis Is on Long-Term Investments


Five local bond firms and their strategies.

Team Approach Pays Off For Region’s Top Firm


Five local bond firms and their strategies.

Calendar & Events


Pounds Come and Go, but YouTube Is Forever


Louis Perry had a long-ago success that’s now haunting him.

Downtown Takes Back Convention

TV conference comes to Los Angeles after years in Big Apple.

Thanks to the resurgence of downtown, the professional association for TV marketers and graphic designers is bringing its annual convention back to Los Angeles.

One Palace, Never Used

Now shy of glitz, owner to sell mansion

C. Frederick Wehba Sr. spent $65 million to build a palatial home on Sunset Boulevard. Uncomfortable with the conspicuous show of extravagance, he wants to sell before he ever moves in.

Tease photo

Ship Shoves Off From L.A. Port

Mexican violence hurting local cruise industry.

The West Coast’s biggest cruise ship is leaving the Port of Los Angeles next year, in large part because of fears of violence in Mexico.

Tease photo

Pitching Ace

Infomercial producer Greg Renker says frequent moves when he was a kid forced him to make friends fast and be a good salesman.

Infomercial producer Greg Renker moved around a lot as a child. Having to make new friends all the time was perfect training for his career in sales.

Tease photo

Port Site Should Be a Shipbuilding Center, Not a Waste Dump


Robert Stein says his company can restore a shipbuilding site, but the port is pushing a plan to turn it into a dump.

Donation to Boost Study Of a Nation

Nazarian family gives $5 million to expand UCLA Israel program.

The parents of nightclub impresario Sam Nazarian have given $5 million to expand UCLA’s Israel studies program.

Will Oprah Make the Move West?

Winfrey hires local financier as launch of L.A. network nears.

As Oprah Winfrey prepares for the launch of her L.A.-based network, several signs may make one wonder if she’ll become an L.A. resident.

3-D Games Get Buzz as Consoles Add a Dimension

TECHNOLOGY: Lines form at L.A.’s E3 as Nintendo rolls out 3D player.

Video game companies have bet big on 3-D, putting vast resources into developing games that jump out at players. But they’ve been waiting for the consoles to catch up.

Long Beach Hospitals Take Steps Toward Merger

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: CEO of Community departs as consolidation approaches.

Last month’s departure of Ray Jankowski as chief executive of Community Hospital of Long Beach accelerated what may be the inevitable consolidation in the South Bay city’s hospital community.

Tease photo

L.A. Food Trucks Set to Serve Up Battle for Rights

Organization has attorneys on retainer as councilman cracks down.

A group called SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association has formed to fight for the right of gourmet trucks to sell Korean barbecue and other fare.

Tease photo

Game Changer

‘Apprentice’ champion turned fantasy sports website into major player by adjusting the game plan.

RotoHog started as a fantasy sports site, but “Apprentice” champ Kelly Perdew has turned it into a platform for all kinds of Internet games.

Tease photo

Bond Crazy


Los Angeles has staked out a surprising claim: It is a leading center in the bond world.

Tease photo

‘A Little Less Nervous’ After Years of Experience


Five local bond firms and their strategies.

The End Is Near

And that’s a good thing – Macerich executives wondered if they’d ever complete the remodel of Santa Monica Place.

Macerich Co. traveled a long, hard road to renovate Santa Monica Place. But the mall is finally set to reopen in August.

Tease photo

TV Studio Leaves NBC Universal for Hollywood

REAL ESTATE: Reveille signs for seven years at two-story building on Ivar Avenue.

Reveille Independent LLC, the television studio known for producing “The Office,” “Ugly Betty” and “The Tudors,” will soon leave the NBC Universal lot after signing a seven-year lease for headquarters space in Hollywood.

News of the Week

News of the Week

IPC Makes a Quick Recovery From Stock Swoon

Investors reassured by company’s response to federal probe.

IPC The Hospitalist Co. has calmed analysts and investors after news of a federal investigation sent shares plummeting.

