Stories for October 2014

Friday, October 31

Work/Life Balance: Jodi Guber Brufsky and Michelle Wahler

The founders of Beyond Yoga on babies and dogs in the office, morning workouts and how an ocean view helps with focus.

In 2006, Jodi Guber Brufsky and Michelle Wahler founded Culver City’s Beyond Yoga, a line of clothing designed by Brufsky to transition from workouts to leisure. Today, Beyond Yoga has 25 in-house employees in addition to sales representatives across the country, and its clothes are sold in department stores such as Nordstrom and fitness studios such as Yogaworks. As chairwoman and chief creative officer, Brufsky, 46, designs the clothing and leads the direction of the brand, while Wahler, 35, who is chief executive, spends her days overseeing all aspects of the business including production, marketing, and sales. We spoke with the two founders about how they make time to – obviously – do yoga while managing their demanding careers.

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Ares Acquires Energy Investment Firm

Century City private equity firm Ares Management announced Friday that one of its subsidiaries will buy Boston’s Energy Investors Funds, an asset manager focusing on energy infrastructure with about $4 billion in assets under management.

LAX on Pace for Record Year

Los Angeles International Airport remains on pace for a record year after a strong September, according to passenger traffic figures released Friday.

Big 5, Medbox Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 5 percent to close at 214. Gainers outpaced losers by 118 to 32, with nine companies unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 195 points in Friday trading to close at 17,391. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 2,018. The Nasdaq rose 65 points to 4,631. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 214.

L.A. Launch List: Oct. 31

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches. On this week's Launch List: 3rd Quote, Soteria Intelligence, Wallaby Financial and more.

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L.A.’s Gibson Dunn Hired for Petrobras Corruption Investigation

Brazilian state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, which has been embroiled in corruption scandals tied to alleged money laundering and contract manipulation, has named two law firms aiding the company’s internal corruption investigation, including downtown L.A.’s Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Pensions Safe in Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved Stockton’s plan to repay its creditors without reducing the city’s pension obligations, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Disney, Activision Advertise on Instagram

Burbank’s Walt Disney Co. and Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard Inc. are among the first companies to start advertising on photo-sharing app Instagram with 15-second video ads, Variety reports.

Marina Del Rey Plan Approved

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a blueprint that will divide Marina del Rey into distinct districts, guiding future development in the neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Audit: Nursing Home Patients in ‘Immediate Jeopardy’ Ignored

California has failed to adequately investigate nursing home complaints, resulting in a backlog of more than 11,000 complaints, including some where patients were in “immediate jeopardy,” according to an audit released Thursday, the Daily News reports.

Disney Theme Parks in Japan Get $4.5 Billion Expansion

The Japanese theme parks Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, which are operated by Oriental Land with a license from Walt Disney Co., will get a $4.5 billion expansion and upgrade, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

RSA Films Teams with Ad Agency for Marketing Venture

Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles production company RSA Films and the Culver City theatrical advertising agency Wild Card have launched 3AM, a specialized consultancy aimed at marketing content to young, digitally savvy audiences, Variety reports.

Allman Brother Dropped From Wrongful Death Suit

Gregg Allman, his manager Michael Lehman and Open Road Films have been dismissed from a lawsuit filed against the producers of Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” by the parents of Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant killed on the set of the film earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Illegal Downtown Speakeasy Eyed for Revival

Joseph Corcoran, whose nonprofit organization is refurbishing downtown L.A.’s Rosslyn Hotel annex for low-income tenants, hopes to find an entrepreneur willing to operate a bar in a former speakeasy he discovered in the building’s basement, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 169 points in Friday morning trading to 17,363. The S&P 500 was up 19 points to 2,014. The Nasdaq was up 59 points to 4,626.

Thursday, October 30 Socializes Your Selfie

Oxford Dictionaries declared “selfie” as the word of 2013. That kind of verbal takeover helped prompt the creation of social network, whose simple web and mobile platform is entirely based on, well, selfies.

Two Indicted in Alleged L.A. Medicare Scheme

An owner of Los Angeles home health agency Fifth Avenue Home Health has been indicted for allegedly aiding in a $33 million scheme to defraud Medicare, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday.

L.A. Awarded New MLS Team

Los Angeles will have two professional soccer teams again in 2017. Only three days after Chivas USA shut down, Major League Soccer announced that a new team had been awarded to an ownership group led by venture capitalist Henry Nguyen, Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber and former NBA executive Tom Penn.

Pacific Commerce Bank to Acquire Vibra Bank

Pacific Commerce Bank in Little Tokyo announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement to buy Chula Vista’s Vibra Bank, becoming the latest L.A.-area bank to hop onboard the merger train.

Earnings: Live Nation Beats, Oaktree Falls Short

Downtown Los Angeles investment manager Oaktree Capital Group reported third quarter earnings that missed estimates as it sold fewer holdings.

Mattel's American Girl Brand Expands to Mexico

American Girl is packing up and taking a trip to Mexico. El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc., which owns the doll brand, on Thursday announced plans to open three shop-in-shop American Girl boutiques through a partnership with El Palacio de Hierro, a high-end retailer in Mexico. The first two American Girl shops will open next summer in Mexico City followed by a third location in fall 2015.

Hudson Pacific Snaps Up Playa Vista Building

A vacant ’80s-era office building in Playa Vista sold last week for $38 million. West L.A. real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. paid nearly $373 a square foot for the 102,000-square-foot Marina Corporate Center at 12655 W. Jefferson Blvd. in a sale that closed Oct. 20.

Poll: With the start of the basketball season, which team are you more likely to watch?

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

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 221 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,195. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to 1,995. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 4,566. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 212.

UBeam Ropes in $10 Million

UBeam, a Santa Monica wireless power company, has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Upfront Ventures.

California Issues Ebola Quarantine Protocols

Anyone arriving in California who has had contact with an Ebola patient will be quarantined for 21 days, according to an order issued Wednesday by the state's public health director, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Judge Could Decide Fate of Pensions in Bankruptcy

A federal judge is expected to decide today whether to approve a plan to end bankruptcy in the city of Stockton, and that could determine whether the city must continue to pay large public-sector pensions that soon may constitute a fifth of municipal spending, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple Chief Cook: ‘Proud to Be Gay’

Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook said he was “proud to be gay” in an essay published in Bloomberg Businessweek this morning. He is the most prominent executive of a public company to come out, the New York Times reports.

City Council Backs Foreclosure Fee Proposal

A program that would place a $356 inspection fee on every bank-owned home in Los Angeles and give the Department of Building and Safety the power to inspect foreclosed properties to prevent them from generating blight received preliminary approval Wednesday from the Los Angeles City Council, the Daily News reports.

Garcetti Links Housing Shortage to Low Wages

Mayor Eric Garcetti, in a speech at the Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs summit on Wednesday said that the housing shortage in Los Angeles is linked to a low minimum wage, and unveiled plans to build 100,000 housing units by 2021, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LAUSD Fires Woman Who Oversaw Troubled Software

Los Angeles Unified School District has terminated Bria Jones, the contractor responsible for overseeing the district’s development and implementation of MiSiS, the computer software that caused myriad problems with everything from student transcripts to identifying special needs students, the Daily News reports. Jones will be replaced by Gary Sabia.

Powerful Labor Leader Steps Down

Maria Elena Durazo is stepping down as head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to become the vice president of the national union Unite Here, which represents hotel and food service workers, the Daily News reports.

Two Internet Giants in China Team Up for Big Data

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Chinese online video group Youku Tudou announced Wednesday that the two companies will work together to drive the adoption of big data in video marketing in China, Variety reports.

Crash Dummies Get Fatter to Better Reflect Americans

Humanetics, the company that manufactures most of the crash dummies used to test cars before they hit the American market, is making an obese dummy to better reflect the U.S. population, the Washington Post reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 96 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,071. The S&P 500 was down two points to 1,980. The Nasdaq was down 20 points to 4,529.

Wednesday, October 29

Whisper CEO Talks Guardian Report

Whisper Chief Executive Michael Heyward said he would fire the employee who allegedly told reporters that the anonymously posting app would track a user for life.

Would-Be Buyer Wants Response From RealD

The New York investment firm that offered to buy RealD earlier this month wrote a letter to RealD’s board on Wednesday expressing displeasure that it had not received a response to the offer.

TrueCar: Truck Sales a Good Sign for GOP

John Krafcik, president of Santa Monica car buying and selling platform TrueCar Inc., says there’s a strong correlation between states that vote Republican and high truck sales. Based on this, TrueCar is predicting that Republicans will come out ahead in next week’s midterm election.

With ‘Dragon 2’ Success, DreamWorks Beat Estimates

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. posted solid numbers in the third quarter helped by box office profits from the summer release “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

Saban, Columbus, Barnathan, Zag to Open ZAG Animation Studios

A new joint venture among high-profile entertainment industry professionals will operate a studio in Glendale to produce animated and hybrid animated-live action feature films.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,974. The S&P 500 fell three points to 1,982. The Nasdaq fell 15 points 4,549. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 209.

Marketing Firm Trailer Park Settles Down in Hollywood

Entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park, which specializes in creating trailers for motion pictures, including for recent films such as “The Judge,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Godzilla,” has expanded its commitment to Hollywood.

Minimum Wage Proposal Tabled for Economic Study

A Los Angeles City Council committee on Tuesday ordered an independent economic study of two proposals to raise the minimum wage, delaying consideration of a wage hike until at least early next year, the Business Journal reports.

18.5 Million Californians’ Data Exposed in Breaches

Personal information about more than 18.5 million Californians was exposed last year in 167 breaches, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Tuesday, citing a new report, the Associated Press says.

L.A. Pension Agency’s Decision Could Increase City Deficit

The City Employees' Retirement System voted Tuesday to cut its earnings forecast to be more realistic, a move that increases the portion of pensions paid for by the city’s budget, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After Bottlenecks, Port of Long Beach Cuts Customers Slack

After recent bottlenecks due to a shortage of chassis, the Port of Long Beach is giving cargo owners three more days without charge to move their goods out of the terminal, the Daily Breeze reports.

Council Asks Police to Speed Up Drone Policy

Expressing concern about the impact of unmanned aircraft over stadiums and other large venues, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday asked the Los Angeles Police Commission to speed up its process of developing a drone use policy that would limit the crafts to certain areas, the Daily News reports.

Fiat to Spin Off Ferrari

Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles announced this morning that its board has decided to spin off Ferrari in a public listing, the Wall Street Journal reports.

TSA Find Cannon Barrel in Luggage

Transportation Security Administration workers found an unloaded cannon barrel in luggage bound for California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points to 17,031 in early trading Wednesday. The S&P 500 was up two points to 1,987. The Nasdaq was down 18 points to 4,546.

P.S. XO and Seedling Merge, Raise $7 Million

P.S. XO, a party planning e-commerce company co-founded by actress Soleil Moon Frye, has merged with toy and craft brand Seedling. The combined entity, which will continue under the Seedling brand, is also announcing $7 million in funding.

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Tuesday, October 28

Council Asks for Minimum Wage Study

A Los Angeles City Council committee on Tuesday called for an independent study of two proposals to raise the minimum wage, delaying consideration of a wage hike until at least early next year.

ScoreBig Scores, Well, Big With $18 Million, an online marketplace that finds discounted live event tickets, has raised $18 million in Series D funding. Acquires CarCode has acquired mobile messaging startup CarCode as the veteran car shopping site looks to invest heavily in mobile. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tinder to Give Benchmark Equity Stake

Tinder has announced that San Francisco VC firm Benchmark has taken an equity stake in the dating app and General Partner Matt Cohler will become a director.

Amgen Says No Split, More Layoffs

Shares of Amgen Inc. rose 6 percent Tuesday after Chief Executive Robert Bradway rebuffed a call to break up the company and instead announced additional layoffs of up to 1,100 workers and other restructuring to boost profits.

