Stories for November 2015

Monday, November 30

Stocks Fall; Broadway Financial Corp. is Up, Guess Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 79 points in Monday trading to close at 17,719. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to close at 2,080. The Nasdaq fell 19 points to 5,108. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 243.

Tribune Denies Sale, But Is One Still Possible?

Tribune Publishing said Monday it is not “engaged in discussions or a process” to sell itself, but did not deny the potential for a future deal as rumors build over a possible sale of the Los Angeles Times and its sister papers.

McDonald’s Latest Offer: New Burgers, Table Service

McDonald’s will roll out a new menu along with table service in more than 600 restaurants in Southern California, the company said on Monday.

Bicycle Casino’s Hotel Flings Doors Open

Bicycle Casino is hoping for a full house of its own. The casino on Tuesday will open a seven-story, 99-room hotel in Bell Gardens, marking the culmination of a $50 million project that has been underway since 2013.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Nov. 30 – Dec. 13

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

The Broad Among Museums Questioned by Senate Committee

The Senate Finance Committee is looking at nearly a dozen private museums opened by individual collectors, including downtown L.A.’s Broad Museum, the New York Times reports. Senators are examining whether the entities are actually performing work that merits a tax-exempt status.

More Haggen Store Sales Approved

Encino’s Gelson’s Markets and Smart & Final Stores have been approved to expand in Los Angeles. Gelson’s executives announced Monday that the company won final approval to buy two additional stores – one each in Laguna Beach and Carlsbad – that were formerly owned by bankrupt grocer Haggen. It earlier got six stores.

Fullscreen Hires Former Hulu Senior Exec

Culver City online media firm Fullscreen Inc. has hired Andy Forssell, the former vice president of content and distribution at Santa Monica’s Hulu, as its chief operating officer.

Cyber Monday Breaks Records

If early numbers are any indication, this Cyber Monday would be the largest online sales day ever, according to Adobe Systems Inc., the Los Angeles Times reports. Online sales this morning were $490 million which was 14 percent higher than the same period a year ago. Sales are predicted to reach $3 billion for the first time. The strong numbers come on the heels of a slower Black Friday than retailers were expecting.

Hamburg Bows Out of Olympics Bid

The odds for Los Angeles becoming the host city for the 2024 Olympics just shot up. Hamburg, Germany, withdrew from the race Sunday, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The Flip Side of Increased Filming: More Complaints

While many are applauding the recent uptick in film and commercial production in Los Angeles, objections from residents are up nearly 20 percent compared to two years ago, according to Film L.A., the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Creative Office in Long Beach

Adler Realty Investments Inc. of Woodland Hills has sold a 210,281-square-foot office complex in Long Beach for $35.2 million to a joint venture that aims to convert it to a creative office space.

Reader Poll

Have you ever been on one of L.A.’s tour buses?

CityView Sells Properties it Bought ‘Opportunistically’

Westwood’s CityView announced Monday it has sold four multifamily properties in Los Angeles County that it acquired at deep discounts during the downturn. It did not say how much it had paid for the properties, but said it sold them for $141 million. The properties are located in Hollywood, North Hollywood, Covina and La Mirada.

Tribune Publishing Denies Any Sale

Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing told employees Monday morning it is not having any discussions to sell the company, the Chicago Tribune reports. Over the weekend, Politico Media reported that New York’s Apollo Global Management wants to buy Tribune Publishing and sell the Los Angeles Times to billionaire Eli Broad. Tribune, however, has been “non responsive.” This all started Friday afternoon with a tweet from Rupert Murdoch saying a Wall Street firm was to buy Tribune and sell the Times to a group including Broad.

Last Boeing C-17 Bids Adieu

History was made Sunday when the last Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane built at its Long Beach facility took flight, ending local production for now, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hundreds of the company’s employees showed up to say farewell to the last military or civilian plane to be built in the state.

Holiday Sales Lackluster

The kickoff to the holiday season of shopping is proving that this year’s spending will likely be “perfectly average,” according to one retail analyst, CNBC reports. About 103 million people shopped online over Thanksgiving weekend, compared to 102 million who ventured out to retail stores, according to a National Retail Federation survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Risky Mortgage Lending

Nonbank mortgage lenders, including PennyMac Financial Services, AmeriHome Mortgage Company and Stearns Lending, are dominating riskier loans, once again, such as those for first-time homebuyers and people with bad credit, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, there is a concern that borrowers may be taken advantage of similar as is what happened in 2008 which contributed to the financial crisis. But executives for the lenders say this time around will be different.

Kobe Bryant to Retire

After a more than 20-year career, Lakers star Kobe Bryant has announced that this will be his last season with the team, ESPN reports. Bryant wrote in a letter posted online Sunday that “this season is all I have left to give.”

Not Just For Boys Anymore

Walt Disney Co. has expanded “Star Wars” merchandise with toys geared toward girls, including purses and jewelry, ahead of the Dec. 18 opening of the film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Bloomberg reports. A main character, Rey, is helping spur the demand. However, some retailers are facing challenges with knowing which fans to target since many toy sections are gender specific.

Box Office: 'Mockingjay – Part 2' Tops

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two," the Lions Gate Entertainment film starring Jennifer Lawrence, still dominated the box office in its second week, making $75.8 million over the long Thanksgiving weekend, the Los Angeles Times reports. Walt Disney Co.’s “The Good Dinosaur” came in at No. 2, grossing $56 million while the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Warner Brothers New Line Cinema film, “Creed,” a spinoff from the “Rocky” movies, was No. 3 with $42.6 million.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 32 points in early trading Monday to 17,767. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,086. The Nasdaq was down six points to 5,123. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 241.

California Fault Lines

Northerners’ stinginess with water grounded in part in rivalry that few Southerners bother to wade into.

John Mirisch writes how NorCal’s obsessive, one-sided feud has left SoCal high and dry.

Wireless Networks Could Connect L.A. With Jobs

Infrastructure for the Internet of Things should help more jobs come on line in Los Angeles, writes Jonathan Adelstein.

Bus Operator Seeks U-Turn on Beverly Hills Ban

TOURISM: Starline vows to fight Rodeo Drive weight restrictions.

Starline says it will fight Beverly Hills’ restrictions on big buses that will drive away its business.

Actress Stages Kitchen Revival

Sarah Michelle Gellar aims to light fire under parents, children with cooking kits.

“Vampire Slayer” Sarah Michelle Gellar has staked out the kitchen as a place to bring families together.

China’s Xi Plays Humor ‘Cards’

Mike Margolis didn’t know what to expect from the reception in Seattle welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping to America.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Irvine’s Bascom Group has acquired an Alhambra multifamily property for $20.9 million from Glendale’s Japanese Village Plaza Ltd.

Manufacturer Turns Light on Line of Safety Gear

CLOTHING: Outdoor Tech hopes to button up funds with Kickstarter campaign.

This story has been updated from a previous version. Cyclists sharing the road with cars can be a dangerous mix, particularly at night, but one L.A. apparel company hopes to increase safety with a new range of high-tech gear.

Veteran Auto Exec Picks Up Stock at Pricing Site

INTERNET: TrueCar taps Chip Perry as CEO as firm breaks with Scott Painter.

Naming a new CEO revs up shares of vehicle-pricing site TrueCar.

Mammoth Resorts Has Big Hopes for Tech Sector

HOSPITALITY: Firm’s new division to pitch Skybox lodge to business clients.

Forget deal-making on the golf course, Mammoth Resorts wants local tech executives to do more of their business in the great outdoors.

Football Could Be in for Blockbuster Headache

FILM: ‘Concussion’ with Will Smith to look at risk of trauma for NFL players.

As three National Football League teams fight for the right to move into the lucrative L.A. market, the league is about to be hit with some uncomfortable publicity by a Hollywood movie.

Ex-Attorney Fined $8.3 Million for Visa Scheme

IMMIGRATION: Lawyer in prison in South Korea for role in EB-5 fraud case.

Former L.A. immigration attorney Justin M. Lee, who used a federal visa program to defraud dozens of investors, must pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $8.3 million after a court judgment, the federal agency announced last week.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Broker Homed In on Handling Celebrity Mansions

RESIDENTIAL: T.J. Paradise rubs Bangkok tattoo when he needs luck inking deals.

T.J. Paradise is probably the only local broker to ever get a tattoo from the nephew of the monk who tattooed actress Angelina Jolie.


Pot shop’s famous name can’t be trademarked

House of Dank’s lawyer hopes changes to trademark laws will help the pot shop’s hip-hop buzz.

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Traffic Plan May Fuel Health Risks

City of L.A.’s lane congestion plan could lead to an unhealthy increase in emergency response times, warns Gary M. Galles.

Device Weighs in On Healthy Kids

Tablet maker Fuhu steps it up with fitness wrist bands that turn activity into play.

Tablet manufacturer Fuhu is making a play for the kids’ fitness market with its activity-tracking wrist bands.

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Anyone in Lather for Razor IPO?

INTERNET: Rivals cutting into Dollar Shave Club’s early lead. court fights over hiring contracts.

Some analysts wonder how smooth an exit is possible for Dollar Shave Club.

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Veteran Developer Finds New Life in Old Properties

REAL ESTATE: Value-add office approach hailed as big plus by Nelson Rising.

Developer Nelson Rising talks about his new passion: repositioning old buildings for office use.

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Good Intentions

B Corporations say socially conscious designation helps them connect with top talent, millennials.

Firms say they are getting a good return on investment by qualifying as socially conscious B Corporations.

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Firm Hopes to Have Lots In Store for Home Décor

INTERIOR DESIGN: Consort sets up shop in keeping with open approach to business.

Consort’s successful Internet strategy led the firm to open its first brick-and-mortar shop.

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LAX Lounge Aims for Stars

LAX’s plan to land a VIP lounge may draw big-name celebs who want to evade paparazzi.

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Eateries Fed Up

DINING: Joan’s on Third and its licensed location each claim the other carried out practices which harmed the brand.