Sunday, June 20

Hollywood Agency Seeks a Financial Boost to Expand


Creative Artists managing partner Bryan Lourd and his business partners are pushing to expand the talent agency — already heavily involved in the sports business — well beyond the confines of the entertainment industry.

Friday, June 18

AEG, Music Labels in Talks Over Minority Equity Stake


Amid a slowdown in the concert business, AEG Live, the second-largest live entertainment company in the world, is talking to the major music companies about taking a minority stake in the business.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week as volatile overall market rose despite mixed economic news.

MySpace Loses Another Top Executive


Jason Hirschhorn has quit as MySpace co-president -- a job he took just four months ago -- to return to New York.

Ken Crane’s to Close Doors

Ken Crane’s, a big-screen television retailer based in Hawthorne, said it is going out of business, closing six stores and laying off 75 people.

L.A. County's Jobs Picture Mixed

L.A. County’s unemployment rate in May edged up to 12.3 percent from 12.2 percent, even as 6,500 payroll jobs were added.

HCP to Sell Stock

HCP Inc. has priced a public offering of 13.5 million shares at $33 per share, which the real estate investment trust expects will raise more than $445 million.

Thursday, June 17

Arrowhead Plans Stock Offering

Arrowhead Research Corp. shares lost a quarter of their value on Thursday after the nanotechnology company announced an offering of stock and warrants expected to raise more than $8.6 million.

Icahn Seeks More Lions Gate Shares

Carl Icahn said he will continue to buy shares and pursue a proxy battle for control over Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. The studio responded with one its strongest attacks on the activist investor to date.

Malone Leaves DirecTV Board

Media mogul John Malone has stepped down as chairman of DirecTV and significantly reduced his voting stake in the nation’s largest satellite TV company as part of a reorganization to satisfy regulators.

Wednesday, June 16

Icahn Closer to Lions Gate Goal

Carl Icahn said that he is on the verge of becoming the largest single shareholder of Lions Gate Entertainment Inc., with 12.5 percent of shares so far tendered before a Wednesday night deadline.

KIIS Holds On to Top Ratings

Not only did top 40 station KIIS-FM (102.7) hold on to the top spot in Los Angeles radio for the fifth month in a row, but listenership spiked.

Chaplains Can Lift Workplace Spirits


Some employers who appreciate that work can be a stressful place are seeking help from a company that provides chaplains.

India's Cipla Targets Amgen's Arthritis Drug


Cipla Ltd., the Indian drugmaker that built a $1 billion business making generic HIV treatments, aims to sell copies of Amgen Inc.’s and Roche Holding AG’s best-selling biotech medicines with a partner in China.

Congressional Action Aids IndyMac Account Holders


Lawmakers completing a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations have given 8,700 former account holders at failed IndyMac Bank a surprise gift, retroactively increasing government-backed deposit insurance limits that would allow them to recover some of their lost money.

Teledyne Buys British Company

Teledyne Technologies Inc. plans to buy British electronics maker Intelek Plc. in a deal valued at nearly $41.5 million, including the assumption of debt

Wages Lawsuit Targets LAX Hilton

The Los Angeles Airport Hilton has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging the hotel has skirted L.A.’s living wage law.

Pixar Shows Increasing Reliance on Sequels


Pixar Animation Studios, the pioneering digital studio that long prided itself on creating novel stories and characters, is now treading a well-worn Hollywood path.

Tuesday, June 15

Superior Industries Sells JV Stake

Superior Industries International Inc. is selling its stake in a Hungarian joint-venture manufacturing plant to its partner.

ReachLocal Expands Services

ReachLocal Inc. has expanded its network of local Internet marketing consultants to five new markets and launched an experimental local networking site for small- to medium-size businesses.

Producer Planned Reality Show on Teenager's Voyage


Abby Sunderland's father says he withdrew from the reality TV show deal when he learned that the program would portray a teenage girl facing nearly certain death on her sailing trip

Tax Break for New Businesses Proposed

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed a so-called “tax holiday” for new businesses opening in Los Angeles, and said recent expansion of an enterprise zone in East L.A. helped convince a large employer to stay in the area.