Judge Tosses Dictator Noriega’s Lawsuit

A Los Angeles judge has thrown out former Nicaraguan dictator Manuel Noriega’s lawsuit against Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard Inc. for using his likeness in its Call of Duty video game without permission.

American Realty Advisors Acquires Millennium Del Rey

Glendale real estate investment management company American Realty Advisors has acquired the Millennium Del Rey, a 196-unit apartment community in Playa del Rey, in a deal valued at nearly $100 million.

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Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 188 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,006. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 1,985. The Nasdaq rose 78 points to 4,564. The LABJ Stock Index rose five point to 209.

DogVacay Barks Out New Growth Numbers

DogVacay might give pet owners a needed break, but the Santa Monica startup, which places pets in temporary vacation homes, has no plans of slowing down.

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Hollywood Intersection Closed After Second Water Main Break

Northbound Highland Avenue and eastbound Santa Monica Boulevard remain closed this morning after a second water main break, which occurred just as crews were about to reopen traffic lanes from the first break yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. to Get New Team After Chivas USA Disbands

Chivas USA ceased operations on Monday after 10 unsuccessful years in Major League Soccer. The league is expected to announce a new club that will begin to play in 2017, KPCC reports.

Booze and a Movie: Theater Chains Turn to Liquor for Business

Cinépolis in Westlake Village is one of several movie theater chains that are selling beer, wine and cocktails, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Traffic Congestion on Rise in L.A. and O.C

As the economy improves, delays for motorists and the length of daily commutes in the Los Angeles-Orange County area are on the rise again, according to census data and the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M; University, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Regal Shares Rise on Potential Sale

Shares of Regal Entertainment Group, the largest domestic theater circuit in the United States, rose in after-hours trading Monday after the company announced it had retained the investment bank Morgan Stanley to help it explore “strategic alternatives” that might include a sale of the company, the New York Times reports.

Disney Bankrolling Anaheim Council Race

The Walt Disney Co. has contributed $518,204 to political action committees that back two candidates for Anaheim City Council who support a proposed streetcar line that would take people to its theme parks, the Orange County Register reports.

Lowe’s Hires Retail Robots

Lowe’s is introducing first-of-their-kind robotic shopping assistants that will greet customers and help them find products at an Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 61 points in Monday morning trading to 16,879. The S&P 500 was up 12 points to 1,973. The Nasdaq was up 53 points to 4,539.

Monday, October 27

Amgen Cuts Costs, Beats Estimates

Amgen posted third-quarter earnings Monday that beat Wall Street estimates, as the company reported strong drug sales and benefited from cost-cutting once restructuring costs were excluded.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13 points in Monday trading to close at 16,818. The S&P 500 fell three points to 1,962. The Nasdaq rose two points to 4,486. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 205.

SolarReserve Buys Aerojet Rocketdyne Division

SolarReserve, a solar power tech developer, has acquired a division of Canoga Park aerospace and defense firm Aerojet Rocketdyne as it continues to commercialize solar thermal energy storage.

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Stinking Rose Site Sold, May Bloom Anew

The site housing Beverly Hills’ famed Stinking Rose restaurant might bloom into something bigger.

FBI Veteran Joins Board of Marijuana Machine Maker

West Hollywood’s Medbox Inc., a maker of marijuana dispensing machines, has added a former FBI assistant director of security to its board of directors.

Port Congestion Leaves Toy Makers Scrambling

The toy industry is suffering the effects of congestion at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as shipments take twice to three times as long as they did last year, the Daily News reports.

Dissenters Silent as Pro-Labor Measures Pass City Council

As pro-labor initiatives such as the minimum wage hike have passed the Los Angeles City Council, many politicians who hold dissenting views remained silent in their disagreement, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pharmacies Disable Apple Pay

Over the weekend, Rite Aid and CVS disabled Apple Pay from working in their stores nationwide, the New York Times reports.

Torrance Couple Cheating Timeshare Owners Out of Millions?

More than 800 consumer complaints have been lodged against a Torrance couple who runs a time-share transfer company, the Pasadena Star-News reports. The complaints allege that the couple did not transfer the deeds they were paid to transfer, and that owners continue to pay maintenance fees on time shares they still own.

Black Dust Infuriates Lake Balboa Residents

Lake Balboa residents complain that a 30-foot mountain of crushed asphalt operated by the Bureau of Street Services is spewing black dust into their homes and lungs, according to the Daily News.

Rose Bowl Grows, Neighbors Complain

This was the second-busiest year in the history of the Rose Bowl Stadium. Residents have complained about concert traffic, noise, and security, the Pasadena Star-News reports.

Box Office: ‘Ouija’ Beats ‘John Wick’

Universal Pictures’ low-budget thriller “Ouija” topped the box office this weekend, taking in $20 million thanks to viewers looking for pre-Halloween scares, Variety reports. “John Wick,” the Lions Gate film starring Keanu Reeves, came in second place with roughly $14 million.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up one point in Monday morning trading to 16,804. The S&P 500 was down four points to 1,961. The Nasdaq was down five points to 4,478.

Wall Street Likes What It Sees in Medical Scanner

HEALTH CARE: RadNet sees boost in patient visits courtesy of Obamacare.

Obamacare nurses gains in patient visits and stock price for medical imaging center operator RadNet.

Roller Skates Get in Step With Future

Acton hopes market has role for motorized, electric product.

Acton hopes consumers spark to its electric, motorized RocketSkates.

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Fashion Video Site Could Be Good Fit for Pickup

INTERNET: StyleHaul’s niche could make it next target for big-media acquisition.

Analysts see fashion-focused video site StyleHaul as well-suited for acquisition by a big-media parent.

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Brokerages Come Together in Consolidation Trend

REAL ESTATE: No money to change hands in merger of Travers Realty, Cresa.

Merging brokerages Travers Realty and Cresa Partners link up with sector’s consolidation trend.

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Rapper Cues Up Career In Venture Capital Sector

INVESTMENT: Nas, partner assure musician takes serious approach to funding firms.

Rapper Nas is looking to spin his music-made money into hefty returns as a venture capitalist.

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Hyperlocal Vet Broadens Focus With News Website

JOURNALISM: New venture looks to cover Los Angeles while reining in costs.

A new L.A. news site has grown out of the ashes of AOL Inc.’s Patch – the hyperlocal news network that cut many of its journalists and editors in Los Angeles earlier this year under financial duress.

Sightseeing Business to Offer Rolling Digital Ads

TOURISM: Starline moves to equip one of fleet’s buses with electronic billboard.

It’s easy to spot the double-decker buses, often filled with tourists, driving down Rodeo Drive or Hollywood Boulevard.

McDonnell for Sheriff

The Business Journal finds Jim McDonnell best suited to serve as L.A. Sheriff.

Dodgers Owner Heads to Minors

SPORTS: Farm team could field innovations for L.A. squad.

Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber hopes to field new ideas at newly acquired Oklahoma minor league team.

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Restaurant Site Could Serve Up Big Development

ACQUISITION: Home to Stinking Rose was pitched as ripe for large projects.

The site housing Beverly Hills’ famed Stinking Rose restaurant might bloom into something bigger.

Channel’s Win Big News at 11

TV: KVEA dethrones KMEX from 27-year reign – for now.

KVEA channels investment in its news programming into a late-night ratings win over dominant rival KMEX.

Making Grade as Workforce

Business community working with Higher Ed for Higher Standards to prepare students for careers.

Business has a job to do in helping schools develop the future’s workforce, write Gary L. Toebben and Timothy P. White.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Stock Repurchase: The board of Superior Industries International Inc., a Van Nuys manufacturer of aluminum wheels, has approved another $30 million stock repurchase program.

Minimum Wage Maximum Headache

Restaurateur: 35% price hike may be needed.

Restaurateur George Abou-Daoud fears a minimum-wage hike would add too many extra costs to his plate.

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SEC Pulls Plug On ATM Firm

INVESTMENT: Officials say most machines didn’t exist.

SEC says Nationwide Automated Systems banked on a Ponzi scheme involving ATMs that didn’t exist.

Brewery Looks to Tap Longer-Term Use Permit

BEER: Eagle Rock hopes to bottle up costs by extending license beyond five years.

Eagle Rock Brewery hopes to draft better terms for conditional use permit.

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Gold Broker Blames Google, Not City, for Closure

METALS: Merit chief exec says loss of Internet ads forced business to close.

Mike Getlin, the former chief executive of defunct Santa Monica precious metals broker Merit Gold, blames the city of Santa Monica for tarnishing his reputation and smearing his business.

Fill ’er Up?

Oil prices keep dropping, which means gasoline and other fuel prices may decline further. So the Business Journal asks:

What effect will lower gas prices have on the economy?

Grave Matter

DEATH: Undertaking LA thinks mourners can live with its intimate, extended treatment of deceased.

Caitlin Doughty and Amber Carvaly say mainstream morticians are dead wrong on how to handle the deceased.

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Upcoming local conventions.

Road Less Traveled

It’s going to get pretty bumpy for Sara Rotman next year. She’ll be hitting the road as an off-road race driver.

Local Diversity Boosts Global Opportunities

Justin Suh sees L.A.’s diversity giving the region a leg up in the global marketplace.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc. has partnered with Universal Pictures to develop a line of toys based on the “Despicable Me” movies. Mega Brands Inc., a Canadian toymaker Mattel acquired in February, will make construction sets with “Despicable Me 2” characters that will hit stores in December.


Upcoming local events.

Engineer Has Designs On Style

Sam Wang makes case for chic accessories for businessmen.

Engineer Sam Wang has designs on a career in stylish accessories for businessmen.

Friday, October 24

Medbox, Jakks Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 5 percent to close at 204. Gainers outpaced losers by 109 to 40, with 10 companies unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 128 points in Friday trading to close at 16,805. The S&P 500 rose 14 points to 1,965. The Nasdaq rose 31 points to 4,484. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 204.

Strong Earnings, New President for Avery

Avery Dennison saw shares of its stock rise on Friday, following a strong third-quarter earnings report and the appointment of Mitchell R. Butier as the company’s new president and chief operating officer.

L.A. Launch List: Oct. 24

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches. On this week's Launch List: YP, Nestdrop, MediaHound and more.

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‘Operation Pay-Up’ Seeks Payback for Wage Theft

California Controller John Chiang is using California's unclaimed property law to combat wage theft, the Los Angeles Times reports. L.A. businesses All-American Pet Co. and Far East Cafe are among the companies targeted so far.

Is Alibaba Eyeing Stake in Lions Gate?

Mark Rachesky is rumored to be looking to sell his 37 percent stake in the Santa Monica studio Lions Gate to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Galaxy Upgrade Stadium to Boost Attendance

Trying to improve on lackluster attendance, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy will invest more than $15 million in upgrades to the StubHub Center in Carson while also slashing ticket prices for the 2015 season, the Daily Breeze reports.

Live Nation to Run Greek Theatre

At a hearing on Thursday, the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission voted to recommend the Beverly Hills concert giant Live Nation to run the Greek Theatre, the Daily News Reports. Live Nation beat out a bid from the theater’s longtime operator, Nederlander Corp.

Hospital CEO, Guilty of Fraud, Sues Attorneys

Michael D. Drobot, the former chief executive of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, pleaded guilty in February to the largest medical fraud scheme in state history. But on Thursday he announced he has filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against a group of plaintiffs’ attorneys, alleging they made false claims against him and the hospital, the Press-Telegram reports.

Tech Company Paid Indian Workers $1.21 an Hour

Fremont tech company Electronics for Imaging paid eight workers from India, working in the United States, as little as $1.21 an hour, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company said it “unintentionally overlooked” labor law and has agreed to pay $43,000 in back wages and government penalties.

Ebola Hits New York

A doctor who recently returned to New York after treating Ebola patients in West Africa tested positive for the virus on Thursday and is being treated at a Manhattan hospital, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Baked-Potato-Sized Gold Nugget For Sale: $400,000

A 5 pound gold nugget, believed to be the largest privately held piece of its kind found in California, was offered for sale at $400,000 on Thursday at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, Reuters reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 37 points to 16,715 in Friday morning trading. The S&P 500 was up four points to 1,955. The Nasdaq was up 12 points to 4,465.

