Stories for March 2014

Monday, March 31

Machinima Names New Chief Executive

YouTube multichannel network Machinima announced Monday that Chad Gutstein, former chief operating officer at Ovation television network, will become the company’s new chief executive

Ares Files for IPO

Century City private equity firm Ares Management filed for an initial public offering on Monday.

Fresenius Invests in Apollo Medical

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. on Monday said it secured up to $12 million in capital from Fresenius Medical Care North America, a chain of dialysis clinics in Waltham, Mass.

Stocks Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 135 points, or 1 percent, to 16,458. The Nasdaq rose 43 points, or 1 percent, to 4,199. The S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,872. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 190.

Health Care Website Stumbles on Last Day

The Obama administration's health care website stumbled early Monday, falling out of service for nearly four hours on deadline day for sign-ups, the Associated Press reports.

Yellen: Job Market Far From Normal

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said this morning that the U.S. economy and job market are still far from healthy, and still require plenty of support from the central bank's low-interest-rate policy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

L.A. Targeting Landlords in Pot Shop Battle

More than 120 property owners and their business entities, which have rented to medical marijuana dispensaries, have been charged with criminal complaints, an analysis by the Los Angeles Daily News shows.

Puente Hills Fault Could Bring a Quake Worse Than 'The Big One'

The magnitude 5.1 earthquake that rattled Southern California on Friday was a 10-second reminder of a fault that seismologists believe can produce a catastrophic disaster, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stationing Armed Officers at Airports Debated

How best to station armed law enforcement officers at airports was the focus of a recent congressional hearing at Los Angeles International Airport, one of several reviews of the emergency response to November's shooting rampage that left a federal security agent dead, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

U.N.: Climate Change Impact Is Wide

Global warming is having an impact on human and natural systems world-wide, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned today in a call for swift action to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Top-Grossing Animated Film of All Time

With a global box-office revenue of more than $1.07 billion, "Frozen" is now the highest-grossing animated film ever made, surpassing Toy Story 3, Time reports. The smash Disney hit also earned a spot at No. 10 on the list of the biggest global blockbusters of all time.

Sempra Betting on Liquefied Natural Gas

The Los Angeles Times profiles the San Diego company that’s the parent of Southern California Gas Co., the largest U.S. natural gas distribution company. Sempra plans to invest up to $10 billion on a Louisiana facility for exporting liquefied natural gas that could generate more than $10 billion in revenue a year.

Investors Breathe Life Into European Banks' Bad Loans

Hedge funds and private-equity investors are bidding up prices of some troubled assets in Europe, sparking a surge in sales by banks seeking to rid themselves of soured corporate loans, the Wall Street Journal reports.

J&J Accepts Carlyle Offer for Ortho Unit

Johnson & Johnson has accepted a $4 billion offer from Carlyle Group LP made in January to acquire the health-care products company’s only diagnostics division, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Google Central to Latest Apple-Samsung Case

Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are squaring off in a new round of their long-running patent feud this morning. This time, however, the docket might as well read Apple Inc. v. Google Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports.

YouTube to Offer Advertisers Some Guarantees

In a renewed effort to lure a bigger share of the advertising dollars now flowing to major TV networks, Google's YouTube is making several concessions long sought by marketers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Lewis: U.S. Stock Markets Are Rigged

The U.S. stock market is rigged in favor of high-speed electronic trading firms, which use their advantages to extract billions from investors, according to Michael Lewis, author of a new book on the topic, Reuters reports. Yahoo’s Daily Ticker looks at how not to become a victim.

Consumers to Ultimately Foot the Bill for Patent Trolls

Patent asserting groups that bully businesses and entrepreneurs into paying licensing fees or settlements—as opposed to actually using the patents—are not new, especially in the technology space, CNBC reports.

The Food Truck Takes a Cruise

The humble food truck, borne on a wave of frugality into trendy popularity during the recession, has now washed out to sea, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. Royal Caribbean Cruises plans to launch the world’s first oceangoing food truck with the November debut of its newest ship.

Stocks Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 101 points to 16,424. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to 4,201. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to 1,870.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

Pet Project For Dog, Cat Foundation

Found Animals opens e-commerce site to help pay for adoptions.

Found Animals Foundation unleashes an e-commerce site to help cover cost of adoptions.

Fitting PR Firm To a Tea

Lucid hopes to help industry chill out with its own relaxing brew.

Lucid believes it has relaxation in the bag with its new tea.

Father, Son Mark 11th Diamond Anniversary

Ross Goldberg remembers what his father told him 11 years ago when he asked if he’d join him again on opening day at Dodger Stadium.

Spillover Feared in Fracking Ban

ENERGY: Industry sees city of L.A. proposal closing other wells.

Oil companies fear a city of L.A. proposal to halt fracking would spill over to other drilling practices.

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Easing Workplace Ups, Downs

Stir’s self-adjusting desk raises, lowers for worker comfort.

Stir’s self-adjusting motorized desk aims to level out employee comfort.

IRA Gold Rush Stirs Claim Jump

INVESTMENT: Firm alleges ex-contractor denting business.

Firm that sells gold to IRAs sues former contractors in a growing but still fringe industry.

All-Electric Satellite Project Builds Positive Buzz

AEROSPACE: Boeing says deals came quickly for its more efficient products.

Boeing Co. announced last week that it has completed the primary structures of the world’s first pair of all-electric satellites, which are expected to be delivered late this year or early next.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

NEW BOSS: Ben Sherwood, who had been president of ABC News since late 2010, was named the next president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Cinedigm Corp., a Century City film and TV distributor, has closed an underwritten public offering of about 11.7 million shares of Class A common stock.

USC Medical Center Doubles Up in Downtown

TREATMENT: Keck sees patient volume soar after move closer to L.A. Live.

Hotels and nightlife venues aren’t the only establishments finding success by being near L.A. Live.

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Former Law Students Seek to Forge Online Links

INTERNET: Duo launches website to help customers connect with attorneys.

Michael Chasin and Aaron George were fellow students at Loyola Law School when they took a look at the industry they were about to enter and noticed a problem.

Hat in Ring

Former TV exec weighs into boxing promotion

Former TV syndication exec Michael King looks to ring up dollars and TV deals as a boxing promoter.

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Music Streaming Service Cues Up Revenue Plan

INTERNET: says money not focus as it seeks to navigate rights issues.

Music streaming service sounds out a revenue model it’s works to get a handle on rights issues.

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Century Plaza Partners Shuffle

REAL ESTATE: Hines to buy major stake in record valuation.

Co-owners of Century Park to shift their stakes in a deal that would yield a record valuation.

Homed In

lending: Hard-money lenders welcome pricey property projects as supply of low-end homes dwindles.

Hard-money financiers move into the high-price home market as the low-end housing pool dries up.

Staying in The Picture

Should there be more tax credits for L.A. TV and film production?

Drink Maker’s Annual Report Tough to Stomach

BEVERAGES: Shares of Reed’s fall on widened net loss, dip in working capital.

Drink maker Reed’s loses some of its fizz on Wall Street after a poor annual report.

Additional Stock Float Sinking Fashion Company

CLOTHING: Price plunges after American Apparel’s dilutive share offering.

American Apparel stitches together a stock offering as company appears to hang by a thread.

Case Maker Handles Sales Surge From Biopharma

MANUFACTURING: Recent U.K. acquisition expands Pelican’s presence in sector.

Case maker Pelican secures new markets as its government business ebbs.

Up for the Count

Charles Crumpley looks forward to the day he won’t hear the same bleak numbers at L.A. luncheons.

Audio Engineering School Sounds Out New Home

LEASE: SAE Institute to move across Hollywood to former Kodak property.

February home and condo sales in Los Angeles County by ZIP code.

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming local events.

Friday, March 28

FDA Could Limit MannKind Inhaler

Shares of MannKind Corp. fell 7 percent on Friday after the FDA staff raised safety questions about the company’s inhalable insulin device, which could limit its use for certain patients.

Fullscreen Acquires Gaming Network ScrewAttack

Culver City YouTube network Fullscreen announced Friday that it has acquired ScrewAttack, a Dallas website and YouTube channel for video gamers.

American Apparel, MannKind Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell slightly for the week.

Stocks Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 59 points to 16,323. The Nasdaq rose 5 points to 4,156. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,858. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 188.

$1.4B Settlement Proposed in San Onofre Closure

Utility customers would see an estimated $1.4 billion in savings, including $600 million in refunds, in a proposed settlement over costs tied to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California, the Associated Press reports.

Maria Contreras-Sweet Confirmed as SBA Chief

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former California official who founded a Los Angeles community bank, to head the federal Small Business Administration, the Los Angeles Times reports.

GM Tells Dealers to Stop Selling Some Chevy Cruzes

General Motors has told dealers late Thursday to stop selling some 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars, but won't say why, USA Today reports. The move comes as GM deals with fallout from a delayed recall of 1.6 million older small cars to fix an ignition switch problem.

Police: LAX Theft Ring Stole Heaps of Valuables

A group of LAX baggage handlers have been accused of pulling off one of the largest property heists in airport history, the Los Angeles Times reports. A joint task force of LAX and Los Angeles Police Department detectives swarmed the airport and the homes of some suspects late Wednesday, detaining 14 people as they collected evidence.

Charter to TWC Shareholders: Just Say No

Charter Communications Inc. is formally urging Time Warner Cable Inc.'s shareholders to reject the $45.2 billion buyout agreement the company reached last month with Comcast Corp, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Surgery Centers Sue Insurer Over Lap-Band Payments

Ten Southern California surgery centers once affiliated with the defunct 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign are suing UnitedHealth Group Inc. to get reimbursed for hundreds of Lap-Band weight-loss procedures, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CBS Outdoor Opens Higher in IPO

Shares of CBS Outdoor Americas, the billboard advertising company spun off from broadcaster CBS Corp., rose 7.5 percent today in their debut in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, Fox Business reports. The $560 million IPO valued the outdoor advertising company at about $3.36 billion.

Tough Week for Aerospace

The jobs lost at Aerojet Rocketdyne, which has been tapping the region’s supplier base for years, will have a ripple effect throughout the local industry, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Feds Close Investigation of Tesla Battery Fires

The U.S. government's auto safety watchdog has closed an investigation into Tesla electric car battery fires after the company agreed to install more shields beneath the cars to prevent roadway debris from damaging the batteries, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Consumers Step Up Spending, But Sentiment Slips

Data released this morning shows U.S. consumer spending increased in February, but a dip in sentiment this month offered confirmation that economic growth slowed in the first quarter, Reuters reports.

'Stress Test' Failure Sparked Scramble at Citigroup

The Fed's surprise rejection of Citigroup's dividend plans sparked a scramble by Chief Executive Michael Corbat to reassure staff and investors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Virtual Reality Grows Up

With Facebook's big purchase of virtual reality headset designer Oculus, attention is renewed on Southern California as a hotbed for the Space Age technology, the Los Angeles Times reports. The New York Times looks at another Facebook lab that plans to deliver Internet access by drone using technology obtained in a British acquisition.

Who Is the Shrimp Boy?

Raymond Chow built his legend in the underworld of San Francisco's Chinatown. Then it all came apart. The Los Angeles Times paints a portrait of the shadowy figure at the center of state Sen. Leland Yee’s corruption case.

Religious Tide Mounts Against 'Noah'

The same people who gripe that Hollywood never makes any faith-based movies are now complaining that Hollywood has gone and made a religious movie they might not like. The Los Angeles Times looks at how some devout Christians and Muslims are upset about "Noah."

Stocks Jump

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 120 points, or 1 percent, to 16,384. The Nasdaq rose 44 points, or 1 percent, to 4,195. The S&P 500 rose 16 points, or 1 percent, to 1,865.