Capstone’s Loss Widens

Capstone Turbine Corp.’s stock fell more than 8 percent Tuesday after the maker of low-emission microturbines reported a larger loss on lower than expected revenue.

UCLA Forecast More Optimistic

L.A.’s economic recovery is under way and will pick up steam next year, according to a quarterly forecast from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Monday, June 14

Rise in Recruiting Boosts Korn/Ferry

Korn/Ferry International shares jumped 13 percent Tuesday, a day after the company said it moved from a loss to a profit as its executive recruitment business continued to rebound from the recession.

Former Philharmonic Manager Ernest Fleischmann Dies


Ernest Fleischmann, the impresario who dominated the Los Angeles Philharmonic for nearly 30 years as it was transformed into one of the top orchestras in the country, has died. He was 85.

Weinstein Brothers Back in Miramax Picture


Harvey and Bob Weinstein are looking to improve their chances of getting back the film studio they named for their parents 31 years ago, according to a news report.

THQ Lowers Expectations

THQ Inc. shares slid more than 11 percent Monday after the video game developer lowered guidance for its fiscal first quarter due to weak sales on one of its games.

Motorcar Parts of America Turns To Profit

Motorcar Parts of America Inc. moved to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter on stronger sales. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Goldman Program Targets Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs is rolling out a $20 million loan program for L.A.-area small businesses, expanding in a program launched in New York.

East West Stock Rises on Acquisition

East West Bancorp Inc. shares jumped Monday following the Pasadena bank’s acquisition of a failed Seattle bank over the weekend.

Economic Guru Jack Kyser Retiring in June


Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Economic Development Corp. since 1991, will be leaving his post at the end of June, but expects to remain busy as a consultant and will continue to offer his opinions.

L.A. Cable Channel Gets A Kick Out of World Cup

SPORTS BUSINESS: Fox Soccer expands coverage for South African competition.

The FIFA World Cup is being held 10,000 miles away in South Africa, but one of the biggest U.S. beneficiaries of the event is none other than the Fox Soccer Channel, a News Corp. subsidiary in West Los Angeles.

Family Recipe

An daughters seek right ingredients for growth.

The House of An says kitchen staff is the key ingredient in its recent expansion moves.

Tease photo

Standing Up for L.A.

OP-ED: City officials have proposed tough budget cuts, but council members are being pressured to back down.

Gary Toebben urges Angelenos to make L.A. city leaders stick to their tough budget proposals.

Year of the Executive?


Charles Crumpley says the victories of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina herald the Year of the Executive.



Calendar & Events

Engineer Builds a Solid Career in Architecture Industry

When Canadian native Bungane Mehlomakulu graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 2002 with a degree in applied mechanical engineering, his career path had already been set – in architecture.



M&A Veterans Go Their Own Way in West L.A.

BANKING & FINANCE: Former Barrington execs leave Wells Fargo to found firm.

History is repeating itself for Jim Freedman.

She Takes the Cake on Reality Show


When Renee Faris bakes a cake, she bakes one that approaches Kobe Bryant in height and a polar bear in weight.

Sister Port May Clear the Way for L.A. Shipyard

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Long Beach’s need for sludge may free up site for Gambol facility.

For weeks now, bloggers have been saying that Gambol Industries Inc. needed a “miracle” to build the shipyard it wants in the Port of Los Angeles.

San Dimas Water Company Sells Arizona Subsidiary

American States shares make slight rally after Chaparral sale.

San Dimas’ American States Water Co. says any reason to hold onto its Arizona subsidiary has evaporated.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Ready for a Close-Up

West Hollywood looks to play larger role in film and TV shoots.

West Hollywood aims to be a scene-stealer when it comes to local TV and movie shoots.

Royalty Suit a Shock to Film Studio System?

A producer’s lawsuit could bring big-picture changes to the way studios pay royalties on movies packaged for television.

Tease photo

Triple Play on Way in State?