Thursday, October 23

Enrou Wins Forbes Under 30 Competition

In just two weeks, Enrou went from scrappy startup to winner of Forbes’ “$400,000 Pressure Cooker” pitch competition held this week during its Forbes Under 30 Summit.

LegalZoom Strikes a Deal with Sam’s Club Inc. has joined with Sam’s Club in a strategic sales agreement that will broaden how the Glendale company sells its do-it-yourself legal documents and services.

Jakks, OSI, City National Beat on Earnings

Hawthorne security systems maker OSI Systems Inc. reported strong earnings Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations and topping last year’s third quarter.

Work/Life Balance: Karen Murphy O'Brien

Chief Executive of Murphy O’Brien Public Relations on her morning routine, her son’s nascent hip-hop career and working with her husband.

Karen Murphy O’Brien co-founded Murphy O'Brien Public Relations 25 years ago with her husband, Brett O'Brien. The company has since grown to 50 employees working at its West Los Angeles office in the Roll Global Building. It services more than 80 clients, including Peninsula Hotels and The Cheesecake Factory. On a daily basis, O'Brien shuffles between meetings with the company’s management team, has lunch with clients and media influencers, reviews client strategy plans and attends new business presentations. In addition, she works for several charities and serves as a board member of Chrysalis, an organization that helps low-income and homeless Angelenos find and keep jobs. We spoke with Murphy O’Brien about how she juggles it all.

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Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 217 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,678. The S&P 500 rose 24 points to 1,951. The Nasdaq rose 70 points to 4,453. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 204.

Mercury General Acquires Workmen’s Auto Insurance

Los Angeles auto and property insurer Mercury General Corp. has agreed to purchase Workmen's Auto Insurance Company of Los Angeles for $8 million, Mercury announced Thursday.

U.S. Senator Requests Whisper Briefing

The Senate commerce committee has asked Whisper to address a report that said the social media app, which promises user anonymity, tracked its users including those who opted out of its geolocation tool.

Calpers’ 99 Bonuses Spike Pension Costs

The California Public Employees' Retirement System voted in August to adopt a list of 99 bonuses for both newly hired public workers and veteran employees, for achievements such as staying in shape or working with police dogs, adding thousands of dollars to each taxpayer-funded pension, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Most Expensive State for Workers’ Compensation

California has been ranked as the most expensive state for workers’ compensation costs, according to a report from Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services, which says that state businesses spend $3.48 for every $100 of payroll issued, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Park Fifth Developer Files Plans for Downtown Building

MacFarlane Partners, a San Francisco development firm, has filed plans to build the $300 million Park Fifth development, a high-rise apartment building facing Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

UCLA Conference Center and Hotel Wins Court Victory

Ruling against the Save Westwood Village organization, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge decided this week that UCLA complied with environmental laws in planning the $162-million Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, which includes a controversial 250-room hotel, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Profits Drop for L.A. Oxy Unit

California Resources Corp., the Los Angeles oil producer that is set to be spun off from Occidental Petroleum Corp. next month, reported a drop in net income during the third quarter due to rising production costs and drooping oil prices, the Business Journal reports.

Judge Cracks Down on Work-at-Home Scheme

A U.S. District Judge on Wednesday banned Thousand Oaks’ Zaken Corp. from advertising job opportunities and fined the company $25 million for misleading 110,000 people to buy into a work-at-home scheme that almost never paid off, the Daily News reports.

Patients Fight Insurers Over Medical Necessity

In California last year, more than 1,000 people fought denials made by insurers that claimed doctor-recommended procedures were not “medically necessary,” and about half of the denials were overturned, the Daily News reports.

Maker of Camel Cigarettes Bans Smoking in the Office

Reynolds American, the maker of Camel cigarettes, has banned smoking in its offices and buildings, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 450 points in Thursday morning trading to 16,712. The S&P 500 was up 27 points to 1,955. The Nasdaq was up 75 points to 4,458.

Wednesday, October 22

Profit Drops for Local Oxy Unit Amid Rising Production Costs

Thanks to rising production costs and softening oil prices, profits fell during the third quarter at California Resources Corp., the oil producer that is to be spun off from Occidental Petroleum Corp. next month.

Yahoo Investment Values Snapchat at $10 Billion

Snapchat has added Yahoo as an investor in a financing round that would value the Venice startup at $10 billion, Bloomberg said Wednesday.

Expanding USC Partners With Clinic Operator

USC’s medical system announced on Wednesday that it will partner with Surgical Care Affiliates Inc. to jointly manage surgery centers in the Los Angeles region, starting with one in Glendale.

Hovelstay Opens Doors to Non-College Students

Turns out college students aren’t the only ones looking for cheap sleeping digs.

Board Asks Gov. Brown to Settle Kinkisharyo Dispute

The governing board of the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District is asking that Gov. Jerry Brown intervene in a dispute threatening Kinkisharyo International from opening a rail car factory in Palmdale.

L.A.’s Top Round Plans Nationwide Roll-Out

Local fast food joint Top Round Roast Beef has just one location, but its owners say they’re ready to expand across the country.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 153 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,461. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 1,927. The Nasdaq fell 37 points to 4,383. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 201.

Poll: If restaurants raised prices 10 percent across the board to pay for higher minimum wages, would you dine out less?

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

Council Proposal Could Slow Minimum Wage Hike

Five Los Angeles City Council members put forward a proposal Tuesday that would slow down Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to raise the minimum wage by requiring a thorough economic study on how businesses could be affected by the increase, the Daily News reports.

L.A. Takes Step Toward Touch-Screen Voting

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $15 million contract with a Palo Alto consultant to design touch-screen voting machines that will replace paper ballots in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Tech Gets Its First Luxury Bus

The search company YP, formerly branded as Yellow Pages, announced a partnership on Tuesday with the San Francisco start-up RidePal to shuttle its workers who live on the west side to YP offices in Glendale, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal is the first example of a Google-esque luxury bus for the Los Angeles tech scene.

Companies Strategize to Avoid Health Law Penalties

To escape fines for not complying with the mandate to offer health insurance, some companies have taken up cost-cutting strategies such as enrolling employees in Medicaid or offering “skinny” health plans that cover preventive care but exclude benefits like hospital coverage, the Wall Street Journal reports.

GMO Ban Moves Forward

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to draft an ordinance banning the cultivation of genetically modified crops, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Goodfellas’ Actor Sues Fox Over ‘Simpsons’ Mob Character

Actor Frank Sivero, who played mobster roles in “The Godfather Part II” and “Goodfellas,” has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox Television Studios, alleging that one of the “wise guy” characters on “The Simpsons” infringed on his likeness in violation of California's publicity rights law, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up seven points in Wednesday morning trading to 16,622. The S&P 500 was up three points to 1,945. The Nasdaq was up eight points to 4,428.

Tuesday, October 21

Grindr CEO Says Gay Hookup App Still Scores

Joel Simkhai calls himself the “number one Grindr user.” He’s also the gay dating app’s chief executive.

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TV Production Continues to Grow, Film Production Suffers

On-location television production continued to show strong growth in the third quarter but feature film production continued to decline, according to figures released by FilmL.A. on Tuesday.

Loeb Ups Stake in Amgen, Calls for Breakup

Shares of Amgen Inc. jumped nearly 5 percent Tuesday on heavy volume after billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb disclosed he had upped his stake in the company and called for its breakup.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 215 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,615. The S&P 500 rose 37 points to 1,941. The Nasdaq rose 103 to 4,419. The LABJ Stock Index rose five points to 202.

Frozen Out of Disney, Mattel Looks to Universal

After losing a coveted deal to make dolls based on Disney’s “Frozen” and other princess films to rival Hasbro last month, El Segundo toy maker Mattel announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Universal Pictures to develop a line of toys based on the “Despicable Me” movies.

Port of Long Beach Sees Heavy Traffic

Cargo numbers rose sharply for the Port of Long Beach in September as the port recorded its heaviest traffic for that month since 2007.

Are Unions Driving Kinkisharyo Out of L.A.?

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich accused labor leaders of “greenmail” by using environmental law to force Japanese manufacturer Kinkisharyo to unionize its local workforce. Some government and business leaders say the effort has delayed plans to build a $60 million manufacturing facility in the Antelope Valley and has made the company consider relocating to another state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

NFL Researching L.A. Market

The National Football League will begin a formal assessment of the L.A. area today, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Privacy: Should Hotels be Forced to Turn Over Guest Records?

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a federal appeals court ruling striking down a Los Angeles ordinance requiring that hotel guest records “be made available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

City Council to Decide if L.A. is a ‘GMO-Free Zone’

The Los Angeles City Council today will consider a proposal to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops, the Daily Breeze reports.

Google, Legendary to Invest in Secret Visual Tech

Magic Leap, which has been working on a secretive wearable visual technology, is planning to announce a $542 million investment led by Google. Also participating in the round is Burbank’s Legendary Entertainment and its chief executive, Tom Tull, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Porn Industry to Resume Filming

The adult film industry lifted a production hold on Monday after the performer who was thought to have been exposed to HIV tested negative, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Quest for a Real-Life Hoverboard

Ever since the release of “Back to the Future Part II,” many people have been trying to make a real-life hoverboard, from hobbyists to physicists to engineers at Google. The latest effort, in Los Gatos, involves a heavy, magnetic skateboard that can float above a copper surface, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 110 points in Tuesday morning trading to 16,510. The S&P 500 was up 24 points to 1,928. The Nasdaq was up 70 points to 4,386.

Monday, October 20

Play the Cook with SideChef

Kevin Yu was trying to whip together a three-course Valentine’s Day meal when things went awry.

Art of the Deal: CAA Trades Majority Stake

Creative Artists Agency announced Monday that minority owner TPG Capital of Fort Worth, Texas, had agreed to increase its investment in CAA to a majority position. Acquires ShipWorks, a provider of Internet-based postage services, has acquired e-commerce shipping software company ShipWorks for $22 million in an all-cash deal.

Amgen, Gates Foundation to Develop Ebola Treatment

Amgen Inc. is teaming with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a faster production method for Zmapp, an experimental Ebola treatment, according to the company.

Lions Gate, Tribeca to Offer On-Demand Service

Santa Monica independent studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and New York media company Tribeca Enterprises will partner on a new digital subscription video-on-demand service, the companies announced Monday.

L.A. Times Brings Back ‘California’

The Los Angeles Times is bringing back its California section after a five-year hiatus, the Times announced Monday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19 points in Monday trading to close at 16,400. The S&P 500 rose 17 points to 1,904. The Nasdaq rose 58 points to 4,316. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 197.

Nurses to Ask State Regulators for More Ebola Protection

The leaders of two nursing groups, The California Nurses Association and National Nurses United, plan to meet with Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday to request more Ebola precautions, including requirements for Hazmat suits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Kushner Says L.A. Times ‘Spreading Rumors’

Aaron Kushner, who last week stepped down as publisher of the Orange County Register, blames some of his struggles on the Los Angeles Times suing his company, Freedom Communications, for allegedly failing to pay for the delivery of its papers. “I do know that the L.A. Times has been spreading rumors about us to try and hurt our business,” he told the New York Times.

Will Tax Credit Lure Back Visual Effects Workers?

Part of California’s $330 million tax incentive program for film and television production will go toward tax credits for visual-effects work, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new program covers 25 percent of eligible expenditures in postproduction, up from 20 percent under the old program, in an attempt to prevent more of the visual effects industry from fleeing the state.

Will Sunset and Gordon Ruling Force Tenants Out?

