Stories for December 2014

Wednesday, December 31

L.A. Tech’s Top Stories of 2014

The Los Angeles Business Journal has been the first on the scene to feature emerging entrepreneurs, track startups’ explosive growth and investigate local tech trends. Take a look at some of our favorite stories from this year.

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American Apparel Delaying Payments to Suppliers, Report Says

American Apparel Inc. can’t seem to keep itself out of the news. The New York Post reported on Wednesday that the struggling downtown L.A. clothing chain has been delaying payments to key suppliers by as much as 60 days due to lack of cash from a disappointing holiday season.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 160 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,823. The S&P 500 fell 21 points to 2,059. The Nasdaq fell 41 points to 4,736. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 216.

Poll: Do you think ongoing congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will have a lasting negative effect on the local economy?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Storm Strands Drivers in San Bernardino, Big Bear

Up to 200 cars were towed and more than 130 people were rescued after a snowy winter storm stranded motorists on Southern California’s icy mountain roads, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pimco Fires Fund Manager

Pacific Investment Management Co. revealed on Tuesday that it fired money manager Rahul Seksaria after CME Group Inc., the world's largest futures market operator, fined him for making improper trades, Reuters reports.

Former Pasadena Employee Accused of Embezzling $6 Million

Danny Ray Wooten, a former Pasadena city employee, was arrested on Tuesday along with two other people suspected of using a City Hall slush fund to embezzle more than $6 million in taxpayer dollars, the Pasadena Star News reports.

Following ‘Interview,’ North Korea Stops Showing Russian, Chinese Films

In an attempt to keep foreign influences, including films like “The Interview,” out of the country, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the removal of Chinese and Russian movies from state television, despite stable relations with those countries, sources told Radio Free Asia.

Moody’s Upgrades Univision, Paving Way for IPO

Moody’s Investors Service issued an upgrade in the rating outlook for Univision Communications, which sources told the Los Angeles Times helps clear the way for a 2015 public offering. An IPO would allow the New York company's ownership group, which includes Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban, to begin its long-planned exit.

‘Star Wars’ is Most Anticipated Movie of 2015

Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh installment in the sci-fi series, is the most anticipated movie of 2015, according to a Fandango survey, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Snapchat to Share New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around the World

Venice disappearing message service Snapchat will have staff put together photos and videos from users at New Year’s celebrations in Dubai, New York, St. Petersburg and other locations around the world to create a documentary-esque view of how people are experiencing New Year’s Eve, the New York Times reports. After 24 hours, the video will disappear.

You Can Now Order a $40,000 Bottle of Booze at the Peninsula Beverly Hills

The Peninsula Beverly Hills has launched a new “remarkable spirits menu” that includes a $40,000 bottle of Cognac, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 41 points in Wednesday morning trading to 18,024. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,084. The Nasdaq was up 20 points to 4,798. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 219.

Tuesday, December 30

Force May be With Disney’s Maker Studios

The Culver City digital media company is set to produce Star Wars-related online videos to help Walt Disney Co. promote the next film in the popular space series.

California Issues HIV Alert for Adult Film Industry

The California Department of Public Health has issued an alert after an adult performer tested positive for HIV and infected at least one other performer at a Nevada film shoot.

2014 Review: Work/Life Balance

In our weekly Work/Life series, the Business Journal asks local executives about how they stay productive in high-demand roles while still making time for what’s important in their personal lives. Here are some memorable pieces of advice on finding that balance from interviews this year.

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Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 55 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,983. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 2,080. The Nasdaq fell 29 points to 4,777. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 218.

Sony Hack an Inside Job, Security Firm Says

Despite the FBI declaring North Korea responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, security firm Norse claims it has evidence that the hack was in inside job perpetuated by six individuals, including at least one former employee of the studio, the Security Ledger reports.

Egg Prices Likely to Rise with Cage-Free Law

Prices for wholesale eggs in California are expected to rise 10 percent to 40 percent in the New Year, the Los Angeles Times reports. Proposition 2, enacted in 2008 to end the confinement of farm animals in cramped cages and crates, will go into effect on Jan.1 and will make cage-free eggs the norm.

China Blocks Gmail Access on Third-Party Apps, Too

The Chinese government appears to have blocked the ability of people in China to access Gmail through third-party email services like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook, which many people in the country had been relying on after direct access to Gmail was blocked by officials on Friday, the New York Times reports.

Documents Reveal Morgan Stanley’s Role in Subprime Lending

Emails and confidential documents filed in court proceedings reveal that Morgan Stanley deeply influenced subprime lender New Century’s push into riskier mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis, brushing aside questions about their quality, the New York Times reports.

Protesters Shut Down 110 Freeway After Ford Autopsy Release

After an autopsy revealed that Ezell Ford was shot three times by police, with one shot at a very close range, protesters rushed onto the 110 Freeway on Monday night, briefly stopping traffic, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ebola Hits the U.K.

The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.K. was transferred from Scotland to an Ebola specialist treatment unit in London today, as doctors prepared to test a second individual in Scotland who had become ill after returning from West Africa, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 52 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,986. The S&P 500 was down six points to 2,085. The Nasdaq was down 17 points to 4,789. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 219.

Monday, December 29

Direct Lending Hooks Up with Biz2Credit

Direct Lending Investments has committed $250 million in loans to Biz2Credit’s peer-to-peer lending platform for small business owners.

Beats Music (and iTunes?) Plays for Exclusive Releases

The real question is whether albums offered exclusively on Beats would be made available on iTunes as well.

American Apparel Asked to Consider Sale; Denies Slowdown

The saga of American Apparel Inc., the downtown L.A. clothing maker that has been roiled in recent weeks by the firing of its founder and chief executive, the hiring of a replacement and stories of a possible takeover, took another turn over the weekend as London buyout firm Lion Capital was said to have urged the company to form a committee to consider selling itself.

Warner Bros. International Box Office Tops $3 Billion

Warner Bros. exceeded $3 billion in international box office for the second consecutive year in 2014 as the Burbank studio benefited from large tent-pole films that drew foreign audiences.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points in Monday trading to close at 18,038. The S&P 500 rose two points to 2,091. The Nasdaq was flat at 4,807. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 219.

LAX on Pace to Set Annual Passenger Record

Passenger traffic through Los Angeles International Airport dipped in November compared to the year-earlier period, but the airport is nevertheless still on pace to set a new record for its busiest year, according to figures released by Los Angeles World Airports on Friday.

‘Interview’ Takes in $18 Million

Sony Pictures’ “The Interview” has earned more than $15 million in online sales and another $2.8 million in ticket sales from the several hundred theaters that agreed to show it, thanks largely to the publicity surrounding the cyberattack on the studio, Reuters reports. Read more about the hacking attack on Sony Pictures in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Oil Rises on Reports of Fire in Libya

The price of crude oil rose to $60 a barrel today, amid reports of escalating clashes in Libya, a key crude producer, Reuters reports.

Another One Bites the Dust

Sixteen months after its debut, the Long Beach Register published its final issue over the weekend and will close, marking the latest chapter in a saga of cutbacks by the Orange County Register’s parent company Freedom Communications, the Long Preach Press Telegram reports. Read more about the changes at Freedom in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Box Office Rebounds on Christmas Weekend

After a rough year, the North American box office rebounded over Christmas weekend. The New Line and MGM film “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” took the No. 1 spot, taking in $54.5 million, while Universal’s World War II drama “Unbroken,” written by the Coen brothers and directed by Angelina Jolie, debuted at 47.3 million. “Into the Woods,” the film adaptation of the hit Stephen Sondheim musical, trailed not far behind at $46.1 million, The Guardian reports.

AirAsia Jet Likely at ‘Bottom of the Sea’

After a second day of searching without any confirmed sighting of the missing AirAsia jet carrying 162 people, Indonesian authorities sought today to lower expectations about finding survivors, the New York Times reports. A senior Indonesian aviation official says the aircraft is probably “at the bottom of the sea.”

Greek Assets Sell Fast After Parliamentary Fail

Greek assets sold off aggressively today after a parliamentary vote failed to elect a new president. That triggers a new national election next month that could threaten the country’s international bailout program, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Xiaomi: World’s Most Valuable Tech Startup

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. has raised $1.1 billion in an investment round that values the company at more than $46 billion, making it the world’s most valuable technology startup, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hackers Shut Down Playstation, Xbox

Sony’s PlayStation Network was gradually put back online Sunday after a cyberattack brought the system down on Christmas Day, the New York Times reports. The hacker activist group known as Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for disrupting both the PlayStation Network and Microsoft Corporation’s Xbox Live, the latter of which was restored on Friday.

Residents Use Bedsheets to Escape Westlake Motel Fire

A fire at a three-story motel in L.A.’s Westlake neighborhood on Christmas night forced residents to tie bedsheets together to climb out of smoke-filled apartments, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two out of the six people injured are in critical condition, officials said.

Bereaved Family Nabs Hearse Thief

Members of a South Los Angeles family chased down a man who allegedly stole a hearse ﹘ with their deceased relative inside ﹘ from in front of a local Baptist church over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times and KTLA report. The driver was arrested and charged with auto theft.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 12 points in Monday morning trading to 18,066. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,093. The Nasdaq was up two points to 4,809. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 220

Wednesday, December 24

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose six points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,030. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,082. The Nasdaq rose eight points to 4,773. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 217.

J2 Global Pushes Takeover Bid for Carbonite

Hollywood Internet services firm J2 Global Inc. is pushing hard to close its unsolicited offer to buy the Boston backup storage provider Carbonite Inc. for $415 million.

Serta Simmons to Close Compton Plant, Lay Off Workers

Mattress manufacturer Serta Simmons Holdings of Hoffman Estates, Ill. will close its Compton plant early next year and lay off 94 people, the company told the state’s Employment Development Department.

'The Interview' to Hit YouTube, Google Play; Sony in Talks with Netflix

Sony Pictures Entertainment released “The Interview” online on Wednesday morning, making it available for purchase on YouTube, Google Play, Microsoft Inc.'s Xbox Video and the Sony-created website

L.A. Launch List: Dec. 24

This week's Launch List: A Spanish-language video service, an Apple Pay-friendly ticketing app and the all-important debate on whether Santa Claus is real.

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Gov. Brown Names PUC President

Gov. Jerry Brown named his former renewable energy advisor, Michael Picker, as the new president of the California Public Utilities Commission. He will succeed Michael Peevey, whose term, which was plagued by safety lapses and law enforcement investigations, ends Dec. 31, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Controversy Drives Popularity: 7 of 10 Would Rent 'The Interview' on VOD

A survey conducted earlier this week by the market research firm C4 shows that interest in a video-on-demand release of "The Interview" has soared since major theater chains decided against releasing the movie, The Wrap reports. Sony Pictures is expected to announce a VOD release for Christmas Day.