Restaurant Joan’s on Third and a licensed location have headed to court to express reservations about the deal.

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Friday, November 27

Murdoch: ‘L.A. Times to Go to Eli Broad’

A tweet from media mogul Rupert Murdoch is fueling long-swirling rumors that Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad is part of a group that would buy the Los Angeles Times from Chicago owner Tribune Publishing. If true, the deal would put the paper in the hands of local owners for the first time in 15 years, a period that has seen mass staff departures and thinning profits.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points in Friday trading to close at 17,798. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,090. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 5,128. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 243.

Murdoch: Eli Broad Group to Get L.A. Times

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch indicated in a tweet Friday that Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad along with "a local group" appears likely to get the Los Angeles Times, adding to long-swirling rumors that a local entity would take the newspaper from Chicago owner Tribune Publishing.

Douglas Emmett In Talks to Purchase Four Towers

If Douglas Emmett Inc. completes the purchase of four Los Angeles towers, it would become a party to the largest office sale in Los Angeles in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hollywood’s Purple Haze to Launch Hendrix Vaporizer

Jimi Hendrix’s birthday would be an appropriate day to commemorate the musical contributions of a rock legend. For one Dutch company, it is also the perfect day to announce a Jimi Hendrix vaporizer.

Disney Teams Up with 3-D Doll Printer MakieLab

Walt Disney Co. is joining forces with London’s MakieLab to begin selling doll outfits that feature patterns of Disney’s Minnie Mouse and Maleficent characters, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

American Apparel Struggles This Holiday Season

It remains to be seen how downtown L.A. apparel maker American Apparel Inc. will fare this Black Friday, but employees are trying to remain optimistic, the New York Times reports.

What to Watch This Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Marathon Patent, Arrowhead Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was down 1 percent for the week to close at 244. Gainers outpaced losers 104 to 43. Eight companies closed the week unchanged.

Early Black Friday Shopping Disappoints

The number of shoppers at stores nationwide was low in the early hours of Black Friday, Reuters reports. That could be because many stores began their sales on Thanksgiving night in an effort to attract more shoppers and compete with online retailers. By the way, online shopping between midnight and 5 p.m. Thursday was up 22 percent from last year, according to the Adobe Digital Index.

ESPN Subscriptions Fall

Walt Disney Co.-owned sports network ESPN saw its subscribers drop 3.2 percent from the previous fiscal year, according to regulatory filings, CNBC reports. The shift is due to the fact more viewers are seeking sports information from digital platforms, which are cheaper. Disney stock was down 2 percent in pre-market trading Friday.

Brands Want More from Snapchat

Advertisers are naturally are attracted to Venice's Snapchat, the social-networking startup, because of its 100 million daily users, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the fact the company won’t use targeted advertising – which show users ads based on their browsing histories – is becoming a bone of contention. Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said he aims to balance what users want with advertisers’ expectations. Still, Snapchat calls targeted ads “creepy.”

Unions Say Keep Tax Hikes

Despite the state’s current budget surplus – with California’s tax income for the fiscal year expected to exceed estimates by $3.6 billion – there is a proposal to continue a tax hike 12 years after its Dec. 31, 2018, cutoff date, the Los Angeles Times reports. The measure is being sponsored by the California Teachers Association and the state Services Employees International Union and has already been cleared by California’s Secretary of State.

Protecting Vineyards from El Niño

California's wine growers are taking measures to keep their topsoil in place through the expected El Niño rains this winter, the Los Angeles Times reports. The heavy rains could make the topsoil more vulnerable, especially on steep hillsides.

Road Closures for Christmas Parade

The Hollywood Christmas Parade that travels down Hollywood Boulevard aims to please this year with the magicians Penn &Teller; acting as this year’s grand marshals, Curbed Los Angeles reports. But anyone aiming to attend should be aware that parts of major streets will be closed, beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 37 points in early trading Friday to 17,778. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,088. The Nasdaq was up two points to 5,118. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 243.

Wednesday, November 25

Two Real Estate Deals Announced

Koreatown continues to attract interest. The Champion Real Estate Co. has purchased Ancelle Apartments in the neighborhood, the company announced Wednesday. Ancelle Apartments is an 87-unit historical building comprised almost entirely of studios that is located along the Wilshire Corridor. A purchase price was not announced.

United Online Rejects Buyout

United Online Inc. on Wednesday said it has rejected a buyout offer from Los Angeles investment bank B. Riley Capital Management but said it will review the possibility of selling off assets or even the entire company.

Herbalife Wins Again

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday against Herbalife Ltd. and Chief Executive Officer Michael Johnson in which the company was accused of defrauding shareholders by misrepresenting that it had complied with laws aiming to prevent pyramid schemes, according to Reuters.

Guess Inc. Reports Disappointing Third Quarter

Guess Inc. continues to struggle with lower sales and profits. The Los Angeles jean maker on Tuesday reported a sharp drop in third-quarter profit due largely to currency fluctuations. Guess reported a quarterly profit of $12.4 million, or 15 cents a share, down from $20.8 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago.

Disney Tram Cars Sell for Nearly Half a Million

A pair of tram cars from Disneyland’s PeopleMover has sold at a Los Angeles auction for $471,500, The Orange County Register reports.

UCLA Gets $1 Million Gift from Entrepreneur

Real estate entrepreneur Steven Gordon, the chairman and principal owner of Domino Realty Management Co., has made a $1 million donation to the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate in order to fund the Steven C. Gordon Real Estate Student Endowment.

Thanksgiving at the Laugh Factory

The Laugh Factory is at it again with plans to host a free Thanksgiving dinner Thursday for anyone who’s hungry and has no place to go, LAist reports.

Reader Poll

Have you ever been on one of L.A.’s tour buses?

Stocks Rise; Xencor is Up, Unico American Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose one point in Tuesday trading to close at 17,813. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,089. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 5,116. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 245.

Lawsuit Alleges Sumner Redstone is Mentally Impaired

An ex-girlfriend of billionaire Sumner Redstone, who is 92, filed a lawsuit Wednesday, alleging that he is unable to make his own decisions and questions his mental faculties. Redstone, who is chairman of both Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., has no succession plans in place, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lawsuit raises questions about his overall health and whether he is capable of continuing to oversee the affairs of both companies. However, one of Redstone’s attorneys referred to the lawsuit as “meritless” and an “invasion of privacy.”

Is Private Equity Worth It?

The fact that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System paid $3.4 billion in fees since 1990 to its private equity managers who earned $24.2 billion for retirees from the investments, as disclosed Tuesday, is causing a debate regarding whether pension funds should invest in such deals, the Los Angeles Times reports. Other funds, including the California State Teachers' Retirement System, may also be considering such disclosures in the near future.

New Hot Commodity: Storm Water

A Central Valley farmer says he has come up with a way to flood fields and vineyards with storm runoff, including from El Nino this winter, allowing the water to collect into an aquifer underground which would help offset the cost of pumping in the summer, CNBC reports. He and other farmers hope to get the Almond Board of California and the nonprofit Sustainable Conservation, to help spearhead the project.

Chip Technology Making Lines Long

The holidays often mean long waits at the checkout line, but this year may be worse. The reason: that new chip technology in credit cards, the Los Angeles Times reports. While the chips make purchases safer, they also are making lines longer because shoppers often have to insert their cards multiple times.

Trade Rep Backs Trans-Pacific Partnership

The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership was praised by Trade Representative Michael Froman Tuesday at the Port of Long Beach. He described the port as “a gateway” to the region that will be helped by the agreement, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports. However, critics of the deal have concerns about the impact it might have on American jobs as well as how workers will be treated in the participating countries.

Thanksgiving Travel Warnings

As Southern Californians prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, the State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert because of “terrorist threats,” according to a City News Service report posted on NBC Los Angeles. As a result, security has been increased at the Los Angeles International Airport which is expecting about 2.1 million travelers.

Trump Hats Made in Carson by Latinos

While Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is known for criticizing porous borders that allow illegal immigration, perhaps ironically his “Make America Great Again” hats are primarily made at the Cali-Fame hat factory in Carson, where most of the employees are Latino, LAist reports. The factory originally began making hats for Trump's golf courses.

Lauren Conrad to Sell Penthouse

Former reality TV star and fashion designer Lauren Conrad has put her Beverly Hills penthouse on the market for $3.2 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. It features a farmhouse-style kitchen, a custom spiral staircase in the living room, a lounge area with a mirrored cocktail bar and a master suite with a boutique-inspired closet.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,822. The S&P 500 was up one point to 2,091. The Nasdaq was up eight points to 5,111. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 245.

Tuesday, November 24

Five Charged in Medical Fraud Scheme

Five people, including a former Long Beach hospital executive, have been charged by the Justice Department in related, long-running alleged kickback schemes involving almost $600 million in fraudulent billings by L.A. County hospitals.

Faraday Future Plans Big Reveal

While mystery has been surrounding Faraday Future, an electric-car company in Gardena that is modeling itself after Tesla Motors, company officials just announced they will offer a firsthand glimpse in January of their concept car at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Motor Authority reports.

Tribune to Sell L.A. Property

Tribune Media will sell nearly 25 acres in downtown L.A.’s Arts District, a press release said. A printing plant leased by the Los Angeles Times newspaper and seven acres of frontage along Alameda Street are parts of the parcel offered for sale.

Aerojet Soars With Space Contract

Shares in Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. on Tuesday leaped more than 12 percent following an announcement the company had won two major NASA contracts worth $1.4 billion.

SpaceX Challenged by Jeff Bezos’ Vertically Landing Rocket

Blue Origin of Kent, Wash. on Monday launched a rocket into space and landed it back on earth vertically, making history and creating serious competition for Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX.

Yelp: Burbank a Top City for Local Shopping

An increasing number of people are preparing to shop locally this holiday season – about 64 percent of Americans, says a Harris Poll commissioned by Yelp. And according to a new Yelp list, Burbank ranks as one of the “Top Places to Shop Local.”