A judge earlier this month issued a ruling invalidating the construction permits at the Sunset and Gordon residential tower in Hollywood, but city officials say they are still trying to figure out what the ruling means for the roughly 40 tenants who have already moved in, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Major Theater Chains Block Independent Cinemas from New Releases

Many independent cinema owners say they are blocked from showing new releases because larger theater chains tell Hollywood studios they will screen a movie only if nearby competitors can’t, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple Pay Arrives Today

Apple Inc. rolls out Apply Pay today, the payment app which came preloaded onto the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones, NPR reports. Chains such as McDonald's and Walgreens are already accepting Apple Pay, while others, such as Target and Starbucks, don't have the tapping technology at their registers yet.

Former Interim Screen Actors Guild President Dead at 75

Sami Haru, who served on the SAG-AFTRA national board and was a former interim Screen Actors Guild president, died on Thursday, The Wrap reports. She was 75.

‘Fury’ Tops ‘Gone Girl’ at Box Office

“Fury,” David Ayer’s World War II film starring Brad Pitt, took in $23.5 million at the North American box office this weekend, ousting “Gone Girl” from the top slot, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 46 points in Monday morning trading to 16,334. The S&P 500 was up five points to 1,892. The Nasdaq was up 24 points to 4,283.

Real Estate Quarterly: Landlords Increase Rents Despite Lack of Interest From Outside

The buzz around downtown Los Angeles might be hot, but the office market was just lukewarm last quarter.

Locals Must Shore Up Beach Town Businesses

Eric C. Pritz wants to launch a local wave of support for beach towns’ small businesses.

New Rules On Feathers Take Wing

Firm self-regulates to help down users avoid charges of foul play.

Allied Feather & Down hopes to goose sales to clothing makers with its new rules on treatment of birds.

Fast-Food Site to Serve Up Hotel?

REAL ESTATE: Marriotts maker pays $13.8 million for burger lot.

REAL ESTATE: Jack-in-the-Box site in Hollywood serves up hefty per-foot price in $13.8 million deal.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Pasadena’s Jacobs Engineering Group has received an award from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to provide project and construction management as well as other support services for the design, renovation and building of multiple facilities at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey.

Real Estate Quarterly: Lease, Sales Deals Increase: Vacancies Down Across All Submarkets

Vacancy rates remain in a slide across San Fernando Valley, dropping to 13.3 percent in the third quarter and showing marked improvement from the nearly 15 percent rate recorded the previous year.

New Life

Bioscience incubator homes in on CSULA

BIOSCIENCE: Cal State Los Angeles has made the grade as the new home for an ambitious incubator project.

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High and Dry

State’s $7.5 billion water bond bill will deliver long-term debt, few infrastructure improvements.

State bond bill will soak taxpayers and do little to improve infrastructure, Adrian Moore and Lance Christensen warn.


Upcoming local events.

Real Estate Quarterly: Interest Builds in More Construction With Steady Demand for Space

Thanks to more than 1 million square feet of product coming on line, the San Gabriel Valley’s industrial vacancy rate rose to 3.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 2.7 percent the prior quarter.

Manufacturer of Hydrogen Trucks Fails to Deliver

Trucking: Vision rolls into bankruptcy after burning through millions in grants.

Hydrogen-truck maker Vision Industries steers into bankruptcy after reaping millions from public agencies.

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Getting Second Look

Former defense, aerospace hub El Segundo launches projects to land tenants priced out of Silicon Beach.

One-time aerospace and defense hub El Segundo looks to take wing by connecting with tech firms

Hard to Swallow

DINING: Restaurant owner Jonathan Mgaieth says landlord failed to disclose lead paint, other toxins at property.

French restaurateur’s American dream turned toxic after mold, asbestos and lead paint were found at his eatery’s building.

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Wall Street Takes Car Parts Seller’s Stock for Spin

AUTOMOTIVE: Shares of U.S. Auto Parts rise after investors back subsidiary.

Outside parties’ investment in struggling subsidiary revs up shares of U.S. Auto Parts Network.

Real Estate Quarterly: Rent Hike by Tishman Speyer Inspires Other Owners in Westwood

Nobody loves a plot twist more than Angelenos, and here’s a doozy: After years of being overshadowed by its higher-profile neighbors, Westwood stole the spotlight in the third quarter.

Lessons From LAUSD

For one day last month, Christopher Thornberg was principal at one of Los Angeles Unified School District’s most infamous schools.

El Segundo Means Business in Pursuing Diversity

By BETHANY FIRNHABER Staff Reporter For a small city, El Segundo is home to an impressive roster of big businesses. Aside from Chevron Corp.’s operation and all the major aerospace and defense compan

City’s marketing push homes in on smaller, more diverse company base.

Real Estate Quarterly: Industrial Asking Rates Stay Flat Despite Hefty Drop in Vacancies

Third-quarter numbers for South Bay’s office and industrial markets indicated promise in some areas and room for improvement in others as vacancy rates fluctuated and rents remained stagnant.

Activists’ Protest On the Money

BANKING: Coalition scores concessions in lender unions.

BANKING: California Reinvestment Coalition looks to lock up concessions from OneWest and CIT or trip up their merger.

Game Changer?

West Hollywood’s NCompass International is among the firms looking to turn video-game competitions into live sporting events. So the Business Journal asks:

Would you sit in an arena and watch people play video games?

Real Estate Quarterly: Developers Anxious to Add Projects to Already Bustling Market

Action in Hollywood during the third quarter might have further emboldened developers, who have already made it the submarket with the most new office space under construction.

Architecture Firms Have Designs on Bustling China

Planning: Growing middle class feeds demand for cities, entertainment.

Architecture and design firms add growing Chinese market to their business blueprint.

Newspaper Looks to Turn Page With Digital Plans

MEDIA: LA Weekly moves on mobile to bring more online readers into fold.

LA Weekly hopes to get better read on audience with revamped website, mobile approach.

Real Estate Quarterly: Large Westside Deals Help Maintain Recovery Pace

Much like the unrelenting sun that baked its concrete streets, Los Angeles County’s office market was hot last quarter.

Real Estate Quarterly: Suddenly Hot Glendale Paces Sister Cities; Pasadena Returns Space

Something unusual happened in the Tri-Cities office market last quarter.

Online Network Channels Retail

INTERNET: AwesomenessTV sold on value of pop-up shop.

INTERNET: YouTube network AwesomenessTV says it will have a lot in store for fans at its pop-up shop.

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Upcoming local conventions.

Union’s Bad Medicine

The financially sick Daughters of Charity Health System could get well with a merger, writes Charles Crumpley, but a union doesn’t want that to happen.

Real Estate Quarterly: Tenants Holding Steady as Industrial, Office Projects Still on Horizon

There’s a lot of wait-and-see going on in the Santa Clarita Valley.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Former casino executive and media novice Richard Mirman has been named interim publisher and chief executive of the Orange County Register, taking over for Aaron Kushner, who will remain principal owner and chief executive of the paper’s parent company, Freedom Communications Inc. Mirman held several executive marketing roles at Harrah’s Entertainment in Las Vegas.

Lobster Truck Coming Out Of Its Shell

Cousins Maine to take crack at franchising crustacean business.

Cousins Maine Lobster initiates pincer movement by franchising its food truck business.

Real Estate Quarterly: Landlords Kick Up Asking Rates Despite Losses on Miracle Mile

The fundamentals of the Wilshire Corridor office market continued to improve, however slowly, in the third quarter.

Entertainment Search Engine Finds Way to Series A

INTERNET: MediaHound adds social component to perusing online retailers.

Tech startups in Los Angeles are figuring out ways to help consumers navigate the increasingly fractured world of media consumption.

Friday, October 17

Snapchat to Roll Out First Ads

Snapchat announced that ads will appear on its messaging app for the first time this weekend, acknowledging that it needs to make money.

Aecom Acquires URS

Downtown Los Angeles engineering and construction firm Aecom Technology Corp. completed its acquisition of San Francisco’s URS Corp. Friday in a $6 billion deal that creates a giant in the engineering and construction industry.

L.A. City Council Says No to Parking Auction Apps

The L.A. parking revolution that was to be is probably no more.

CytRx, Vitesse Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest public companies fell for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell 1 percent to close at 194. Gainers outpaced losers by 83 to 68, with 10 companies unchanged.

L.A. Venture Funding Climbs

Los Angeles-area companies raised $436 million in the third quarter, a 33 percent increase from the same period last year, according to the latest Money Tree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 263 points in Friday trading to close at 16,380. The S&P 500 rose 24 points to 1,887. The Nasdaq rose 41 points to 4,258. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 194.

Central Desktop Acquired by PGi

Central Desktop, a Pasadena cloud-based management platform for businesses, has been acquired by collaboration software service provider PGi. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

L.A. Launch List: Oct. 17

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.

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L.A. Unemployment Dips to 8 Percent

L.A.’s unemployment rate dipped to 8 percent last month as the county gained 28,000 jobs, mostly from teachers returning to schools after summer vacation, according to state figures released Friday.

L.A. Sued by Solar Companies

Two out-of-state companies, PLH and Foothill Solar, are suing the city of Los Angeles, alleging the North Valley Area Planning Commission violated state law when it overturned approvals for the companies to install 3,500 solar cells on the northeast edge of the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Times Reports.

Local Nurses Want Hazmat Suits for Ebola Protection

Nurses and other hospital workers on Thursday said they want hazardous materials jumpsuits and other gear to protect themselves against Ebola, the Daily Breeze reports. The hospital workers spoke at a Thursday press conference arranged by the Service Employees International Union and county officials.

Earthquake Warning System Ready by 2016, Officials Estimate

California is on track to deliver an earthquake warning system by 2016 that can give 10 seconds to a minute or more of warning that a major earthquake is about to hit, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.

Kenn Phillips to Lead Valley Economic Alliance

Veteran economic development specialist Kenn Phillips was promoted from senior vice president to chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance in Sherman Oaks, the Daily News reports.

Apple Shows Off Thinner iPad

Hoping to revive its tablet sales, Apple Inc. on Thursday unveiled its latest iPad, which is thinner and more powerful than its predecessor and comes equipped with the fingerprint reader used for the new Apple Pay service, the Wall Street Journal reports. Apple also unveiled a new iPad Mini and a new iMac personal computer with similarly incremental improvements.

Biden’s Son Fails Navy Drug Test

Hunter Biden, son of Vice President Joseph Biden, was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine on a drug test, the New York Times reports.

Is ‘Captain America’ Motorcycle a Phony?

This weekend, a “Captain America” Harley-Davidson said to be used in the 1969 filming of “Easy Rider” will be auctioned in Calabasas, but it’s not clear if the chopper is the genuine article, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Police Taser Sword-Wielding Man

Sheriff’s Deputies in Duarte used a Taser to subdue a 38-year-old man armed with two Samurai swords Thursday, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 230 points in Friday morning trading to 16,347. The S&P 500 was up 27 points to 1,890. The Nasdaq was up 59 points to 4,276.

Thursday, October 16

Port of Los Angeles Has Busiest Month Since 2006

September was the busiest month the Port of Los Angeles has seen since 2006.

L.A. Times Launches Roku Channel

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday launched an Internet-TV channel available on Roku set-top boxes.

Whisper Denies Storing User Data

Whisper's editor-in-chief is not sitting quietly as the Guardian accuses the startup, which promises user anonymity, of storing user data.

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Poll: Oil prices keep dropping, which means gasoline and other fuel prices may decline further. What effect will this have on the economy?

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

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points in Thursday trading to 16,117. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,863. The Nasdaq rose two points to 4,217. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 192.

Wilshire Axon Sports Scores $2 Million

Wilshire Axon Sports has raised $2 million in Series A funding to help expand it sales and marketing efforts and further develop its mobile ad platform.

DocMagic Signs Off on Purchase of eSignSystems

DocMagic Inc., a loan document solutions provider, has acquired eSignSystems for $1.2 million in an all-cash deal.

After Controversy, Deasy Expected to Resign

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy is expected to resign today after reaching a settlement with the school board, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Supreme Court Clears California’s High-Speed Train

California may move forward to build the nation’s first bullet train after the California Supreme Court decided Wednesday to reject an appeal from opponents of the project, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Mattel Sees Big Drop in Barbie Sales

The El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc. remained profitable during the third quarter despite an 8 percent decline in worldwide sales led by a big drop in Barbie purchases, the company reported early Thursday, according to the Business Journal.