Open primary second step in business plan.

Voters’ approval of an open primary is another step in business leaders’ drive to overhaul California.

Tease photo

Firm’s Paper Trail Targeted

Lawsuits challenge LegalZoom document business.

LegalZoom could be courting trouble as two suits question the lawfulness of its online document service.

Tease photo

Added Up

Self-described ‘numbers guy’ Bryant Riley runs his own investment firm. He got an early start in the markets buying stocks with money earned from a paper route.

Bryant Riley says bad investment decisions when he was a teenager taught him valuable lessons.

Tease photo

Co-Founder Taking Back Reins of Restaurant Chain

RETAIL & APPAREL: Co-Chairman Robert Spivak named Grill Concepts CEO.

Robert Spivak is back at the helm of the company he co-founded 26 years ago, Grill Concepts Inc., parent company of the Daily Grill chain.

Regional Report

Regional Report

Positive Charge

Torrance maker of hybrid and electric drivetrains hopes new contracts will end string of losses.

Torrance-based Enova expects two new contracts for its drivetrains will power up revenue.

Tease photo

Getting the Messages Out Online offers a home to funny and odd voice mails, recordings. lets users sound off by loading the site with quirky voice mails and recordings.

Tease photo

New House on the Block Takes Bids in Beverly Hills

Heritage opens satellite office after rivals reduced L.A. presence.

Heritage is bidding to expand with a Beverly Hills office while its big-name rivals are cutting back.

Tease photo

Screen Test

Medical experts question health impact of Hawthorne company’s full-body security scanners.

Health concerns over its full-body security scanners hasn’t hurt the stock of Hawthorne’s OSI.

Tease photo

Collecting for Scraps

Sexy cards with bits of models’ clothing, shoes become a hot item.

EBay bidders want a piece of the action when it comes to Bench Warmer’s sexy trading cards.

Tease photo

L.A. Baby Products Maker Gets Room to Grow

REAL ESTATE: Munchkin’s site in Van Nuys will replace three county warehouses.

In one of the year’s largest San Fernando Valley industrial leases, growing baby products company Munchkin Inc. has signed a 10-year deal for 313,000 square feet in Van Nuys.

Tease photo

Friday, June 11

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week as a late-week market rally failed to offset earlier declines.

Carl Icahn Steps Up Fight with Lions Gate


Billionaire investor Carl Icahn stepped up his effort to take control of the boutique movie studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on Friday, saying he will put up his own slate of candidates to replace the company's board.

ImmunoCellular Drug Granted 'Orphan' Status

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics' lead experimental cancer vaccine had been granted orphan drug status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which provides some advantages in commercializing the treatment.

Thursday, June 10

FTC Shuts Down Agoura Hills Telemarketing Firm


An Agoura Hills company accused of making tens of millions of illegal telemarketing calls selling worthless auto warranties and credit card interest rate reduction programs has been shut down, the Federal Trade Commission said.

MRV Names New CEO

MRV Communications Inc. said that Noam Lotan plans to step down as chief executive at the end of the month, and an outside successor has been named.

Cereplast Raises $7.5 Million in Offering

Cereplast Inc. has entered into definitive agreements with institutional investors who will purchase stock and warrants for gross proceeds of $7.5 million.

'Sentinel' Owner to Buy 'Watts Times'

The owner of Los Angeles' oldest African-American newspaper plans to buy a competing newspaper that launched in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots, the publications have announced.

Skechers to Open Stores in Ireland

Licensing agreement calls for two shoe stores, one in Dublin and another in Cork, to open by the end of this year.

Mark Cuban to Tender Lions Gate Shares to Icahn


Investor Carl Icahn stood to gain negotiating power in his battle to control Lions Gate Entertainment Corp after billionaire Mark Cuban expressed interest in tendering his shares in the studio.

Boeing Workers Approve C-17 Contract

Workers at the Boeing C-17 plant in Long Beach have voted to accept a new contract and end their 30-day strike.