Thursday, March 27

Realty Mogul Raises $9 Million in Series A Round

Beverly Hills real estate crowdfunding company Realty Mogul has raised $9 million in Series A financing from Canaan Partners, according to a press release.

German Media Conglomerate Invests In Collective Digital Studio

Collective Digital Studio, a Los Angeles multichannel YouTube network, has received an eight-figure minority investment from German media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Group, according to a statement released on Thursday.

Long Beach Transit Cancels BYD Bus Contract

The board of Long Beach Transit voted Thursday to cancel the transit agency's contract for 10 of BYD Motors Inc.’s electric buses.

L.A. Chamber Endorses Shriver in Supes Race

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday announced its endorsement of former Santa Monica councilman and Kennedy clan member Bobby Shriver for county supervisor.

David Nazarian Gives $10 Million to CSUN Biz School

Cal State Northridge will rename its business school after David Nazarian following a $10 million gift by the L.A. tech and real estate investor.

Co-CEOs Named at Superior Industries

Two executive vice presidents have been named as interim co-chief executives at Superior Industries International Inc., the aluminum wheel manufacturer said Thursday.

NBCUniversal to Shut Down DailyCandy, Television Without Pity Sites

NBCUniversal is shutting down two websites next month after failing to find buyers for either property, according to media reports on Thursday.

GoCoin Nabs $1.5 Million in Series A Funding

Santa Monica alternative currency payment processor GoCoin announced today that it had raised $1.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Silver Spring, Md., bitcoin online retailer Bitcoin Shop Inc. and Owen Van Natta, former chief operating officer of Menlo Park Internet giant Facebook Inc.

Dow, Nasdaq and S&P Down; LABJ Up

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 5 points to 16,264. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 4,151. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,849. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 187.

Santa Monica Moves to Close Airport

The Santa Monica City Council has launched an effort to close all or part of the city's airport after July 2015, which the Los Angeles Times reports could result in years of additional court battles with the federal government.

Huge Development Announced for West Valley

Plans for a massive development in the West San Fernando Valley were released Wednesday. The $3 billion project on the 47-acre Aerojet Rocketdyne site will include a mix of commercial, residential and high-rise buildings, the Los Angeles Daily News reports

Layoffs Set for Aerojet Rocketdyne

Employees at rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne in Canoga Park were told Wednesday that they would be laid off as part of cutbacks related to last year's merger, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Baxter Plans Split Into Two Companies

Baxter International Inc., which has significant Southland operations, said it plans to create separate, independent health-care companies, one focused on developing and marketing biopharmaceuticals and the other on medical products, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Will DirecTV and Dish Catch Cable’s Merger Fever?

The two largest satellite television companies in the country are talking about joining forces as a way to combat the pending merger of the country’s two biggest cable companies, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Candy Crush Maker Sours in Market Debut

Shares in King Digital Entertainment fell as much as 16 percent in their Wednesday debut, dampening hopes that its coming-out party could revive investor interest in the mobile gaming industry, Reuters reports.

MGM Reports Boost in Annual Revenue

MGM Holdings, the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., reported lower revenue and income for the fourth quarter if 2013, but higher revenue for the year overall, the Wrap reports.

Cinema Advertising Spending Reaches Record Level

Cinema advertising revenue reached a record level of $678 million last year, up 6.5 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Once-Tired PacMutual Plaza Is Prime Again

Renovated PacMutual Plaza is back in demand as tenants shun conventional, formal offices in favor of wide-open rooms, exposed brick and polished concrete, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lehman Creditors to Get Additional $17.9 Billion

The team winding down Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. said it would be doling out $17.9 billion to creditors more than five years after the investment bank's collapse triggered the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports.

BofA to Settle Mortgage Bond Claims

Bank of America has agreed to pay $9.3 billion to settle claims that it sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac faulty mortgage bonds, helping the bank to end one of the largest legal headaches it still faced from the financial crisis, Reuters reports.

Fed Kills Citi Plan to Pay Investors

Citigroup Inc. has failed to get Federal Reserve approval to reward investors with higher dividends and stock buybacks, a surprising blow to Chief Executive Michael Corbat's effort to bolster the bank's reputation following a 2008 government rescue, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fashion Trucks Driving a New L.A. Trend

Instead of serving fusion tacos, organic burgers or lobster rolls, the latest wave in truck street retailing is hawking fast fashion, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Zuckerberg: Visionary or Looney?

Facebook's latest multibillion dollar acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Oculus is prompting some people to wonder if CEO Mark Zuckerberg is already living in an alternate reality, the Associated Press reports.

Oprah Launches Arena Tour of Uplift

Most heads of a television network feel the duties and responsibilities of running such an enterprise can be all-consuming. But not OWN Chief Executive Oprah Winfrey, who with a slate of special guests will headline a multi-city arena tour this fall touted as a "transformational weekend," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Has American Express Platinum Lost Its Luster?

The gold-standard credit card for travelers has lost some of its luster amid recent airline mergers. But CNBC reports that new benefits mean it could still merit a spot in your wallet.

Survey: Being Poor Not a Person's Fault

As the nation engages in a heated debate over inequalities' causes and cures, the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey says a majority of Americans believe people are poor because of circumstances outside their control but are split on whether the wealthy have earned their riches.

Reverse Mortgages Pitfalls May Pass to Heirs

Under federal rules, survivors are supposed to be offered the option to settle a reverse mortgage loan for a percentage of the full amount. Instead, the New York Times reports, reverse mortgage companies are increasingly threatening to foreclose unless heirs pay the mortgages in f

Stocks Fall

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 25 points to 16,244. The Nasdaq fell 29 points to 4,145. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,846.

Wednesday, March 26

Willow Bay to Lead USC's Journalism School

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced Wednesday that veteran broadcaster Willow Bay has been named director of its School of Journalism. Bay also is the wife of Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger.

Houston Jury Decides Against Reliance Steel

A federal court jury in Houston has awarded at least $52 million to a Houston steel distributor that claimed Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. and other companies colluded to hinder its growth.

Caruso Affiliated Names GolinHarris Exec to Run Communications

Caruso Affiliated has tapped Judy Johnson, Western Region president for communications firm GolinHarris, to head up its marketing and communications functions.

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American Apparel Prices $30.5 Million Stock Sale

Shares of American Apparel Inc. dropped another 14 percent on Wednesday after the apparel company priced a dilutive sale of common shares 9 cents below Tuesday’s closing price.

Universal Studios Expands American Express Partnership

American Express Co. cardholders will have access to film premieres and VIP screenings under an expanded marketing agreement announced Wednesday by the personal finance company and Universal Studios.

Stocks Drop

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 99 points to 16,269. The Nasdaq fell 61 points to 4,174. The S&P 500 fell 13 points to 1,853. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 187.

MediaAlpha Sells Majority Stake to Insurance Firm

MediaAlpha, a three-year-old West Los Angeles company that provides a real-time ad bidding platform for the insurance industry, has received a majority investment from White Mountains Insurance Group in New Hampshire, the companies announced Tuesday. The amount of the investment and size of the stake were not disclosed.

Oxy Deal Stalled by Muslim Brotherhood Row

Occidental Petroleum Corp., which is seeking to raise as much as $8 billion by selling a stake in its Middle East business, said a political dispute in the region is complicating plans to sell to a single investor group, Bloomberg News reports.

Initiative Would Raise Medical Malpractice Awards

A controversial proposed initiative backed by trial lawyers and Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog would more than quadruple the amount of money a patient could be awarded for pain and suffering in a malpractice case, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Study: Southland Homes Overpriced

Real estate website Trulia ranks Orange County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire among the five most overvalued housing markets in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Maker Acquisition a Boon for L.A. Startups

Walt Disney Co.'s $500 million purchase of YouTube video producer Maker Studios in Culver City is a sign that the entertainment industry's content and technology startups are coming of age and proving to be as valuable to Hollywood as app makers are to the giants of Silicon Valley, the Associated Press reports.

Charges Dropped in Stock Manipulation Case

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles dismissed criminal charges against Sherman Mazur and eight others in a $30-million stock-manipulation case after concluding that misstatements in obtaining court approval for key wiretap recordings made the evidence unusable at trial, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Judge May Order DWP Union to Turn Over Records

A Los Angeles judge signaled Tuesday that he intends to order Department of Water and Power union chief Brian D'Arcy to turn over financial information showing how two nonprofit trusts he co-directs used $40 million in ratepayer money, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Deal Allows Tesla to Sell Cars in Ohio

Ohio auto dealers have struck an agreement that will allow Tesla Motors to sell its electric cars in the state, the Associated Press reports.

Officials Seek to Tame Venice Boardwalk

L.A. officials want to restrict street access to the Venice Boardwalk after a motorist's deadly rampage last year. But the Los Angeles Times reports that some locals are leery of turning the Westside attraction into a "Fortress Venice."

Facebook Buys Virtual-Reality Company

The big winners of Facebook’s $2 billion deal to buy virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR include a roster of elite venture capitalists who invested in the company early on. But the New York Times reports that Kickstarter investors who also supported Oculus in its early days will walk away empty-handed.

'Candy Crush' Maker Prices IPO

Video game maker King Digital Entertainment priced its IPO at $22.50 a share, raising $500 million and valuing the company at $7 billion. The central question facing investors is whether the company can pull off another hit like "Candy Crush Saga," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Murdoch Brings Son Back to Media Empire

Rupert Murdoch has elevated son Lachlan to the top of his multi-billion dollar family media empire after a seven-year break, appointing him non-executive co-chairman of both News Corp and 21st Century Fox Inc., Reuters reports.

Smaller Agencies Worry About Higher Water Costs

Directors representing a patchwork of small municipal districts that buy water from the Central Basin Municipal Water District fear that the dysfunction which permeates the board will translate into higher water rates for homeowners from Monterey Park to Signal Hill, the Whittier Daily News reports.

Survey: Americans Still Bummed About Economy

Despite two quarters of strong growth ending 2013, Americans' views on the economy remain depressed with only the slightest improvement compared to a year ago, according to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey.

Disney to Cruise the Fjords

Disney Cruise Line next year will offer its first cruises to the Norwegian fjords as well as Iceland and the Faroe Islands, USA Today reports.

BlackRock Advice: Don't Overdo Dividends, Buybacks

In a letter to leaders of companies in the S&P; 500, BlackRock Chief Executive Laurence Fink warned the top U.S. companies not to emphasize dividends or share buybacks if they come at the expense of future growth, Reuters reports.

Risky IPO Seeks New Way to Trade Star Athletes

Professional athletes frequently get traded to other teams, but San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is about to be the first ever to be traded like a stock, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 36 points to 16,404. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 4,237. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,871.

Tuesday, March 25

Local Companies to Hire 10,000 L.A. Youths

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that Walt Disney Co. and other companies have pledged to hire 10,000 local youths for a summer jobs program, double the number hired last summer.

Assembly Passes Film Incentive Bill

A California Assembly committee on Tuesday approved a measure aimed at improving the state’s tax incentive program for the entertainment industry.

American Apparel Shares Plunge on News of Offering

Shares of American Apparel Inc. fell 22 percent Tuesday after the Los Angeles fashion company said it launched an underwritten public offering of $30.5 million of shares of its common stock in continuing efforts to deal with its dire financial challenges.

Large PennyMac Stockholder Paring Stake

Shares of PennyMac Financial Services Inc. fell more than 6 percent Tuesday after its largest shareholder began selling off its stake.

Steven Hilton to Step Down from Family Foundation

Steven Hilton on Tuesday said that he will step down as chief executive of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation at the end of next year.