L.A. Building Officials Recommend Mandatory Retrofits

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety will recommend mandatory retrofits for earthquake safety for thousands of old apartment buildings, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Asks Feds for Ebola Screeners

California health officials urged the federal government Wednesday to add Ebola screeners at major airports across the state, the Daily News reports.

Congress to Hold Ebola Hearing

Lawmakers will examine the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak today at a House panel, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other Obama Administration officials will be in attendance.

Local Newspapers Hit By Subscription Renewal Scams

Subscribers to newspapers operated by the Los Angeles News Group, including the Los Angeles Daily News, are advised to be on the lookout for fraudulent renewal notices coming from companies that have no association with the company, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. While LANG subscribers have yet to be hit with any bogus statements, customers of the Bay Area News Group, which is LANG’s Northern California counterpart, and of other local publications including the Los Angeles Times have received fake renewal notices.

Porn Set Filming on Hold

The Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based trade group that represents the adult film industry, on Wednesday issued a three-day halt on all adult-film production to allow the industry to investigate reports of exposure to HIV on an out-of-state set, the Contra Costa Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down128 points in Thursday morning trading to 16,013. The S&P 500 was down 19 points to 1,844. The Nasdaq was down 59 points to 4,156.

Mattel Sales and Profits Droop

Mattel Inc. remained profitable during the third quarter despite an 8 percent decline in worldwide sales, the company reported Thursday.

Wednesday, October 15

Taggler Tags on Angel Investment

Half of USC incubator Startup Garage's first graduating class has announced additional funding.

Wounded Veterans to Test NeuroSigma Device

Less than a week after postponing its initial public offering, West L.A. medical device maker NeuroSigma announced Wednesday that it has entered into a research and development agreement with U.S. Veterans Affairs for a clinical trial.

Warner Bros. to Slash Budget by $200 Million

Warner Bros. Entertainment will cut about $200 million from its budget, its chief executive said Wednesday to investors.

Big Law, Big Lease

While the theme struck in downtown Los Angeles has been that most professional firms are contracting and putting more space back on the market, one firm is bucking the trend.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 173 points Wednesday to close at 16,142. The S&P 500 fell 15 points to 1,862. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 4,215.

Work/Life Balance: Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato Managing Shareholder

Patricia Trendacosta on deciding to succeed, late-night negotiations and cooking for her pets

Patricia Trendacosta is the managing shareholder of the Los Angeles financial services law firm Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato, a position she has held for 10 years. She’s also general counsel for the Western Independent Bankers Association. Before joining Frandzel, Ms. Trendacosta was vice president and manager of government relations and compliance for Union Bank of California. We spoke to Trendacosta about the sacrifices that came with the decision to pursue a demanding career, and her quirky morning routine.

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Los Angeles Gives AEG More Time

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday gave Anschutz Entertainment Group another six months to find an NFL team for its proposed downtown stadium and also agreed to make the developer a participant in what city officials have been calling Plan B: the effort to figure out how to upgrade the Los Angeles Convention Center if no stadium is built, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Second Dallas Health Care Worker Infected with Ebola

A second health care worker who cared for an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital has contracted the virus, authorities said today, according to CNN.

Dodgers Push Aside Ned Colletti, Hire New Baseball Chief

The Los Angeles Dodgers named Andrew Friedman, the former Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, as their new president of baseball operations Tuesday, ESPN reports.

Newspaper Wars: L.A. Times Sues O.C. Register

The Los Angeles Times filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Orange County Register, alleging that the Register did not pay more than $2 million to the Times for delivering its papers, the Daily News reports.

Santa Monica Bans Public Vaping

The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday night banning the smoking of e-cigarettes in public places, effectively subjecting vaping to the same restrictions as regular cigarettes, CBS reports.

Alarcon Gets Jail Time for Breaking Residency Law

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli sentenced former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon to 120 days in County Jail on Tuesday for lying about where he lived in order to run for City Council, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Oil Nearly Falls Below $80 a Barrel

Oil fell to a three-year low on Tuesday after forecasts for world oil demand were slashed for this year and 2015, causing prices to fall more than $4 a barrel before recovering to around $84 a barrel today, Reuters reports.

Amid Staff Cuts, Jeff Bewkes Makes His Case

As personnel cuts work their way through Time Warner Inc., Jeff Bewkes, the company’s chief executive, will try to make the case to investors at a presentation today that company will be better off in his hands as an independent company than it would if it were sold off, the Wall Street Journal reports.

College Pays Screenwriter Not to Sue After Sex-Tape Dustup

Pasadena City College leaders agreed to pay Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black nearly $26,000 not to sue the school after it rescinded an invitation for him to be the commencement speaker earlier this year over concerns that a stolen-and-posted sex video of Black could harm the school’s reputation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Man Treated for Addiction to Google Glass

A man who checked in to the Navy's Substance Abuse and Recovery Program for alcoholism treatment was also treated for a Google Glass addiction, according to a study released on his case, The Guardian reports. The man had been using the technology for roughly 18 hours a day, and complained of withdrawal symptoms when he removed the device.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 200 points in Wednesday morning trading to 16,115. The S&P 500 was down 19 points to 1,859. The Nasdaq was down 40 points to 4,188.

Tuesday, October 14

Disney Accelerator Graduates Reveal Scaled Growth

The first graduating class of Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Accelerator presented on Tuesday, revealing the results of their scaled growth as well as announcing new partnerships and financing. Each of the 10 startups is now working with Disney.

Warner Bros. Joins Group to Invest in Chinese Entertainment

Warner Bros. Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it is creating a partnership to make investments in Chinese and other international film and television content.

Mayor Demands Water Cuts to Fight Drought

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today issued a directive that requires a reduction in city agencies’ fresh water use by 20 percent by 2017 and cuts in half the amount of water the Department of Water and Power can import by 2024.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell six points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,315. The S&P 500 rose three points to 1,878. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 4,227. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 193.

CardBlanc Launches Social Shopping App

CardBlanc, a social e-commerce app, has launched a mobile payment platform that lets users shop curated listings from hundreds of retailers.

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Florida Firm Checks in to Glendale Hospital

A small medical office building in Glendale sold earlier this month for a big price. CNL Healthcare Properties, a real estate investment trust out of Orlando, Fla., purchased the Lee Hughes Medical Building at 1500 E. Chevy Chase Drive for $29.9 million, nearly $443 a square foot.

O.C. Register Slots Casino Executive as New Publisher

Former casino executive Richard Mirman was named interim publisher and chief executive of the Orange County Register, taking over for Aaron Kushner, who will remain principal owner and chief executive of the paper’s parent company, Freedom Communications, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Loyola Marymount President Resigns

After five years on the job, David W. Burcham, the first layman to be president of Loyola Marymount University, has announced that he will resign as head of the Jesuit campus in Los Angeles at the end of the school year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Japan’s SoftBank to Acquire American Video Startup

On the heels of its $250 million investment in Burbank’s Legendary Entertainment, Japan’s SoftBank Group said it would acquire New York-based DramaFever, an Internet video-on-demand player that specializes in international TV shows and movies, Variety reports.

Americans Expected to Spend Billions on Halloween

According to the National Retail Federation, American consumers are expected to spend $7.4 billion this year in Halloween purchases, from face masks to candy for trick-or-treaters, the Daily News says.

Missing Parrot Returns Speaking Spanish

A parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its Torrance home four years ago was returned to its owner – but the bird now speaks Spanish, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 120 points in Tuesday morning trading to 16,441. The S&P 500 was up 18 points to 1,893. The Nasdaq was up 54 points to 4,267.

Monday, October 13

Williams Data Management Acquires Files On Call

Williams Data Management, which helps small- and medium-sized businesses protect their data assets, has acquired Pasadena information storage firm Files On Call.

Legendary Entertainment Acquires Amy Poehler Site

Legendary Entertainment has purchased Smart Girls at the Party, a site founded by comedian Amy Poehler.

When to Rebrand? Start With $2.9 Million Investment

Speakr, the social influencer marketing company formerly known as twtMob, has raised $2.9 million in seed funding to expand its marketing platform and tech team.

After Labor Dispute, Kinkisharyo Kills Plans for Palmdale Plant

Kinkisharyo International has scrapped plans to build a rail car manufacturing plant in Palmdale following a labor disute and will instead look outside California to locate the facility.

Universal Plans Beijing Theme Park

Universal Studios announced on Monday plans for a theme park in suburban Beijing that will open in 2019.

Home Sales Up

Southern California home sales inched up to a five-year high for September as prices have begun to stabilize, according to a report released Monday.

Saudi Prince Backs Euro Disney Deal

A Saudi Arabian prince, the second largest investor in Euro Disney, is backing a recapitalization plan for the company’s struggling theme park outside Paris.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 223 points in Monday trading to close at 16,321. The S&P 500 fell 31 points to 1,875. The Nasdaq fell 63 points to 4,214. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 193.

Large Inglewood Residential Redevelopment Moving Ahead

When Inglewood announced last week that it had chosen five developers to compete for a bid to build a transit-oriented project near the site of a future Metro light-rail stop, it put a big emphasis on housing.

Covered California Awards No-Bid Contracts

Covered California awarded $184 million in contracts without competitive bidding and oversight, and some were given to people who had previous professional ties to Peter Lee, the agency’s executive director, the Associated Press reports.

Retail Shuffle: Home Depot Exec to Join J.C. Penney

Home Depot’s Executive Vice President Marvin Ellison will become J.C. Penney Co.’s chief executive next year, taking over for Myron Ullman, who will become executive chairman of the retailer’s board, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Unemployment Program to Fight Fraud With Upgrade

California’s Employment Development Department, which has been manually checking for fraud due to breakdowns of its antiquated computer system – and denying or delaying benefits to tens of thousands of jobless workers in the process – is getting a high-tech upgrade from Pondera Solutions in Folsom, a company that partners with Google Inc. to detect fraud, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fiat Chrysler Makes Wall Street Debut

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the world’s seventh-largest auto group, begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, Reuters says.

Port of Long Beach Considers Raising Rates

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners today will consider raising rates for noncontainerized cargo such as petroleum coke and automobiles by 5 percent, an increase that would take effect on Dec. 1 and generate about $1.25 million in annual revenue if approved, the Press-Telegram reports.

Farmer Molds Pumpkins to Look Like Frankenstein

Ventura County “molded fruit” farmer Tony Dighera harvested 5,500 pumpkins this year in plastic molds that make them bear the distinctive face of Frankenstein, and will sell the “pumpkinsteins” wholesale for $75 each, the New York Times reports.

Trippy: Caltrans Removes Psychedelic Cover from Report

In an attempt to get people to actually read the study, Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority added a psychedelic cover page to their 1,316-page report on the High Desert Corridor, featuring two raptors with peace signs on their wings flying on neon bicycles, the Los Angeles Times reports. After the cover page received some Internet attention, it was removed from the Caltrans website.

Gone Girl Continues Triumph at the Box Office

David Fincher's Gone Girl easily held down the No. 1 spot at the box office with $26.8 million in receipts in its second weekend, beating out a plethora of new releases, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 55 points in Monday trading to 16,489. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to 1,894. The Nasdaq was down 41 points to 4,235.

Playboy Deal Lays Bare Ongoing Shift to Licensing

Media: Arbol Publishing inks deal to produce version for growing Latino market.

Media: Playboy hops to the Latino market with a Spanish-language version of its flagship magazine.

UCLA to Help Tech Inventions Make Grade

Technology: UCLA hopes to move to the head of the class in translating inventions into the business world, writes William Ouchi.

Data Bank - Conventions


Data Bank - Calendar

Calendar of Events

Regulators Beat Around Wedbush

Investment: Founder says scrutiny a product of success.

Investment: Edward Wedbush dismisses the rise in legal and regulatory issues against his firm as a product of its success.