Post-Charney, American Apparel Adopts New Code of Conduct

A week after terminating Chief Executive Dov Charney, American Apparel Inc. said its board has adopted a revised code of conduct and ethics after a review of the company’s corporate governance and policies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Read more about the changes at the downtown L.A. clothing company in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Coalition Urges Boycott of El Super

A coalition that includes El Super grocery store workers, union leaders and community organizers are calling for a boycott of the Paramount grocery store chain, alleging health code violations, low wages and unsafe conditions, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Christmas Cheer: Stolen Rudolph Remounted in Trailer Park

A 200 pound statue of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was stolen from the Ranchview neighborhood of Rolling Hills Estates on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and, according to police, remounted on the roof of a home in a Gardena trailer park, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized

Former President George H.W. Bush, who is now 90, was taken to a Houston hospital Tuesday evening after experiencing shortness of breath, Fox News reports.

Protesters Defy de Blasio

More than 1,000 protesters, some carrying a banner that read "Stop Racist Police Terror," marched through Manhattan's Fifth Avenue shopping district Tuesday evening, despite New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urging a halt to demonstrations until after the funerals of two policemen who were shot as they sat in a patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday, the New York Post reports.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ Would Cost You Almost $28k

The cost of all of the gifts mentioned in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – including, but not limited to, the three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree – is $27,673.22 this year, which is only $280 more than last year, and the smallest annual increase since 2002, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 48 points in Wednesday morning trading to 18,073. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,085. The Nasdaq was up 19 points to 4,785.

Tuesday, December 23

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,024. The S&P 500 rose four points to 2,082. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 4,765.

Groups Ask President Obama to End Port Dispute

Frustrated that the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are still negotiating a new labor contract for West Coast ports, 166 groups have called on President Barack Obama to immediately help resolve the contentious issue.

Work/Life: David Dressler

The co-founder of Tender Greens on hamster wheels, 50 hour work weeks and having it all.

Before David Dressler co-founded Tender Greens, the Culver City fast-casual chain, he had almost every conceivable food and beverage management position at prominent hotels across the country, including the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. In 2001, he became director of food and beverage at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, where he met Erik Oberholtzer and Matt Lyman, both chefs and soon-to-be business partners. Inspired by a shared vision of creating a place where “a chef would eat on his day off,” Dressler, Oberholtzer and Lyman opened Tender Greens in June 2006. The company now has more than 1,000 employees and 17 California locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and the Bay Area, with plans to open 30 restaurants by 2016. We spoke with Dressler about how his attitude toward work/life balance affects the company.

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Sony to Release 'The Interview' After All

Sony Pictures Entertainment will be releasing controversial film “The Interview” in theaters on Christmas Day after all.

Green Dot Extends Deal With Wal-Mart – For Now

Monrovia prepaid debit card company Green Dot Corp. has extended its distribution deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., but for just another eight months – an announcement that earned mixed reviews from analysts.

Judge Orders Nestdrop to Stop Delivering Weed

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday that his office has successfully secured a preliminary injunction against the operators of the Hollywood startup Nestdrop, a smartphone application for medical marijuana and alcohol delivery.

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Dow Hits Record High

The Dow Jones industrial average reached a record high early Tuesday, topping 18,000 for the first time, after data showed the American economy posted its strongest growth in more than a decade in the third quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports.

North Korea Loses Internet

Soon after President Barack Obama declared Friday that the United States would launch a “proportional response” to what he deemed an act of “cybervandalism” against Sony Pictures, North Korea suffered one its worst Internet failures in years. Its Internet went entirely black on Monday, the New York Times reports. Today, the country’s Internet is back up and running.

Proposal: App to Help L.A. Taxis Compete With Uber

A proposed order, which will be put to a vote in January by the Board of Taxi Commissioners, would require all taxi drivers in Los Angeles to use an Uber-style mobile app that would allow customers to hail a cab from their phones, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Opec Won’t Cut Ouput Even at $20

Opec will not cut production even if the price of oil falls to $20 a barrel, Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, said in an interview with the Middle East Economic Survey, explaining a sharp policy shift away from keeping prices high by limiting output and toward defending market share at all costs, the Financial Times reports.

JPMorgan Hackers Entered Through Neglected Server

This summer’s computer breach at JPMorgan Chase might have been prevented if the bank’s security team hadn’t neglected to upgrade one of its network servers with a two-factor authentication scheme, which requires a second one-time password to gain access to a protected system, sources told the New York Times.

Another Lawsuit for Exide

Exide Technologies officials willfully endangered the health of more than 60 children living near the company's embattled lead recycling plant in Vernon, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lawyers plan to file several similar lawsuits, including at least one on behalf of about 60 adults. Read more about Exide’s legal battles in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Heading to Court, Nestdrop Halts Pot Deliveries

As they prepare to face the city of Los Angeles in court today, executives at the weed and booze delivery company Nestdrop have stopped helping medical marijuana dispensaries deliver products, the Los Angeles Times reports. Read more about the case against Nestdrop in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Struggling Mattel Tries to Overhaul Conference Room Culture

After a rough year for Mattel Inc., Chief Executive Bryan Stockton is trying to overhaul the company’s conference room culture and shift the focus to toys, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under his new rules, no more than 10 people should participate in any meeting unless it is for training purposes and there should be no more than three meetings to make any one decision. Read more about the challenges at Mattel in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Congressman Offers to Screen ‘Interview’ at Capitol

U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman wrote an open letter to Sony Pictures Chief Executive and co-chairman Michael Lynton, offering to screen “The Interview” at the U.S. Capitol Building, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 84 points in Tuesday morning trading to 18,044. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,083. The Nasdaq was down 10 points to 4,771.

Monday, December 22

Timeline Labs Acquired for $22 Million

Timeline Labs, a social analytics company, has been acquired by SeaChange International for $22 million in a cash-and-stock deal, with an additional $2.5 million available in performance earn outs.

Social Reality Buys Five Delta

Social Reality, a downtown Los Angeles Internet advertising firm, has acquired Santa Monica ad tech company Five Delta.

Bank Leumi Admits to Hiding Assets in Offshore Bank Accounts

A major Israeli international bank admitted that it conspired to help U.S. taxpayers present false tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service by hiding income and assets in offshore bank accounts in Israel and elsewhere around the world, the Department of Justice announced today.

American Apparel: Takeover Bid, Board Shakeup and ‘Betrayal’

American Apparel Inc. on Monday confirmed reports that a buyer has expressed interest in acquiring the company for as much as $1.40 a share.

DirecTV Launches Digital Subscription Service

Joining the growing number of broadcasters seeking to expand beyond television, DirecTV has launched Yaveo, its first Internet-only subscription video service, which will feature Spanish-language programming in conjunction with partners that include Univision Communications and Viacom.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155 points in Monday trading to close at 17,959. The S&P 500 rose eight points to 2,079. The Nasdaq rose 16 points to 4,781. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 218.

CV Studios Signs Exclusive ZTE Distribution Deal

CV Studios Entertainment, a Beverly Hills media and tech solutions company, will be the exclusive reseller of Chinese telecom giant ZTE’s cloud-based business-to-business products.

Zealot Networks Valued at $100 Million

Zealot Networks, led by former Maker Studios chief Danny Zappin, has received an investment that values the digital media startup at $100 million.

North Korea Threatens U.S.

As the White House weighs the appropriate response to the hacking attack on Sony Pictures, officials from North Korea's National Defense Commission, which is headed by the country's leader Kim Jong Un, said its military was ready to fight America “in all war spaces including cyber warfare space” if the United States seeks vengeance for the hacking, NPR reports.

Closures Affect the 5, 170 Freeways

Due to the final stages of a carpool lane construction project at the 5/170 interchange, a section of the northbound 5 Freeway will be closed north of the Burbank Airport late tonight, Caltrans officials warned. The closure will also affect the northbound 170 Freeway at its northern end, the Daily News reports.

NFL: No L.A. Team in 2015

Despite earlier optimism that the National Football League would put a team or two in Los Angeles in 2015, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed the three eligible teams that there will be no L.A. team in 2015, according to league sources, who say the chances of any team filing a relocation application when the window opens on Jan. 1 are slim to none, reports.

Hollywood Hills Residents Fuming at Offramp Closure Plan

A plan to permanently close the southbound Barham Boulevard exit of the Hollywood Freeway in the coming year to make way for a $1.6 billion expansion of Universal Studios has enraged residents who say it will cut off their community, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Holiday Traffic: Almost 7 Million to Drive in Southland

Roughly 6.7 million Southland drivers will hit the road for the holidays, a 3.4 percent increase from last year. It is part of a nationwide holiday travel surge not seen since at least 2001, the Los Angeles Times reports.

ITV Invests in Former Maker CEO’s Zealot Networks

The U.K. Broadcaster ITV topped off a year of acquisitions by investing in Venice’s Zealot Networks, a digital media startup founded by Danny Zappin, who was chief executive of Maker Studios before he was ousted prior to the company’s acquisition by Disney in March, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

North Korea Refuses to Take Part in UN Meeting

Angered by hacking accusations, North Korea is refusing to take part in a groundbreaking U.N. Security Council meeting today where the country's bleak human rights situation will be discussed for the first time, the Associated Press reports.

Hollywood Looks to 2015 to Revive Weak Box Office

Ticket sales at North American theaters this year will total about $10.5 billion, a 4 percent decline from last year, with attendance dropping by about the same percentage, according to projections by the box-office data firm Rentrak, the New York Times reports. Hollywood studios and theater owners attributed the low numbers to delayed blockbusters and expressed optimism about the expected box-office hits of 2015: “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the James Bond film “Spectre” and Pixar’s “Inside Out” among them.

Box Office: The Hobbit Reigns Supreme

Peter Jackson’s franchise finale “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” took the top slot at the weekend box office, taking in $56.2 million, while Twentieth Century Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” trailed far behind with $17.3 million, Variety reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 67 points in Monday morning trading to 17,872. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,070. The Nasdaq was up two points to 4,767.

Beefing Up

FOOD: Premier Meat sees any additional business from launch of consumer-targeted Internet sales venture as gravy.

Premier Meat Co. looks to prove its chops by expanding into online sales.

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Hotels Say Wage Law Works in Favor of Labor

HOSPITALITY: Groups claim union exemption undercuts bargaining by businesses.

Hotel owners say a city of L.A. wage ordinance makes too much room for union organizing.

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Pot Firm High On Nasdaq Bid

Medbox changes up its board and pot business as it looks to build buzz for a jump to Nasdaq.

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Cleaner Has Solution To Cut Waste

Replenish Bottling eyes repeated success with resuable product.

Replenish Bottling looks to mix it up with cleaning products that use refillable concentrate.

Producer Stands on Ceremonies

FiveCurrents steps up to stage opening event for Special Olympics.

FiveCurrents will work to keep 10,000 participants on track during the Special Olympics’ opening ceremony.

Games Run Up Scores for Movies

ENTERTAINMENT: Studios see mobile tie-ins giving films legs.

Studios look to mobile games tied to movies to push the right buttons with fans.

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Biomed Project Gets New Life

DEVELOPMENT: Supervisor switch may power up park plan.

New Eastside county supervisor may provide a shot in the arm for biomedical park project.

Property Buyers Wrap Up Hefty Year-End Deals

REAL ESTATE: $160 million hotel purchase among rush of pickups to close out 2014.