Calpers Paid $3.4 Billion in Bonuses

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System disclosed Tuesday that it has paid $3.4 billion in performance fees since 1990 to its private equity managers who earned $24.2 billion for retirees from their investments, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CIM Buys Martha Washington Hotel in N.Y.

Public records have revealed that CIM Group paid $158 million for the Martha Washington Hotel in New York plus an additional $14 million for a second parcel next door, a real estate news site in New York reports. According to The Real Deal, the Los Angeles-based CIM bought the 256-room, 130,000-square-foot hotel earlier this month. The developer plans to renovate the property and rename it the Redbury Hotel New York.

Big Expectations for ‘Star Wars’

There are already predictions that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm production which is directed by J.J. Abrams, could have the biggest domestic opening in history when it is released nationwide Dec. 18, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Clippers’ Dancers Get Reality Show

The Los Angeles Clippers’ dance squad are getting their own reality show. USA Today reports that the series will debut next year on the E! Entertainment channel, and shows will delve into the lives of the dancers, starting with their tryouts.

Stocks Rise; TrueCar Surges, Second Sight Medical Products Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,812. The S&P 500 rose three points to 2,089. The Nasdaq was flat at 5,103. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 244.

Powerhouse Koreatown Bank to Form?

Koreatown’s Hanmi Financial Corp. is proposing a $1.6-billion merger with its rival BBCN Bancorp Inc. to keep it from being acquired by another Koreatown bank, Wilshire Bancorp Inc., the Los Angeles Times reports. If Hanmi is successful, the resulting bank would be the largest Korean American bank in the country and among L.A.’s biggest.

Consumer Confidence Plunges

Two economic reports released Tuesday morning show the economy going in different directions. Consumer confidence plummeted to 90.4 in November, way down from its estimate of 99.1, CNBC reports. However, the increase in the gross domestic product for the third quarter was revised up to 2.1 percent from the earlier estimate of 1.5 percent, CNBC reports.

Redstone: Staying Put at 92

Billionaire Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone, 92, has no plans to retire and has made no succession plans. That appears to be increasingly worrisome for shareholders of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. since he is chairman of both companies, Yahoo News reports. Each media outlet faces threats from streaming-video services, including Santa Monica’s Hulu and Netflix.

Controversial Museum Comes to a Vote

A proposal for the non-profit Korean American Museum Inc. to build a museum at Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue could be approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. It’s controversial because the organization aims to include a $20 million apartment building on the museum site while paying a lease to the city of only $1 a year. But some say the city should not give away the land which is estimated to be worth at least $5 million.

Petersen Museum Prepares for Unveiling

While some are praising or mocking the eye-catching exterior of the Petersen Automotive Museum on the Miracle Mile, its exhibits on the inside also aim to be unforgettable, the Los Angeles Times reports in this sneak peek at the museum’s reopening. The 25 new galleries feature interactive technology that includes the history of cars and a motor sports gallery with a 180-degree projection wall that shows racing events.

Pamela Anderson’s ‘Cribs’ House For Sale

The Malibu house owned by actress Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, which became famous on “MTV Cribs,” is on the market for $4.59 million, Curbed Los Angeles reports. The 7,500-square-foot house has a swimming pool and a fireplace in the master bedroom. However, gone are the yellow fur-lined room and shark tank in the kitchen that were featured on the show.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 60 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,733. The S&P 500 was down nine points to 2,077. The Nasdaq was down 29 points to 5,073. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 242.

Monday, November 23

Dollar Shave Club Raises More Millions; Eyeing IPO?

Dollar Shave Club of Santa Monica has raised an additional $15.7 million in a financing round and may be looking for more.

Stocks Fall; Ceres Soars, Daily Journal Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31points in Monday trading to close at 17,793. The S&P 500 fell three points to 2,087. The Nasdaq fell two points to 5,102. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 244.

No-Surprise Study: L.A.’s Traffic Bottlenecks Are Worst

Since about 42 million Americans are expected to hit the road this Thanksgiving, according to AAA, there are some local bottlenecks – among the worst in the country – travelers may want to avoid.

SpaceX Receives Manned-Mission Order

SpaceX, the Hawthorne-based rocket developer, was given approval Friday to launch its first human transport mission.

Reader Poll

Podcasts have become popular. Do you listen to podcasts?

TrueCar Names New Chief

TrueCar Inc. announced Monday that Chip Perry will replace Scott Painter, TrueCar’s founder, as president and chief executive of the company.

Preferred Bank Closes N.Y. Buy

Preferred Bank, a downtown Los Angeles bank that focuses on lending to Chinese-American businesses, announced Monday it has completed its acquisition of United International Bank, a small Chinese-American bank in Flushing, N.Y.

LAX Workers Begin Hunger Strike

Some employees at Los Angeles International Airport have chosen the busiest travel week of the year to stage a hunger strike, the Daily Breeze reports.

Pie Hole Opening in Orange County

Pie Hole, the pie and coffee shop with locations downtown and in Pasadena, has announced it will expand to Orange County in early 2016 with the first location coming to Old Towne Orange, the Orange County Register reports.

More Construction Jobs for Veterans?

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal Tuesday to ask contractors to hire veterans in a “good faith effort,” the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The goal is for veterans to be hired for at least 5 percent of work hours on county construction projects.

Pfizer and Allergan in Big Inversion Deal

Pfizer Inc. and Allergan plc have agreed to merge in a huge – as in $160 billion – deal, the New York Times reports. That not only makes it one of the biggest mergers ever in the health care industry but the largest so-called inversion. Because Dublin-based Allergan would technically be the buyer, the combined company would escape many of America’s high taxes.

Fight Over Hollywood Project

A proposal to build the Hollywood Palladium project that would consist of two 30-story residential towers is being strongly opposed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation which is sparking a citywide debate over growth projects, the Los Angeles Times reports. The foundation, whose headquarters are next to the project, is part of a group which announced last week it will propose a measure to restrict such “mega projects.” See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

Box Office: Franchise-Low Opening for 'Hunger Games'

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two,” the Lions Gate Entertainment film starring Jennifer Lawrence, had a lower debut than expected, making $101 million in North America, the Hollywood Reporter says. “Spectre,” the Sony Pictures Entertainment film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond for the fourth time, was No. 2, bringing in $14.5 million, followed by Twentieth Century Fox's "The Peanuts Movie,” making $12.8 million.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West to Sell Mansion

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, are reportedly about to put their renovated Bel Air Crest mansion on the market for more than $20 million, Curbed Los Angeles reports. The couple purchased it two years ago for $9 million and possibly made $2 million in renovations. The house includes a swimming pool, a library and is rumored to have four gold-plated toilets.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 13 points in early trading Monday to 17,811. The S&P 500 was up one point to 2,090. The Nasdaq was up 10 points to 5,115. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 245.

Different Spin

Musician Moby is more concerned with serving tasty vegan fare than record turnout for his new Silver Lake eatery, Little Pine.

Moby’s rooting interest in plant-based food led the musician to open vegan restaurant Little Pine.

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Listen Up

Podcast pioneer Adam Carolla now tops in format

Switching from radio to podcasting proved a sound move for record-holding industry leader Adam Carolla.

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Designer Garners Some Support for New Frames

CONSTRUCTION: Changes to state’s building code may lift creator’s products.

Designer-turned-manufacturer Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir has learned the long, hard lessons of marketing a new product to an old industry.

TV Celeb Takes Shot at Tequila

Mario Lopez intends to bottle up sector as partner in Casa México brand.

New partner Mario Lopez has poured himself into promoting Casa México’s tequila.

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Analysts Offer Lowdown On Westside’s High Rents

REAL ESTATE: Some see more room to rise without risks of previous cycle.

Analysts are reluctant to declare there’s no more room for the Westside’s sky-high asking rents to climb.

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Businesses See Buoy in Pacific

TRADE: Firms expect waves of new sales if TPP goes through.

Some businesses expect a sea change in their favor if the agreement among Pacific Rim countries goes through.

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Is Toymaker Played Out?

Mattel seems to be playing with fire, Charles Crumpley writes.

Community Foundations Help Prop Up Labor Force

Community foundations have the right skills to train the future workforce, according to Antonia Hernández.

Working at Home

American Apparel’s recent trouble shouldn’t derail drive to shore up domestic manufacturing sector.

Cherri Senders believes other businesses could reap the domestic production focus sown by American Apparel.

Early Dismissal?

OIL: Venoco stresses financial benefit of well to stake holders, district as it seeks to keep pumping at Beverly Hills High.

Venoco works to dig up support for its bid to renew the lease for the firm’s well at Beverly Hills High.

Tease photo

Developer Has Lots in Store for Former Sears Site

ACQUISITION: CIM Group shells out $43.5 million for property in Hollywood.

Mid-Wilshire developer CIM Group appears to be reviving development plans at the long-deserted Sears Hollywood site.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Shift on Storm-Water Policy May Soak Businesses

PERMITTING: State mulls ditching flat fee for basing cost on usage factors.

Thousands of local manufacturers, warehouses, recycling facilities and other businesses in Los Angeles County and throughout the state could face huge increases in storm-water runoff fees under a plan being considered by state water quality regulators.

Firm Ready to Go Distance With Global Group

EXPANSION: International network chooses Hoyt as only member in SoCal.

Leeza Hoyt, chief executive of her eponymous PR company, Hoyt Organization Inc., is gearing up for some new challenges such as cross-continental conference calls at 3 a.m. and learning new languages with Rosetta Stone.

System May Fill Hole for Attention Deficit Patients

REGULATION: Approval by E.U. could mean big boost for NeuroSigma’s eTNS.

Many parents of children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder wrestle with whether or not to medicate their kids.

Dodgers Pitch Accelerator as Crucial to Evolution

SPORTS: Team says first round of participants has already fielded benefits.

Los Angeles Dodgers say the team has already scored benefits from its first field of accelerator participants.

Renewable Power Firm Fails to Energize Investors

ENERGY: Rentech’s stock drops after quarter misses analysts’ expectations.