Eyewear Maker Has New Vision

RetroSpecs adds own line of pricey frames alongside restoration business.

Eyewear: Frame restorer RetroSpecs & Co. hopes customers like the look of its original collection.

Delivery Firm Sees Budding Opportunity

Nestdrop hopes to generate buzz by adding medical pot to alcohol business.

Marijuana: Nestdrop thinks it’s high time for a medical pot delivery business.

Taking $64,000 Shot for Charity

At $64,000, it’s the most expensive shot of whiskey in the world.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Opened House: Auctioneer and appraiser Doyle New York has opened an office in Beverly Hills.

Marketer Hopes to Make Points With E-Sports Fans

Video Games: Demand for live events directs new business to NCompass.

Video Games: NCompass International works to help live e-sport competitions score a higher profile.

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Wall Street Flees From Poor Hepatitis B Results

Health Care: Shares of Arrowhead tumble after human results disappoint.

Health Care: Investors check out of Arrowhead Research’s stock after disappointing hepatitis B tests.

Movie Site Changes Name to Make It in Show Biz

Media & Entertainment: SpiritClips ditches moniker for Feeln to highlight family films.

Santa Monica movie-streaming service Feeln has found its recent image overhaul to be good for business.

New Focus

Internet: Ora TV looks to expand online network with shows built around Larry King and other celebrities.

Internet: Ora TV aims to expand its online network with stable of celebrity-anchored shows.

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Vote on Drilling Might Cost City

Oil: Hermosa Beach could hit gusher – or pay big breakup bill.

Oil: Rejection of drilling project could leave Hermosa Beach facing a big financial hole.

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With Twist

Matchmaker uses DNA tests to pair up daters

Dating: Matchmaker Julie Ferman looks to turn romance into a science by using DNA tests to pair people.

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Leasing Firm Commits Long Term to Equipment

Finance: Enverto envisions traditionally staid sector as ripe for app, investors.

Finance: Enverto banks on equipment leases with customers who have been spurned by other lenders.

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Facial Provider Heads Into Single-Service Sector

Retail & Restaurants: Face Haus bases low-cost treatment on model used by Drybar.

Luxurious facials last an hour, often have to be scheduled in advance and don’t come cheap. But one local company plans to change all that.

Inglewood Moves on Project by Light-Rail Stop

Real Estate: Housing major factor in winnowing field of proposals.

When Inglewood announced last week that it had chosen five developers to compete for a bid to build a transit-oriented project near the site of a future Metro light-rail stop, it put a big emphasis on housing.

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News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Employment: A forecast released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. predicted that Los Angeles will hit an employment peak in 2015, regaining jobs lost during the recession.

The LABJ Stock Index

Market Diary

Investors responded positively during the week ended Oct. 8 after the Federal Reserve decided to wait for more economic data before deciding whether to raise interest rates.

Disney Aims to Draw Startup Stars

Technology: Accelerator offers early look at promising products.

Technology: Disney’s accelerator program offers startups a shot at a Hollywood ending.

Friday, October 10

Q&A with 'Shark Tank' Entrepreneur

Ben Kusin was anxious about an important meeting so he took a smoke break to calm his nerves. It was from that one innocuous moment that Kusin started to conceive what would eventually become Reviver, a producer of odor eliminating dry swipes.

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Aura Systems, Trio Tech Among Week’s Big Movers

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

Ora TV Looks to Expand Online Network

After Larry King retired from CNN a few years ago, he moved his show to an unlikely destination: Ora TV, an upstart Internet network launched two years ago with backing from the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helú. Now, Ora is expanding far beyond the realm of news talk and churning out celebrity and infotainment programming as it tries to become a larger player in the online entertainment world.

Downtown’s Aon Tower Sold to San Francisco Firm

San Francisco’s Shorenstein Properties, a private real estate investment firm and fund sponsor confirmed on Friday the purchase of the Aon Center in downtown Los Angeles for $270 million. The 1.1 million square-foot tower at 707 Wilshire Boulevard is the second tallest building in Los Angeles.

Feds Take Malibu Mansion, Michael Jackson Memorabilia From African Kleptocrat

The Second Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, has agreed to forfeit his Malibu Mansion and other assets purchased with corruption proceeds as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice. The settlement forces him to relinquish assets worth an estimated $30 million and prevents him from hiding other stolen money in the United States.

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Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 115 points in Friday trading to close 16,544. The S&P 500 fell 22 points to 1,906. The Nasdaq fell 102 to 4,276. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 196.

Union Threatens Fight Over Hospital Sales

Despite union opposition, the Daughters of Charity Health System’s board of directors approved on Friday the sale of its six California hospitals – including St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles – to Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario.

L.A. Launch List: Oct. 10

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches. On this week's launch list: Book of Life: Sugar Smash, Raw Science and more.

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Hackers Release a Database of Snapchat Photos, Including Nudes

A giant database of intercepted Snapchat photos and videos has been released by hackers onto the chat forum 4chan, thanks to a third-party app used to catalog at least 100,000 snaps that would otherwise be deleted, Business Insider reports. Users of 4chan have downloaded the files and are creating a searchable database that will allow people to search the stolen images by Snapchat username.

Iger: Shanghai Park Will Fare Better Than Disneyland Paris

Walt Disney Co.’s is opening a theme park in Shanghai in 2015, but Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said it won’t face the same troubles that have plagued Disneyland Paris, Bloomberg reports. The Shanghai park won’t have the debt overhang that hurt the Paris park, and will profit from a larger local population base and stronger economy, Iger said Thursday in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Controversy Over Obama’s San Gabriel Mountains Announcement

President Obama is expected to announce the designation of the San Gabriel Mountains as the nation’s newest national monument today, but there are lots of unanswered questions about what the designation will change, whether it will bring in more funding and other issues, the Press-Telegram reports.

Garcetti: L.A. “Highly Likely” to Draw NFL Team

On an "Ask the Mayor" segment on KNX-AM (1070), Garcetti said that though Los Angeles doesn't want to subsidize a stadium, he thinks the NFL is "finally interested" in Los Angeles again, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Motives Questioned at Cash Clinics for Undocumented Immigrants

Dr. Mark Ghaly, deputy director for community health with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, has nicknamed them bodega clinics: storefronts across Los Angeles County that advertise discounted health exams, stay open during hours that are convenient to day laborers, and serve predominantly latino patients who pay in cash. Ghaly said the clinics appear to serve a clear purpose, which is to provide health care to the undocumented immigrants who have no other options, but there are some who question their practices, claiming they place money-making over patient welfare, the Daily News reports.

PUC Chief to Step Down

With critics calling for his resignation, Michael Peevey, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission, announced Thursday that he would not seek reappointment when his term expires at the end of the year, the Sacramento Bee reports. Peevey has been under fire over apparently cozy relationship with Pacific Gas and Electric Co., evidenced by recently-revealed emails between Peevey and company executives, in addition to the fatal explosion in 2010 of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno that has been blamed in part on PUC negligence.

Los Angeles Times Endorses Kuehl for Supervisor

The Los Angeles Times editorial board has endorsed Sheila Kuehl for the Board of Supervisors' 3rd District seat, after recommending John Duran the first time around. The Business Journal endorsed Kuehl’s opponent, Bobby Shriver.

Proposal: Take Too Long to Build Your House, Pay a Fine

Renovations at a Sea Ridge Circle house, which have been ongoing since 2009, prompted Rancho Palos Verdes city officials to draft an ordinance that would penalize residential construction projects that take longer than four years to finish and generate written complaints, the Daily Breeze reports.

Under Armour Settles with Pacoima Shoe Company

The Baltimore athletic apparel giant settled a suit brought against it by Pacoima’s Gravity Defyer Corp., which said Under Armour’s use of the mark “G Defy” on some of its shoes confused consumers, Bloomberg reports. Settlement terms were not disclosed.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 18 points in Friday morning trading to 16,641. The S&P 500 was down 10 points to 1,918. The Nasdaq was down 61 points to 4,317.

Thursday, October 9

Obama Offered L.A. Startup Job Post-Presidency

As his time in the White House enters its closing chapter, Obama already has a job offer waiting for him: to work for Ariel Jalali at his Santa Monica startup Sensay, a help app which aims to monetize people’s advice.

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Poll: Some companies are staging video game tournaments. Would you sit in an arena and watch other people play video games?

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

Gores Group Sells Car Fabrics Maker to Clearlake Capital

Beverly Hills private equity firm Gores Group announced Thursday that it sold Sage Automotive Interiors to Clearlake Capital Group, a private equity firm in Santa Monica. Terms were not disclosed.

Port Labor Talks Worry Retailers

West Coast port operators and dock workers have not had a contract since June, and retailers are starting to worry about whether they will get their shipments in time for the holiday shopping rush.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 335 points in Thursday trading to close 16,660. The S&P 500 fell 41 points to 1,928. The Nasdaq fell 90 points to 4,378. The LABJ Stock Index fell four points to 197.

Snapchat CEO Says Ads on Their Way

Snapchat will be ad-free no more.

Mandalay Digital Acquires Xyo

Mandalay Digital Group, a Hollywood mobile software products company, has bought app search engine Xyo.

Mover of Space Shuttle Settles in for Long Haul

The machinery-moving company that is perhaps best known for maneuvering the Space Shuttle Endeavour through the streets of Los Angeles two years ago has found a new home.

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How to Avoid Obama Motorcade Traffic

President Obama will visit a Santa Monica town hall session today, and then head to Gwyneth Paltrow's home for a fundraiser, affecting streets in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood and Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles Times says. Streets to avoid include Santa Monica Boulevard between 26th Street and Ocean Avenue, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Officials Target One of L.A.’s Daily Problems: Finding a Parking Space

City Council members on Wednesday asked transportation officials to simplify and streamline the multiple parking signs that confuse Los Angeles residents on a daily basis and lead to tickets, the Los Angeles Times reports. The council also asked for a ban on the sale of public parking spaces, aimed at mobile apps like MonkeyParking, which allows users to auction off unused meter time.

NFL in Los Angeles? Some Say Soon

Some National Football league owners, meeting in New York, say they believe Los Angeles will get an NFL team or two in the near future, the Los Angeles Times reports. Not all owners are optimistic, but the league has been saying for years that it views Los Angeles as a two-team market and is interested in a new stadium that is two-team compliant.

In Southern California, New Jobs Fill Empty Office Space

Thanks to job growth, the office leasing market in Southern California finally saw a robust quarter, with office vacancy rates at 15.7 percent, their lowest since 2008, the Los Angeles Times Reports.

Skid Row Homeless Apartment Complex Opens, Complete With Running Track

The $40-million Star Apartments building complex for homeless people officially opened on skid row Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ground floor of the innovative building – which has amenities like a community garden and running track – is occupied by the county Department of Health Services' Housing for Health division headquarters and a county medical clinic.

Manufacturing Wages Rise Fast in Some States

Manufacturing wages are rising at a rapid pace in some major industrial states, and are expected to eventually rise in the rest of the country, due to shortages of certain skills and falling unemployment rates, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In China, Tough Love for Actors Who Have Used Drugs

Chinese stars with a history of drug use or involvement with prostitution will be banned from appearing on film or television in the latest wave of Beijing’s moral crackdown, Foreign Policy reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 138 points in Thursday morning trading to 16,856. The S&P 500 fell 15 points to 1,954. The Nasdaq fell 31 points to 4,437.

Seriously Launches Mobile Game Best Fiends

Seriously, a mobile-first entertainment startup founded by former Rovio execs, has launched its first product, Best Fiends.

Wednesday, October 8

Crowdfunder Reaches Out to VCs and Angels for Series A

Crowdfunder, an equity crowdfunding platform commonly used by tech and digital media startups, has raised $3.5 million in a Series A round.

ZipRecruiter Hires CFO

ZipRecruiter, a hiring platform for businesses, has recruited a new chief financial officer.

Work/Life Balance: David Dunphy

Principal of Santa Monica design firm Studio, on staying calm in L.A. traffic and making time to eat locally – outside of the office.