Dow, Nasdaq and S&P Rise, LABJ Unchanged

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 91 points to 16,368. The Nasdaq 8 points to 4,234. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,866 The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 188.

Disney buys Maker Studios

The Walt Disney Co. has purchased Culver City YouTube network Maker Studios in a $500 million deal according to a statement released by the entertainment giant on Monday, confirming initial reports of the buyout last week.

Winnick Invests in Smart Ad Maker T+ink, Becomes CEO

Beverly Hills investment firm Winnick & Co. announced Monday it had acquired a majority stake in T+ink, a developer of interactive digital components for print ads through what’s known as conductive ink technology.

Disney to Pay $500 Million for Maker Studios

The Walt Disney Co. is acquiring Culver City's Maker Studios, a top YouTube multichannel network, for $500 million plus a potential performance-based earn-out of up to $450 million, Variety reports.

OWN to Move to West Hollywood

The Oprah Winfrey Network signed a lease Monday to move from the Miracle Mile to West Hollywood, a deal real estate insiders have anticipated for months, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Water District's Little-Known Trips Raise Questions

The Metropolitan Water District has spent more than $2 million in public money in the past three years on weekend field trips to water facilities, and the presence of MWD board members' relatives, campaign donors and those with business before the agency has raised questions about who is benefiting from the outings, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Tesla Wins Backing of Key Senator in Dealer Fight

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida threw his support behind Tesla Motors during a CNBC appearance today, comparing the efforts to block the electric car maker's direct sales model to using regulation as a "defensive weapon."

Aerospace Dynamics Sold for $625 Million

Precision Castparts Corp. in Portland, Ore has acquired Aerospace Dynamics International in Valencia for $625 million in cash, the San Fernando Business Journal reports.

Ben Sherwood to Succeed Anne Sweeney at Disney

ABC News president Ben Sherwood has been named Anne Sweeney's successor as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, the Hollywood Reporter says. He'll take over the role next February.

Supreme Court Hears Hobby Lobby Case

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in the latest challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, NPR reports. This time the issue is whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to provide some, or potentially all, contraceptive services in health plans offered to employees.

High Court: Severance Payments Can Be Taxed

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the Obama administration in a dispute over taxes on severance compensation, issuing a decision that may block more than $1 billion in refund claims, Bloomberg News reports.

Facebook Exec Says She Was Asked to Limit Google Hiring

Facebook's chief operating officer says in a court filing that she was approached by a Google executive about agreeing to limit recruiting and hiring activities between the two companies but declined, CNet reports.

'70s Office Near El Segundo Train Stop to Go 'Creative'

A 1970s office building across the street from a light-rail station in El Segundo has sold for $11.3 million to Los Angeles investors who plan to boost its appeal to tenants in creative fields, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Home Sales Fall, But Consumer Confidence Hits Six-Year High

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit a five-month low last month, but a surge in consumer confidence to a six-year high in March suggests the economy was regaining momentum after being held back by severe weather, Reuters reports.

Box Inc. Files for IPO

Box Inc. has made public its plans to raise up to $250 million in an initial public offering, setting the stage for one of the most hotly anticipated offerings to come out of Silicon Valley so far this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Study: California Second Least Affordable State for Renters

The National Low Income Housing Coalition said Monday that California renters must earn more than triple the minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment, underscoring a housing shortage throughout the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Carlyle Hires Away Dimon Protégé from J.P. Morgan

Michael Cavanagh, a high-ranking J.P. Morgan executive who was seen as a front-runner to succeed Chief Executive James Dimon, is leaving the nation's largest bank to join private-equity firm Carlyle Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Toyota Case Shows It's Hard to Prosecute Execs

Efforts to conceal the extent of dangerous car defects at Toyota Motor Corp. were so pervasive, prosecutors say, that an exasperated employee at one point warned that "someone will go to jail if lies are repeatedly told." But the Associated Press looks at why no one has gone to jail, nor is likely to.

Stocks Up

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 73 points to 16,350. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,239. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,864.

OWN to Move to West Hollywood

The Oprah Winfrey Network signed a lease Monday to move from the Miracle Mile to West Hollywood, a deal real estate insiders have anticipated for months.

Monday, March 24

Glossi Dropping Desktop Publishing Platform

Glossi, an online magazine publishing platform headquartered in Santa Monica, announced plans to eliminate its desktop publishing service and launch a mobile-only version next month.

RealD Expands Reach in China

RealD Inc. announced Monday it is expanding its relationship with the largest theater chain in China, Wanda Cinema Line Corp.

Ben Sherwood to Lead Disney/ABC Television

ABC News executive Ben Sherwood has been named the next president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.

Herbalife Shares Rise as Icahn Gets More of Board

Herbalife shares rose Monday after the company announced it is nominating three more designees of Carl Icahn to its board.

Stocks Decline

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,277. The Nasdaq fell 50 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,226. The S&P 500 dropped 9 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,857. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 188.

Deep L.A. Roots

BUSINESS PERSONS OF THE YEAR: Agribusiness billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick have planted themselves at heart of philanthropic, cultural scenes.

Agribusiness billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick have branched out into supporting L.A.’s philanthropic and arts scenes.

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Malaysian Flight Ended in Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Says

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was lost in the southern Indian Ocean, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Malaysian leader said that he was briefed by Britain's Air Accident Investigations Branch.

Wealthy Chinese Home Buyers Sold on L.A.

The overflow from China's economic high tide is transforming the housing markets of suburban Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

'Divergent' Takes Lion's Share at Box Office

Though not as fast out of the gate as "The Hunger Games" or "Twilight," the action-thriller "Divergent" enjoyed a strong enough opening weekend that it is likely to become the newest member of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s stable of young-adult series, The Wall Street Journal reports.

California Chefs Fight for Bare-hand Contact

Many restaurant workers are breaking a state law mandating the use of gloves when preparing food. It took effect in January, but won't be enforced until July. Major chain restaurants are used to gloves and generally shrug at this kind of regulation, but to higher-end restaurants, the mandate came as an irritating surprise, the Associated Press reports.

Ratepayers Could Get Rebates From San Onofre Closure

Ratepayers of Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. could be in line for more than $1 billion in refunds as part of a possible financial settlement from the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In Hollywood News Wars, TheWrap Rebounds

A year ago, was still trundling along as an also-ran. Then founder Sharon Waxman unveiled a badly needed redesign of the website, using $2 million in financing from a venture capital firm and also started openly chasing traffic with lists and catnip headlines, The New York Times reports.

Death Raises Questions About On-Set Safety

It took seconds for a freight train to kill Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant who died on the set of an independent film, “Midnight Rider,” in rural Georgia on Feb. 20. Sorting through the consequences may take years, The New York Times reports.

Kobe Confronts a Long and Possibly Painful Goodbye.

Kobe Bryant is now 35, and staying power is seldom far from his mind, the New Yorker reports.

Betty Ford Center Ready for a Comeback

Last month, a Minnesota nonprofit took over the famed Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. Now it is looking to preserve the former first lady's legacy with an ambitious expansion in Southern California and beyond, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple in Talks With Comcast About Streaming-TV Service

Apple Inc. is in talks with Comcast Corp. about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and it would get special treatment on Comcast's cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A Crisis in Online Ads: One-Third of Traffic Is Bogus

Billions of dollars are flowing into online advertising. But marketers also are confronting an uncomfortable reality: rampant fraud. About 36 percent of all Web traffic is considered fake, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Former President Carter Suspects His Email is Monitored by NSA

Does the National Security Agency's Internet snooping reach into the email inboxes of former occupants of the White House? Former President Jimmy Carter thinks so, CNBC reports.

Stocks Down

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,269. The Nasdaq fell 61 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,217. The S&P 500 dropped 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,857.

Hotel-Focused Design Firm Sees Room in L.A.

HOSPITALITY: Hong Kong’s Vadi hopes to hook up here with Chinese developers.

Design firm hopes to translate Hong Kong experience into L.A. work with Chinese hotel developers.

New Chapter For Spiritual Bookstore

Owner says niche focus on mysticism may bring second site.

The spirit moved a former insurance attorney to open Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice.

Old Ford Factory May Shift Gears

REAL ESTATE: Site seen as likely mixed-use development.

Plans for former Ford plant could rev up downtown L.A.’s Arts District.

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Reader Forum: Locked Out On Evictions?

FORUM: State bill AB 2045 could grant cities with rent control ordinances the ability to stop landlords from evicting tenants in order to sell a property or convert it to condos.

Should landlords be further restricted in their right to evict for sale or conversion?

Oil Giant Dug Its Own Hole


Charles Crumpley notes that fracking opponents don’t trust Occidental Petroleum and seconds the emotion.

Sound Plan For Biking Enthusiasts

15-year-old peddles mounted stereo device that holds iPhone.

15-year-old Benji Miller wants cyclists to take his hands-free stereo device for a spin.

Herbalife Foe Reaps Democrats’ Liberal Assistance


Bill Gunderson shares the story of how Democratic operatives were enlisted to short Herbalife stock.

Pumped-Up Radicalism

OP-ED: Activists invoke word ‘fracking’ to get Los Angeles City Council to ban oil industry in city limits.

Los Angeles City Council has broken new ground on fracking panic with a potential ban on oil drilling, writes Dave Quast.

Merchandisers Work in Concert

MUSIC: Merger gets two former competitors in sync.

Ex-rivals Cinder Block and BandMerch cue up merger to boost their merchandising business.

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Water Purification Business Cleans Up in Pickup

TECHNOLOGY: NanoH2O bought for $200 million by South Korea’s LG Chem.

NanoH2O’s sea water desalinization process makes a splash with South Korea’s LG Chem.

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Firm Builds Tech Bridge Between Asia, Middle East

INVESTMENT: DPL taps South Korean money to back Israeli startups.

Trio gives birth to $50 million fund that will nurse Israeli life sciences startups with South Korean money.

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Businesses Still Battle Disability Suits

LAW: Plaintiff attorneys raise costs by going straight to filing.

Reform intended to curb abuse of the Americans With Disabilities Act has not stopped business owners from being sued multiple times for the same infraction.

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Overseas Appeals

LAW: Gibson Dunn touts recent Latin American wins for Dole, Chevron as it courts more work from multinationals.

Recent court victories for Dole and Chevron are helping Gibson Dunn make its case for more international work.

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Star Shine

Reality show gets ritzy pawnshop out of hock

Pawnshop owner Yossi Dina credits his reality TV show with extending the shelf life of his business.

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List Website Hopes It Has Your Number

Ranker takes Yelp-like ratings beyond just hotels, restaurants.

List-making website Ranker hopes it rates the description “a Yelp for everything else.”

Drug Developer’s Promotions Generate Bad Buzz

HEALTH CARE: Shares of CytRx drop over issues of alleged stock touting.

Concern over stock promotions spurs investors to check out of drug developer CytRx.

Lawyer Takes His Case to the Whisky

Mark Sullivan is a senior litigation paralegal for Century City law firm Cox Castle & Nicholson. He’s also the firm’s resident rocker.

Regional Report

Ixia, a Calabasas computer networking software developer, has received a notice of noncompliance from Nasdaq after failing to file its third quarter earnings.

Pasadena Properties Maintain Pull With Buyers

ACQUISITION: Saunders picks up former AT&T building for $82 million.

Pasadena office properties have lately proved popular investments.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

Data Bank Calendar

An upcoming calendar of events.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

American Apparel Inc. said that it would be late filing its year-end report with the Securities and Exchange Commission because the company needs to focus on more urgent issues and that its changing situation could affect the annual report.

Former Thrift Officially Vaults Into Banking World

LENDING: OneWest’s switch in charter could presage initial public offering.