Investors close out the year with a bang and some of the biggest deals of 2014.

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Drug Maker’s Focus Proves Right R/x for Investors

BIOTECH: Xencor’s stock rises as interest increases in company’s research field.

Shares of Xencor get a healthy boost from Wall Street interest in the drug developer’s focus.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Cydcor Inc., an outsourced sales operation company, has moved from Westlake Village to Agoura Hills.

Star a Deal at Any Price

Filming the new low-budget movie “The Humbling” turned out to be a humbling experience for movie superstar Al Pacino.

Disneyland Looks to Ride Instagram Popularity

INTERNET: Park charges MomentFeed with turning photos into boon for brand.

Disneyland visitors’ Instagram photos have given the park an e-ticket to an e-marketing opportunity.

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Toymaker Game to Consolidate in Santa Monica

LEASE: Jakks Pacific takes 65,000 square feet in deal valued at $31 million.

Toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc. will move next year from its perch overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu to a building about three miles inland in Santa Monica.

Bar Brushes Off Painting Claim

NIGHTLIFE: Ex-worker frames portrait as gift from Liz Taylor.

Former Abbey employee says he can’t picture how the bar has claims on his portrait of Elizabeth Taylor.

Year in Review 2014

Special Report

Worth A Look?

Some local Internet advertising companies are taking steps to verify the effectiveness of their ads after news that a company generated cash by creating fraudulent hits on its sites.

How effective are online ads?

Emergency Care for Hospital Deal

Nurse Jackye Gammage-Rogers urges labor union to check out of Daughters of Charity Health System hospital deal.

Special Report 2014 Year in Review timeline

A look at some of L.A.’s biggest business stories.

From speculation about a pro football stadium in Inglewood to Sony’s ‘Interview’ saga, the Business Journal clocks in with 2014’s biggest stories.


Upcoming local conventions.


Upcoming local events.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Dov Charney was officially fired from American Apparel Inc., and this time for good, after an internal investigation found he violated the terms of his employment agreement. T

Attorney Get His Fill of Work at Doughnut Shops

EMPLOYMENT: Rich Reinis on to second firm after life as Kripsy Kreme franchisee.

After decades of practicing law, Rich Reinis felt something was missing.

Accelerator Hits Brakes on Office Space Expense

INVESTMENT: Launchpad moves into spending more on programs, events.

Santa Monica tech accelerator Launchpad LA has officially ditched its office space at 1520 Second St. as part of its shift to a model emulating the country’s top accelerator, Mountain View’s Y Combinator.

Builder Scores Big Payout From Las Vegas Project

CONSTRUCTION: Tutor Perini scores $190 million for halted MGM hotel.

Investors put their money on Tutor Perini after firm reaches settlement on ill-fated Las Vegas project.

Pair of Suspects Arrested, Charged in ATM Scheme

INVESTMENT: Executives at NASI accused of selling machines that did not exist.

Federal prosecutors arrest and charge pair of executives in ATM Ponzi scheme.

Friday, December 19

Largest L.A. Law Firm Relocates Following DaVinci Fire

Less than two weeks after a fire damaged its downtown L.A. headquarters, law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith agreed to move to the iconic U.S. Bank Tower building at 633 W. Fifth St.

Haggen to Take Over Vons, Albertsons in Los Angeles

Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen Food & Pharmacy will buy 28 Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons stores located in Los Angeles, part of a divestment process sparked by the merger of grocers Albertson’s and Safeway.

American Apparel, Xencor Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 2 percent to close at 218, with gainers outpacing losers 111 to 41. Eight companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27 points in Friday trading to close at 17,805. The S&P 500 rose nine points to 2,071. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 4,765. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 218.

L.A. Launch List: Dec. 19

On this week's Launch List: A new VC fund, a marketing platform and another service from Uber.

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L.A. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady Despite Job Gains

The California Employment Development Department reported that Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 8 percent last month as the number of residents reporting they were working barely budged.

Investigators: Downtown Fire Was Arson

Authorities confirmed on Thursday that the cause of the massive fire that consumed an under-construction downtown Los Angeles luxury building was arson, Reuters reports.

Nazarian Scores License Contingent on Drug Tests

Members of the Nevada State Gaming Commission, who planned to reject nightlife mogul Sam Nazarian’s application for a gaming license after revelations of drug use and payouts to a felon, changed course and granted him the license on the condition that he takes frequent, random drug tests and creates a $50,000 credit line to pay for them, along with any additional commission investigations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

American Apparel Stock Rises on Possible Takeover

American Apparel Inc. has been approached by Irving Place Capital about a possible takeover, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Sony Cyberattack Hacks at Hollywood Relationships

Prominent members of Hollywood’s creative community were angered when Sony Pictures pulled “The Interview,” a move they saw as a failure by the studio to make a stand for artistic freedom, the New York Times reports.

Sony Execs: ‘The Interview’ is ‘Desperately Unfunny’

Even before Sony Pictures canceled the release of “The Interview” due to hacker threats, studio executives were concerned that the film was “desperately unfunny” and would tank at the box office, leaked emails reveal, according to Reuters.

Port of L.A. Warehouse Workers Sue Over Pay and Working Conditions

A group of warehouse workers at the Port of Los Angeles filed suit against California Cartage Co., a major trucking and distribution company, claiming they have been underpaid and subjected to harsh working conditions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Microsoft Sues Its L.A. Impersonator

Microsoft Corp. sued Los Angeles company Omni Tech Support, a division of Customer Focus Services, accusing it of using the Microsoft name to scam customers into buying hundreds of dollars in support services to fix nonexistent bugs, then stealing personal information or installing malicious software, Bloomberg reports.

Creditor Will Fight San Bernardino Bankruptcy Plan Favoring Calpers

Once hearings resume next year, a major creditor of bankrupt San Bernardino will push against a deal the city reached with Calpers in November that will see the pension fund paid in full, a source familiar with the creditor's strategy told Reuters on Thursday.

Billionaires Buy, Sell in Beverly Hills

Eric Smidt, chief executive of hardware retailer Harbor Freight Tools and No. 41 on the Business Journal’s list of the Wealthiest Angelenos, has sold a Beverly Hills estate for $39.9 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Smidt’s not leaving town, though: He owns another Beverly Hills estate, known as the Knoll, once owned by oil and entertainment tycoon Marvin Davis. Meanwhile, another billionaire is moving in: Markus Persson, the Swedish creator of video game “Minecraft” who sold his company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion this year, just paid $70 million for a Beverly Hills mansion, according to the Times.

Oops: Purse-Snatcher Robs Councilman’s Granny

The Los Angeles Police Department is on the lookout for a skateboarder who snatched a purse from a 94-year-old Wilmington women -- who happens to be the grandmother of Los Angeles City Councilman and former LAPD officer Joe Buscaino, the Daily Breeze reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 13 points in Friday morning trading to 17,790. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,066. The Nasdaq was up nine points to 4,757.

Thursday, December 18

Zealot Networks Buys AudioMicro for $20 Million

Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks has made its first buy. The recently launched digital media company announced Thursday it purchased a majority stake in music licensing firm AudioMicro for $20 million.

Spokeo CEO Talks Record Growth

Spokeo announced this week it hit $57 million in revenue this year, a 159 percent increase over the last three-year period.

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Maguire Secures Investment in Water’s Edge Campus

Real estate investment firm DivcoWest announced Thursday that it has completed a joint venture with storied L.A. developer Rob Maguire to gain an interest in his Playa Vista creative office campus, Water’s Edge.

Charney Reacts to Firing, Yahoo Reports

Dov Charney provided a statement to Yahoo Finance on Wednesday saying he was offered “a lucrative multi-million dollar compensation package” to remain with American Apparel, the news outlet reported.

LAX Board Approves $4 Billion Train Project

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, which oversees the Los Angeles International Airport, has approved a $4 billion project that includes building a train that will link LAX to a new Metro rail station nearby.

Long Beach Attorney Pleads Guilty to Marijuana Money Laundering

A Long Beach attorney who helped the owner of a chain of marijuana shops launder money pled guilty to federal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced on Thursday.

L.A. Chamber Endorses Councilman Huizar’s Re-election Bid

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar’s re-election bid against challenger Gloria Molina, Huizar’s campaign announced Thursday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 421 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,778. The S&P 500 rose 48 points to 2,061. The Nasdaq rose 104 points to 4,748. The LABJ Stock Index rose four points to 217.

Work/Life: Jim Buch

The chief executive of Lynx Grills Inc. on disconnecting, priorities and breaking a sweat.

In 2012, Jim Buch became the chief executive of Lynx Grills Inc., a Downey manufacturer of premium grills and outdoor kitchen appliances – including a smart grill that talks to you. Prior to Lynx, he was the chief of SunBriteTV, the largest manufacturer of outdoor high-definition TVs. All companies considered, Buch has been a chief executive for almost 34 years. He is also a keynote speaker and business practice leader for the Josephson Institute of Ethics, Los Angeles, where he speaks to Fortune 500 and smaller companies on issues related to building a sustainable and ethical business culture. A second-generation Southern California native, he lives in Palos Verdes with his wife and two children. He teaches scuba diving and advanced diving skills in his spare time. We spoke with Buch about how to disconnect in an always-on world.

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Sony Attack Came From North Korea

U.S. officials announced Wednesday that North Korea was “centrally involved” in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking that led to the studio’s decision to pull the theatrical release of “The Interview,” reports the New York Times. The dark comedy revolved around an ill-planned plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Seth Rogen, James Franco Tap Bodyguards

Seth Rogen and James Franco, the two stars behind Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “The Interview,” have retained bodyguards after hackers threatened violence against anyone who watched the film, according to the New York Daily News. The actors had already canceled promotional appearances for the comedy.

New U.S.-Cuba Ties Create Tourism Hopes

The travel industry is quietly taking note of new tourism opportunities to Cuba following President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday to reinstate relations with the island country, reports ABC News. Americans had been banned from traveling to the Communist nation and spending money there for more than 50 years.

U.S. Jobless Aid Applications Decline

Fewer Americans filed for state unemployment benefits for the week ending Dec. 13, reflecting growing confidence in the labor market, reports Reuters. The Labor Department said jobless aid applications fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the lowest level since October.

Playa Vista Office Attracts Tenants with $8 Million Upgrades

A once vacant Playa Vista office complex has leased space to digital media company Fullscreen and investment company GroupM after completing an $8 million makeover, reports the Los Angeles Times. The space, I|O, is one of many new buildings that are attracting creative and tech types — Google and Yahoo to name two recent renters — looking to set up in Playa Vista.

L.A. Artwork Recovered from Million-Dollar Heist

Nine artworks were recovered after being stolen six years ago in what was considered one of the biggest art thefts in L.A. history, reports the Los Angeles Times. Federal authorities detained the man believed responsible after he attempted to sell the pieces, worth $10 million, for $700,000.

Falling Ruble Spurs Russian Spending

The falling value of Russia’s currency has caused Russians to flock to cash registers, buying cars, home appliances and other large items, before prices for imported goods skyrocket, reports the Daily Mail. At one point Tuesday, the ruble fell 20 percent against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 223 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,579. The S&P 500 was up 26 points to 2,039. The Nasdaq was up 65 points to 4,710.