Two Long Beach Hospitals Discuss Merger


Long Beach Memorial Medical Center will take over management of Community Hospital of Long Beach later this summer as the two entities enter discussions for a transfer of ownership.

Disney Hopes Wall of Water Will Revive Anaheim Park


Can an expensive fountain extravaganza finally turn the Walt Disney Co.’s California Adventure theme park into a hit?

Wednesday, June 9

IPC Sinks on Government Inquiry

Shares of IPC The Hospitalist Co. hit a 52-week low Wednesday after disclosing that the U.S Justice Department wants to examine several years’ worth of claims that the company submitted to Medicare and Medicaid.

Icahn Gets Canadian Approval for Studio Bid

Carl Icahn said he received approval from Canadian regulators in connection with his unfriendly takeover battle for Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.

Transom Capital Acquires Toy Company

Transom Capital Group said it had acquired Westlake Village scientific toy maker Uncle Milton Industries Inc.

CyberDefender Moves to Nasdaq.

CyberDefender, a provider of PC security and antivirus and antispyware programs, today began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market.

Tuesday, June 8

Report: Disney Sounds Buzzer on ESPN Zones Sports Bars


The Walt Disney Co. is shutting down most of its ESPN Zone stores, a chain of sports-themed restaurants located in seven cities, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Jacobs Wins Navy Contract

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. won a warfare training equipment contract with the U.S. Navy with potential value of $241 million.

Comcast-Universal Merger Attacked


At a congressional field hearing, critics compare the cable provider to a plantation and warn of the need for oversight. One representative hints the company tried to buy her support.

American States Sells Arizona Water Company

American States Water Co. has signed a stock purchase agreement with Epcor Water (USA) Inc. to sell its Arizona operation for $35 million.

Activision's Guitar Hero Coming to iPhone

Activision has released a version of its popular music franchise Guitar Hero for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Aecom Wins Air Force Contract

Aecom Technology Corp. said that it will share a five-year contract to provide environmental restoration and remediation services to the U.S. Air Force.

AMHN Plans Acquisition

AMHN Inc., which provides educational video services for doctor’s office waiting rooms, plans to acquire a similar company called Spectrum Health Network Inc. in a stock transaction.

Monday, June 7

BofA to Settle Countrywide Charges

Bank of America Corp. has agreed pay $108 million to settle FTC charges that Countrywide Financial Corp. charged excessive fees to borrowers facing foreclosure.

Teledyne Makes Acquisition

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has acquired Optimum Optical Systems, a maker of custom optics and assemblies used in small unmanned aerial vehicles.

AeroVironment Wins Contract

AeroVironment Inc. has been selected to supply, install, and support a network of electric vehicle recharging stations in South Carolina.

Sí TV Gets Funding

Sí TV has raised $24 million through equity and debt financing to expand its Latino-focused cable TV network.

How to Keep on Giving

Deloitte workers teach skills at non-profits as part of volunteer day.

Worker volunteers from Deloitte see teaching skills as philanthropy with long-term benefits.

Making Tracks to High-Speed Trains


Train enthusiast Ted Lux looks forward to riding out of town on rails.

Northern Exposure

OP-ED: U.S. lawmakers’ ‘Buy America’ rhetoric ignores Canada’s trade value to the country and California.

David Fransen touts the commercial ties between Canada and the United States.

Navigating Deals at Port of L.A.

OP-ED: Officials are working with Gambol on shipyard proposal, but channel deepening project is No. 1 priority.

Executive Director Geraldine Knatz defends L.A. port’s pace in handling a shipyard proposal.

Jobs Takes Poll Position Among California Voters


Daniel J.B. Mitchell says California candidates should be talking jobs, jobs and jobs.

Show Business Mover and Shaker Ready to Move

CHIEF DWELLING: James Wiatt prices Pacific Palisades home at $19.5 million.

Listings and sales of L.A. executive homes.

Direct Approach

Selbert Perkins Design in Playa del Rey specializes in ‘way-finding’ work such as signs and street-naming.