It’s official: Pasadena’s OneWest Bank actually is a bank. And now Los Angeles County’s third largest by assets.

Friday, March 21

LA Unemployment Rate Falls

L.A.’s jobs picture continued to brighten in February as employers added nearly 28,000 jobs to their payrolls and the jobless rate fell to 8.7 percent, according to state figures released Friday.

Research Solutions, Lions Gate Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell slightly for the week.

Stocks Decline

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 28 points to 16,303. The Nasdaq fell 43 points to 4,277. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,867. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 1 point to 189.

Media General to Buy LIN Media

Media General Inc. said it would buy LIN Media LLC for $1.6 billion to create a broadcaster reaching nearly a quarter of U.S. households with a television, Reuters reports.

Colony to Issue $513 Million in Bonds Tied to Rental Payments

Colony American Homes, a major player in the burgeoning business of renting single-family homes, is cashing in on its portfolio — to raise money to buy more, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mt. Gox Finds $116 Million of Bitcoins in Old 'Wallet'

The embattled bitcoin exchange said today that it has found 200,000 bitcoins in a "forgotten" digital wallet -- a haul today worth $116 million, CNN Money reports. Meanwhile, A U.S. judge who froze assets belonging to Mt. Gox' American affiliate has loosened the restraint to see where some of that digital currency flows, Bloomberg News reports.

As Opening Nears, Dodger Fans Still Shut Out

About 70 percent of the area's television market won't see the games on SportsNet LA because pay-TV distributors still are balking at Time Warner’s fees for the new channel, the Los Angeles Times reports.

WellPoint Raises Earnings Outlook

Anthem Blue Cross parent WellPoint Inc. today raised its full-year earnings view, citing membership growth, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Most Banks Pass 'Stress Test'

The Fed's annual test of big banks' financial health showed the largest U.S. firms are strong enough to withstand a severe economic downturn, potentially clearing the way for banks to reward investors with dividends and stock buybacks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Symantec Fires Another CEO

Computer-security company Symantec Corp. has fired Chief Executive Steve Bennett amid sagging revenue and slumping shares, the second time it has dumped a CEO in less than two years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

TCW Replaces Pimco as Manager of Bond Fund

Bill Gross’s Pacific Investment Management Co., which suffered record redemptions from its main mutual fund last year, has been dropped as manager of a $1.3 billion bond fund offered by Columbia Management Investment Advisers, Bloomberg News reports.

Is the Bloom Off Pot Stocks?

USA Today looks at whether Wall Street investors are beginning to lose their appetite for companies related to the marijuana industry.

Appeals Court Revives Fed Rule on Debit Cards

In a setback for retailers, a federal appeals court today revived a 2011 Federal Reserve rule on the fees banks can charge merchants when customers use their debit cards, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Gisele's Lingerie Line Battles Victoria's Secret in Brazil

Hers is the face and form that sold thousands of Victoria’s Secret thongs. Now Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen is taking on her former employer on her own turf, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Keeping the Mystery Out of China's Meat

A seemingly endless string of scandals has made China the Wild West of food safety. Inadequate government oversight also is forcing big Western companies from Wal-Mart to Nestlé to take food policing into their own hands, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Stocks Rise

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 118 points to 16,449. The Nasdaq rose 1 points to 4,320. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,883.

Thursday, March 20

Appeals Court Rules for Newhall Ranch Developer

The Second District Court of Appeals on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that had found environmental review of the planned Newhall Ranch development in the Santa Clarita Valley was inadequate.

Times Names New Business Editor

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday announced that Kimi Yoshino has been named the newspaper’s business editor.

DreamWorks' Shanghai Resort Design Unveiled

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. on Thursday unveiled design plans in China for its entertainment complex to be built in Shanghai.

Hudson Pacific Prices Stock Offering

Shares of Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. rose slightly on Thursday after the office landlord priced a 3.5 million share secondary offering of stock being sold by shareholders.

Markets Rebound

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 109 points to 16,331. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to 4,319. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,872. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 191.

Rubicon Prices IPO, Values Company at $450 Million

Tech advertising platform Rubicon Project Inc. priced its initial public offering Thursday at $17 a share, valuing the company at more than $450 million.

Fed Could Raise Rates Next Spring

The U.S. Federal Reserve will probably end its massive bond-buying program this fall, and could start raising interest rates around six months later, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Village at Westfield Topanga Lawsuit Resolved

A lawsuit filed by the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization against the city of Los Angeles over its approval of Westfield Group’s The Village at Westfield Topanga has been settled, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Report: Airbnb to Seek Up to $500 Million

Airbnb Inc. is in advanced talks to raise funds that would value the controversial San Francisco online home-rental company at more than $10 billion and place it among the world's most valuable startups, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Private equity firm TPG is likely to lead the round.

SCAG: California Film Tax Credit a Good Investment

The Southern California Assn. of Governments says California's Film and Television Tax Credit Program is a good investment, but needs to be extended and restructured to keep the entertainment industry from fleeing the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Downtown L.A. Clinic Administrator to Plead Guilty to Federal Charges

Mike Mikaelian, one of a dozen defendants charged with conspiring to run a scheme to illegally obtain and distribute OxyContin pills, is scheduled to plead guilty today to federal charges, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Facebook Likely to Start Charging for Promotion

Want to reach people on Facebook with your business? You may soon have to pay up, CNBC reports.

Spilker Steps Down as Apollo Global President

Apollo Global Management today said Marc Spilker is stepping down as president and as a member of the firm's executive committee, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Construction of Cold Storage Facility Starts at Port of Long Beach

Baker Cold Storage and Lineage Logistics broke ground Wednesday on an expansive cold storage building that company executives said will be the largest of its kind near a Southern California port, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Judge Tosses 'Piolin' Extortion Suit

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed an extortion lawsuit brought by popular Spanish-language radio personality Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo against six former staff members of his canceled Univision Radio show, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Strip Club Manager Elected to Neighborhood Council

Avi Feinstein, manager of a controversial Canoga Park strip club has been elected to the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Newsbeat App to Enable Streaming of News

Los Angeles Times Owner Tribune Co., looking to bolster readership, today is rolling out a free mobile app that lets smartphone and tablet users stream audio of 7,000 news stories from more than 600 news outlets each day, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Industry Expert Says Fracking Not Linked to Earthquakes

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, said a motion presented Tuesday by Los Angeles councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin to explore that idea is both crazy and uninformed, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Residents Blast Officials Over Exide Plant

Furious residents confronted state officials at a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss the high levels of lead found in the backyards of homes near the Vernon battery recycling plant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Granada Hills Cafe Owner Wins on Food Network Show

Joe’s Cafe was particularly cheery and festive Wednesday morning after chef and co-owner Joe Wetherbee was revealed the night before as champion of an episode of the Food Network’s popular cooking competition “Chopped,” the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

LADWP to Streamline Applications for Solar Customers

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Wednesday it is hiring more workers and simplifying applications for customers who install solar panels on their roof, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AltaMed Signing Up Latinos for Obamacare

Covered California, the state's insurance exchange, is turning to AltaMed and other health clinics to help remedy the low sign-up rate among Latinos for Obamacare, the Los Angeles Times reports.

MOCA Director to Steer a Steady Course

Philippe Vergne tells the Los Angeles Times that his first task as the new director of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art is not to act quickly but to think and plan deeply.

Markets Rise

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 61 points to 16,283. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,321. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,867

Wednesday, March 19

Fracking Concerns Moves Carson to Moratorium

The Carson City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a 45-day moratorium on new oil and gas drilling, largely due to concerns about hydraulic fracking.

Guess Expects a Loss in Current Quarter

Shares Guess Inc. fell nearly 6 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday after the apparel company reported a lower fourth-quarter profit and forecast a loss for the current quarter.

Better-Than-Expected Quarter for KB Home

Shares of KB Home rose nearly 6 percent on Wednesday after the home builder said it moved to a profit in its fiscal first quarter and new home orders had increased.

National Technical Acquires Testing Business

National Technical Systems Inc. on Wednesday said it is acquiring the testing business of Wyle Laboratories Inc., which serves the nuclear, aerospace, and defense industries.

Markets Drop

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 114 points to 16,222. The Nasdaq fell 26 points to 4,308. The S&P 500 fell 11 points to 1,861. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1 percent, to 191.

Wilcon Rebrands Firms Acquired in Recent Roll-Up

Fiber optic provider Wilcon has taken the next step in its roll-up of local telecom companies, consolidating and rebranding recently acquired firms IX2 and Freedom Telecommunications under its corporate umbrella.

Former Fox Exec Joins Machinima Board

Los Angeles YouTube network Machinima announced today Anthony Vinciquerra, former chairman and chief executive of Fox Networks Group, has joined its board of directors.

BYD May Lose Long Beach Bus Contract

Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams is close to losing a $12 million contract to deliver a fleet of electric buses to Long Beach Transit, a deal the company hoped would jump-start its U.S. operations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Federal transit officials contend that BYD violated some regulations that made it ineligible to bid in the first place.

Recommended Sales Tax Hike Would Pay for Street Repairs

Sparking a debate over how to fix L.A.’s crumbling roads and buckling sidewalks, the city’s top analyst on Tuesday recommended a tax hike to pay for thousands of miles of repairs, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Did Fracking Play Role in L.A. Quake?

Three L.A. City Council members want city, state and federal groups to look into whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil and gas “well stimulation” played any role in the earthquake that rattled the city early Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SEC Charges L.A. Jewish Leaders in Annuities Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission contends that Rabbi Harold Ten played a key role in an alleged scheme by L.A. investment broker Michael A. Horowitz to profit from the deaths of terminally ill patients that Ten was assisting though his L.A. nonprofit Bikur Cholim, the Jewish Journal reports.

Toyota to Pay $1.2 Billion to Settle Criminal Probe

Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle a U.S. Justice Department criminal probe into its handling of safety problems, the Washington Post reports.

Disney Makes Corporate Governance Fix

Walt Disney Co. at its annual meeting Tuesday was able to avoid a vote on a proposal by a group of activist investors who wanted to amend the process by which candidates are nominated to the board, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Burbank company also revealed a few tidbits about forthcoming film projects, including a pair of animated sequels and the company's first "Star Wars" picture.

Why Bob Iger May Not Leave Disney in 2016

BuzzFeed reports that there is growing speculation that Disney’s current chairman and chief executive will extend his contract and remain with the company past the June 30, 2016, date currently set for him to retire.

J.P. Morgan to Sell Commodities Unit

J.P. Morgan has agreed to sell its commodities trading business to Swiss energy trading company Mercuria Energy Group for $3.5 billion, the New York Times reports.

Report: J. Crew, Fast Retailing Merger Talks Break Down

Merger discussions between apparel chain J. Crew Group Inc. and Japan's Fast Retailing Co. have broken down, reducing the prospects for a deal that would create a global retailing behemoth, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Mobile Ad Market Soars 105 Percent

A study by eMarketer says global mobile ad spending increased to more than $17.9 billion last year. Google still owns the biggest slice of mobile ad sales, but Facebook is getting more of that pie, CNet says.

Celes King IV Dies at 70

Entrepreneur and South Los Angeles community activist Celes King IV died Saturday at a San Diego hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports. King, whose family still owns and operates L.A. Celes King Bail Bond Agency, built a coalition that changed plans for a proposed subway in order to keep businesses on Crenshaw Boulevard intact.

A Lobster in Every Pot?

Lobster, long considered a luxury, is becoming a little more ordinary. The Wall Street Journal says soaring supply and falling prices for whole live lobster, along with new food trends, are changing how people eat the crustacean—perhaps for the long term.

Dow and S&P Up; Nasdaq Down

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 8 points to 16,344. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 4,328. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,873.