Wednesday, December 17

Sony Hack Reveals Snapchat Acquisitions

The hacked emails have turned a spotlight on Snapchat and two previously unknown acquisitions.

Smiletime Launches Interactive Video Platform

Smile for the camera – and talk to your favorite celebrity. That’s what Smiletime is offering to TV fans with its new interactive video platform.

Tutor Perini Settles Vegas Case

Tutor Perini Corp. has reached a nearly $190 million settlement with the owners of the CityCenter project in Las Vegas over a hotel that never opened due to alleged construction flaws.

Sony Cancels Release of ‘The Interview’ After Hacker Threats

Sony Pictures officially decided on Wednesday not to release the film “The Interview” in theaters on Christmas Day, the Culver City studio said in a statement.

21st Century Fox to Acquire TrueX

Video ads can be annoying, but they also can be somewhat of an art. After all, how do you grab the attention of online consumers who have grown to ignore them?

American Apparel Stock Rises on Charney Ouster

American Apparel Inc. stock rose 17 percent Wednesday on the news that Dov Charney has been fired – for good – and will be replaced by veteran fashion executive Paula Schneider next month.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 288 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,357. The S&P 500 rose 40 points to 2,013. The Nasdaq rose 96 points to 4,644. The LABJ Stock Index rose four points to 213.

Poll: What would L.A.’s business operators most like to see reduced in 2015?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Port Volume Up in Long Beach, Down in L.A.

Last month was the Port of Long Beach’s busiest November since 2007, with cargo volume up 2.1 percent over a year ago.

Ratkovich Adds Downtown Retail Tenants

Downtown L.A. developer Ratkovich Co. last week announced that two retail tenants have signed leases for the Bloc, a mixed-use redevelopment of the mall at 700 S. Flower St., and a third committed to staying put.

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Sam Nazarian Gives Up Vegas Hotel After Drug and Extortion Revelations

L.A. nightclub, restaurant and hotel owner Sam Nazarian’s recent attempt to expand into Las Vegas was throttled by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, whose routine vetting of Nazarian for a gaming license revealed recent cocaine use and roughly $3 million in payments to a felon with convictions for drug possession and money laundering, the Los Angeles Times reports. On Tuesday, Nazarian relinquished all control of his Las Vegas hotel to his principal investor, Stockbridge Capital.

‘Interview’ Premiere Canceled After Hackers Threaten Terrorist Attack

The New York premiere of “The Interview,” slated for Thursday, was canceled after Sony Pictures’ hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack on moviegoers at theaters that show the film, the New York Post reports. Sony told theaters they can opt out of their commitments to show the movie.

Storm Brings Snow, Waves, Flash Flood Warnings

The second of back-to-back storms, which started early Tuesday, produced snow in local mountains and high surf along the coast while raising flash flood warnings in the San Gabriel Valley, the Daily News reports.

LAPD Will Get 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that 7,000 police officers citywide will receive and wear body cameras by mid-2016, the Daily News reports.

Sneaky Congress Ends Federal Ban on Medical Marijuana

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure that passed Congress over the weekend is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple Halts Online Sales in Russia as Ruble Collapses

Apple Inc. halted online sales of its products to Russia today due to extreme fluctuations in the country’s currency, the ruble, which lost as much as 19 percent today, Bloomberg reports.

Ethics Commission Fines Former Candidate

Navraj Singh, a restaurateur who unsuccessfully campaigned for a spot on the Los Angeles City Council, and his campaign treasurer were fined $43,000 by the Ethics Commission on Tuesday for failing to keep accurate records and faking documents, along with other campaign violations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Metrolink CEO to Resign

Metrolink’s Chief Executive Michael DePallo will resign after little more than two years, as the agency struggles with financial issues, outdated infrastructure and political criticism, the Orange County Register reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 93 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,161. The S&P 500 was up 13 points to 1,986. The Nasdaq was up 19 points to 4,567.

Tuesday, December 16

Upfront Ventures Raises $280 Million Fund

The Santa Monica VC firm has raised $280 million to close its fifth fund, General Partner Mark Suster announced on his blog.

Dov Charney Fired -- Again

Dov Charney has been fired by American Apparel Inc., this time for good.

Serviz Fixes on $12.5 Million

These days, you can request anything with the push of a button. And Serviz, an on-demand home service startup, is showing just how much investors are willing to back this new business model.

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Hotel Industry Sues L.A. over Minimum Wage Law

Hotel industry groups on Tuesday sued the city of Los Angeles in federal court over the city’s enactment of a minimum wage ordinance requiring large non-union hotels to pay their workers $15.37 an hour.

OneWest Expected to Receive Over $2.4 Billion From FDIC

Livingston, N.J., finance firm CIT Group Inc. is expected to collect $1.4 billion from federal regulators to cover future losses should its purchase of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank be approved, according to a report from a group trying to hold up the deal.

Feds Charge Pair in $100 million Ponzi Scheme

Two Woodland Hills men accused of orchestrating a 15-year-long Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly 2,000 investors of more than $100 million were charged Tuesday in federal court.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 112 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,069. The S&P 500 fell 17 points to 1,973. The Nasdaq fell 57 points to 4,548. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 209.

NantWorks Strikes Deal with Sorrento Therapeutics

NantWorks, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Culver City holding company, has inked a deal with San Diego biopharmaceutical firm Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. to develop cancer and auto-immune disease treatments.

DCHS: Bucking Union, Members Support Sale to Prime

A growing number of union members at the six Daughters of Charity Health System hospitals in California have gone against their own union leadership and signed petitions in support of the sale of the hospitals to Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, the hospital chain said.

Ace in the Hole? Downtown Hotel Listed for Sale

Less than a year after opening its doors, the Ace Hotel Los Angeles in downtown L.A.’s Broadway Theater District is on the market.

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Studios Break Silence on Sony Hack

Breaking Hollywood’s silence over the cyber assault on Sony Pictures, the Motion Picture Association of America expressed support for the studio as it tries to recover from the worst hack in industry history, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More Rain This Evening

The weaker of two storms forecast to hit Southern California came early this morning. A bigger one is expected to strike this evening and last until Wednesday, KTLA reports.

L.A. to Pitch Hosting the 2024 Olympic Games

Mayor Eric Garcetti and a group of advisors will have an hour to convince U.S. Olympic Committee officials today that Los Angeles is the best place to hold the 2024 Summer Games, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Debt Fund Loses Clients After Founder Departs

The departure of Larry Post from Santa Monica high-yield debt fund Post Advisory Group has led to a loss of clients and a legal battle with firm owner Principal Financial Group Inc., Bloomberg reports.

Court Stops Construction of VA Theater

A federal appeals court on Monday ordered the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to halt construction of an amphitheater on its West Los Angeles campus, the Los Angeles Times reports. The theater was being developed by a nonprofit group for alternative therapies for veterans and their families, including tai chi and yoga, but the attorney who sued over it questioned why veterans would need a stage to do tai chi.

A Movie a Day for a Monthly Fee

AMC Theaters has struck a pilot partnership with MoviePass, a three-year-old company focused on letting people attend a movie a day for one monthly fee, the New York Times reports.

Obit: Larry Cano, Founder of El Torito

Larry Cano, who pioneered the Mexican dinner house concept and popularized the margarita as the founder of the El Torito chain, which had its first location in Encino, has died at 90, the Orange County Register reports.

James Bond is Switching Vodka Brands

Belvedere Vodka has signed on to co-star in the next James Bond movie, “Spectre.” The deal, which involves three firms with rights to the Bond brand – Eon Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment – will include product placement, worldwide advertising campaigns, limited-edition bottles with 007 themes and a drink named the Belvedere Spectre martini, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 187 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,368. The S&P 500 was up 21 points to 2,011. The Nasdaq was up 23 points to 4,628.

Monday, December 15

Virtual Piggy Banks Partnership

Virtual Piggy, a payments provider for teens, has added another partner to its playpen.

DashGo Acquired by AdRev

Digital music distributor DashGo has been acquired by AdRev, a division of digital licensing firm AudioMicro Inc., which helps artists collect revenue from music used in YouTube videos.

Surf Air Begins Oakland Service

Surf Air started service on Monday to Oakland International Airport, the eighth destination for the aviation startup that largely serves executives and professionals.

SEC to Dismiss Herbalife Case After Roommates Flee to Poland

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday filed to dismiss charges against a man accused of profiting from privileged information related to the embattled Los Angeles nutritional supplement company Herbalife.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 100 points in Monday trading to close at 17,181. The S&P 500 fell 13 points to 1,990. The Nasdaq fell 48 points to 4,605. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 210.

Uber Parks in Larger Santa Monica Offices

Despite a deluge of bad publicity in recent months, San Francisco ridesharing company Uber Technologies Inc. has decided to put down deeper stakes in Silicon Beach.

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Police Storm Sydney Cafe, Ending Seige

Heavily armed Australian police stormed a cafe in central Sydney where gunman Haron Monis had been holding hostages at gunpoint, bringing an end to a siege lasting more than 16 hours, the Wall Street Journal reports.

More Rain Tonight

A relatively smaller storm is expected to reach the Los Angeles area tonight with steady rainfall continuing into Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Oil Jumps as Fighting Stops Exports

Crude oil prices jumped the most in two weeks early Monday after fighting stopped exports from Libya’s largest and third-largest crude ports, and workers at Nigerian oil platforms and shipping terminals began an indefinite strike that will soon affect production, Bloomberg reports.

Sony Demands That Media Delete ‘Stolen’ Information

Sony Pictures Entertainment warned media outlets on Sunday against using the data leaked by hackers, the New York Times reports. In a letter sent to news organizations, David Boies, a lawyer hired by Sony, said the documents are “stolen information” and demanded that they be destroyed if they had already been downloaded or otherwise acquired.

Sony Hack a Wakeup Call for Hollywood

As the hack on Sony Pictures airs the studio’s dirty laundry, major film companies are examining how to best protect their computer systems and are telling employees to be more guarded with what they put in emails, which could lead to a shift toward more face-to-face conversations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Gets Federal Funding for Earthquake Early-Warning System

California received congressional funding to begin rolling out an earthquake early-warning system next year, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Largest Private-Equity Buyout of the Year

PetSmart Inc. agreed to be acquired by a group led by BC Partners Inc. for more than $8.2 billion in the largest private-equity buyout this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Obituary: Phil Stern

Photographer Phil Stern, who captured intimate portraits of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Frank Sinatra and other Hollywood stars, died Saturday, Variety reports. He was 95.

Box Office: ‘Exodus’ Dethrones ‘Mockingjay’

20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings” topped the U.S. box office this weekend with a $24.5 million debut, dethroning “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” which fell to the No. 2 slot, taking in $13.2 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points in Monday morning trading to 17,302. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,005. The Nasdaq was down seven points to 4,646.

Tall Order

DEVELOPMENT: Company behind high-rise project hopes to move forward with help from state environmental designation.