Renewable power firm Rentech fizzles on Wall Street after poor third quarter.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Santa Monica’s VideoAmp, whose platform supplies digital and TV targeting data and facilitates ad buys across television and online video platforms simultaneously, has raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Luxembourg’s RTL Group.

Spielbergs’ ‘Bridge’ to Past

Ace director Steven Spielberg turned to his own father for research assistance on his latest film.

Phone Tech Has Line on Piracy

SmartFlow Compliance’s software helps devices make call on legality of usage.

Former phone exec Ted Miracco has dialed up a new career as a pirate fighter.

Activists Grab Ridesharing Wheel

TRANSPORTATION: Petition aims to drive off services at LAX.

Activist group’s environmental lawsuit throws up another roadblock to ridesharing services at LAX.

Web Business In Sticky Spot

INTERNET: Pay practice raises investors’ ire at United Online.

Execs and board members could pay for United Online’s compensation practices as shareholders revolt.

Friday, November 20

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Nov. 20

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Nov. 20

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launch.

Glendale Office Buildings Sell for $18.7 Million

Two Glendale office buildings, at 1011 and 1015 Grandview Ave., have sold to a reality television production company currently located in Van Nuys.

Skechers, OSI Systems Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up 5 percent for the week to close at 244. Gainers outpaced losers 108 to 41. Six companies closed the week unchanged.

County Unemployment Falls to 6.1 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell last month to 6.1 percent as the county added 38,000 jobs, state figures released Friday show.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 91 points in Friday trading to close at 17,824. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 2,089. The Nasdaq rose 31 points to 5,105. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 244.

American Apparel Gets Approval for Bankruptcy Plan

Downtown Los Angeles apparel maker American Apparel Inc. has been cleared by a Delaware judge to send its bankruptcy plan for a vote to its unpaid creditors, Daily Bankruptcy Review reports.

Report: ICANN Spent $2.5 Million on Lobbying

ICANN, the Internet domain name overseer based in Los Angeles, spent $2.5 million over the past year lobbying the U.S. government, an amount on par with multi-national corporations, The Register reports.

Tesla Motors Announces Largest Recall of Model S Cars

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors is recalling all 90,000 of its Model S cars due to a problem with a front seat belt, Bloomberg reports.

What to Watch This Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Goldstar Events Raises $20.3 Million

Online discount ticketing company Goldstar Events Inc. of Pasadena has raised $20.3 million in a financing round, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CEO of Troubled MannKind Exits

The president and chief executive of MannKind has stepped down, Seeking Alpha reports, and founder Alfred Mann has stepped in temporarily. Sales of the Valencia company’s inhalable insulin are going badly, and a quick stock sale in Israel to raise emergency cash was a big disappointment. “MannKind's remaining options are shrinking fast,” reports Motley Fool.

LAX ‘People Mover’ to Be Privately Run?

The “people mover” system at Los Angeles International Airport that would transport travelers between the airport and a car rental facility and a train station might be designed, financed and operated by companies and not government agencies, LAX officials said Thursday, KPCC reports. Public-private partnerships have become popular, but some fans of government claim the private sector needs oversight.

Tinder Parent Has Solid Opening

Shares of Match Group soared in its trading debut Thursday with the stock ending the session up nearly 23 percent, CNBC reports. The company owns dating app Tinder of West Hollywood.

Governor ‘Disappointed’ in Calpers Strategy

Gov. Jerry Brown is criticizing a plan just approved by the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System to lower the target rate that it expects to earn on investments from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent over 20 years, saying it should happen faster, the Los Angeles Times reports. Taxpayers will have to pay billions more under the plan.

Tiny Apartments on Skid Row?

A proposed project could turn some Skid Row hotels into “microunits” as a way to provide cheaper apartments for people who may not otherwise be able to afford to live downtown, Curbed Los Angeles reports. The plan, which was recently presented to the Planning and Land Use Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, would turn four buildings on Fifth Street near Central Avenue into 160 tiny apartments that would average 277 square feet.

Free Parking For Now

Parking is free, at least temporarily, at the new Village at Westfield Topanga as its parking machines – after numerous complaints – are being repaired, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Some store owners had said their businesses were being hurt because shoppers complained their credit cards would get stuck in the machines, or they simply wouldn’t work.

‘Star Wars’ Sells $50 Million in Advance

Walt Disney Co.’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hasn’t even opened yet and has already sold more than $50 million in advanced tickets, Variety reports. There are predictions the film will beat the $208.8 million earned by “Jurassic World” which had the biggest opening in history.

Dunkin' Donuts at Your Door

The next time you’re craving a doughnut, you may not have to leave home to get one. Dunkin’ Donuts – following the tracks of Kentucky Fried Chicken – has announced it will make home deliveries in Los Angeles, LAist reports. Dunkin’ Donuts will partner with DoorDash, an on-demand delivery service, and plans to start the service within a few weeks.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 156 points in early trading Friday to 17,896. The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 2,096. The Nasdaq was up 31 points to 5,105. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 244.

Thursday, November 19

Agent Ace Rebrands, Raises $13.5 Million

Real estate agent matching website Agent Ace of Santa Monica has raised $13.5 million in a Series A round, acquired home-search website Fypio and rebranded as OpenHouse.

PCM Makes Big Buy

PCM, an IT services provider based in El Segundo formerly named PC Mall, announced that it has acquired the $800 million business-to-business assets of Systemax's North American Technology Group, according to, a news site.

Why These Creative Tenants Are Moving to Miracle Mile

Downtown developer Ratkovich Co. announced this week six new lease agreements at its building at 5900 Wilshire Blvd. on the Miracle Mile, boosting its occupancy rate north of 95 percent.

Tinder CEO Interview ‘Unfortunate,’ Says Match’s Chief

Match Group Chairman Gregory Blatt on Thursday condemned an unflattering article about Tinder Chief Executive Sean Rad, CNBC reports.

Ring Links up With Insurer to Offer Discounts

Santa Monica’s Ring, a company that manufactures a doorbell with a video camera linked to an app, has inked a deal with Wisconsin’s American Family Insurance to give customers a discount.

State Orders SoCalGas to Stop Leak

The state’s chief regulator for oil and gas fields issued an emergency order to Southern California Gas Co. on Wednesday, demanding the Los Angeles company submit plans to seal a leak, The Los Angeles Daily News reports.

UC-Davis Study: Women Struggle to Climb Corporate Ladder

More women are chief executives at California’s largest 400 public companies, but they still hold just 12 percent of senior executive and director positions, according to an annual study by the University of California-Davis.

Charlie Sheen Quickly Offloading Mansions

Charlie Sheen is preparing to pare down his possessions following an announcement that he paid more than $10 million in hush money over his HIV-positive status, Variety reports.

Dominick’s Closing; Old Rat Pack Hangout

The legendary Dominick’s, known as a former Rat Pack hangout, is shutting its doors, LAist reports.

Stocks Fall; Ritter Pharmaceuticals Rises, Rentech Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 4 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,733. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq fell 2 points to 5,074. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 242.

Robb Report Names New Chief

Robb Report, a luxury lifestyle magazine based in Malibu, announced Thursday that Stephen Colvin will be the company’s chief executive as of Nov. 23.

CIM Buys Old Sears Hollywood Site for Development

Mid-Wilshire developer CIM Group plans to transform the long-deserted Sears Hollywood site into a mixed-use complex with as many as 700 apartments and more than 300,000 square feet of retail.

Tease photo

Calpers Approves New Strategy

The board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System on Wednesday approved a plan to lower the target rate that it expects to earn on investments from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports. As a result, taxpayers will have to pay billions more than they would have otherwise.

VIP Lounge Coming to LAX?

The rich and famous may soon have a haven from the paparazzi and fans at Los Angeles International Airport. The Board of Airport commissioners on Thursday will consider whether to build an exclusive private lounge to cater to VIPs, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lounge, if approved, would be built in what is now a cargo facility in a remote part of the airport.

Caruso’s Gift of Time

Developer Rick Caruso isn’t doling out gift cards or trinkets to his employees. He’s giving the gift of time instead. Thanks to the launch of his “Corporate Concierge” last month, many employees at his real estate company, Caruso Affiliated, can get help with their mundane chores, including grocery shopping and dry cleaning, Los Angeles Magazine reports. The idea is that busy career people have trouble keeping up with everyday tasks.

Ironing Out Duties for Olympics

We soon may know what’s expected of Los Angeles in the event the city hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to a City News Service story in the Los Angeles Daily News. City officials are negotiating with the LA2024 Exploratory Committee and could reach an agreement by the end of this month. Any deal would still need to be voted on by the Los Angeles City Council.

Southern California Gets Google Express

Google Express, Google's overnight delivery service, which had only been available in West Los Angeles, is now expanding to all of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. Customers can sign up for a $95 yearly membership or pay $4.99 for each delivery of products from participating stores, including Costco, Target and Walgreens.

Gores Asking $52 Million for Bel-Air Lot

Beverly Hills billionaire Tom Gores and owner of private equity firm Platinum Equity has relisted a site he owns in Bel Air for $52 million – $2 million more than it was listed for last year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 3.2-acre plot includes a flat lot, retaining walls, an underground structure and a 15-car garage.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 15 points in early trading Thursday to 17,723. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,082. The Nasdaq was down two points to 5,073. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 242.

Wednesday, November 18

Oversee Founder Launches Incubator OnRamp Fund

Co-founder and former Chief Executive Lawrence Ng has launched a $10 million incubator and seed fund named OnRamp Fund.

Tinder Chief Gives Interview During Quiet Period

Tinder Chief Executive Sean Rad gave a salacious interview to British tabloid Evening Standard early Wednesday – just a day before Tinder’s parent company is to make an initial public offering.

Activists File Initiative to Block Development Citywide

Community activists in Hollywood filed an initiative on Wednesday to place a moratorium on major construction projects in Los Angeles and make it tougher for developers to get projects approved in the future.