Tuesday, March 18

American Apparel Delays Filing

American Apparel Inc. on Tuesday said it would be late filing its year-end report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because the company needs to focus on more urgent issues and that its changing situation could affect its annual report.

Al Jerome to Retire from KCETLink

Al Jerome, the longtime chief executive at public broadcaster KCET of Burbank, announced Tuesday he will retire within six months.

Traffic Down at Port of Long Beach

Traffic at the Port of Long Beach declined 2.6 percent in February compared with the same month last year, according to figures released Tuesday.

Apollo Signs Deal with Rite Aid

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with Rite Aid Corp. to help manage the health of patients with chronic conditions.

Stocks Gain

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 89 points to 16,336. The Nasdaq rose 53 points to 4,333. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 1,872. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 193.

Viacom and Google Settle YouTube Lawsuit

Viacom today said it settled its $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Google's YouTube, Variety reports. Viacom Inc. filed the suit in 2007, claiming that YouTube knew that thousands of videos posted to its site had been stolen from Viacom TV networks including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.

Layoffs Under Way at Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Corp.'s film and television studio on Monday began cutting staff as it works to significantly reduce its overhead, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Beverly Connection to Be Sold

Vornado Realty Trust of New Jersey is selling Beverly Connection, the mid-priced retail shopping center across the street from upscale Beverly Center, to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. of New York for $260 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Housing Starts Dip Slightly, Sales Inventory Rises

Construction of new housing units remained essentially flat last month compared with January as builders struggle to ramp up construction, the Los Angeles Times reports. In addition, the number of existing homes on the market jumped in February.

American Express to Sell Half its Business Travel Unit

American Express Co. on Monday said it will sell half of its corporate-travel business to a group of investors, including Certares LP and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, for $900 million, the New York Times reports.

Apple Updates Low-Price iPad

Apple today refreshed two entry-level devices, ZDNet reports, introducing an 8GB iPhone 5c and reintroducing the iPad 4 with a sharper screen, more powerful chip and high-speed wireless support.

Will GM Investors Hold Steady?

If General Motors mishandles the question of why it took so long to recall vehicles with ignition switches that can switch off unexpectedly, investors may not be as understanding as they appeared after Monday's recall announcement, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Beleaguered Producer Hopes to Strike Gold Again

Julius Nasso, who produced many Steven Seagal martial arts films but later went to prison in an extortion case, is back with a new action hero, Tony Schiena, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Redstone Re-elected to Viacom Board

Viacom investors at their annual meeting Monday reelected all of the company's board members, including its 90-year-old billionaire executive chairman, Sumner Redstone, the Los Angeles Times reports.

'Cesar Chavez' to Screen at the White House

The biopic about Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez will screen at the White House tomorrow night, the Wrap reports.

The $1,500 Tesla Ad

Tesla doesn't spend a dime on paid advertising, but a group of recent college graduates, who formed an L.A. production company called Everdream Pictures, decided to make a video spot for the electric car brand anyway. Ad Age reports they scored a meeting with an impressed Elon Musk.

Food Prices Surge as Drought Continues

Federal forecasters today estimated that retail food prices will rise as much as 3.5 percent this year — the biggest annual increase in three years — as drought in parts of the U.S. and other regions drives up prices for many agricultural goods, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Top Sony Execs Address Partnership Issue

Since the appointment of Michael De Luca as co-president of production at Sony's Columbia Pictures in December, rumors have been rampant in Hollywood about why he took the job in partnership with Hannah Minghella. The pair spoke with the Wrap about their partnership and what Hollywood can expect going forward.

Mt. Gox Allows Customers to Check Their Balances

Mt. Gox, a leading bitcoin exchange that late last month filed for bankruptcy protection, today updated its website to allow customers to log in and verify their account balance, Reuters reports.

A Third of Workers Have Less Than $1,000 Saved for Retirement

A survey indicates that about 36 percent of U.S. workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or a traditional pension, USA Today reports.

Stocks Gain

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 97 points to16,344. The Nasdaq rose 39 points to 4,319. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,870.

RadPad Raises $1 Million Seed Round

RadPad, a rental search app, announced today it had raised $1 million in convertible notes in a seed round led by Menlo Park’s Deep Fork Capital.

Monday, March 17

CrowdGather Will Sell Non-Core Assets to Boost Bottom Line

CrowdGather Inc., owner of a network of Internet discussion boards, is planning to sell assets as it seeks to stem ongoing losses and bolster its balance sheet as it seeks merger or acquisition targets.

FDA Panel Backs Staar Product

Shares of Staar Surgical Co. jumped 15 percent on Monday after the lens company announced that a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel had recommended U.S. marketing approval for an implantable eye lens.

C3 Jian Closes $60 Million Financing

UCLA spinoff C3 Jian, Inc., which is developing drugs to fight tooth decay, on Monday said it raised $60.5 million in a just-completed Series D financing.

Rentech Shareholder Group Slams Board, Management

A group of activist shareholders on Monday called on Rentech Inc. to postpone any new stock offerings or other capital raising efforts until after the company’s annual meeting.

Stocks Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 182 points, or 1 percent, to 16,247. The Nasdaq rose 35 points, or 1 percent, to 4,280. The S&P 500 rose 18 points, or 1 percent, to 1,859. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 191.

Quake Hits Near Westwood

The rumble that might have awakened you this morning came from a shallow 4.4-magnitude earthquake that struck near Westwood, the Los Angeles Times reports, the largest since 2008.

Cal MediConnect Under Fire

Thousands of elderly and disabled Californians will be pushed into managed health care plans soon under a state pilot project, but doctors’ groups and patient advocates have found a number of problems with the program that could threaten care for the most medically fragile, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Dodgers President Optimistic About TV Channel

There’s less than a week until the Dodgers open their regular season, and Time Warner still hasn’t been able to strike deals with major pay-TV providers for the new Dodgers channel. But Dodgers president Stan Kasten tells Southern California Public Radio that the closer the season gets, the more distributors are pressured to strike deals.

CBS Sets Plan for Outdoor IPO Split Off

CBS Corp. said today that it filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission that calls for it to sell 20 million shares in its domestic outdoor advertising unit, Variety reports.

Two Executives Now Vie for Top Job at Disney

With the unexpected departure of a top executive once considered a contender to head Walt Disney Co., attention has again turned to the looming question of who will be the media giant's next chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Man Named by Newsweek Fights Bitcoin Claim

Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the Temple City man identified by Newsweek magazine as the founder of Bitcoin, has hired a lawyer and issued a written statement denying any involvement with the digital currency, the New York Times reports.

L.A. Port Traffic Declines

Traffic at the Port of Los Angeles declined 8.9 percent in February compared with the same month last year, which port officials blamed on an earlier Chinese New Year holiday, the Business Journal reports.

Sport Chalet Eyes Profitable Year

Sport Chalet posted its most profitable quarter in seven years, a sign the sporting goods retailer may be nearing a turnaround, the Los Angeles Times reports in a company profile.

General Motors Reveals Costs of Recalls

General Motors Co. today said that it would take a $300 million charge in its first quarter to cover costs related to recalls involving faulty ignition switches and other products, the Wall Street Journal reports. The auto maker also announced other recalls.

U.S. Factories Flex Muscle After Winter Chill

U.S. manufacturing output recorded its largest increase in six months in February in the latest signs that economic activity was gaining momentum after being dampened by severe weather, Reuters reports.

NBC Official Banking on Event TV

Bob Greenblatt, NBC's entertainment chief, admits that turning around the struggling fourth-place network hasn’t been easy, but he is hoping a string of serialized, mini-series-styled shows will help, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Retirees Return to Reverse Mortgages

U.S. baby boomers desperate for retirement income are increasingly turning back to a financial product that, after the housing bust, had been left for dead: the reverse mortgage, Reuters reports.

Low-Wage Workers Finding Poverty Harder to Escape

Climbing out of poverty has become more daunting as the work force has been transformed by the Great Recession, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 143 points, or nearly1 percent, to 16,208. The Nasdaq rose 32 points to 4,278. The S&P 500 rose 14 points to 1,855.

L.A. Port Traffic Slumps

Traffic at the Port of Los Angeles declined 8.9 percent in February compared with the same month last year.

This Dog Has His Day Every Day at Law Firm

There’s one partner at Westwood law firm Liner who’s such an institution that he’s actually written into the terms of the lease.

Late Wrinkles in Neman Ponzi Trial

investment: Accused claims deal in place for Facebook stock.

INVESTMENT: Investor facing trial in pre-IPO Facebook fraud claims link to $4 billion in Citigroup funding.

Premium Jeans Still Have Legs

Cookie Johnson’s line for curvy women adds TV shopping outlet.

APPAREL – Cookie Johnson, Magic’s wife, scores Home Shopping Network as an outlet for her jeans line.

Movie Studio Makes Play For YouTube Connection

INTERNET: Machinima’s video-game network scores backing from Warner Bros.

INTERNET: Video game-centric YouTube network Machinima scores $18 million in funding.

Dialed In

Channels share one signal so they can sell second

TV: KLCS and KJLA hope to channel big money by sharing the airwaves and selling a broadcast frequency for cellphone use.

Venture Capital Firm Puts Money on Silicon Beach

INVESTMENT: Upfront relocates office to be first in line with budding businesses.

INVESTMENT – Venture firm Upfront moves to Santa Monica to shore up connections with new entrepreneurs.

Taking Technology For Spin

‘Wheel’s’ Pat Sajak spells out investment strategy in sector.

INTERNET – “Wheel” host Pat Sajak looks to add to his fortune with an investment in a daily deal and coupon site.

Music Group Sniffs Out New Venue

Muse/Ique cues up Jacob Maarse Florists for night performance.

RETAIL – Jacob Maarse Florists will become a budding concert venue when it hosts a musical performance.

Parts Company Looks Like It’s Coming Together

Automotive: US Auto Parts stock in high gear after improved earnings.

AUTOMOTIVE – Narrowed quarterly loss revs up shares of US Auto Parts.

Landlords Want to Toss Eviction Bill

POLITICS: Proposal would limit owners’ ability to sell properties.

L.A. landlords look to boot a proposed bill that would limit their ability to evict tenants.

Taking Stock

banking: Local lenders wait and weigh value of joining new over-the-counter market specifically for banks.

BANKING – L.A. institutions are waiting and weighing potential returns of joining a new over-the-counter market for banks.

Swing, Miss?

Time Warner has been pitching its new Dodger TV station, but rival pay-TV companies have been unwilling to pay extra for it so far. So the Business Journal asks:

How much extra would you be willing to pay each month to watch Dodgers games on TV?

To Watch or Not to Watch

COMMENT: Should cable providers pay a huge sum to carry the new Dodgers channel? Charles Crumpley says definitely yes and no.

El Segundo Remains First Choice for E-Tailer

LEASE: JustFab signs up for additional space near current headquarters.

While plenty of technology companies are still clamoring for space in hot Silicon Beach locales such as Santa Monica, others are content to stay a bit farther afield.

He Wasn’t Ready to Sell, Until ...

FIRM: Todd Morgan and his partners weren’t ready to sell their firm. Then they found out how much they could get.

Trying to Create Initiatives to Benefit Investors

PROFILE: Steve Lockshin sees rich possibilities in steering brokerage customers to agnostic advisers.

Special Report Banking & Finance: More Money Men

As wealth rebounds, so has wealth management. Banks, breakaway firms and out-of-towners are all clamoring to manage the money of L.A.’s elite now that cash is coming off the sidelines.

INVESTMENT: L.A’s growing concentration of wealthy investors is creating a new wave of money managers.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

Data Bank Calendar

A calendar of upcoming events.