Mixed-use tower project stands tall against opposition with help from state environmental designation.

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Mover Looks To Feast With Grocery

Buddytruk hooks up with Whole Foods to deliver more business.

Buddytruk looks to load up on customers by partnering with the Whole Foods grocery chain.

China Firm Plans To Light Up L.A.

Igoo hopes opening ‘smartlamp’ shop proves bright idea.

Chinese company Igoo hopes Angelenos take a shine to its Bluetooth-enabled “smartlamp.”

Have Child, Will Travel

Being a new dad to a crying baby can be tough. But Erik Evens and his wife, Robin Lee, found a way to cope when their daughter was born six years ago.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

CallFire Inc., a Santa Monica provider of cloud phone and text services, has acquired FireText, a U.K. text-message marketing firm.

Security Firm Hopes for Boom in Bomb Detection

TECHNOLOGY: Rapiscan looks to expand system to commercial customers.

Rapiscan hopes for explosive growth by pursuing new customers for its bomb-detection system.

Video Service Helps Make Cases With Attorneys

LAW: Evaluator system aims to streamline submission process for potential clients.

Bill Kerbox’s service lets potential clients court attorneys through video submissions.

Diversified Investor Puts Money Into Ailing Bank

LENDING: Alex Meruelo to take control of NCAL despite scrutiny over payday loans.

Alex Meruelo further diversifies eclectic portfolio with deal for controlling stake in NCAL Bancorp.

Logistics Firm Headed Wrong Way for Investors

shipping: CEO’s exodus latest setback for falling stock of UTi Worldwide.

Logistics firm UTi Worldwide loses more ground on Wall Street after sales talk goes nowhere.

Online Video Network’s Focus Expands to India

INTERNET: Fullscreen teams with Qyuki to connect with country’s millennials.

Online video network Fullscreen looks to channel more overseas viewers with Indian partnership.

Clothing Maker Falls Out Of Fashion With Investors

APPAREL: Guess shares fall on rough quarter; analyst upbeat about e-commerce.

Clothing company Guess continues to look for answers as quarterly revenue and profit fall.

Meal Ordering System Adds Review Site to Plate

INTERNET: ChowNow joins with Yelp to drive more orders to restaurant clients.

The menu is getting larger for clients of Venice’s ChowNow, an online ordering system and marketing platform for restaurants.

Small Business Seeks Bigger Piece of County’s Pie

CONTRACTING: Sector gets less than 1 percent of deals; 25 percent sought.

It’s an embarrassing statistic: In the small-business capital of the nation, less than one half of 1 percent of all Los Angeles County contracts and purchase orders go to small businesses.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Glendale’s DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will soon fill TV screens in 19 Asian territories with Kung Fu Pandas and kindhearted green monsters.


Upcoming local events.


Upcoming local conventions

Ridesharing Firm Picks Up Santa Monica Space

LEASE: Uber adds second location in city with deal valued at $28.8 million.

Despite a deluge of bad publicity in recent months, San Francisco ridesharing company Uber Technologies Inc. has decided to put down deeper stakes in Silicon Beach.

On the Wrong Road

Angelenos can expect more traffic and higher rents, Charles Crumpley writes. Also, he pines for the good old days of….Frank McCourt?

Vaping Up In Smoke?

As vaping becomes more popular, vendors are facing increased competition and the possibility of government restrictions of the practice. So the Business Journal asks:

Do you think vaping should be banned from public spaces?

Cars Hit Road With Cheap Leases, Easy Credit

Easy credit and low lease rates boost traffic at car dealerships.

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Special Report Banking & Finance: Driving Interest

Investors tired of spinning their wheels in pursuit of returns have turned to packaged securities of auto loans, some even made to the riskiest borrowers.

Hunt for returns drives lenders and investors to portfolios of auto loans, some to subprime borrowers.

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Oil Firm’s Stock Trapped in Hole

ENERGY: Price hedge can’t buoy BreitBurn in sinking sector.

Price hedge fails to power up shares of oil and gas company BreitBurn.

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Online Ads Not Looking So Good

INTERNET: Industry steps up to track, counter fraudulent views.

Fraudulent ad views spur online publishers and their clients to take another look at how audiences are measured.

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Chef Missing Ingredient at Eateries

DINING: Ex-partner stews over David Myers’ exit to new venture.

Ex-partner has turned up the legal heat on David Myers and the celebrity chef’s new overseas focus.

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‘Baywatch’ Eyes Splash in China

TV: Producer looks to revive lifeguards for hungry market.

Producer looks to ride wave of Chinese interest in Hollywood with remake of “Baywatch.”

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Friday, December 12

L.A. Launch List: Dec. 12

On this week's Launch List: A children-friendly streaming service, an ad tech firm and a celebrity's mobile game.

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Kite Pharma, Medbox Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell 3 percent to close at 213, with losers outpacing gainers 111 to 44. Five companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 316 points in Friday trading to close at 17,281. The S&P 500 fell 33 points to 2,002. The Nasdaq fell 55 points to 4,654. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 213.

Lindsay Lohan Reveals ‘The Price of Fame’

Lindsay Lohan is trying to keep up with at least one Kardashian. The actress has unveiled “The Price of Fame,” a mobile game designed to be a parody of celebrity culture and paparazzi.

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Jacobs Team Beats Tutor, Parsons for Rail Project Segment

A consortium that includes Pasadena engineering giant Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has won the bid to design and construct the second phase of the state’s high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority in Sacramento announced Thursday.

When it Rains, It Pours

A storm that wreaked havoc on the Bay Area raged on Southern California early Friday, causing thousands of power outages, mudslides, evacuations, home damage and flooded roadways. KPCC reports that the southbound lanes of the710 Freeway at Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach are among several road closures.

Sony Pictures’ Pascal Under Fire

Sony Pictures Entertainment co-Chairwoman Amy Pascal has come under fire after hackers released confidential emails in which she made racially insensitive remarks about President Obama, namely speculating that he liked the films “Django Unchained” and “The Butler.” Pascal issued an apology for the remarks on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports, and she told Bloomberg that she retained the support of Sony Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai and has not offered to resign.

Crude Dips Below $60

The American benchmark price for crude oil fell below the $60-a-barrel mark Thursday, the first time it has ben at that level in more than five years. The fall was accompanied by yet another steep drop in gas prices, the New York Times reports.

Koch Charity Sues Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a nonprofit group backed by the Koch brothers, has sued Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris for seeking the names and addresses of the group's donors, UT San Diego reports.

CBS Extends Moonves’ Contract

Les Moonves received a two-year extension of his contract and will remain chief executive of CBS Corp. through June 2019, Variety reports.

Bro-Centric Woven Raises $18 Million

Culver City’s Woven Digital, which operates more than a dozen dude-centric websites like BroBible and Uproxx, announced on Thursday that it has raised $18 million in Series A funding, TechCrunch reports.

Beverly Hills School Board Recruits Kids to Make Anti-Subway Videos

The Beverly Hills Unified School District has spent more than $3 million of school construction bond money fighting the Purple Line subway, which will eventually travel under Beverly Hills High School. Now, the school board has turned to students to create three anti-subway videos, according to Beverly Highlights, the high school’s newspaper.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 183 points in Friday morning trading to 17,413. The S&P 500 was down 18 points to 2,017. The Nasdaq was down 25 points to 4,683.

Thursday, December 11

VideoAmp Launches Ad Tech Startup with $2.2 Million

Ad tech startup VideoAmp loves that it’s starting from scratch.

DreamWorks’ AwesomenessTV Sells Stake to Hearst

AwesomenessTV is living up to its name, according to one media giant. Hearst Corp. has acquired a 25 percent stake in DreamWorks Animation’s subsidiary for $81 million.

Collective Digital Studio Axes Collective Arm

Multichannel network Collective Digital Studio last year spun out of music management firm The Collective, and now it’s leaving its parent behind.

Woven Digital Wheels Out $18 Million

Pop culture publisher Woven Digital, the company behind entertainment sites Uproxx and BroBible, has raised $18 million in Series A financing.

Game Version Takes ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Mobile

A mobile game based on hit TV biker drama “Sons of Anarchy” is in revving up for release.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 63 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,596. The S&P 500 rose nine points to 2,035. The Nasdaq rose 24 points to 4,708. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 215.

Chinese Freight Firm Signs Large Lease in Cerritos

OTX Logistics Inc., an international freight-forwarder based in Hong Kong with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, has signed a lease to move inland from the South Bay to consolidate and expand its warehouse footprint by more than 360 percent.

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Work/Life: Erich Joiner

The founder of production company Tool on keeping a director’s schedule, soccer tournaments and priceless advice from his daughter.

Erich Joiner, a 51-year-old Emmy-winning commercial director, founded production company Tool in Santa Monica almost 20 years ago. The company, which produces commercial and digital campaigns for major global brands including PlayStation, Google and Target, now also has offices in New York and London. Joiner began his career as an art director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where he collaborated on the famous “Got Milk?” campaign before leaving to found Tool in 1995. Joiner has received several Cannes Gold Lions, a Directors Guild of America Award nomination and a News and Documentary Emmy Award. When he isn’t directing commercial campaigns or assisting with other projects at the company, he races cars, watches his two daughters play sports and surfs near his Manhattan Beach home. We spoke with Joiner about making time for what is important.

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Dodgers Trading Matt Kemp to Padres, Sources Say

The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-hander Joe Wieland and another pitcher, possibly right-hander Zach Eflin, sources told U-T San Diego, though the deal has not been officially announced. The Dodgers would send the Padres about $30 million to cover a portion of the $107 million that remains on Kemp’s contract.

Leak Reveals Disney, Koch Tax Deals

Walt Disney Co., Koch Industries Inc. and other companies channeled hundreds of millions of dollars in profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg in secret deals designed to avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to an international group of investigative journalists, the New York Times reports.

Gas Below $3 in L.A.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell below $3 Wednesday in Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Storm to Bring Big Surf to L.A. Beaches

A strong Pacific storm will bring high surf to Los Angeles County beaches later this week, peaking on Friday, forecasters said, according to the Daily News.

Arson Investigators Look Into Downtown Fire

More than 20 members of a federal response team that handles arson investigations are trying to get to the bottom of the fire that consumed the Da Vinci residential complex that was being built in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High Drama in Treasure Trove of Sony Emails

Thousands of Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-chairman Amy Pascal’s emails were leaked as part of a massive hacking attack, and they reveal dramatic and angry exchanges between her and other big Hollywood players. One was Producer Scott Rudin, who was working with Pascal on a biopic of Steve Jobs until the studio pulled out last month, the Wall Street Journal reports.

‘Bridezilla’ Charged with Insurance Fraud

A former “Bridezilla” who was left at the altar in a 2007 episode of the reality show turned herself in to Los Angeles County authorities on Tuesday to face charges that she lied to her doctor and submitted fraudulent documents to get workers compensation benefits she didn’t need, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Vending Machine Uses Facial Recognition to Shame You

The Luce X2 Touch TV vending machine, recently released in England, can use facial recognition to deny certain customers junk food based on previous purchases, age and health records, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 192 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,725. The S&P 500 was up 25 points to 2,051. The Nasdaq was up 64 points to 2,749.