Reader Poll

Podcasts have become popular. Do you listen to podcasts?

Stocks Rise; Skechers Soars, Second Sight Medical Products Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 248 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,737. The S&P 500 rose 33 points to 2,084. The Nasdaq rose 89 points to 5,075. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 239.

CBRE Acquires Forum Analytics

Downtown L.A. real estate giant CBRE Group Inc. announced Wednesday that it has acquired Chicago’s Forum Analytics, a provider of data science about consumer behavior for retailers and other clients. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Why Just Raised $9 Million

Santa Monica’s, a maker of customized prepaid Mastercard debit cards, announced Wednesday it has raised $9 million from investors.

Oksana Purchases Music School

Oksana Kolesnikova, the founder and chief executive of the Oksana School of Music & Art in Beverly Hills, has added a jewel to her crown with the recent purchase of Rancho Palos Verdes’ European School of Music & Art.

Lionsgate Fattens Up on ‘Hunger Games’ Finale

The final installment of the blockbuster “Hunger Games” opens at the box office this weekend, closing an era for Santa Monica’s Lionsgate Entertainment. According to the Los Angeles Times, the studio is expecting to gross $120 million in the United States and Canada through Sunday, in what would be one of the biggest openings of the year after “Jurassic World,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Furious 7.”

Feds Indict Sylmar Supplement Maker Vibrant Life

The Justice Department filed criminal charges against Sylmar-based supplement maker Vibrant Life on Tuesday.

B. Riley Offers $185 Million for United Online

B. Riley Capital Management in Los Angeles proposed Wednesday to purchase all of United Online Inc.’s outstanding shares for $12.50 each, or a total of $185 million.

Will Weinstein Co. Be Sold? To Burkle?

The Weinstein Co. confirmed earlier this week it will lay off 40 to 50 of its 215 employees, including some in the studio’s Los Angeles office, but now the Weinstein brothers may be considering selling all or part of the company, according to sources, the Hollywood Reporter says.

SpaceX Poised to Win Government Contract

SpaceX appears is position to win its first contract for a military satellite launch after its main competitor declined to submit a bid. The Washington Post has reported that United Launch Alliance, SpaceX’s rival, would not bid on the contract to send Pentagon satellites into space, ending a period of near total dominance of national security launches for the company.

County to Crack Down on Minimum Wage Employers

Los Angeles County Supervisors voted Tuesday to set up a new division to enforce the new minimum wage law, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Ban the Box’ Coming to L.A.?

The days of asking potential employees right away to check a box if they have ever been convicted of a crime may soon be over in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. City officials are considering a policy that would bar employers from asking that question or running a background check until an offer of employment was presented.

Carson Makes Plans for NFL Traffic

If you’re building something big in Los Angeles, what do you need to do? Figure a way to mitigate traffic. Officials in Carson unveiled plans Tuesday to use shuttle buses from area parking lots to decrease congestion around the city’s proposed $1.7 billion National Football League stadium, the Daily Breeze reports.

Steep Fee for NFL Move?

The fee for any team moving to Los Angeles could be a pricy one as the National Football League and team owners may have decided on a relocation fee that could be at least $500 million dollars, according to Sports Illustrated. The most recent previous relocation fee was $29 million paid by the Houston Oilers when that team moved to Tennessee and became the Titans.

Driverless Cars in the Future?

In the not so distant future, teenagers won’t need driver’s licenses, and people will opt not to own cars, taking advantage of driverless cars, ride-sharing services and “taxibots,” taxis driven by robots, according to presenters at this month’s L.A. Auto Show, the Los Angeles Times reports. Millennials are steering the trend, according to John Zimmer, Lyft's co-founder and president who predicts “the days of traditional car ownership are over.”

Taking the Reins for Charter Schools

A new nonprofit, Great Public Schools Now, has been formed to pick up where the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has left off in its proposal to raise $490 million to enroll half the students in the L.A. Unified School District in charter schools, the Los Angeles Times reports.

IPG’s Big Relocation to Century City

New York holding company Interpublic Group, or IPG, is relocating about 700 employees to leased office space that once belonged to Northrup Grumman Corp. in Century City, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company signed an 11-year lease that is estimated to be worth more than $70 million.

Sony Pictures Back to Normal

After the cyberattack nearly one year ago on Sony Pictures Entertainment, things seem to finally be returning to business as usual at the studio, the Los Angeles Times reports. Execs say focusing on reviving Sony’s movie business – which now ranks fifth out of the six major studios – seems to be healing old wounds.

Save Taco Bell

Just when it looked like Taco Bell’s first stand was about to be demolished to make way for a new development in Downey, the corporate office has stepped in to save it, the Orange County Register reports. It plans to relocate the 400-square-foot food stand to its headquarters in Irvine. After all, as Taco Bell Chief Executive Brian Niccol said, it is “arguably the most important restaurant in our company’s history.”

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 110 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,600. The S&P 500 was up 12 points to 2,063. The Nasdaq was up 26 points to 5,012. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 239.

Tuesday, November 17

Short on Cash Again, Virtual Piggy Hires New Chief

Beleaguered online payment platform Virtual Piggy Inc. has named former PayPal mid-level executive Käthe Anchel as its chief executive.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 6 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,489. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 2,050. The Nasdaq rose 1 point to 4,986. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 237.

United Online Gets Unsolicited Buyout Offer

Los Angeles investment firm B. Riley Capital Management has proposed to purchase all of United Online Inc.’s outstanding shares, which the Internet company acknowledged on Monday.

Another TrueCar Exec to Leave

Larry Dominique, executive vice president of industry solutions at TrueCar, is leaving at the end of the year in the latest executive departure from the online shopping site, Automotive News reports.

Ending Gridlock: Reason Proposes ‘Mobility Plan’

The Reason Foundation wants to help improve traffic congestion in Los Angeles and Wednesday announced a plan toward that effort.

Report: L.A. Small Businesses Hopeful, but Still Cautious

Los Angeles small business owners are optimistic about revenue growth, but have concerns over the impact of minimum wage hikes, according to the 2015 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report release Tuesday.

Haggen Store Sales Get Green Light

Gelson’s Markets and Smart & Final Stores are making good on plans to expand their Los Angeles footprint by sweeping up stores from bankrupt grocer Haggen.

Forbes: L.A. Has Four of the Most Expensive Zip Codes

The gateway to the Pacific has launched dreams made of silicon and stardust, but it’s not cheap to live where the continent ends.

Whole Foods Selling Jell-O Shots

Whole Foods is now selling Jell-O shots. Ludlow's Cocktail Co., a New York and Los Angeles-based craft cocktail shot business, is teaming up with Whole Foods to sell Fresh Lime Margarita and Moscow Mule shots in a variety of stores around Los Angeles, Bustle reports.

Donald Sterling Loses Again

The former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, lost his legal appeal Monday to regain ownership of the team after his estranged wife sold it last year for $2 billion, the New York Times reports. The court ruled Shelly Sterling properly removed her husband from a family trust that owned the team.

Expo Line Not Relieving Traffic

Although the Expo Line was touted as a way to reduce traffic congestion, a new USC study has found the rail line has not relieved rush-hour traffic much, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, the Expo Line has helped increase the number of people who ride public transit.

Possible Change of Calpers Plans

The California Public Employees' Retirement System may soon lower its return target – from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent – that it expects to earn on investments, the Los Angeles Times reports. That doesn’t seem like much, but it would significantly increase the financial burden on taxpayers. And it’s still much higher than most.

Soros Exits Herbalife

Billionaire George Soros’s investment fund, bullish on Herbalife for about two years, has bailed out of its stake in the embattled Los Angeles nutritional supplement company, Reuters reports. The fund sold nearly 2 million of its shares during the third quarter, according to a regulatory filing.

First Disney, Now Universal Studios Hikes Prices

It has just gotten more expensive to go to Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park is raising the price of its annual pass with blackout dates from $119 to $139 and higher, the Los Angeles Times reports. The higher price comes ahead of the park’s new Wizarding World of Harry Potter that is to open in the spring. Walt Disney Co. increased the cost of its annual passes to Disneyland last month.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down eight points in early trading Tuesday to 17,477. The S&P 500 was up one point to 2,054. The Nasdaq was up five points to 4,989. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 237.

Monday, November 16

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Nov. 16 – Nov. 29

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Leiweke and Azoff Launch L.A. Company

Tim Leiweke, the former chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, has joined forces with powerhouse music manager Irving Azoff to launch the Oak View Group, a Los Angeles advisory and development company that will focus on helping arenas and independent venues find new revenue sources.

Daily News Eying O.C. Register

The Los Angeles Times’ owner may be joined by the Daily News’ owner as bidders for the Orange County Register.

Force is With L.A. Port as ‘Star Wars’ Toys Arrive

Move over dolls, stuffed reindeer and snowmen: it’s galactic warrior helmets and light sabers that are going to boost imported toy volumes at the Port of Los Angeles this year, according to trade economists.

L.A.’s thinkThin Acquired

Glanbia PLC of Ireland will acquire thinkThin LLC, a Los Angeles manufacturer of protein and fiber nutrition bars, both companies announced Monday. The deal, which is expected to be complete before the end of the year, is worth $217 million.

Snapchat Adds Sweet Channel

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that Venice social networking firm Snapchat has added a new female-driven media brand to its Discover channels.

Griffith Planetarium Upgraded

The iconic Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park recently completed a $2.5 million upgrade of its Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which it plans to show publicly for the first time Monday night. The upgrade, which includes six new digital projectors and a new lighting system, was paid for by the Ahmanson Foundation and the Friends of the Observatory, KPCC reports.

Selena Gomez to Sell Calabasas Estate

She has only owned it for a year and a half, but entertainer Selena Gomez is already listing her three-acre Calabasas estate for $4.5 million, Variety reports.

Reader Poll

What do you think of the rise of charter schools in Los Angeles?