Burbank Tower Comes Up Short

REAL ESTATE: Building left by Disney grabbed for low price.

A 32-story tower in the heart of Burbank’s media district – the tallest office building in its market – is expected to trade hands this week in a deal many consider a steal.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Anne Sweeney, the president of Walt Disney Co.’s Disney/ABC Television Group, announced she would leave the company in January to pursue a career in television directing.

Licensing-Publishing Companies Cue Up Merger

MUSIC: Newly created entity Riptide aims to get in ‘sync’ with more recording artists.

They’re scaling up for more deals: Two L.A. music licensing and publishing houses merged last month to create Riptide Music Group of Culver City.

Pickup Puts Priority on Reaching LGBT Audience

Acquisition: MWW buys Macias Media for focus on marketing to community.

Public relations firm MWW is tapping into the gay and lesbian market with the recent acquisition of Macias Media Group, an L.A. marketing and PR relations firm that focuses on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Restaurant Operator Now Has Steak in Middle East

DINING: IDG dishes up its first overseas location with upscale Boa in Abu Dhabi.

DINING: IDG adds its first overseas location to the menu with a Boa Steakhouse scheduled to open in Abu Dhabi.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Container Business Locks Up Pair of Acquisitions

STORAGE: General Finance bets on Texas pair to boost work in gas and oil sector.

STORAGE: Container business General Finance looks to secure work in the oil and gas sector with Texas pickups.

Friday, March 14

Virtual Piggy Inks Deal With German Videogame Firm

Virtual Piggy Inc. announced Friday it signed a partnership with Europe Games Group to allow its roughly 15 million gamers to purchase in-app items via Virtual Piggy’s Oink payment system.

Burbank Tower Coming Up Short

A 32-story tower in the heart of Burbank’s media district – the tallest office building in its market – is expected to trade hands next week in a deal many consider a steal.

L.A. Sues Time Warner Cable for $10 Million

The city of Los Angeles filed suit against Time Warner Cable on Friday seeking $10 million in fees.

L.A. Stations Test ‘Spectrum’ Sale

Some TV stations are tuning in to a sudden opportunity to sell what could be their most valuable asset – their airwaves. Cellphone companies covet them to satisfy the ever-growing appetite for mobile Internet use.

CytRx Shares Volatile After Report

Shares of West L.A. biotechnology firm CytRx Corp. rebounded after falling as much as 10 percent Friday due to reports that the company has worked closely with a stock promoter to boost interest in its shares without disclosing its involvement.

Herbalife, Ryland Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week. The weighted LABJ Stock Index dropped 2 percent to 190 for the trading week ended March 17. Decliners outpaced gainers 98 to 56, with six companies unchanged.

Stocks Drop

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 43 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,066. The Nasdaq fell 15 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,245. The S&P 500 dropped 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,841. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 190.

Appeals Court Agrees Dole Suit Was a Scam

A California appellate court has upheld a finding that a verdict against Dole Food over pesticide use in Nicaragua was the product of a conspiracy by corrupt plaintiffs’ lawyers, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, citing the case as one example of big problems with attorneys fighting corporations for the little guy.

How Target Blew It

Target acknowledged on Thursday that its computer security system had alerted it to suspicious activity after hackers infiltrated its network last year, The New York Times reports. Also, the biggest retail hack in U.S. history wasn’t particularly inventive, nor did it appear destined for success, Bloomberg reports.

Housing Recovery Loses Momentum in California

California’s housing market recovery continued to slow in February, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lions Gate Fined for Actions Against Icahn

The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday that independent studio Lions Gate Entertainment had agreed to admit wrongdoing and pay a $7.5 million penalty for its actions in fending off a takeover by Carl C. Icahn, The New York Times reports.

DreamWorks Studio Needs a New Script

It started with the goal of reinventing the media business. Now, Steven Spielberg's production company, DreamWorks SKG, is hoping a car chase movie based on a videogame will revive not just the dream, but the company, The Wall Street Journal reports.

L.A. Clothing Company Behind "First Kiss" Viral Video

Wren, a seven-year-old Los Angeles clothing label, recently commissioned a $1,300, three-and-a-half-minute video, shot in black and white, showing 10 pairs of strangers kissing for the first time. By Thursday afternoon, the video — titled “First Kiss” — was a bona fide viral sensation, The New York Times reports.

Federal Judge Tosses Union Suit Against LAX Airline Service Company

An airline services company at Los Angeles International Airport has won a court victory in a longstanding battle with a labor union fighting to regain its representation of the firm’s workers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Picks First Products for Toxics Screening

Eager to attack more hazardous household products, state officials went public Thursday with a first list of consumer products that might need to be reformulated or pulled from retailers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Unemployment Program Lost Out on Funds

California's deficit-plagued unemployment insurance program missed out on more than half a billion dollars in federal money in recent years when state officials failed to take advantage of a new federal program, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Californians Grow Less Reliant on Cars

Californians aren't depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and errands as they did a decade ago, the Los Angeles Times reports.

For Jimmy Fallon, A Splashy Start

In his first two weeks as host of "The Tonight Show," Jimmy Fallon scored more than double the audience of his two closest rivals. Nearly a month in, he continues to lead the late-night pack by a considerable margin, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Down

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,093. The Nasdaq dropped 8 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,252. The S&P 500 was down 1 point, 0.1 percent, to 1,845.

Thursday, March 13

Launchpad, MuckerLab Among Top Accelerators

Los Angeles tech accelerators Launchpad LA and MuckerLab have landed on among the top 5 such organizations in the country, according to a new list released during this week’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Dental Price Comparison Service Expands

The service offers users access to more than 700 Los Angeles-area dentists.

Herbalife Discusses Board Nominees with Icahn

Herbalife Ltd. on Thursday said that it would postpone next month's annual shareholder meeting for five days so it can continue discussions with Carl Icahn about adding more of his nominees to the company's board.

State Closes Labor Case Against BYD

Fines levied against Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. for violations of state labor requirements were cut by almost two thirds by a California Labor Commissioner Hearing officer, the company announced Thursday.

Stocks Drop

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 231 points, or more than 1 percent, to 16,109. The Nasdaq fell 63 points, or more than 1 percent, to 4,260. The S&P 500 fell 22 points, or 1 percent, to 1,846. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1 percent to 190.

Texas Gets Oxy, Looking for More

Fresh from getting Occidental Petroleum to move to Houston, Gov. Rick Perry is wooing other California firms, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Texas governor will be in Los Angeles next week to try to persuade local corporations to relocate to the Lone Star State.

Obama Wants to Expand Overtime Pay Eligibility

Lackluster wage growth is propelling a new White House campaign to reexamine federal labor regulations that administration officials say are leaving more American workers unprotected every year, the Washington Post reports.

Kobe and Magic Rip Lakers Front Office

Lakers great Magic Johnson and injured star Kobe Bryant want Lakers management to take a proactive role in ensuring the team will compete among the NBA's best next season, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since November

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since the end of November, a sign of further improvement in the labor market, Bloomberg News reports.

Hallmark Movie Channel to Tweak Name, Emphasis

Hallmark Movie Channel, known for the family-fare films long associated with the greeting-card empire, is changing its name and plans to add a little tension to the mix by emphasizing mystery dramas, Variety reports.

Regulators Size Up Wall Street, With Worry

Some government authorities are publicly questioning whether such misdeeds as market rigging, tax dodging, selling faulty financial products and rampant risk-taking are not just the work of a few bad actors, but rather a flaw that runs through the fabric of the banking industry, the New York Times reports.

Survey: 4 Million Renters Want to Buy

A new study says 10 percent of all renters want to buy a home this year, but face tight credit and higher prices, CNBC reports.

Audit of State Employment Agency Ordered

State lawmakers on Wednesday ordered a formal audit of the troubled Employment Development Department and how it may have botched the handling of thousands of unemployment insurance claims, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Life for Historic Theater

Wilshire Boulevard's historic Hayworth Theatre has changed its identity many times since it opened in 1926 near MacArthur Park. Now its new owner, TV writer Jenji Kohan, plans a number of business and performing arts uses for the Spanish colonial-style building named after actress Rita Hayworth, the Los Angeles Times reports.

GE Files for IPO of Retail Finance Arm

General Electric Co. has filed for an initial public offering of its North American retail finance business, which will operate under the name Synchrony Financial, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Former Glendale Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Ex-City Councilman John Drayman pleaded guilty to embezzling about $304,000 from a Montrose farmers market between 2004 and 2011, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What a Highly Encrypted Future Means for Some Businesses

The New York Times examines why the best way to protect information from government snoops could conflict directly with the advertising-driven business models of many Internet companies.

On Instagram, Rich Kids Find a Following

Wealthy teens and young adults have gained large followings on Instagram, and now reality TV, for spending a lot of their parents' money and posting selfies of their exploits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Decline

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 44 points to 16,296. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 4,309. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,863.

Wednesday, March 12

FTC Opens Herbalife Probe

Shares of Herbalife fell more than 7 percent on Wednesday after the company disclosed that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has opened an inquiry into its operations, which have been under attack by an activist hedge fund manager.

PizzaRev Announces Expansion Plans

PizzaRev plans to open seven franchises in St. Louis, Mo. and Austin, Texas over the next two years, the Westlake Village fast casual pizza chain said.

Dow Falls; Nasdaq, S&P and LABJ Rise

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 11 points to 16,340. The Nasdaq rose 16 points to 4,323. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,868. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 192.

County Creates Toxic 'Strike Team'

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to create a "strike team" that will target facilities that emit toxic pollutants, the Los Angeles Times reports. Its first target is the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon, where state regulators have just ordered more testing.

Auto Dealers Win in New Jersey's Tesla Direct-Sales Ban

Tuesday's vote by the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission to block direct manufacturer auto sales is likely only the beginning of a much larger and national effort to prevent Tesla from selling its innovative electric cars the way it wants, says Yahoo's Breakout blog.

Plan for Mortgage Giants Takes Shape

Nearly six years after the government rescued Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, top members in the Senate and the White House agreed on a framework to wind down the mortgage giants and overhaul the nation's $10 trillion mortgage market, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Disney TV Chief to Depart Next Year

Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, announced Tuesday that in January she'll leave her 18-year position to become a TV director, Variety reports. The Los Angeles Times looks at her legacy and speculates on potential successors.

Garcetti Wants Change for Better with New DWP Chief

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday he was bent on writing "a new chapter" for the Department of Water and Power with the help of its new leader Marcie Edwards — a task that goes beyond cleaning up its woebegone billing system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Planned New Terminal Would Give Burbank Bob Hope a Boost

The Los Angeles Daily News looks at plan by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to finally construct a new terminal — with all the goodies today's passengers expect — at the currently quaint Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

DEA, LAPD Target Several Marijuana Dispensaries

Drug enforcement agents on Tuesday shut down several marijuana dispensaries and raided two homes in Beverly Hills, the first move in what authorities say is a case they are building against a Los Angeles man, the Los Angeles Times reports. The raid comes a day after City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the city is doing its own enforcement against L.A.'s pot shops.

Candy Crush Maker Seeks $7.6B Valuation in IPO

King Digital Entertainment, maker of the hit video game Candy Crush Saga, said today that it hopes to raise nearly $533 million in its initial public offering, valuing the company at around $7.6 billion, the New York Times reports.

Obamacare Enrollment Up to 4.2 Million

About 4.2 million Americans chose a new health insurance plan through the new health care reform law between Oct. 1 and March 1, according to new government figures, but the pace of enrollments has slowed ahead of a critical March 31 deadline, Time reports.

Ackman Slams Herbalife's China Business Practices

Hedge fund manager William Ackman renewed his attack on Herbalife on Tuesday, presenting what he called new evidence the L.A. nutrition and weight loss company is breaking direct-selling laws in China, its fastest growing market, Reuters reports.

