JOB CUTS: Paramount Pictures has announced 110 layoffs as part of the studio’s effort to cut costs. The Hollywood studio, owned by Viacom Inc. of New York, said staffers will be cut from departments including finance, human resources, IT, legal and marketing. Two of the studio’s recent releases, “World War Z” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” have posted healthy returns at the worldwide box office, $539 million and $467 million, respectively, but were costly to produce and market.
NOT LIABLE: An L.A. jury decided that AEG Live employed the doctor on duty during Michael Jackson’s 2009 drug overdose, but wasn’t liable for his death and didn’t owe the Jackson family millions of dollars in compensation. Although Dr. Conrad Murray is serving time for involuntary manslaughter after administering an overdose of anesthesia to the 50-year-old singer, the jury found that he was competent after a five-month trial.
BANK LEADERSHIP: Bram Goldsmith, 90, has resigned as chairman of City National Corp., but will continue serving on the bank holding company’s board as chairman emeritus. His son, Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith, 62, succeeded him as chairman. Bram Goldsmith, has been on City National’s board since 1969 and has been chairman since 1975. He was chief executive from 1975 through 1995.
SOLD: Westwood private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors has sold the Harlem Globetrotters to Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., a Georgia company that owns and operates theme parks. Harlem Globetrotters International, parent of the barnstorming basketball team, represents a new entertainment line for Herschend, with properties including the Silver Dollar City amusement park in Branson, Mo. and Dolly Parton’s Dollywood outside of Knoxville, Tenn. Financial terms were not disclosed.
GROWTH: A Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce report said that the city had a 3.8 percent increase in payroll jobs to about 1.5 million last year, the sharpest increase since 2005 and nearly double the national rate. The growth was most concentrated in four of the city’s 15 council districts: just north of downtown, the Westside, west of downtown and the southeastern San Fernando Valley. The report, done for the chamber by Beacon Economics, noted that average wages in the city fell 2.3 percent last year to $57,740, meaning more low-wage jobs were added to the economy.
TROLLEY: Caruso Affiliated and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have launched a study for a Fairfax Avenue fixed-rail trolley line between the Grove shopping center and the Miracle Mile museum. A competing proposal from a local group calls for a line that will feature distinctive buses covering a wider route through surrounding neighborhoods.
JOINT VENTURE: Thomas Properties Group Inc. has completed the liquidation of a decade-old joint venture with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Thomas, which last month agreed to merge with Parkway Properties Inc. of Orlando, Fla., acquired Calstrs’ 75 percent interest in two large Houston office complexes. Calstrs acquired all of the joint venture’s interest in downtown L.A.’s City National Plaza. Calstrs and Thomas will continue to be partners in another commercial property portfolio in Austin, Texas.
JET CRASH: Mark Benjamin, the 63-year-old chief executive of Santa Monica’s Morley Builders and his son Luke Benjamin, 28, were presumed to be among the victims of a private plane crash at Santa Monica Municipal Airport, killing all on board. The plane struck a hangar, bursting into flames. Morley is Los Angeles County’s sixth largest general contractor.
OFFICE TOWER: NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp. has purchased 10 Universal City Plaza for a reported $420 million in one of Los Angeles County’s biggest commercial real estate deals this year. Comcast is expected to consolidate some of its NBCUniversal operations in the tower, which is the tallest office building in the San Fernando Valley.
STEPPING DOWN: Ironclad Performance Wear Corp., an El Segundo maker of specialized work and activity gloves, announced that Scott Jarus, chairman and chief executive, has resigned but will remain a member of the company’s board, a position he has held since May 2006. Jarus became chief executive in 2009, charged with the task of turning around the company, which had struggled since going public in 2009. He told analysts in August that he considered his job largely accomplished.
GO PRIVATE: Lingerie maker Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc. said that it is considering a proposal from some of its largest shareholders that would take the Hollywood company private. HGI Funding, TTG Apparel, Tokarz Investments, Fursa Alternative Strategies and Arsenal Group, which combined own most of the company’s shares, said they would pay a 28 percent premium on Frederick’s closing price Sept. 27. Frederick’s has been considering a sale for more than a year.
APPROVED: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first artificial pancreas system in the United States, a device developed at Medtronic Inc.’s Northridge facility. The company said it will ramp up production immediately to prepare for a U.S. launch of the MiniMed 530G in the next several weeks. Medtronic, based in Minneapolis, has sold the system in Europe for four years.
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