Stocks Rise; United Online Soars, Capstone Turbine Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 238 points in Monday trading to close at 17,483. The S&P 500 rose 30 points to 2,053. The Nasdaq rose 57 points to 4,985. The LABJ Stock Index rose 3 points to 236.

Airbnb Outmatching Unions?

Unions looking to regulate or even stop homesharing services in Los Angeles may be staring with trepidation at what happened in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Times reports. Organized labor there spent a good deal of effort and several hundred thousand dollars to support a limit on homesharing, but it was crushed by Airbnb, which spent more than $8 million.

Job Cuts Coming to Weinstein Co.

The Weinstein Co. confirmed it will lay off 40 to 50 of its 215 employees within the next week, including some who work in the independent studio’s Los Angeles office, Variety reports. The cuts are expected to target film operations, not its television division.

History-Making Year for Mergers

Acquisitions are on track this year to break the previous record of $4.6 trillion made in 2007, according to research firm Dealogic, the Los Angeles Times reports. Many of the mergers are being made by companies hoping to gain market share in their own industries such as the recent one involving the world's largest beer makers, Anheuser-Busch InBev and rival SABMiller.

Holiday Travel Up

If you’re planning on traveling for Thanksgiving this year, be prepared for major delays as Los Angeles International Airport is expected to be the busiest airport in the nation, the Los Angeles Times reports. About 61 percent of Americans say they plan to travel, according to a survey conducted by Orbitz, the travel website. That is a 6 percent increase over last year.

Box Office: 'Spectre' Remains at Top

"Spectre," the Sony Pictures Entertainment film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond for the fourth time, was No. 1 this weekend again, bringing in $35.4 million, the Hollywood Reporter says. Twentieth Century Fox's "The Peanuts Movie" held at No. 2, making $24.2 million. Universal Pictures’ “By the Sea,” the first film in a decade starring Angelina Jolie-Pitt and Brad Pitt, bombed at the box office, grossing $95,440 in the first weekend of its limited release.

Charlton Heston Estate For Sale

Charlton Heston’s longtime property near Beverly Hills is finally being put on the market by his family for $12.25 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. The five-bedroom house sits on more than three acres. It has the requisite swimming pool and a tennis court as well as a separate building that houses a bedroom and bathroom as well as an art studio and a screening room. Heston died in 2008.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 31 points in early trading Monday to 17,276. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,028. The Nasdaq was up 14 points to 4,942. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 233.

California Out of Competition?

LAW: Companies move to bring hiring disputes back to home state.

Out-of-state employers move to undercut California’s competitive advantage in ignoring noncompete clauses.

Tease photo

School Locks In on Offering Cybersecurity Degrees

EDUCATION: Loyola dean makes case for programs as Internet issues increase.

While data breaches have become commonplace – almost a cost of doing business today, the legal industry has struggled to meet the increasing demand for lawyers trained on cybersecurity matters.

Purchased Lender Will Still Value Local Image

ACQUISITION: Canadian parent RBC plans to retain City National name, CEO.

Downtown L.A.’s City National Bank was officially acquired by Toronto’s Royal Bank of Canada on Nov. 2, but its local customers shouldn’t expect too much to change.


Calendar of events

Tech Billionaire Looks to Stand Out in Crowd

INVESTMENT: Aubrey Chernick venture to offer funding guidance.

Billionaire Aubrey Chernick is now putting his money on advising consumers and startups on crowdfunding.

Against Wall

Rise in homeless crime hems in Skid Row firms

Some Skid Row firms fear they have no way out as crime has escalated with a rising homeless population.

Tease photo

Steve McQueen May Be In Driver’s Seat for Oscar

FILM: Documentary by son of Hollywood legend gaining award traction.

Steve McQueen’s son is aiming to win an Oscar, something even his late father never managed, by making a documentary movie about his dad.

Office Developer Looks to Get Creative Downtown

REAL ESTATE: Arts District tapped by Victor Coleman for sequel to Hollywood.

Hollywood developer Victor Coleman discusses why he is now staging projects in downtown L.A.’s Arts District.

Tease photo

Music Firm Gives Songs Another Spin

Jingle Punks’ licensing deals tune up film, TV, advertising projects.

Licensing firm Jingle Punks cues up its artists’ songs for use in a range of media projects.

Dating App Looks to Employ Job Information

INTERNET: Tinder sees move beyond romance as good match for business.

Tinder is getting down to business. The dating app now allows users to include education and job information on their profiles – data that could help the company expand beyond the dating industry.

3-D Tech Maker Prefers Role as Private Company

FILM: RealD’s acquisition by Rizvi Traverse will ease pressure to diversify firm.

Three-D technology firm RealD sees a better future operating as a private company.

Football Divides Loyalties

Culver City commercial real estate broker Joe Clarke has long been a fantasy football fanatic.

Wrong Way on Skid Row

The recent rise in the homeless population in Skid Row likely started with last year’s passage of Proposition 47, Charles Crumpley writes.


Upcoming conventions

Beverly Hills Office Market Remains on High End

ACQUISITION: Trust group brings in $38 million with sale of Class B building.

The Beverly Hills office market doesn’t appear to be weakening any time soon, and the proof is in the comps.

Put to the Test

Charter school operator Alliance steps back from growth mode as union intensifies push to sign up nonprofit’s teachers.

Question on whether to enroll in a union has divided teachers at L.A.’s largest charter school operator.

High on Weed

MARIJUANA: MedMen hopes to smoke out opportunities for its managerial services in blooming pot sector.

MedMen aims to roll up clients for its managerial services in the budding pot industry.

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Marketer Feeds Social Media’s Hunger for Food

INTERNET: Mothersauce cooks up campaigns to vie with enthusiasts’ content.

Mothersauce works to carve out a social media presence as it promotes food-related clients.

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CBS on ‘Trek’ To Streaming

CBS aims to carve out its own space in the streaming market with help from a new “Star Trek” series.

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Online Postage Provider Delivered in Third Quarter

INTERNET:’s shares also receive boost from pending acquisition.

Shares surged for after the postage provider addressed a pending acquisition and its quarterly report.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Massie Capital Management has purchased a Hollywood apartment property for $25.3 million from CIM Group.

Scanner Aims To Get Handle On Metals

Tribogenics’ handheld Watson uses X-rays to assess composition.

Tribogenics hopes to prove its Watson’s mettle as a reliable handheld scanner of alloys.

Friday, November 13


The LABJ Stock Index was down for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell 3 percent to 234, with losers outpacing gainers 119 to 29. Seven companies closed the week unchanged. Among stocks trading above $1, Santa Monica’s Kite Pharma Inc. was one of the week’s leading gainers. Shares were up 12 percent to close at $82.95. Westwood wood processing and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer Rentech Inc., was among the week’s losing stocks. Shares of the company fell 44 percent for the week, closing at $3.37.

Surf Air Co-Founder Takes Investors to Court for Dilution

Surf Air co-founder David Eyerly is taking his former company and investors to court for allegedly diluting his stock in the company.

A News App for Millennials

A mobile news app for millennials has launched, its founders announced on Friday. The app, called Tumbleweed, features curated news that users can edit and share with a combination of virtual stickers and text.


Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Scopely Ranks No. 2 on Fast-Growing List

Culver City video-game maker Scopely has grabbed the No. 2 spot on Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500 list, an annual ranking of the fastest growing North American companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech sectors.

Fast-Growing Blaze Pizza Adds More

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is bringing more flaming ovens to Canada. The Pasadena pizza chain plans to open two eateries in Calgary in January, the company said this week. The openings follow last month’s launch of a site in Toronto, Blaze’s first outside the United States.

Lionsgate Buys Stake in TV Studio

Lionsgate, known for producing movies, is making a foray into television through a new stake in Pilgrim Studios, an independent production house in Los Angeles.

Goldman Sachs Exec to Lead L.A.’s Olympic Effort

Gene Sykes, Goldman Sachs’ Co-Chairman of Global Mergers & Acquisitions, will lead L.A.’s bid to host the Olympics Games.

Reader Poll

What do you think of the rise of charter schools in Los Angeles?


The Dow Jones industrial average fell 186 points in Friday trading to 17,261. The S&P 500 fell 22 points to 2,024. The Nasdaq fell 69 points to 4,936.

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Nov. 13

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Nov. 13

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launch.

Beats Music to Shut Down

Beats Music will shut down at the end of the month, reports Fortune.

Call for Audit of Fair Association

A Pomona assemblyman says it’s time for a state audit of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, the Los Angeles Times reports. The association’s chief executive took in nearly $900,000 in total compensation two years ago when the association lost $3.4 million.

Booming Economy, Yet More Are Poor

California has added jobs at a faster rate than most states over the past four years, but the poorest California residents are not faring well, the Los Angeles Times reports. In fact, the statewide poverty rate is 23.4 percent – the highest in the nation – according to a federal guideline.

Palmdale, El Segundo 'Most Business Friendly'

Palmdale and El Segundo on Thursday evening were named “the Most Business Friendly Cities” in the county this year by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Palmdale received the distinction for the city with a population greater than 65,000, and El Segundo for the city with a population less than 65,000 at the Eddy Awards.

Defending Charter School Plan

A top official defended charter schools, saying they serve all students, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation’s plan to create 260 charter schools in Los Angeles County would not financially cripple the public school system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A More Neighborly Airbnb

As battles over Airbnb have heated up, company execs say they plan to pay their “fair share” of taxes and work with city leaders and community stakeholders to avoid conflicts, according to a newly released “Airbnb Community Compact,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Critics have argued homesharing services take rental units off the market.

Haggen’s Loss, Other Stores’ Gain

Haggen’s exit from California is adding up to opportunity for other grocery chains as Haggen locations are doled out to bidders over the next few days, the Los Angeles Times reports. Smart & Final is expected to acquire 32 former Haggen stores in Southern and Central California and even Albertsons, which had to sell locations to Haggen originally, is in the bidding. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s earlier coverage here.