Wednesday, December 10

DCDC Expands Theater Network

Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition, which distributes digital content to partnered movie theaters via satellite and ground technology, has added Carmike Cinemas Inc., Marcus Theatres and Wehrenberg Theatres to its network.

DreamWorks to Launch TV Channels in 19 Asian Countries

DreamWorks Animation Inc. plans to launch a TV channel in 19 Asian countries next year, the Glendale studio announced.

L.A. Car Dealers Get Prison Time for Tax Evasion

Two brothers who ran used car dealerships in Los Angeles have been sentenced to three years in state prison for tax evasion, the State Board of Equalization announced on Wednesday.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 268 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,533. The S&P 500 fell 34 points to 2,026. The Nasdaq fell 82 points to 4,684. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points to 215.

Cherokee Shares Rise After Earnings Beat Expectations

Cherokee Global Brands announced third-quarter financials significantly higher than expectations, causing shares to jump nearly 11 percent.

New York Co-Working Space Signs Large Santa Monica Lease

WeWork, a company that rents shared office space to fledgling entrepreneurs, has signed a 10-year lease for a little more than 40,000 square feet at 520 Broadway in Santa Monica.

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Poll: How effective are online ads?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Fullscreen Joins Forces with India’s Qyuki

Fullscreen has entered an exclusive partnership with Qyuki, a multichannel network in India, to tap into the South Asian country’s growing video market.

L.A. Sues Uber

The district attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco on Tuesday sued Uber, seeking a permanent injunction of the business until it complies with California law. The attorneys allege that the company misleads customers into believing it screens out drivers who have committed criminal offenses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

DreamWorks to Launch TV Channels in Asia

Glendale’s DreamWorks Animation Inc. announced Tuesday that it plans to start its own television channels in 19 countries in Asia, which will be available in the second half of 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Retrofit Plan Will Raise Rents, Groups Say

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's earthquake retrofit plan will raise rents and financially distress owners, a tenants' rights group and building owners predicted Tuesday, KPCC reports.

Council Members Crack Down on Weed Shop Certificates

Councilwoman Nury Martinez and Councilman Jose Huizar are pushing to end the city practice of issuing tax registration certificates to medical marijuana shops without determining if they are allowed to operate under Proposition D, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Sheriff’s Department to Get Civilian Oversight

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the creation of a civilian commission to oversee the Sheriff’s Department, City News Service reports.

House Approves California Drought Bill That is Unlikely to Pass Senate

The U.S. House on Tuesday passed a California drought bill, despite a veto threat from the Obama administration and its likely death in the Senate, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill was an effort by House Republicans to weaken endangered species protections that have restricted water deliveries, and was opposed by environmentalists, the White House and Gov. Jerry Brown's administration.

Board Approves $11 Million to Fix LAUSD Records System

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved more than $11 million in additional funds to address problems caused by Los Angeles Unified School District’s disaster-prone student records system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mountain Lion Crosses the 405

National Park Service scientists have verified a report of a mountain lion, who most likely crossed the 405 Freeway, in the open space between Bel Air and Los Feliz, KPCC reports. Only one other mountain lion has ever been known to make the same journey east: a cougar which ended up in Griffith Park after crossing the 101 Freeway.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 137 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,674. The S&P 500 was down 13 points to 2,047. The Nasdaq was down 19 points to 4,747.

Tuesday, December 9

Uber Sued by L.A. and San Francisco District Attorneys

Los Angeles and San Francisco District Attorneys have flashed a glaring red light to Uber’s ridesharing operations in California, filing a lawsuit Tuesday that claims the company committed multiple business practice violations including misleading passengers on the safety of their rides.

More Boeing Layoffs Coming

Boeing Co. will lay off 360 people in Southern California between Dec. 12 and Jan. 1, according to state-required layoff notices posted by the California Employment Development Department. The Chicago aerospace manufacturer will lay off 98 workers in El Segundo, 137 in Long Beach and 125 in Huntington Beach, according to the notices.

TigerText Expands Messaging Features

TigerText, the company that powers text messaging systems for businesses, has added features to its messaging app to broaden its enterprise appeal.

OSI to Manufacture Suicide Bomb Detector

Rapiscan Systems Inc., a Torrance supplier of security inspection systems, announced Tuesday that it has added a suicide-bomb detector to its portfolio.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,801. The S&P 500 stayed flat at 2,060. The Nasdaq gained 26 points to 4,766. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 218.

Snapchat Snaps Up Chief Strategy Officer

Snapchat has hired veteran banker Imran Khan to become its first chief strategy officer, a spokeswoman for the Venice startup said.

UTi Staying Mum on CEO Exit

Amid rumors of a possible sale of the company, Long Beach supply chain services provider UTi Worldwide Inc. said late Monday that Eric W. Kirchner had resigned as chief executive and Edward G. Feitzinger would take over the top spot, effective immediately.

Arson Behind Downtown L.A. Fire?

Fire officials say they are “inclined” to believe a fire that engulfed a massive development in downtown Los Angeles yester was intentionally set, though until arson investigators examine the wreckage, it’s impossible to determine the cause, the Los Angeles Times reports.

110 Freeway Reopened After Fire

After closures due to the fire in downtown Los Angeles, the 110 Freeway was fully reopened around 5:20 a.m. today, KTLA reports.

Blue Shield Taps Medicaid Market with Acquisition

Blue Shield of California on Monday announced it will enter the Medicaid market by acquiring Monterey Park’s Care1st Health Plan, the Pasadena Star News reports.

Hiring in L.A. to Remain Steady

Local employers plan to hire at a steady pace during the first quarter of next year, according to a survey released Tuesday from Manpower Inc., the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Fund Rose 100-fold Since Gross Came Aboard

The total assets of the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund have grown by a hundredfold, to more than $1.2 billion, since the arrival of former PIMCO boss Bill Gross, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti Asks for Earthquake Retrofit Mandate

In the most sweeping earthquake safety campaign ever attempted in California, Los Angeles officials proposed Monday to require the owners of thousands of buildings in the city to retrofit them ﹘ on their own dime ﹘ against earthquake damage, the New York Times reports.

Reversing Course, Lawmakers Question GMO Ban

Some Los Angeles lawmakers expressed concerns on Monday about a proposed ban on growing genetically modified crops, a measure that had previously faced little to no resistance within City Hall, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Long Beach Residents Wait in Line for Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts opened one of its latest California stores today in Long Beach, with just as much fanfare as openings elsewhere in Los Angeles County. The new location drew long lines of people waiting to sample the East Coast chain’s goods, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial was down 175 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,677. The S&P 500 was down 19 points to 2,041. The Nasdaq was down 41 points to 4,700.

Monday, December 8

L.A. Hiring to Stay Steady in First Quarter

Local employers plan to hire at a solid, steady pace during the first quarter of next year, according to a survey released Tuesday from Manpower Inc.

DeviantArt Unveils Mobile App

DeviantArt, an art enthusiast site, has released its first mobile app to expand its online community of artists and art lovers.

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Amgen Releases Results; FDA Approves XGEVA

Amgen Inc. has released detailed positive results from a study on cancer treatment Kyprolis, a key drug for the biopharmaceutical company that disappointed investors with earlier trial results.

L.A. Man Arrested for Selling Louis Vuitton, Chanel Fakes

An undercover operation led by state investigators led to the arrest of a Los Angeles man and the confiscation of $300,000 worth of counterfeit Gucci, Dior, and Prada sunglasses, among other high-end brands, officials said Monday.

Report: L.A. Small Business Owners Plan Growth

Small business owners in Los Angles are expecting sunny skies, with 62 percent of them confident the local economy will improve over the next 12 months, according to the latest Small Business Owner Report, released Monday by Bank of America.

CollegeHumor to Shop for Buyer

Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp is reported to be shopping comedy website CollegeHumor, for about $100 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 106 points in Monday trading to close at 17,852. The S&P 500 fell 15 points to 2,060. The Nasdaq fell 40 points to 4,741. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 219.

NantHealth Unveils First Product of BlackBerry Collaboration

NantHealth, the health care technology division of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Culver City holding company NantWorks, has revealed the first product of its collaboration with smartphone-maker BlackBerry: a secure clinical genome browser that gives doctors access to patients’ genetic data on the BlackBerry Passport smartphone.

Northbound 110 Closed After Massive Downtown Fire

A large fire in downtown Los Angeles engulfed an apartment tower under construction early this morning, damaging two other buildings and closing the 110 Freeway, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sony Hackers Worked From Hotel in Thailand

Cybersecurity experts say that hackers operated out of the five-star St. Regis Bangkok hotel, using its high-speed Internet connection to leak Sony Pictures Entertainment documents to the Web, Bloomberg reports.

Caruso Reveals Palisades Plans

Developer Rick Caruso plans to resurrect the Bay Theater as part of his proposed Palisades Village redevelopment plan, which he unveiled on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out previous coverage of the 2.8-acre portfolio, estimated by some to be worth between $40 million and $50 million, in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Hudson Pacific to Buy $3.5 Billion Portfolio of Buildings

The New York investment firm Blackstone Group has agreed to sell its northern California portfolio of 26 office buildings for $3.5 billion to Los Angeles real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. in its largest office sale in seven years, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hudson paid $1.75 billion in cash and the rest in stock, making Blackstone a 48 percent stakeholder in the company.

Fireplace Ban in Effect

Because weather conditions will cause air pollution to stagnate over the South Coast Air Basin today, the use of wood- burning fireplaces is now banned in areas below 3,000 feet in elevation in all of Los Angeles and Orange counties, and the urban areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, City News Service reports.

Merck to Acquire Cubist Pharmaceuticals

Merck & Co. announced today that it had agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $9.5 billion, including the assumption of debt, the New York Times reports.

Box Office: Audiences Still Hungry for ‘Mockingjay’

With no new wide releases over the weekend, Lions Gate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” topped the box office for the third time in a row with $21.6 million, while DreamWorks Animation's Penguins of Madagascar stayed at No. 2 with $11.1 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points in Monday morning trading to 17,953. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,075. The Nasdaq was up 10 points to 4,791.

Kernel of Idea Turns Into Business

Holiday gift of caramel corn turns into side gig for video producers.

Husband and wife video producers have seen their holiday gifts of caramel corn pop as a side business.

Will NFL Team Link to Carson?

SPORTS: County golf course joins potential stadium sites.

Carson park and golf course could join field of stadium candidates looking to score a pro football team.

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Luxury Lifestyle to Move to New Address: Detroit

MEDIA: Robb Report’s new parent has digital designs for magazine in Motor City.

New owner sees wealth of opportunity for luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report – in Detroit.

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Sponsors Prize Non-Profit Hookups

MARKETING: GroundSwell finds value playing cause matchmaker.

GroundSwell Group hopes matching small non-profits with big corporate sponsors pays off.

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‘Frozen’ Delivers Much Needed Heat for Toymaker

MANUFACTURING: Jakks sales rise but analyst sees sustainability questions.