The spouses behind Selbert Perkins see positive signs in their “wayfinding” business.

Culture Change

Encino frozen yogurt chain Menchie’s jumps to Canada and Japan.

Encino yogurt chain Menchie’s expansion to Canada and Japan is part of a plan to serve overseas.

Tease photo

Santa Monica Firm Aims For Bull’s-Eye With Clients

ADVERTISING & PR: Standard Time uses Target logo as model for consistent branding.

Standard Time, a Santa Monica advertising agency offering its services to West Coast retailers, is counting down to a recovery in the retail sector.

Century City Lawyer Morphs Into New Position

LAW: Owner of Power Rangers brings in Rami Yanni as executive.

After spending more than three years as the chair of the trademark practice group at Century City-based Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP, Rami Yanni has moved in-house as the senior vice president of business and legal affairs at Saban Brands LLC.

City of L.A.’s Review Board Has Lost Its Appeal

REGULATION WATCH: Advisory panel pushes to add member from business community.

An advisory panel is calling on the city of Los Angeles to overhaul a board that reviews business tax appeals.

Businesses, County Hope to Extend Worker Program

September could see end of employees paid from stimulus funds.

Time is running out for local businesses to tap a county program that uses U.S. stimulus dollars to pay workers.

Analysts See Value in Commerce Discount Chain

Turnaround at 99 Cents Only yields only slight surge in stock price.

Recent innovations have analysts buying into 99 Cents Only Stores’ business plan.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Tuneup at New Venue

Nokia Theatre to lower curtain on empty seats as part of overhaul.

It’s curtains already for the layout and look of L.A. Live’s recently opened Nokia Theatre.

A Mad Man’s Look Back on Life as Ad Man

Howie Cohen, the writer behind the famous Alka-Seltzer commercial “Try It, You’ll Like It,” has launched a blog to share stories about the 1960s advertising business. It’s called

Performance Link Takes Bite Out of Execs’ Pay

SPECIAL REPORT: Executive Compensation

The slow economy and a drive to link pay to company performance lightened what CEOs took home in 2009.

Tease photo

Downtown Firm Passes The Reins

REAL ESTATE: Cushman vet Chris Cooper named CEO at Charles Dunn.

Charles Dunn Co., a downtown L.A. real estate services company with 10 offices in the Western United States, has hired Chris Cooper as chief executive.

Tease photo

Home Prices Steady, But Sales Creep Up

Data seen as a sign that county’s market is bouncing back.

House and condo prices stayed flat as sales volume inched up in May.

Tease photo

Putting Your Name In Lights

San Dimas company’s video I.D. tags not just for work events.

The video name tags made by San Dimas’ Recom have passed a little screen test.

Tease photo

Amgen Will Look to Play It Safe in Drug Launch

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Firm to stress length and number of trials in promoting Prolia.

Safety, as much as effectiveness, will be a key marketing message this month for Amgen Inc. as it launches Prolia, a much anticipated osteoporosis drug.

Tease photo

A Good Fit?

Homes, retail pitched for Fashion District

L.A. officials are looking to make over downtown’s Fashion District as a residential and retail spot, but the plan is not without controversy.

Tease photo



Ontario Looks To Land Airport

L.A. Council to mull plan to sell facility.

A plan has taken wing in Ontario to wrest control of the local airport from the city of Los Angeles.

Tease photo

Oil Firm Won’t Mix With Water

Occidental likes drilling on land after BP spill.

Oil company Occidental’s decision to stay out of the water looks good in wake of the BP disaster.

Tease photo

Homing In on Time to Buy


This maybe the time to buy a house, but Charles Crumpley is balking.

Full Plate

When Richard Pink isn’t working as a real estate exec at ING Clarion, he moonlights as owner-president of his family’s iconic L.A. hot dog stand, Pink’s.

Richard Pink relishes his role as owner of L.A.’s legendary Pink’s Hot Dogs.