What to Watch For at L.A. Auto Show

A Mercedes-Benz 2017 SL Roadster, Jaguar’s new F-Pace SUV and BMW’s M4 GTS are among the hot cars slated to make their debut next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Bloomberg reports. However, some car companies, including Ferrari and McLaren, announced they won’t be showing any new vehicles at the show.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 152 points in early trading Friday to 17,296. The S&P 500 was down nine points to 2,037. The Nasdaq was down 28 points to 4,977. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 234.

Thursday, November 12

Hulu in Talks to Sell Stake to Time Warner

Santa Monica’s Hulu is in early talks to sell a 25 percent stake to Time Warner, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Smart & Final Soars In Third Quarter

California shoppers will be seeing a lot more of Smart & Final Stores Inc. next year. The Commerce grocer’s plans to open more than 30 stores – on top of a solid quarter for sales – boosted its stock 11.6 percent to $16.33 a share by the close of markets Thursday.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 254 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,448. The S&P 500 fell 29 points to 2,045. The Nasdaq fell 61 points to 5,005. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points to 235.


What do you think of the rise of charter schools in Los Angeles?

KFC at Your Doorstep

Fried chicken and biscuits will now be delivered to your doorstep, Los Angeles.

L.A. Port Reports Lower Activity Again

The Port of Los Angeles saw activity drop for a second consecutive month in October, which officials said is the result of larger container ships able to carry more cargo on fewer ships.

Enthusiast Marketplace Panjo Raises $4.6 Million

Online marketplace Panjo of Santa Monica has raised a $4.6 million in a Series A round from investors including the New York Times Co. and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments.

American to Add New Zealand Flight, Spirit to Add Oakland

American Airlines Group Inc. has announced that it will start flying nonstop between Los Angeles International Airport and Auckland Airport in New Zealand starting in June due to increasing tourist interest from both countries.

Metropolis Chief Resigns

I-Fei Chang has resigned from the Chinese company building the $1-billion Metropolis project downtown, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Federal Reserve Issues Enforcement Action To East West Bank

Pasadena’s East West Bank has agreed to an enforcement action with regulators to strengthen its compliance with anti-money laundering requirements, the Federal Reserve announced Thursday.

Mounting Complications for DTLA Subway Link

The cost of the $1.4-billion downtown Regional Connector is already exceeding estimates even though tunneling hasn’t even begun yet for the 1.9-mile subway project, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles Times reports. There are already problems with relocating underground utilities and electricity lines, which could delay the projected opening date of the end of 2020 by at least six months.

Could Iger’s NFL Role Help Disney?

Now that Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger has been named the non-executive chairman of a joint venture between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to build the proposed $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, the question arises as to whether Disney might benefit from the arrangement, the Los Angeles Times reports. Disney also owns sports network ESPN.

Another Big Gift From Geffen

Billionaire David Geffen has donated $100 million UCLA to build a secondary school, called the Geffen Academy at UCLA, the Hollywood Reporter says. The college preparatory school – which will offer grades six through 12 – will be run by the university and is being established, in part, for the children of UCLA staff. It’s a way to recruit and keep staffers who may be concerned about schools. Geffen has donated more than $400 million in total to UCLA.

Oil Drilling Hurting Poorer Areas?

Oil drilling in lower-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles may be contributing to health problems, including asthma and low birth weights, according to a report by the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Just a week ago, environmental groups representing residents in South Los Angeles sued the city, claiming nothing had been done to protect the communities and no environmental reviews had been performed at oil drilling sites near schools and houses.

L.A. Loses ‘Priciest Mansion’ Crown, For Now

Move over Los Angeles. A 60,500-square-foot Florida mansion, called Le Palais Royal, is now on the market for $159 million which is $10 million higher than the asking price for Palazzo D'Amore, the Beverly Hills mansion which had been the most expensive listing in the United States, CNBC reports. However, Florida may not have the crown for long; a 74,000-square-foot house in Bel Air is under construction and is set to be priced at an astounding $500 million.

Preparing for Post-Scully Era

No one can truly replace legendary Vin Scully, who plans to retire next year as the announcer of the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Dodgers are adding an announcer to its TV team. Joe Davis, 27, a Fox MLB and college football games announcer, will be stepping up to the plate as the play-by-play voice for the team for some of its away games.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 179 points in early trading Thursday to 17,523. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to 2,063. The Nasdaq was down 23 points to 5,044. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 238.

Wednesday, November 11

Drone Racing Gets Its Own League

Drone racing is taking off in Los Angeles, reports the New York Times. Hobbyists have been organizing races for small quadcopters in warehouses throughout Southern California this year. Drone pilots fly their drones using a small camera, virtual reality headset, remote control and video-game-like reflexes. The newly formed International Drone Racing Association said it will organize a world drone racing championship in Hawaii next year, complete with a $100,000 purse.

TigerText Raises $50 Million

Secure text messaging app company TigerText of Santa Monica has raised a $50 million Series C round.

Premier Bank to Acquire First Mountain Bank

PBB Bancorp, the holding company of Premier Business Bank, announced late last week that it has received regulatory to buy First Mountain Bank of the Big Bear area.

Downtown BID Working on Spike in Homeless

The Downtown Center Business Improvement District, a coalition of nearly 1,700 property owners in the Downtown area, has partnered with the non-profit organization People Assisting the Homeless to increase outreach to homeless individuals, the group said on Wednesday.

Hollywood Reporter to End ‘Women in Entertainment’ Ranking

After 23 years, the Hollywood Reporter announced it is scrapping it famous – some may say infamous – Women in Entertainment/Power 100 ranking. The editor explained that it "pits the town's most impressive females against one another."

Anawalt Estate on the Market

The descendants of the Anawalt family, who founded Anawalt Lumber, have listed their Craftsman-style family estate in Brentwood for $11.25 million, Fox News reports.

Rihanna Launches Beauty Agency

The Hollywood Reporter says that pop superstar Rihanna has founded her own beauty and stylist talent agency called Fr8me.

Tinder Adds Job, Education Information to Dater Profiles

Dating app Tinder has updated its app to allow users to include education and job information on their profiles – data that could help the company expand beyond the dating industry.

In Merger, Interesting Name of TomatoBank to Disappear

The parent company of L.A.’s Royal Business Bank announced Tuesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the parent of TomatoBank. Assuming the transaction is completed as expected in the first quarter next year, what may be L.A.’s most interesting bank name will disappear thereafter.

Magic Johnson Joins City’s Olympics Bid Team

Lakers legend and entrepreneur Magic Johnson hopes to help put Los Angeles over the top by joining the effort to bring the 2024 Olympics to town, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 56 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,702. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 2,075. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 5,067. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 239.

Reader Poll

What do you think of the rise of charter schools in Los Angeles?

Disney’s Iger to Lead Carson Stadium Effort

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are adding some local muscle to their quest to build an NFL stadium in Carson by forming a partnership with Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger, CNBC reports.

Inglewood Stadium Under FAA Scrutiny

The Federal Aviation Administration has warned that the proposed $1.86-billion NFL stadium in Inglewood could be “a hazard to air navigation,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Possible solutions would be to relocate the stadium or reduce its height since it could interfere with radar used at the Los Angeles International Airport that tracks inbound flights, according to a FAA report issued Monday.

Rapidly Rising Rents

As if Los Angeles weren’t already an expensive place to live, apartment rents are continuing to shoot up, according to a third-quarter report by Marcus & Millichap, Curbed Los Angeles reports in a story with a headline kicker that reads “Rentally Deranged.” Rents are up 7.8 percent citywide over the past 12 months to an average of $1,873 a month with predictions they will increase 4.8 percent, “more than doubling the rate of inflation,” over the year.

More Bad News for American Apparel

The struggling downtown L.A. apparel maker American Apparel was unable to meet the deadline to file its third-quarter financial report, but the initial results aren’t looking good, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company’s net sales plunged 19 percent to $126 million.

Supervisors Aim to Boost Bioscience

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $250,000 contract Tuesday with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. to develop more regional jobs in the bioscience industry, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The goal is to use local resources to help develop and identify sites for bioscience companies.

Minimum Wage Battle Finds Success

Tuesday’s nationwide “Fight for 15” minimum wage protest and the success of recent efforts to improve the plight of low-wage workers has been a pleasant surprise to the movement’s leaders, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, business and particularly restaurant industry groups are critical of the efforts – which are supported by the Service Employees International Union – saying the union simply wants to add more members.

Trouble for Two Valley Nurseries

Even though two San Fernando Valley businesses, Arleta’s Green House Nurseries and Northridge’s Live Art Plantscapes, were built on land owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and with the utility’s approval, new DWP demands could possibly put them out of business, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. A recent letter received by each business states their greenhouses need to be replaced with smaller ones, but the owners argue their equipment cannot be decreased in size.

Deal Comes to a Head for Beer Makers

Anheuser-Busch InBev announced Wednesday it has formally agreed to purchase its rival SABMiller, the Wall Street Journal reports. The two produce nearly one-third of all beer worldwide. However, SABMiller must sell its stake in MillerCoors. Anheuser-Busch InBev has a brewery in Van Nuys, while SABMiller has one in Irwindale.

Biggest Winner of GOP Debate? Fox Business

The GOP debate Tuesday evening may or may not have shaken the Republican presidential field, but it greatly boosted the Fox Business Network, according to a Reuters story on Yahoo News. The channel consistently gets half the viewers of rival CNBC, which itself is lightly watched. Ratings are due out later Wednesday and are expected to show that the 8-year-old channel had its biggest ratings ever.

Big Buy for LeBron James

NBA player LeBron James may have his eye on getting closer to Hollywood as he just plunked down nearly $21 million for an East Coast-style mansion in Brentwood, Variety reports. The house, which was built in 2011, has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms and is a whopping 9,350 square feet.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 21 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,722. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,079. The Nasdaq was down 10 points to 5,075. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 239.