“Frozen” merchandise helps light fire under sales for struggling toymaker Jakks.

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Male Delivery

HEALTH CARE: Plastic surgery center Marina ManLand joins retail trend of crafting attractive settings for men.

Plastic surgery center Marina ManLand has joined some retailers in presenting its businesses as a guy thing.

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Up in the Air

Vaping vendors fear city bans could snuff out business

E-cigarette vendors see city restrictions as the biggest threat to snuffing out the smoking sector.

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Cards On Table

Some L.A. card clubs have seen a jump in attendance by offering no-collection baccarat, even though the game’s addition has been controversial. So the Business Journal asks:

Have you gambled at any of Los Angeles County’s card clubs?

High Tech Offers Lift to L.A.

High-tech jobs could connect Los Angeles to a brighter economic future, writes Eric W. Johnson.

Shared-Office Firm Finds Space in Santa Monica

LEASE: WeWork takes 40,000 square feet in deal valued at $24 million.

WeWork, a company that rents shared office space to fledgling entrepreneurs, has signed a 10-year lease for a little more than 40,000 square feet at 520 Broadway in Santa Monica


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Upcoming local events.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

hinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. already controls AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the second-biggest cinema chain in the United States.

Credit Card Benefits Firm To Fold In Digital Wallet

FINANCE: Bankrate pockets Wallaby, which will keep its office, staff in Pasadena.

The financial tech sector in Los Angeles scored an exit last week with the acquisition of Pasadena’s Wallaby Financial Inc. by North Palm Beach, Fla., financial publisher Bankrate Inc.

Boom Time Over for Attorneys Handling Busts

BANKRUPTCY: Steep drop in filings drives lawyers to widen markets, focus.

Each year, Jennifer Nassiri tries to clear her schedule for four days so she can attend the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.

VC Firm Liked What It Saw in Medical Screener

HEALTH CARE: Growth of Radiology Partners helped by NEA’s $60 million injection.

Radiology Partners’ expansion got a shot in the arm from investment firm New Enterprise Associates.

Wall Street Has Bad Reaction to Drug Filing Delay

BIOTECH: Puma hoped to move forward with FDA without data from study.

Puma’s decision to delay its drug application hurts the company’s short-term prognosis with investors.

Investors See Freight Firm’s Sale as Good Move

SHIPPING: Rumors of UTi deal with trucking business drives up company’s stock.

Shares of freight-forwarder UTi Worldwide get moving after rumors of a sale to a trucking company.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Century City private equity firm Ares Management has acquired Farrow & Ball, a paint and wallpaper maker in Dorset, England, from the European affiliate of Bethesda, Md., private equity firm American Capital Ltd.

New Leash on Life

As chief concierge, James Little, 49, is tasked with making guests at the Peninsula Beverly Hills happy.

Healthy Payoff From Microloan

Celia Rivas turned life around by opening her own gym business.

Gym owner Celia Rivas credits a Grameen America microloan with getting her life back in shape.

Oxy’s Spinoff Opens Wobbly

ENERGY: California Resources’ stock value in tough state early.

Oil and natural gas producer California Resources Corp. quickly loses ground in its first days of trading.

Online Services Firm Backs Up for Backup Business

Internet: J2 sweetens 2012 offer for Carbonite to just above $400 million.

Online services firm J2 Global looks to maintain its pace of pickups by renewing its offer to buy backup storage provider Carbonite.

Friday, December 5

Fullscreen Plans Premium Paid Programming

The digital media space is getting that much bigger.

Could Carson be Home of NFL Stadium?

The Los Angeles area already has three potential sites for an NFL football stadium. But now, there appears to be a fourth.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, UTi Worldwide Among Week's Big Gainers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index climbed 1 percent to close at 219. Losers just outpaced gainers 82 to 72. Six companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59 points in Friday trading to close at 17,959. The S&P rose 3 points to 2,075. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 4,781. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 219.

L.A. Launch List: Dec. 5

On this week's Launch List: Apps from Sophia Loren's son, Demand Media's former chief executive and a coupon site.

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Employers Add 321,000 Jobs in November

Today’s report from the U.S. Labor Department showed the biggest single-month gain in three years, and well above what economists had predicted, though the nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent, USA Today reports. The news sent stocks higher this morning.

Hack Attacks to Cost Sony

Experts estimated that Sony Pictures Entertainment would have to pay tens of millions of dollars to rebuild its computer network and conduct an investigation into a massive breach in which hackers got their hands on unreleased films, employee salary information and even Social Security numbers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Entrepreneur Wins Casino Gamble

Sam Nazarian, founder and chairman of L.A.’s SBE Entertainment Group, was granted a temporary permit for his SLS Las Vegas casino by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the Los Angeles Times reports. As a condition of the permit, the board asked Nazarian to undergo random drug testing.

BATS to Face Big SEC Fine

BATS Global Markets Inc., a stock exchange partly owned by downtown L.A. brokerage Wedbush Securities, is nearing a $13 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for securities-law violations, the biggest fine ever charged against a stock exchange, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Study: California Drought is Worst in Last 1,200 Years

Recent storms did little to end California’s two-year drought, which a new study says is the worst in more than a millenium, KPCC reports. Dry times continue with 80 percent of the state still considered in “extreme drought.”

We’re No. 2

New figures from the International Monetary Fund show China’s economy has overtaken the United States’ to become the largest in the world, accounting for 16.5 percent of the global economy, Marketwatch reports.

California Has Little Oversight Over Public Salaries

More than $40 billion of California taxpayer money is spent annually to compensate public employees, but some public agencies pay disproportionately high salaries, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Orion Launches After Delay

The Orion spacecraft, NASA’s first test for human flights to Mars and asteroids, launched after technical delays Thursday, CNN reports. NASA is testing the craft’s heat shield and other systems in this crew-less mission.

Einstein Documents Go Digital

Thousands of the scientist’s letters, notebooks and diaries were made available to the public to share online, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points in Friday morning trading to 17,950. The S&P 500 was up 3 points to 2,075. The Nasdaq was up 13 points to 4,783.

Thursday, December 4

RealD Downsizes, Announces Layoffs

RealD Inc., which develops and licenses 3D technology, said it will downsize facilities and undergo layoffs. The moves will result in $16 million in additional cost savings. It did not specify how many employees would be let go.

Vantage Media Sells Segment to Campus Explorer

El Segundo ad tech firm Vantage Media has sold its education services business to Santa Monica’s Campus Explorer, a college resource platform for students.

Feds Order Recall of L.A. Firm’s Tainted Fish

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has ordered that a Mid-City Los Angeles seafood company, Neptune Manufacturing Inc., shut its business and destroy all its seafood until it puts in place an approved food-safety program, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Chicago Lender Monroe Drops Suit Against L.A. Exec

Chicago lender Monroe Capital has dropped a lawsuit it filed this summer against Los Angeles dealmaker Warren Woo and his new investment firm, Breakaway Capital.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,900. The S&P 500 fell two points to 2,072. The Nasdaq fell five points to 4,769. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 218.

CallFire Acquires FireText

CallFire, Inc., a cloud phone and text services provider, has acquired UK text message marketing firm FireText to expand its European presence.

Freedom Communications Lays Off 100 Workers

Freedom Communications said Wednesday it is laying off about 100 non-newsroom employees at the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Will Gov. Brown Expand Medi-Cal to Immigrants?

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering expanding Medi-Cal coverage to residents shielded from deportation under President Obama’s new immigration policies, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Public Health Chief to Step Down

Ronald Chapman, the head of California’s Public Health Department, which was recently criticized for failing to investigate thousands of nursing home complaints, is stepping down from his post at the end of January, the Sacramento Bee reports.

House Approves Temporary Tax Breaks

The House on Wednesday approved a bill extending a range of temporary tax breaks for businesses, individuals and nonprofits, but only through the rest of this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Will Congress Allow Cuts to Benefits of Current Retirees?

Congress could soon allow the benefits of current retirees to be cut as part of an agreement to address the fiscal distress faced by some of the nation’s 1,400 multi-employer pension plans, the Washington Post reports.

Sewage Closes Beaches

Officials in Orange and San Diego counties on Wednesday warned residents to steer clear of the ocean as rain runoff and sewage contamination hit beaches along the Southern California coast, the Los Angeles Times reports.

NASA Delays Orion Launch

NASA halted the premier launch of its Orion spacecraft due to gusty winds and problems with a valve, saying it will try again Friday, KPCC reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 94 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,819. The S&P 500 was down 11 points to 2,063. The Nasdaq was down 14 points to 4,761.

Wednesday, December 3

Catholic League, American Atheists Take Christmas Feud to L.A.

A years-long feud between two groups that has played out on Christmas-related billboards across the country came to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

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Former Demand CEO’s Whipclip Gets $20 Million

Whipclip, a video-sharing mobile app from Demand Media’s founder and former chief executive Richard Rosenblatt, has launched in private beta after raising $20 million in total financing.

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Robb Report, the Rich Man’s Bible, Acquired by Detroit Firm

Detroit private equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Malibu’s Robb Report, the luxury lifestyle magazine that serves as a consumer bible for the uber-rich.

Poll: Do you think vaping should be banned from public spaces?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,913. The S&P 500 rose eight points to 2,074. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 4,774. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 218.

Work/Life: Melody Torbati

The VLP Law Group partner on the power of chocolate, wearing pajamas to work and what gives her extra time to sleep

Melody Torbati is a partner and a member of VLP’s technology transactions practice group. Her practice is focused on agreements involving the licensing, distribution, development and transfer of technology, content and other intellectual property. VLP is a virtual firm, so Torbati has no office to commute to and she rarely meets her clients in the flesh. She works with clients from her Bel Air home. We spoke with Torbati about how this flexibility impacts her work and her life.

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Still Raining: Flood Watch Extended

As record-setting rainfall continues, a flash flood watch that was in effect throughout Los Angeles County on Tuesday has been extended, but only near the sites of previous wildfires, the Daily News reports.

Surprise: FBI Seizes LAUSD iPad Documents

Federal investigators took 20 boxes of documents from the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters Monday, all related to the district’s controversial and embattled $1.3 billion program to provide iPads to every student, the Wall Street Journal reports.

None of the State’s Ebola Treatment Centers are in Southland

Four California hospitals have been included on a federal government list of 35 facilities designated as Ebola treatment centers, but not one of them is in Southern California, where more than half the state's population resides, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Confirmed: Google Buys 12 Acres in Playa Vista

The rumors are true: Google Inc. has spent nearly $120 million on 12 vacant acres next to the hangar where Howard Hughes built the “Spruce Goose” airplane in Playa Vista, the Los Angeles Times reports. Also, check out coverage of Yahoo possibly moving into Playa Vista in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Councilmen Call for Regulation of Airbnb in L.A.

Councilmen Mike Bonin and Herb Wesson called Tuesday for Los Angeles to regulate short-term rental services such as Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway, citing rules enacted in San Francisco, Portland and other cities, City News Service reports.

Hackers Leak Sony Salaries

The latest chapter in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking saga was a leak of internal documents, one of which contained the pre-bonus annual salaries of senior executives, showing 17 who earn more than $1 million a year, the New York Times reports.