David Dunphy, 56, is a principal at the hospitality design firm Studio in Santa Monica, a division of Hirsch Bedner Associates. In addition to projects in San Francisco and Camarillo, Dunphy leads a team working on three local hotels: a Courtyard and Hampton Inn in Santa Monica, and Plaza La Reina Hotel in Westwood. Dunphy has spent more than 30 years working in a deadline-driven business, and has learned how to juggle multiple projects while carving out time for water sports. We spoke with Dunphy about how he maintains his calm as the projects pile up.

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Amgen Gains on Trial Results for Humira Competitor Drug

Amgen Inc. shares rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday after the company released positive study results for a “biosimilar” drug that would compete against Humira, a blockbuster produced by a competitor.

Obama to Give Local Mountains Monument Status

President Barack Obama plans to announce on Friday that he will designate roughly half of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument, bringing more federal protection to almost 350,000 acres of land in the Angeles National Forest.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 275 points in Wednesday trading to close 16,994. The S&P 500 rose 34 points to 1,969. The Nasdaq rose 83 points to 4,469. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 201.

Council Votes to Extend Lower Tax Rate for Internet Businesses

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted to extend the major reduction in business tax rates for Internet companies for four more years.

Chinese Investors Pay Premium for Pasadena Office

A private investor group from China last week paid a premium to buy a 90-year-old Pasadena office property in the city’s historic Old Pasadena district.

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Forecast: L.A. County Finally to Hit Peak in Jobs

Los Angeles County is expected to hit an employment peak next year, as employers bring total payroll jobs to 4.25 million, according to a forecast released this morning from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Department, the Business Journal reports.

Biden Backs Garcetti’s Minimum Wage Hike

Vice President Joe Biden voiced his support on Tuesday for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017, the Los Angeles Times reports. At a roundtable discussion at a bakery in Lincoln Heights, Biden called the measure a building block for a stronger economy.

Californians Using Much Less Water

According to a report from the State Water Resources Control Board, Californians used 11.5 percent less water in August, compared to the same month in 2013 – the biggest water-use drop of the year, the Los Angeles Times says.

Activists: Curb ‘Mansionization’ Now

Neighborhood activists complained Tuesday that Los Angeles is moving too slowly to close regulatory loopholes that allow “mansionization,” or the building of homes that some deem too big for their lots, the Los Angeles Times reports. A City Council plan to tighten planning and building restrictions is expected to take a year and half to complete.

California Finally to Reap Fracking’s Riches

California’s oil imports by sea have been rising because refiners can’t get enough crude from east of the Rockies. But that is likely to change as energy companies overcome opposition to build rail depots that will get oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Calpers to Spend More on Real Estate

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System plans to increase its $26 billion of commercial real-estate investments by 27 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Supervisors Increase Arts and Culture Budget

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors added $54 million in supplemental funding to the $84.7 million in arts and culture budget it had authorized in June, more than half of which will go towards upgrades at the John Anson Ford Theatres in Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

How to Vote From Space

Most election years have seen a ballot or two beamed down from American astronauts in orbit, beyond the reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere, National Journal says. The astronauts get the ballot in email form, sent in an encoded document that only they and the clerk can open.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 40 points in Wednesday morning trading to 16,679. The S&P 500 was down seven points to 1,928. The Nasdaq was down 19 points to 4,366.

Forecast: LA County to Hit New Employment Peak in 2015

After eight years, Los Angeles County should finally hit a new employment peak next year, according to a forecast to be released this morning from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Tuesday, October 7

Cornerstone OnDemand Acquires Evolv Inc. for $43 Million

Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based software provider for businesses, has acquired big data platform Evolv Inc. for $43 million in an all-cash deal.

Community Group to Oppose CIT-OneWest Deal

The California Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that advocates for banks to do more for low-income communities, will oppose the planned purchase of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank by Livingston, N.J., finance firm CIT Group Inc.

KKR Sweet on Lemonade

Lemonade Restaurant Group, a cafeteria-style restaurant chain based in West Hollywood, has sweetened a deal with global investment firm KKR of New York.

Council Proposal Could Push L.A. Minimum Wage Above $15

Four Los Angeles city councilmembers on Tuesday introduced a motion to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017, a hike proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Herbalife Executives Expect Penalties

Senior executives at Herbalife are confident that the company will not be shut down by the Federal Trade Commission, but they do suspect there will be penalties, according to Fox Business sources.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 273 points in Tuesday trading to close 16,719. The S&P 500 fell 30 points to 1,935. The Nasdaq fell 70 points to 4,385. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 198.

Canadian Developer Flips Venice Apts for $18 Million

The recently completed 19-unit multifamily property at 13365 W. Washington Blvd. in Venice, known as Landmark 19, was sold to a pair of undisclosed investors out of Beverly Hills. The partners bought the 30,500-square-foot building from Canadian developer Bastion Development Corp., which had marketed the property for just shy of $18 million, or nearly $950,000 a unit.

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L.A. Business Groups Brace for Another Legislative Defeat

City Council appears likely to approve Mayor Eric Garcetti's proposal to hike the minimum wage for all workers in Los Angeles to $13.25 by 2017, leaving the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and other business groups bracing for another in a string of losses, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Live Nation in Talks for Control of Largest Independent Promoter

Live Nation Entertainment is close to a deal to take a majority stake in C3 Presents, the country’s largest independent promoter. The deal would give the Beverly Hills concert and ticketing behemoth a 51 percent in C3 Presents and value C3 at around $250 million, the New York Times reports.

Political Gridlock: Biden Motorcade Expected to Snarl Traffic Again Today

Los Angeles commuters will experience rougher than normal traffic for a second day today, as the Vice President’s motorcade delivers him to events downtown and on the Westside, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Berg Shutters Resolution, Blames Investor

Less than two years after launching Resolution, his Century City talent and literary agency, Jeff Berg has closed the firm, Variety reports. Berg, the former chairman and chief executive of International Creative Management, promised his staff of about 40 on Monday that he would help them find new jobs and blamed the closure on Chinese investor Bison Capital Holdings.

Steep Rise in Residential Rents Projected Over Next Two Years

The cost of the average apartment in Los Angeles County is projected to grow more than 8 percent over the next two years, according to a report released today from USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Restaurants Passing Health Care Costs on to Diners

A handful of restaurants in the Los Angeles area are charging customers a 3 percent surcharge for employees’ health insurance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

County Launches $61 Million Health Plan for Uninsured

Los Angeles County has initiated a $61 million program called My Health L.A. to provide access to a primary care physician for almost 150,000 residents who are uninsured, including many who are ineligible for Obamacare because they lack legal immigration status, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 155 points in Tuesday morning trading to 16,837. The S&P 500 was down 16 points to 1,949. The Nasdaq was off 37 points to 4,418.

All Love for Evolve Media Acquisition

Evolve Media, a Ladera Heights digital media publisher, has acquired lesbian lifestyle site from Viacom Inc.

SGN and Fox Launch ‘Book of Life’ Game

Social Gaming Network and Fox Digital Entertainment have partnered to simultaneously launch a gaming experience with the studio’s upcoming animated film “Book of Life.”

BloomNation Grows $5.6 Million Series A Round has raised $5.6 million in Series A funding, money that will go toward expanding its team and further developing its online marketplace for florists.

Monday, October 6

Bluebeam Acquired for $100 Million

Bluebeam Software Inc., a PDF solutions provider for the architecture, engineering and construction industries, has been acquired by Nemetschek Group for $100 million.

Oaktree Taps First Chief Executive

Jay Wintrob will take over as chief executive of downtown Los Angeles investment management firm Oaktree Capital Group next month, the firm announced Monday.

Surf Air Expands to Carlsbad and Oakland

Private membership airline Surf Air announced Monday that it will expand its service both north and south of Los Angeles – to Carlsbad in November and to Oakland in December.

Walt Disney to Rescue Euro Disney with $1.25 Billion Infusion

Walt Disney Co. announced Monday a proposed $1.25 billion investment in its struggling Euro Disney operation and the Disneyland Paris theme park.

Playboy Latino to Launch in December

Playboy Enterprises of Beverly Hills announced on Monday it has reached a deal with a Los Angeles publishing house to produce Playboy Latino, a bimonthly magazine that will be written primarily in Spanish.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18 points in Monday trading to close at 16,992. The S&P 500 fell three points to 1,965. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 4,455. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 200.

L.A. County Has Most High Tech Jobs in Country

Los Angeles has more high-tech jobs than any other metro region in the country, including its northern neighbors in Silicon Valley, according to a report released Monday.

Vice President Biden’s Visit Will Cause Closures Today

Vice President Joe Biden will visit West Los Angeles today and East Los Angeles and downtown on Tuesday for a series of fundraisers, causing road closures that are expected to complicate afternoon commutes, the Los Angeles Times reports. Starting at 3 p.m., drivers today should avoid the areas surrounding the 405 freeway and Santa Monica Boulevard, as well as the area around Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards. Starting at 5 p.m. today, drivers should avoid the area around Sunset Boulevard between Barrington Avenue and Mandeville Canyon Road.

Disney, Time Warner Fees Double Under New NBA Contract

ESPN majority-owner Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. will pay the National Basketball Association more than double its current fees, thanks to a new, long-term deal that will give the companies media rights to NBA games through the 2024-2025 season, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Gov. Brown Collects Millions for Pet Ballot Measures

In less than three weeks, Gov. Jerry Brown has raised more than $6.2 million from‎ special interests to promote two items on the November ballot: a water bond measure and a state rainy-day fund, proposals that he is expected to use as vehicles to seek an unprecedented fourth term, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hewlett-Packard to Split in Two

Hewlett-Packard announced today that it plans to split into two publicly traded companies, the New York Times reports. One company will focus on business technology while the other sells personal computers and printers.

Supreme Court Declines to Make Nationwide Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to make a nationwide decision about whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, despite overturning same-sex marriage bans in five states, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Los Angeles Could Have an NFL Team Within Two Years

The National Football League will send one or two teams back to Los Angeles within the next 12 to 24 months, a source told NBC Sports.

Thrillers Top the Box Office

David Fincher’s murder drama “Gone Girl” topped the box office in North America this weekend, bringing in $38 million, with the small-budget horror film “Annabelle” trailing only slightly behind with $37.2 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23 points in Monday morning trading to 17,032. The S&P 500 rose one point to 1,969. The Nasdaq fell seven points to 4,468.

Kids Café Tunes Up With Karaoke

Chirp allows children to raise their voices while parents hang out.

Retail: Café Chirp cues up karaoke to pull in kids as well as their parents.

Regulations Vault Lender Into Acquisition Deal

Banking: Simplicity CEO says expenses prohibitive for smaller institutions.

Banking: Simplicity Bancorp agrees to be acquired after new regulations do a number on the lender’s bottom line.

Phone Hang-Up on Hold

Page 3

As chief executive of DesiHits, an L.A. music-focused digital media firm, Anjula Acharia-Bath connects pop stars such as Lady Gaga with audiences in India, and Bollywood stars with U.S. fans.

Measuring Commerce by Foot

Movie theaters take starring role in transforming neighborhoods into pedestrian-friendly business hubs.

Transportation: Greg Laemmle sees a role for his family’s cinemas in creating pedestrian-friendly commercial hubs.Measuring Commerce by Foot

School Board Rails Against Subway Criticism

Transit: Beverly Hills Board of Education defends its opposition to MTA’s subway station plans.

Chat Site Found Voice in Video

Internet: Streamup rebranded as broadcaster to draw audience.

Internet: Former chat site Streamup now speaks to more users as a video-broadcasting platform.

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Korean Booze Maker Bottled Up

Alcohol: Hite Jinro says ex-exec swiped rights to U.S. distribution.

Alcohol: Hite Jinro claims its L.A. exec fraudulently tapped his own company to sell its products in the United States.

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Shopping Center Renovates to Sell Locals on Appeal

Hospitality: Hollywood & Highland homes in on attractions to add locals to its throngs of tourists.