Split Decision in Suit Against County Health Agency

Both sides are claiming victory in the latest flare-up between Los Angeles County and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which lost its legal challenge on the awarding of two "no-bid" county contracts. But the Los Angeles Times reports that Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin found that the County Department of Public Health had "abused its discretion" on a third contract.

Analyst Raises Lions Gate Stock Price Target

Wunderlich Securities' Matthew Harrigan, who has a "buy" rating on the stock of the Santa Monica studio Lions Gate, has raised his price target from $40 to $43. Among several factors, he says the upcoming "Divergent" is yet another young adult movie franchise in the making for the indie studio, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Housing Prices Surpass Bubble Peak in Some Southland ZIPs

Home prices in a dozen Southern California ZIP codes have now passed their peaks during the housing bubble, the Los Angeles Times reports.

El Niño Warning Puts Farmers, Investors on Alert

Commodities investors and farmers are on alert after the third official warning in a week of an emerging El Niño weather pattern that could affect food and energy markets already reeling from extreme weather in many parts of the world, the Financial Times reports.

Google Invests in Free Credit Score Company

Credit Karma, which helps users keep track of their credit scores, announced today that it has raised $85 million in a third round of fund-raising, led by Google through an investment arm that specializes in late-stage technology companies, the New York Times reports.

Is Hollywood the Next Hacking Target for China?

As the movie industry becomes a growing economic force in China, a new report predicts that Hollywood may become the next target for state-sponsored hacking efforts by that country's government, the Los Angeles Times says.

Markets Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 12 points to 16,364. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,320. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,868.

Tuesday, March 11

Edison Mission Bankruptcy Plan Approved

Edison International said Tuesday that a bankruptcy judge in Chicago has approved the sale of most assets of one of its units to a New Jersey electric utility.

Kythera Regains Global Rights to Chin-Fat Drug

Shares of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. rose more than 4 percent Tuesday after the Calabasas company said it has regained global marketing rights to its fat-dissolving drug.

Earnings Roundup: Rentech, Marcus & Millichap

Shares of Rentech Inc. and its Rentech Nitrogen Partners spinoff fell on Tuesday after the parent company reported lower fourth-quarter revenue and a larger loss than Wall Street expected. Marcus & Millichap Inc. also reported a net loss due to higher costs from last fall's IPO.

Apollo Medical Starts Clinic Business

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. announced the launch of a new business that will own doctor clinics.

Markets Drop

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 67 points to 16,351. The Nasdaq fell 27 points to 4,307. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 1,868. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 1 point to 192.

Demand and Electus Digital Form Platform Partnership

Demand Media Inc. on Tuesday said it had formed a partnership with West Hollywood studio Electus.

Disney Reported in Talks to Acquire Maker Studios

Walt Disney Co. is said to be in talks to acquire YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, a price that could rise to as much as $900 million if certain performance benchmarks are met, according to reports on tech website Re/code and the Financial Times.

Tylt Labs Raises $20 Million Round for Early Stage Investing

Santa Monica venture capital firm Tylt Labs said it had raised a $20 million fund to be deployed in seed and A round investments.

Moonves: CBS May Cut Off Broadcast if Aereo Prevails

At an investor conference today, CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said the top-rated broadcaster could offer its content directly to consumers over the Internet and cut off its traditional broadcast signal if the Aereo video streaming service is deemed legal, Reuters reports.

Caruso Targets a Shabby Palisades Neighborhood

Rick Caruso, the prominent developer known for such showy shopping centers as The Grove and the Commons at Calabasas, is poised to take over much of the nearly moribund commercial center in Pacific Palisades, but may face an uphill battle with some no-growth residents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pimco Trustee Assails Gross' Salary

William J. Popejoy, a longtime trustee for Newport Beach's $1.9-trillion Pimco funds, tells the Los Angeles Times that the reported $200-million annual salary of embattled co-founder and chief investment officer Bill Gross is way too high.

Television Academy Aims to Update Its Image

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is planning a major makeover in advance of its 70th anniversary in 2016 – breaking ground on an ambitious expansion of its facilities, initiating a $40-million fundraising drive and simplifying its name to the more colloquial “Television Academy,” Variety reports.

Prospect Park Files for Chapter 11

Prospect Park Networks – the Century City production company launched with high hopes of bringing two canceled ABC soap operas back to life – has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: Combs Eyes Fuse TV Network

Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul now known as Diddy, has bid about $200 million for the Fuse cable-TV channel, sources tell Bloomberg News.

Report: Chobani Seeks to Sell Stake at $2.5B Valuation

Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker that has grown into a U.S. sensation, is looking to sell a minority stake in a deal that could value the company at around $2.5 billion, sources tell Reuters. But USA Today says the upstate New York company is denying the report.

Low Deal Valuation Probably Best Safeway Can Get

A takeover of Safeway Inc. at the industry’s lowest valuation in almost a decade may be the best that investors in the second-largest U.S. grocery chain can obtain, Bloomberg News reports.

Drones Find Fans Among Farmers, Filmmakers

As U.S. regulators and courts grapple with when and how to allow the use of drones for commercial purposes, flying robots already are starting to change the way companies do business in countries from Australia to Japan to the U.K., the Wall Street Journal reports.

California Considers Regulation of 'Driverless Cars'

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into the complex question of how to regulate the use of cars that one day will rely on computers – not people – to drive them on public roadways, the Associated Press reports.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 12 points to 16,431. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,348. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,879.

Monday, March 10

Machinima Closes $18 Million Funding Round

Video game-centric YouTube network Machinima Inc. announced Monday it closed an $18 million financing deal with Burbank’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Fuhu, a Tablet Maker, Moves into Content Production

Fuhu Inc., maker of the child-friendly Nabi tablet computer, has expanded into content production.

Herbalife Applauds Ackman Expose

Herbalife Ltd. on Monday pointed triumphantly to a New York Times article that provided evidence the company’s leading critic was launching a smear campaign against the L.A. nutritional supplements company for his own advantage.

L.A. Register to Launch April 16

Freedom Communications on Monday announced that it will launch its daily newspaper in Los Angeles next month.

Griffin Holdings Takes Wipes Maker Private

Griffin Holdings in Century City on Monday said that it has completed its tender offer to acquire Tufco Technologies Inc., a large contract maker of branded wet and dry wipes that is based Green Bay, Wis.

Survey: Local Large Health Insurers Rank Low in Satisfaction

Two health insurers based in Los Angeles County ranked poorly in customer satisfaction compared to other competitors in the state, according to a new J.D. Power & Associates report.

Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Fall; LABJ Rises

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 35 points to 16,419. The Nasdaq fell 2 points to 4,334. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,877. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 193.

Report: Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion

The Bank for International Settlements says the amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis, as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, Bloomberg News reports.

Chiquita, Fyffes to Merge

Chiquita Brands International Inc. today said it has agreed to merge with Irish tropical-fruit firm Fyffes to create the world's largest banana company, the New York Times reports. The all-stock deal values Fyffes at about $526 million.

Pasadena Aims to Emerge from Silicon Beach's Shadow

No longer content to let the Westside hog L.A.'s tech spotlight, Pasadena techies are uniting to market the city as a thriving technology hub, the Los Angeles Times reports.

McDonald's Struggles to Stay Relevant

McDonald's saw a key sales figure drop in the U.S. again last month as the world's biggest hamburger chain struggles to beat back competition and adapt to changing eating habits, the Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Galpin Auto Customizers Get Recognition

Galpin Auto Sports’ Beau Boeckmann, son of long-time Galpin Motors owner Bert Boeckmann, and Dave Shuten have been inducted into the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Thousands of Homes, Businesses Lack Water Meters

Despite urgent calls for water conservation, more than 255,000 homeowners and businesses across California can still use all the water they want without paying higher bills, the San Jose Mercury-News reports.

Klarman Warns of Asset Price Bubble

Baupost Group's Seth Klarman, one of the world's most respected investors, has raised the alarm over a looming asset price bubble, calling out "nosebleed valuations" in technology shares like Netflix and Tesla Motors and warning of the potential for a brutal correction across financial markets, the Financial Times reports.

New-Home Building Is Shifting to Apartments

The share of new homes being built as rental apartments is at the highest level in at least four decades, the Wall Street Journal reports, as an improving jobs picture spurs younger Americans to form their own households but tighter lending standards make it more difficult to buy.

How Windows XP Could Put Electric Grid at Risk

Utility operators will face new security challenges once Microsoft Corp. ends support for the Windows XP operating system next month, the Wall Street Journal reports. The operating system used to manage systems that control utility operations could become easier to hack.

State Oversight Aims to Tame State's Pot Shops

A California lawmaker has introduced legislation to regulate the state's free-wheeling medical marijuana industry – the farmers that grow the drug, the hundreds of storefront shops that sell it and especially the doctors who write recommendations allowing people to use it, the Associated Press reports.

No Consensus on How to Notify Data Breach Victims

The data breach at Target Corp. that exposed millions of credit card numbers has focused attention on the patchwork of state consumer notification laws and renewed a push for a single national standard, the Associated Press reports.

A Textbook Case on How to Handle Crisis

Age Age looks at how Under Armour's approach to crisis management helped avert disaster for the company at the Winter Olympics in Sochi when the U.S. long-track speedskating team started to lose.

Markets Dip

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 75 points to 16,378. The Nasdaq fell 7 points to 4,329. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,873.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Trio Looks to Tap YouTube’s Commercial Appeal

ADVERTISING: Contagious co-founders to make videos sole focus of agency.

Viral video success spurs trio to form Contagious with a complete focus on YouTube.

Web Inroads

PUBLISHING: Source Interlink aims to rev up online interest and ad revenue for its car enthusiast magazines.

A new CEO looks to steer Source Interlink’s car magazines into a bigger presence on the Web.

Tease photo

Tide Finally Turns In San Pedro for Residential Project

DEVELOPMENT: Long-stalled residential project at a former Navy housing complex sets sail in San Pedro.

A long-stalled 61-acre residential project in San Pedro has been given the go-ahead by the Los Angeles City Council, paving the way for work to begin on one of the largest infill residential developments in the city.

Tease photo

Biometric Devices Deliver Healthy Funding Round

HEALTH CARE: Scanners pull in $10.7 million for UCLA off-shoot company.

Bruin Biometrics, a UCLA spinoff developing biometric diagnostic sensing devices, completed a $10.7 million funding round late last month, the largest since the Westwood company’s founding in 2009.

Tease photo

Build Boom

Influx of Asians driving San Gabriel development

San Gabriel’s booming tourism gives birth to developments.

Tease photo

Medical Imaging Business Looks Good to Investors

HEALTH CARE: RadNet’s shares rise after company beats analyst expectations.

Imaging company RadNet looks good to investors after a healthy fourth quarter.

Tech Shores Up Real Estate in Silicon Beach

REAL ESTATE: Tech startups have provided a jolt to the Westside submarket, according to Eric Johnson.

Olympic Mettle

Struggles, controversies of Russia’s Sochi games stand in contrast to L.A.’s successful run in 1984.

SPORTS: Agnia Grigas writes how Los Angeles was at the top of its game as host of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Water Worries

Despite the recent weekend rainstorms, Los Angeles County and California continue to face drought conditions. So the Business Journal asks: Have you started conserving water yet?

Have you started conserving water yet?

Public’s Pain for Public Pay

GOVERNMENT: Mark Bucher counts the ways Californians pay for excessive compensation of public employees.

Westside Property Owner Moves Into Koreatown

ACQUISITION: Roberts pays hefty $22.6 million for apartment building.