Committee Takes Step Toward Legalizing Street Vending

Members of the Los Angeles City Economic Development Committee took a step Tuesday toward legalizing street vending, vetting a basic framework for how street vendors could get city permits, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out previous coverage of the plan to legalize street vending in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Burt Reynolds is Selling ‘Bandit’ Trans Am

Burt Reynolds is selling hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from his personal collection, including his 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Coupe from the movie “Smokey and the Bandit,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 13 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,892. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,071. The Nasdaq was up seven points to 4,763.

Tuesday, December 2

L.A. CIOs Want IT Hires

A report said 86 percent of L.A. CIOs said they plan to hire to expand existing staffs or fill vacant positions in the coming year.

Warner Bros. to Lay Off 152 Employees

Warner Bros. Entertainment will lay off 152 employees in January as part of previously announced cutbacks amid pressure by parent Time Warner Inc. to reduce expenses.

City Sues Nestdrop, Seeks to Halt Pot Deliveries

Nestdrop, which began life in June as an alcohol delivery service and added medical marijuana to its distribution services in November, has run afoul of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

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Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 103 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,880. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 2,067. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to 4,756. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 219.

Council Approves Measures to Keep Production in L.A.

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a host of measures aimed at curbing runaway film production.

Snapchat's Letting You Create Geofilters

Snapchat has no plans of slowing down for the holiday season.

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Season’s Biggest Storm Hits Today

Weather forecasters predict the storm that hit this morning will peak by afternoon and last for two days, becoming the biggest storm of the rainy season thus far. The Los Angeles Times reports that homeowners and city crews in Glendora and Azusa, among other cities, have been preparing concrete barriers and sandbags in case the rain destabilizes San Gabriel Mountains slopes and triggers a mudslide.

DoubleLine Took In $1.2 Billion in November

Los Angeles bond firm DoubleLine Capital said its funds brought in $1.2 billion in November, bringing the year’s total of net new money to $8.6 billion, a boom that was aided by clients reinvesting money pulled from Pacific Investment Management Co. after co-founder Bill Gross announced his departure in September, Bloomberg reports.

FBI Investigates Sony Hack

The FBI confirmed Monday that it has opened an investigation into the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment's internal network and email systems, KPCC reports. Hackers leaked several of the studio’s yet-to-be-released films to file-sharing sites.

As Local Air Traffic Grows, LAX Expands Market Share

Los Angeles International Airport accounted for 76 percent of regional air traffic in September, the highest level in 25 years, according to a report presented to the Ontario International Airport Authority board. The market share of four out of the five other commercial airports in the area shrunk, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hollywood Courts Chinese Investment Despite Censorship

Hollywood is seeking Chinese investors despite the country’s routine censorship of films and TV shows, Bloomberg reports.

Arts District Residents Worry Development Will Kill the Vibe

Many residents of downtown L.A.’s Arts District are unhappy about guidelines proposed by the city last month that could potentially double the neighborhood’s population, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hackers Target Mergers

A group of hackers may be attempting to gain an edge on Wall Street by targeting chief financial officers, advisory firms and others involved in mergers and acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Is Legal Weed in America Undercutting Mexican Marijuana?

Now that more than half the states voted to permit marijuana for recreational or medical use, Americans seem to be buying more domestic pot, which is hurting growers and cartels in Mexico, KPCC reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 61 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,838. The S&P 500 was up 10 points to 2,063. The Nasdaq was up 23 points to 4,749.

Monday, December 1

Wallaby Financial Acquired by Bankrate

Wallaby Financial, a Pasadena company that helps consumers maximize their credit card rewards, has been acquired by financial publisher Bankrate Inc. of North Palm Beach, Fla.

Lions Gate Rises on News of Wanda Talks

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co., one of the biggest theater owners in the United States, is in talks to acquire a stake in Santa Monica independent studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Wang Jianlin, the Beijing company’s chairman said. Shares of Lions Gate rose 3 percent on the news.

DreamWorks Plunges After 'Penguins' Disappoints

Shares in DreamWorks Animation Inc. fell more than 5 percent on Monday, reflecting the weak box office results for “Penguins of Madagascar ” – which could become the latest bomb for the struggling studio unless ticket sales pick up.

CU Bancorp Acquires 1st Enterprise Bank

The parent of California United Bank announced on Monday that it has acquired 1st Enterprise Bank in a deal valued at $112 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51 points in Monday trading to close at 17,777. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 2,053. The Nasdaq fell 64 points to 4,727. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 217.

Mudslides May Get Worse

Forecasters with the National Weather Service warned residents of foothill communities that rains that have already closed the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County could wash loose mud and rocks in burn areas above Azusa and Glendora, the Los Angeles Times reports. Southern California’s foothills and mountains could see 2 to 5 inches of rain Tuesday and Wednesday while the coasts and valleys could receive about half that.

Black Friday Sales Slump for Second Year in a Row

Retail spending over the Thanksgiving weekend fell 11 percent from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation, partially due to retailers offering deals in the days and even weeks before Black Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

LAUSD to Offer Chromebooks, Too

Under a plan approved by the Board of Education in January, 27 schools that were originally set to receive Apple’s iPads will now be able to choose between the iPad or Google’s Chromebook, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Glendale Assemblyman’s Bill Would Increase Wealth Disclosure

California’s public officials would have to reveal more about how rich they are and the businesses they’re involved in, under a state Assembly bill that will be introduced by Glendale Assemblyman Mike Gatto today, the Bay Area News Group reports.

Hacked: Sony Films Leak Online

Screener copies of at least five new Sony Pictures movies, including “Annie” and “Fury,” have leaked and are being downloaded online after the studio's computers were hacked last week by a group calling itself Guardians of Peace, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Girl Scout Cookies Take to the Internet

The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. are finally allowing scouts to sell cookies online, after years of prohibiting Internet sales in favor of traditional methods like door-to-door canvassing, the New York Times reports.

Vox Valued at $400 Million After Investment

The fast-growing online publisher Vox Media will announce today that it has just closed a $46.5 million round of financing from the New York investment firm General Atlantic, an investment which values the company at $380 million, a source told the New York Times, The deal comes at a time when venture capital firms are showing increased interest in digital-media companies.

‘Mockingjay’ Tops Disappointing Thanksgiving Box Office

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” topped the Thanksgiving box office, taking in $82.7 million in domestic ticket sales over the five-day holiday, while DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” franchise made $36 million in the same period, Variety reports. Overall, the Thanksgiving box office was down 20 percent from 2013.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 70 points in Monday morning trading to 17,759. The S&P 500 fell 17 points to 2,050. The Nasdaq fell 65 points to 4,727.

Yahoo’s Search For Office Ends

REAL ESTATE: Internet giant clicks with space in Playa Vista.

Yahoo appears to be the latest Internet giant to connect with Playa Vista as a home for local offices.

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Fight Over Emerald Ownership Proves Gem of a Case

LAW: Attorneys in heavy demand in battle for 840-pound stone.

A mammoth emerald unearths many conflicting claims of ownership – and a gold mine of work for local attorneys.

Technology Firms Connect With Asian Investors

INVESTMENT: Music app among those tapping dollars via personal relationships.

Overseas Asian investors make waves in L.A.’s tech scene.

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Site Raises Curtain on Show Biz

Sophia Loren’s son looks to foster careers in entertainment.

TakeHollywood looks to play a lead role in guiding show-biz hopefuls to careers.

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Byline Sideline

ADVERTISING: Agencies produce digital, print magazines to tout content-creation skills to clients.

Agencies take a page from publishing and produce magazines to show off knack for content creation.

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Design Firms Home Back In on Domestic Work

ARCHITECTURE: Complex, massive overseas projects touted in bid for business.

Local firms plan to build their domestic profiles by touting the complexity of their foreign projects.

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Legal Tide Rises Against Utility

WATER: Golden State heading to court to fend off sales to cities.

Golden State prepares to dive into litigation to fight cities’ attempted takeovers of its systems.

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Veteran Executive Puts Retirement in Turnaround

INVESTMENT: Lunch leads to new job for Eric Beckman at friend’s Breakwater.

Saif Mansour took Eric Beckman to lunch in February at Toscanova in the Westfield Century City mall.

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Pay to Play

Former FM radio star Tom Leykis charges listeners either $11 or $19 a month for premium access to his podcasts. So the Business Journal asks:

Would you pay to listen to your favorite radio personalities?

Wall Street Raiders Lose Stock

Gordon Gekko was OK, but Charles Crumpley doesn’t like today’s activist investors.

Investor Books 93-Year Stay at Westwood Hotel

HOSPITALITY: Ground lease gives Maryland REIT fifth Los Angeles property.

Hotel Palomar Los Angeles, an upscale boutique hotel in Westwood, traded last month for $78.7 million, or nearly $300,000 per guest room.

conventions 12/1

Upcoming local conventions.

Calendar 12/1

Upcoming local events.

News of the Week 12/1

Last week’s major news from and other sources

After threatening to leave California, Kinkisharyo International reached an agreement with labor and community groups that will keep light rail manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles County. T

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

After threatening to leave California, Kinkisharyo International reached an agreement with labor and community groups that will keep light rail manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles County. T

Razor Vendor Makes Cut With E-Commerce Model

INTERNET: Subscriptions help Dollar Shave Club take market share from rivals.

While heads of private companies are often loath to discuss revenue figures, they often have a change of heart during periods of rapid growth.

Maker of Barbie Unfazed By Heat From ‘Frozen’

MANUFACTURING: Mattel heads into holidays with license for Disney film toys.

Mattel’s Barbie is second-most-popular holiday toy as kids warm up to “Frozen” merchandise.

Hip-Hop Station Cues Up App to Reach New Fans

RADIO: KDAY sees tech as way to connect to audience outside of Los Angeles.

Old-school hip-hop station KDAY looks to reach new generation of listeners with live-streaming app.

Investors Hope to Ride Mobile Spectrum Wave

MEDIA: Entravision shares rise on future promise of broadcaster auction.

Radio and TV station operator Entravision channels interest in future spectrum auction into stock surge.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

FastPay, a Beverly Hills company that helps digital media businesses with cash-flow problems, has received $15 million in growth equity funding from Oak HC/FT, a venture capital fund in Greenwich, Conn., that invests in health care and financial services technology.

Keeping Cool, Kosher

Ryan McKim is actually kind of a morning person. But getting out of bed at 6 a.m. on a recent Sunday took some extra motivation.

PR Team For Farmers Leaving Field

Weisman Hamlin firm to wrap 25 years as rep for Fairfax market.

Sydney Weisman and David Hamlin are ready to retire after 25 years of planting stories for Fairfax’s Farmers Market.

Good Deal?

Casinos split over wisdom of no-collection games

Some casinos see the big draw of no-collection card games as a big risk for their business.

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E-Discovery Firm Looks to Find Way to New CEO

INTERNET: Guidance also hopes to lock up bigger piece of cybersecurity market.

Guidance Software aims to secure a new CEO to revive its e-discovery and cybersecurity business.

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