Tease photo

Sunday, June 6

Cuban Says He'd Back Weinstein Deal for Miramax


Billionaire investor Mark Cuban said he "loved" the idea of the Weinstein brothers participating in a bid for Miramax, adding that he didn't help block their bid to take back the label from The Walt Disney Co.

Hotel Wars: Drama and Intrigue Behind the Hospitality


After a force behind the W chain defected to Hilton, a lawsuit exposes a side of the industry rife with claims of corporate espionage, double-dealing and poaching of top performers.

Saturday, June 5

Bruce Friedman: Home Wrecker


Sherman Oaks investment broker Bruce Friedman made millions swindling clients before the feds shut him down

Friday, June 4

Judge Declines to Block L.A. Medi-Pot Ordinance


A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has shot down a bid by medical marijuana patients to block the city's ordinance regulating dispensaries from taking effect Monday.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week as investors reacted to a disappointing jobs report.

Cherokee Profit Falls

Cherokee Inc.'s fiscal first quarter net income fell more than 23 percent due to higher expenses and lower royalty revenue.

Jacobs Makes Acquisition

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. plans to buy the government information technology unit of TechTeam Global for $59 million in cash.

Debit Fee Ban Bill Advances

A bill that would ban merchants from imposing fees on debit card purchases has cleared a major legislative hurdle,

Thursday, June 3

New City Budget Plan Calls for Layoffs, Fee Hikes


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed off on a $6.7 billion city budget that slashes city services, raises fees and could lead to up to 1,700 layoffs.

KB Home Makes Large SoCal Land Purchase

KB Home is buying 664 Inland Empire home sites, where it plans to build its new, more affordably priced line of homes.

L.A. Seeks to Streamline Permitting

Los Angeles city officials unveiled a program to speed up permits for new restaurants, bars and grocery stores.

UTi Profit Improves

UTi Worldwide Inc. reported better-than-expected first quarter results thanks to higher air- and ocean-freight volumes as the economy slowly recovers.

Wednesday, June 2

Labor Mediator Brought In on Boeing Strike


A labor mediator has been summoned to help end a three-week long strike at Boeing's C-17 plant, bringing new pressure to resolve a stalemate that has shuttered production at Long Beach's largest private employer.

Feds Eye Live Nation


The Department of Justice is keeping a close eye on the music business in light of the mega-merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Acquired

Churchill Downs Inc. has completed its merger with Burbank online wagering service Inc.

Thomas Properties Names COOs

Thomas Properties Group Inc. has promoted Paul Rutter and John Sischo to the new positions of co-chief operating officers.

VCA Antech Makes Acquisition

VCA Antech Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire a publically held competitor, PET DRx Corp., in a deal valued at more than $41 million.

Disney Says Rides Parks, Consumer Sales Upswing


Walt Disney Co. sounding more positive than in previous quarters, forecast stronger consumer sales in coming years and highlighted an uptick at its struggling theme parks.

Tuesday, June 1

Amgen Drug Wins First U.S. Approval

Nearly two months ahead of schedule, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Amgen Inc.'s new drug Prolia to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Carl's Jr. Opens First Restaurant in Vietnam

CKE Restaurants Inc. has opened its first Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Vietnam. It said that this is the first major Western quick-service hamburger chain to open there.

Disney Puts Movie Tickets on a Facebook Site


Walt Disney Co, has created what it believes is a first-of-its-kind application allowing Facebook users to buy tickets to “Toy Story 3” without leaving the social-networking site and while, at the same time, prodding their friends to come along.

Lions Gate Narrows Loss

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. reported a smaller fiscal 2010 net loss on stronger TV production revenues. Carl Icahn earlier in the day extended his $7-a-share offer to buy the studio, and relaxed some of his conditions.

Aecom Awarded FEMA Contract

Aecom Technology Corp. has won a contract, valued at up to $150 million, from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the agency’s Hazard Mitigation Technical Assistance Program.

Amway to Reward Top Chinese Sellers with SoCal Trip


The Michigan direct sales firm is footing the bill bringing its best distributors in China to Southern California. The trip is expected to generate a $10-million infusion into the local economy.