Koreatown, an affordable residential market for downtown L.A. and Hollywood office workers, has lately proved hot for multifamily investors.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming calendar events.

Lower-Cost Firms Among L.A.’s Fastest Growing

EMPLOYMENT: Pricier practices saw head counts fall most over last year.

Though there are still firms at the top of L.A.’s legal pyramid with a chokehold on higher-rate work, the industry has been shifting to the middle market.

Journalism Society Honors Business Journal Reporters

AWARDS: James Rufus Koren wins in breaking news; Alfred Lee in investigative.

AWARDS: Business Journal reporters James Rufus Koren and Alfred Lee win honors from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Startup Surf Air Picks Up Vet Exec to Pilot Growth

AVIATION: Jeff Potter takes CEO reins from co-founder of members-only airline.

AVIATION: Startup airline Surf Air looks to take wing with an industry veteran as its new chief executive.

Third Time the Charm for Ex-Robinsons-May Site?

Towers developer is the latest to try and scale the former Robinsons-May site.

Space Exploration Lifts Aerospace Parts Maker

mANUFACTURING: Facility expansion to help Keystone land private-sector ventures.

MANUFACTURING: Keystone Engineering plans to expand facilities as private space exploration takes off.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Trip That Celebrated Halfpipe Legacy

Publicist Nicole Wool’s trip to the Sochi Olympics wasn’t just about the athlete she was there to represent – U.S. Olympic women’s halfpipe skier Angeli Vanlaanen – but also the one who never made it there.

Playing Ball With Rich Customers

Travel agency relies on sporting events to score business.

HOSPITALITY: Travel agency Beck & Score kicks off its high-end business with pricey packages for the World Cup in Brazil.

Drop Beat Then Drop Knowledge

Former student/rapper sings class’s praises in hip-hop YouTube video.

PR: Former student serves up some old-school hip-hop to promote Erik Deutsch’s social media class.

Apparel Firm Sees Opening In Closures

Stikeleather replaces buttons with magnets to attract customers.

APPAREL: Stikeleather sees its snap-on collars, cuffs and sleeves attached by magnets as a big draw.

Safety, Scenery Come to Fore in Golf Ball Fight

CONDOS: Tower builder, country club divided over super-high fence.

CONDOS: Neighboring project tees off on country club’s proposal for a super-high fence.

Booze-Filled 7-Eleven Left Reeling

retail: City ups shop’s alcohol content then bans late-night sales.

RETAIL: La Cañada Flintridge moves to bottle up a 7-Eleven’s alcohol sales at night after requiring the store to carry more booze.

Friday, March 7

L.A. Unemployment Rate Drops, More Jobs in County

L.A.’s jobless rate dipped below 9 percent in January for the first time in nearly six years, according to state figures released Friday.

Newhall Ranch Project Sued Again

The Newhall Ranch development hit yet another snag this week as environmentalists filed a federal lawsuit to halt construction.

Profit Rises at Korn/Ferry

Shares of Korn/Ferry International rose more than 13 percent in Friday, a day after the staffing giant reported fiscal third-quarter profit that was significantly better than analysts expected.

7-Eleven Liquor Caught in Catch-22

The 7-Eleven on the west side of sleepy La Cañada Flintridge might have a soda fountain and two-for-a-dollar doughnut deals, but don’t call it a convenience store.

Better-Than-Expected Quarter for U.S. Auto Parts

Shares of U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. rose more than 12 percent on Friday, a day after the after-market automotive parts distributor reported a significantly smaller fourth quarter loss.

Golf-Ball Blocker Fence Too High?

A 166-foot-high fence to keep errant golf balls from flying off a golf course is at the center of a spat between the famed Los Angeles Country Club and developers looking to build two luxury condo towers on the old Robinsons-May site next door in Beverly Hills.

American Apparel Expects Higher Sales, Lower Earnings

American Apparel has reported it expects that last year’s revenue will be higher than the year before but pre-tax earnings will be much lower.

RadNet, U.S. Auto Parts Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week.

Dow, S&P Rise; Nasdaq, LABJ Fall

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 31 points to 16,453. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 4,336. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,878. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 193.

Albertsons Parent to Buy Safeway

Vons owner Safeway has agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by Albertsons owner Cerberus Capital Management. Bloomberg BusinessWeek says the $8 billion deal is a bet that a larger supermarket chain can better fend off competition from big-box stores and online retailers.

Job Creation Accelerates

Job creation ramped up somewhat in February, posting a better-than-expected gain of 175,000 despite expectations that weather would keep the count low. The unemployment rate edged higher to 6.7 percent, CNBC reports.

Leaders of Tribune Publishing Named

Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein has been named chairman of the new Tribune Publishing Co. the planned spinoff of eight newspapers that includes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, the Times reports. Jack Griffin, who has been an advisor to Chicago-based Tribune Co., has been named chief executive of the newspaper group.

ArcLight to Develop Original Content

ArcLight Cinemas is hoping to enhance the moviegoer experience by developing free original content that will be screened in theaters and online, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Temple City Man Denies Creating Bitcoin

Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto told the Associated Press that he is not the creator of bitcoin, adding further mystery to the story of how the world's most popular digital currency came to be.

Deluxe's Hollywood Film Lab to Close

After a century of developing Hollywood's pictures, Deluxe Laboratory will close its Hollywood shutters for good in May, The Wrap reports.

California Slips in Film Spending

A FilmLA study says California now ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to feature film production, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports. Out of the 108 feature films looked at for the study, only 15 were made in the state.

Can Cadiz Water Help Quench California?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek looks at whether California’s drought will finally warm hearts to a controversial plan by downtown L.A.'s Cadiz Inc. to tap an aquifer beneath 34,000 acres of the eastern Mojave.

Tesla Rules Out California for Battery Factory

Tesla's Model S sedan may be California's new eco-luxury status symbol, but when it comes to building a $5-billion battery factory that would employ 6,500 workers, the Palo Alto electric car maker is shunning the Golden State, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pay-TV Cheers, Broadcasters Balk at Proposed FCC Rule Changes

Pay-TV distributors and public interest groups cheered Thursday’s news that the Federal Communications Commission is considering new regulations for local television stations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pimco's Gross: El-Erian 'Trying to Undermine Me'

Bill Gross, the co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., has accused former chief executive Mohamed El-Erian of seeking to undermine him by dishing dirt to the media, Reuters reports.

Twitter Bans Porn Videos on Vine

Twitter has officially banned pornographic content on Vine, its year-old social-video service, CNN reports.

Photographers Hate Getty's Plan to Give Away Their Work

Getty Images’ decision to let anyone with a website or social media presence freely embed photographs for non-commercial use was bound to rub its contributing photographers the wrong way, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Companies Rush to List Shares

In a scramble reminiscent of the 1990s Internet heyday, companies are going public at the fastest pace in years, hoping to take advantage of booming share prices and investor demand while they last, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Decline

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 6 points to 16,416. The Nasdaq fell 30 points to 4,322. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,872.

Thursday, March 6

Trader Joe's to Settle 'All-Natural' Lawsuit

A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday gave preliminarily approval of a $3.4 million settlement that Trader Joe's Co. will pay to settle a class action lawsuit accusing the Monrovia grocery chain of falsely advertising its cookies, apple juice and other products as being "all-natural" even though they contained synthetic ingredients.

Search Underway for New Port of L.A. Director

Mayor Eric Garcetti said today he had launched a global search to fill the executive director position at the Port of Los Angeles.

Gores Group and Partner Acquire Medical Device Company

The Gores Group and Orange County partner Technology4Medicine have acquired Fotona, a company in Ljubljana, Slovenia that makes medical lasers.

More Layoffs at Disney Interactive

Continued restructuring in the interactive division of Walt Disney Co. will result in the firing of about a quarter of its workforce, according to media reports on Thursday.

Dow, S&P and LABJ Rise; Nasdaq Falls

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 62 points to 16,422. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 4,352. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,877. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 194.

Vobile Acquires Blayze

Century City YouTube analytics company Blayze Inc. has been acquired by Santa Clara’s Vobile, a provider of video identification services to help with content rights management.

Apple Loses Bid for Samsung Smartphone Ban

A U.S. District judge in San Jose today rejected Apple Inc.'s request for a permanent sales ban in the United States against some older Samsung smartphones, a key setback for the iPhone maker in its patent battle, Reuters reports.

Costco Profit Misses Estimates

Costco Wholesale Corp., the nation’s largest warehouse-club chain, today reported fiscal second-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ forecasts as discounts meant to attract holiday shoppers cut into sales, Bloomberg News reports.

The Man Behind Bitcoin

A Newsweek reporter has tracked down Satoshi Nakamoto, the shadowy figure behind the bitcoin who disappeared into the ether once it took off. The reclusive inventor of the controversial technology apparently is a 64-year old Japanese American engineer who went to college at Cal Poly in Pomona and has been living quietly near Temple City, never tapping an estimated $400 million in bitcoins he owns.

Musk Makes Push to Launch Military Satellites

Los Angeles billionaire Elon Musk, chief executive of Hawthorne rocket maker SpaceX, testified before Congress that the U.S. Air Force and other agencies currently are paying too high a price to one of his competitors to launch its most valuable satellites, the Los Angeles Times reports. Musk wants the government to use competitive bidding instead.

Activists Monitoring Pollution from Phillips 66 Refinery

Members of the Los Angeles Community Environmental Enforcement Network have installed rooftop devices to monitor air quality in Wilmington near the Phillips 66 refinery, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. Members of the coalition hope to expand the program to all Los Angeles-area refineries.

William Pereira-Designed Building to Become Apartments

A long-vacant former Metropolitan Water District headquarters on Sunset Boulevard, designed decades ago by famed L.A. architect William Pereira, is being transformed into an upscale 96-unit apartment building known as the Elysian, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Boutique Hotel Coming to Sunset Strip

A striking new hotel under construction on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood will be a swanky outpost of the James, an upscale boutique brand in other major urban centers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Actors, Talent Managers Spar Over Ethics Code

SAG-AFTRA has unveiled a personal manager code of ethics and conduct, designed to promote "honest and ethical relationships between the union’s members and the managers they choose to represent them." But the Los Angeles Times reports that the Talent Managers Association has opted not to endorse the document, fearing some of its provisions go too far.

Staples Closing 225 Stores Amid Online Focus

Staples said Thursday it will close 225 stores by the end of 2015 amid falling fourth-quarter revenue as sales increasingly shift online, USA Today reports.

Snow, Ice Cover Will Boost Great Lakes Levels

Water levels in the Great Lakes are expected to continue a steady recovery this year, thanks to widespread ice cover that is slowing evaporation and snowfall that has approached record amounts in some cities, the Associated Press reports.

BofA Seeks Lift with Flat-Fee Checking

Bank of America Corp. today will start offering a new checking account, capping a four-year effort to boost revenue from its most basic banking product without alienating customers and lawmakers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stockbrokers Failed to Disclose Red Flags

A Wall Street Journal analysis identifies more than 1,600 stockbrokers who have bankruptcies or criminal charges in their past that weren't reported and should have been promptly disclosed to investors.

Low on Income, but Living in Beverly Hills

At Beverly Hills' only HUD-subsidized housing complex, the gap between rich and poor is plainly evident, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Businessman, Arts Patron Stanley Grinstein dies at 86

Stanley Grinstein, a forklift business owner who played an unlikely but pivotal role in L.A.'s art scene as it was evolving in the 1960s and '70s, died Sunday at home at age 86 after a long illness, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Do CEOs Work Fewer Hours at Their Family's Firm?

What's the difference between a family firm and a regular business? Apparently an empty corner office, according to a new academic study. The global study estimates that family chief executive worked 8 percent fewer hours than managers without genetic ties to their companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.