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Fuller Plates

IHOP cooks up monster meals fit for social media

Dining: Restaurants look to load up social media with artery-plugging menu items cooked up to generate tweets.

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Hot Dogs Take Stand For History

Wienerschnitzel’s first spot named landmark as part of car culture.

Dining: Hot-dog chain Wienerschnitzel relishes the landmark status granted its first stand.

Investor Locks Up Former Pasadena Bank Building

Real Estate: Buyer pays $36.4 million for offices near downtown retail center.

A private investor group from China last week paid a premium to buy a 90-year-old Pasadena office property in the city’s historic Old Pasadena district.

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Java Maker’s Profit Helps Wake Up Wall Street

Coffee: Farmer Brothers also receives stock-stoking outlook from analyst.

Coffee: Analyst’s upbeat outlook helps investors warm up to java company Farmer Brothers.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Equity Financing: Rightscorp, a Santa Monica provider of monetization services for artists and owners of copyrighted intellectual property, said it has raised nearly $2.7 million in a private financing from the sale of more than 10.6 million common shares to undisclosed institutional investors.

Departure of Rival Pays Off for Fund Managers

Banking & Finance: DoubleLine, TWC see gains in wake of exit by Pimco’s Bill Gross.

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross, the Bond King of Newport Beach, has been dethroned – and Jeffrey Gundlach of downtown L.A.’s DoubleLine Capital is one of the biggest beneficiaries.

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Calendar of Events

Fashion Week Has Designs on Up-and-Comers

Apparel: Producer hopes fresh focus can help boost status of low-profile event.

Apparel: Producer of Los Angeles Fashion Week looks to tailor struggling event around up-and-coming designers.

Runneth Over

Beverages: Reed’s has new equipment, ad campaign, lenders as the drink maker nears capping its first profitable year.

Beverages: Reed’s says it’s about to catch lightning in a bottle as the drink maker closes in on its first profitable year.

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News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Skyline: Calling all architects. Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced an end to the city mandate that L.A. skyscrapers less than 1,000 feet tall to be topped with helipads.

Audition Business Casts Lot With Second Location

Entertainment: Growth spurt prompts move despite online threats to sector.

Entertainment: Audition services company Space Station Casting Studios tries out a second location.

New Ventures Look to Work Job-Hunting Market

Technology: Pair to use competition element: one for hirers, the other for seekers.

Two ventures with decidedly different takes on job hunting have debuted in Los Angeles, their approaches ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Lenders Left at a Loss

Comment: The diminishing number of local banks and thrifts has Charles Crumpley feeling withdrawn.

Friday, October 3

Shopping Center Renovates to Sell Locals on Appeal

The Hollywood & Highland shopping and entertainment complex is a popular stop for tourists, but ever since opening in 2001 it has struggled to attract locals.

Kite Pharma, RealD Among Week’s Big Movers

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

Indian Actions Have Water-Free Firm Flush With Anger

Indian officials have ordered the removal of more than 800 waterless urinals in Delhi, and the chief executive of the Los Angeles company that produces the equipment isn’t happy about it.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 209 points in Friday trading to 17,009. The S&P 500 rose 22 points to 1,968. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to 4,476. The LABJ stock index rose three points to 201.

Dune Capital’s Mnuchin Buys Stake in Relativity, Becomes Co-Chairman

Relativity Media, the Beverly Hills film and entertainment company led by Ryan Kavanaugh, announced Thursday that Kavanaugh, Dune Capital Partners and Dune Capital founder Steven Mnuchin have agreed to buy out much of Elliott Management’s stake in the studio.

Yahoo Reported Eying Stake in Snapchat

Seems like Yahoo’s $5 billion in Alibaba money is already on the move.

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L.A. Launch List: Oct. 3

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches. On this week's Launch List: Serviz, JibJab Messages and more.

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Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Since 2008

The U.S. unemployment rate last month fell below 6 percent for the first time since mid-2008 and employers added 248,000 jobs, suggesting the labor market is improving faster than previously thought, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Defense Stocks Bound on Airstrikes

Investors are expecting to see a rise in sales of weapons and gear, including items made by contractors in Southern California, as U.S. and allied aircraft bomb Islamic State and Al Qaeda positions in Iraq and Syria, including 41 airstrikes since Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Defense stocks have climbed between 5 percent and 10 percent since airstrikes began in August.

Buffett’s Berkshire to Buy Car Dealership Firm

Warren Buffett announced on Thursday that his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to buy Van Tuyl Group, the fifth largest auto dealership firm in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reports. Van Tuyl has dealerships in Cerritos and Mission Viejo.

JPMorgan Chase Breach Worse Than Previous Estimates

A cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase has compromised the accounts of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses, the bank disclosed in an SEC filing Thursday. Those number are much higher than previous estimates by the bank and puts the cyberattack among the largest ever, the New York Times reports.

Netflix to Produce Adam Sandler Films

As part of its push into the feature film business, Netflix will finance and produce four films starring Adam Sandler and co-developed by the actor’s Happy Madison Productions, Bloomberg reports.

Aecom Nabs Fresno Rail Grants

The city of Fresno will pay downtown L.A. engineering firm Aecom Technology Corp. $1 million in state and federal grands to study details connected to the development of a high-speed rail station in downtown Fresno, the Fresno Bee reports.

Triple Digits Temps Today, Tomorrow

A heat wave will continue to scorch the Los Angeles area this weekend, with temperatures continuing to rise to the low 100s in inland areas today, according to the National Weather Service. The hot weather is expected to peak Saturday, with highs in the San Fernando Valley and Inland Empire ranging from 100 to 106 degrees, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Even Bernanke Can’t Refinance

The mortgage market is so tight that even former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is having trouble refinancing his home loan, Bloomberg reports. Bernanke, speaking at a conference in Chicago, told moderator Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics Inc., “I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so.”

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 130 points in Friday morning trading to 16,930. The S&P 500 rose 16 points to 1,962. The Nasdaq rose 48 points to 4,478.

Thursday, October 2 Acquired by Chegg, an online student internship marketplace, has been purchased by student learning platform Chegg for $11 million in a cash-and-stock deal.

Disney Chief Accepts Contract Extension

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger accepted on Thursday a two-year contract extension through June 2018.

SoftBank Invests $250 Million in Legendary

Tokyo telecom giant SoftBank Corp. will invest $250 million in Burbank’s Legendary Entertainment in a deal that values the studio at roughly $3 billion, according to a report.

Bill Clinton to Headline Banc of California Event

Former president Bill Clinton will keynote Banc of California’s financial literacy event on Nov. 9 at USC’s Galen Center. The event sponsored by the Irvine bank will provide personal finance training to 5,000 “at-risk” young people from the area.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell four points in Thursday trading to 16,801. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,946. The Nasdaq rose eight points to 4,430. The LABJ stock index was flat at 199.

Feds Tighten Reporting Rules for L.A. Fashion District Businesses

Federal officials said today they would implement heightened financial disclosure requirements for more than 2,000 businesses in the L.A. Fashion District.

Doorbot Knocks Out Ring Rebranding

The doorbell has rebranded as Ring, a revamp that inventor Jamie Siminoff said may as well represent the real launch of his Santa Monica startup.

Stockton Bankruptcy Ruling a Blow to Calpers

While overseeing the bankruptcy of Stockton, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled on Wednesday that payments for future worker retirements can be reduced when a city declares bankruptcy. The ruling dealt a blow to California Public Employees' Retirement System, which receives $30 million a year from Stockton and has assets of roughly $294 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Allianz CEO Steps Down

Less than a week after Bill Gross left Pacific Investment Management Co., the asset manager's German parent company, Allianz SE, said its chief executive, Michael Diekmann, will also step down in May, the Wall Street Journal reports. Investors withdrew a net $23.5 billion from Pimco's Total Return fund during September, and Pimco said Wednesday that most of it took place on the day that Gross resigned.

Cedars-Sinai Breach Worse Than Expected

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says that medical records of more than 33,000 patients were on a laptop stolen from an employee's home during a June burglary, much more than the 500 the hospital originally estimated, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bag Ban Opponents Seek Referendum

The same day Gov. Jerry Brown signed a ban on single-use plastic bags into law, opponents of the legislation filed paperwork with the state attorney general’s office for a referendum in 2016 to overturn it, Capitol Weekly reports.

Council Candidate Swears Off Developer Donations, Despite Receiving Them

Los Angeles City Council candidate Teddy Davis said Tuesday at a forum hosted by the Hollywood Heights Association that he wouldn't take developer donations – but records show he already has, the Los Angeles Times reports. Davis is running replace termed-out Councilman Tom LaBonge, and has since returned the donations.

DirecTV Extends NFL Sunday Ticket Package

DirecTV and the NFL reached an agreement extend the NFL Sunday Ticket package in an eight-year, $12-billion deal that expands the El Segundo satellite broadcaster’s rights to stream the football games online and on mobile devices, allowing subscribers access to every out-of-market NFL game on Sunday afternoons, the Los Angeles Times reports.

British Magazine Ranks Caltech World’s Best Research University

For the fourth year in a row, Pasadena’s Caltech was rated the best research university in the world by the Times Higher Education magazine of Great Britain, in a survey the publication released Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. UCLA also made the list, ranking 12th.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 48 points in Thursday morning trading to 16,756. The S&P 500 fell seven points to 1,939. The Nasdaq fell 20 points to 4,402.

Wednesday, October 1

Rowl Locates $4 Million Investment

Rowl, which helps users find local events and concerts, has raised $4 million in new funding to help further develop its app.

Hotels to Fight L.A. Minimum Wage Ordinance

The hotel industry is making good on its promise to fight the new Los Angeles minimum wage ordinance for workers at large hotels.

Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Raises $250 Million From Kuwait Fund

NantHealth, the health care technology division of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Culver City holding company NantWorks LLC, said Wednesday it has raised $250 million in additional funding from the Kuwait Investment Authority.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 238 points in Wednesday trading to 16,805. The S&P 500 fell 26 points to 1,946. The Nasdaq fell 71 points to 4,422. The LABJ stock index fell two points to 199.

Advanstar OKs UBM Buyout

Santa Monica trade show organizer Advanstar Communications Inc. announced on Wednesday that is has agreed to be acquired by publicly traded British communications and events company UBM for $972 million.

J2 Global Makes Another Acquisition

J2 Global has acquired Philadelphia cloud email security provider Excel Micro Inc. – the company’s fourth acquisition in as many months.

Poll: Korean rice alcohol soju is the best-selling spirit in the world, but it is still a novelty in the U.S. Have you ever tried it?

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

Serviz Delivers Home Services to Your Door

Serviz, an on-demand home services company, has hard-launched its website and iOS app to help consumers fix up their homes.

Two Charged With Insider Trading on Herbalife

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday accused two men, Filip Szymik and Jordan Peixoto, of insider trading based on information they received about William Ackman and Pershing Square Capital Management’s not-yet-public plans to bet against Herbalife, the New York Times reports. Only Peixoto actually made Herbalife trades, earning $47,100 once Ackman announced his plan.

Gov. Brown Vetoes Bill to Give Unions Screening Power

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have restored the power of public employee unions to screen appointees to the L.A.’s Employee Relations Board and the county’s Employee Relations Commission, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Councilman Calls for Hearings on Airport Settlement

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin on Tuesday called for hearings to investigate whether officials have complied with a 2006 court settlement to spread out air traffic by facilitating the growth of all the city's commercial airports, not just busy Los Angeles International, which falls in his district, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Housing Market is Overvalued, Report Says

Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire are all among the five most overvalued housing markets in the country, according to a report released today from the real estate website Trulia. Prices in Los Angeles and Orange Counties were each 15 percent above what economic fundamentals support, the Los Angeles Times reports.

News Corp. to Buy Owner of

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. agreed to buy Move Inc., the owner of, for $950 million, expanding its digital real-estate listings to compete with sites such as, Bloomberg reports.