Tuesday, November 10

UBeam’s Disclosure Raises New Questions, Doesn’t Answer Old Ones

To dispel growing skepticism, wireless charging startup uBeam Inc. released a short list of product facts to industry blog TechCrunch on Saturday. But the information raises new questions and doesn’t answer old ones, say experts.

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Investor: Snapchat Worth Less

Snapchat has been marked down by one of its principal investors in the third-quarter, fueling an ongoing debate over the accuracy of private company valuations. According to The Financial Times, Fidelity wrote down the value of Snapchat’s stake by 25 percent to $22.91 in September, based on data from the investment research firm Morningstar. At the end of June, Fidelity had valued each share at $30.72.

USC Launches Degree in Real Estate Development

USC has launched a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Development, the university announced Tuesday. The program, which comes 30 years after the school launched the Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development graduate program, already has over 80 students enrolled.

Lionsgate Earnings Disappoints, Stock Dips

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares fell more than 6 percent to $38.28 Monday, after the company reported weak earnings following a series of box-office flops.

L.A. Companies Receive State Tax Credits for Job Creation

Sixteen companies headquartered or with facilities in Los Angeles County have been awarded state tax credits for plans to expand and create jobs, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced Tuesday.

L.A. Workers Join National Minimum Wage Protest

The Los Angeles Times reported that thousands of Los Angeles workers, including many from the fast-food and garment industries, joined a national protest Tuesday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Seacrest Eyeing Men’s Skincare

The Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday that entertainer and entrepreneur Ryan Seacrest is getting into the beauty business. Seacrest announced he is partnering with Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer to launch a new skincare line for men.

Amazon Now Delivers Meals in L.A. Inc. wants to make it easier for Angelenos to eat out without leaving home. The company launched its one-hour delivery app Prime Now in Los Angeles on Tuesday, TechCrunch reports.

Puma Reports Weak Earnings

Puma Biotechnology Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Los Angeles, reported a weak third-quarter.

Stocks Mixed; Kite Pharma Rises, Rentech Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,758. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 2,082. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 5,083. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Big Test for Charters

A $490-million proposal backed by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to enroll half of the city’s students in charter schools will get a test this week when the Los Angeles Board of Education considers two teachers-union backed proposals to limit charters, the Los Angeles Times reports. One proposal says the school board opposes the Broad plan. However, the school district could face lawsuits if it rejects charter schools without cause since California law favors the approval of charters.

Ridesharers Hurting Burbank Airport

Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies are cutting into the bottom line at the Burbank Bob Hope Airport as fewer passengers are paying to park, the Los Angeles Times reports. Airport officials, who say the services are also adding to traffic congestion, unanimously passed a measure to force the ridesharing drivers to, among other things, pick up passengers in a garage, which will cost at least $3.

Some FedEx Drivers Walk Off Job

About 80 FedEx truck drivers went on strike Monday in Gardena, complaining their managers won’t allow them to unionize, the Daily Breeze reports. Company officials are blaming the Teamsters and are threatening legal action. However, more resistance activities are planned in the coming weeks, which could interfere with holiday deliveries.

Match Group Has IPO

Online dating company Match Group Inc., the parent company of West Hollywood’s Tinder and some other similar sites, aims to raise as much as $466 million in an initial public offering, valuing it at around $3 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Celebrity Sale

Reality star and entrepreneur Nicole Richie and her husband, singer Joel Madden, just sold their Hollywood Hills compound for $2.67 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. The more than one-third acre property has five bedrooms and six bathrooms and boasts an atrium, an attached guesthouse and a lagoon-style swimming pool.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 32 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,698. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,075. The Nasdaq was down 32 points to 5,063. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 239.

Monday, November 9

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Nov. 9 – Nov. 22

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Tinder’s Parent Match Group Aims to Raise $466 Million in IPO

Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, said it would set its initial public offering price at $12 to $14 a share, valuing the company at roughly $3.1 billion.

Albertsons to Get Back Some Stores?

Boise grocer Albertsons is aiming to take back several Los Angeles-area stores from Haggen Inc., the bankrupt grocer that is auctioning off the bulk of its stores, according to court documents filed Monday.

Cargo Volume Up Again for Port of Long Beach

Container cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach continued its steady growth in October with a 6.3 percent increase in activity over the same month last year, port officials reported Monday.

Report: Amgen Looks for $10 Billion Acquisition

Amgen Inc. is in the hunt to acquire a biotech company worth about $10 billion, according to a news report.

GE Unit Buys L.A.’s Camden Group

El Segundo health advisory firm Camden Group announced Monday it has been bought by GE Healthcare, a division of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co.

Start-Ups Hear This: Yes, Money is Available

Over 200 entrepreneurs on Friday attended an alternative funding forum, hoping to network with influential investors and learn more about the array of financing tools available for start-ups. The nearly 12-hour event, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel, featured dozens of panelists who emphasized one message: If you know where to look, there may be funding for your venture.

Stocks Fall; Motorcar Parts of America Soars, Capstone Turbine Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 180 points in Monday trading to close at 17,730. The S&P 500 fell 21 points to 2,079. The Nasdaq fell 52 points to 5,095. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 239.

Mysterious Tesla Wannabe is Looking for Factory

Faraday Future, an electric-car company in Gardena that is modeling itself after Tesla Motors, is searching for a new plant, Yahoo News reports. Four states – California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada – are in the running for the $1 billion manufacturing plant. A Beijing, China company, owned by one of the richest men in China, is apparently backing the mysterious startup. Some former Tesla employees and execs now work at Faraday. An announcement for the new home of the manufacturing plant is expected within the next few weeks.

Struggling RealD Agrees to Go Private

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that RealD Inc., which makes 3-D cameras and glasses for the movie industry, has reached an agreement to be acquired by Rizvi Traverse Management for $551 million. RealD of Beverly Hills has been struggling recently because of the decreasing popularity of 3-D movies.

John Lennon’s Guitar Triples Expected Price at Auction

John Lennon’s Gibson acoustic guitar sold over the weekend at Julien's Auctions on Wilshire Boulevard for a record $2.41 million, CNBC reports. It was originally estimated to sell at around $600,000 to $800,000.

Reader Poll

With property prices hitting Beverly Hills’ level in the Arts District, is a correction coming?

Snapchat Gaining on Facebook

Videos on Venice's Snapchat are now getting six billion views a day, gaining ground on Facebook with its eight billion daily views.

‘Fresh & Easy’ Faced ‘Free Fall’

Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle has successfully operated groceries for years, but his firm could not save Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, he told the Los Angeles Times. The chain was in a “free fall” because of bad decisions made by its previous owner, he said. Fresh & Easy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October. Its stores are scheduled to close later this month with about 3,000 layoffs expected.

Back to the Drawing Board

The Los Angeles City Council approved the controversial Mobility Plan 2035 in August, which would add bus and bicycle lanes while reducing car lanes, but some council members now want to revise it, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, the revisions probably won’t change the overall plan much since they’re aimed at blunting the allegations in a lawsuit.

USC to Buy United University Church

While USC has been expanding its campus in recent years, the United University Church on West 34th Street near Trousdale Plaza has been out of its grasp – until now, the Los Angeles Times reports. USC has agreed to purchase the church site where it has, until recently, rented space. The sale could become final by the end of this year; plans for it are a bit unclear.

Box Office Bounces Back With ‘Spectre’ and ‘The Peanuts Movie’

After a series of box office bombs last month, the movies saw a rebound over the weekend, thanks to James Bond’s “Spectre.” The Sony Pictures Entertainment film, starring Daniel Craig for the fourth time, debuted at No. 1, bringing in $73 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Twentieth Century Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie,” featuring Charlie Brown, was No. 2, making $45 million. Director Ridley Scott's “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon, came in at No. 3 with $9.3 million.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 123 points in early trading Monday to 17,787. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to 2,087. The Nasdaq was down 20 points to 5,128. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.


Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

Bankrupt Markets Increase Stock of Store Sites

GROCERY: Analysts say properties open doors for rivals to enter new areas.

Store locations freed up by Haggen and Fresh & Easy’s bankruptcies probably won’t sit on the shelf long.

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Studios Weighing Schemes To Capture James Bond

FILM: Distribution rights to 007 blockbusters back on block after ‘Spectre.’

Hollywood studios have James Bond in the cross hairs as they line up to land the next distribution deal for 007.

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Ringing Up VIPs

RETAIL: Luxury brands say exclusive lounges sit well with high-net-worth, celebrity customers who need their space.

Exclusive lounges for deep-pocketed customers have become big selling points for luxury brands’ spaces.

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Hot Property

Co-owners of L.A. Prep cooked up business plan around serving up kitchen space to small ventures.

Kitchen space L.A. Prep hopes to become hot spot for small food businesses.

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How Club’s Hype Pushed Prices Up

Soho House club vaults neighboring properties into the exclusive price range for the Arts District in Los Angeles.

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Rooftop Solar’s Sizzle Just Getting Started

Theresa Martinez believes small and medium-sized businesses come out on top with rooftop solar power.

Home-Field Advantage

City of L.A.’s sports infrastructure, planned projects in better place financially to host Olympics.

Los Angeles fields a big infrastructure advantage in its bid for the 2024 Olympics, writes Larry Palmer.

Minimum Benefit for Wait Staff

Tipped employees may have gotten shorted in the minimum wage ordinance, Charles Crumpley writes.

Office Buyer Makes Waves in Long Beach Market

ACQUISITION: Ruth Group pays $17 million despite area’s high vacancy rate.

Century City’s Ruth Group has faith that the downtown Long Beach office market will improve. So much faith, in fact, that it acquired a building that’s 40 percent vacant in that struggling submarket.

SPECIAL REPORT: Repeat Performers at It Again

Making it on the list of 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Los Angeles County is hard enough to do once. Doing it multiple times is truly impressive.

SPECIAL REPORT: Exercise Plan Still Works

Exercise company Beachbody is still throwing its weight around on the list despite generating billions in revenue.


Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

SPECIAL REPORT: Imprenta Communications Group

Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

SPECIAL REPORT: Onyx Distribution Inc.

Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.


Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

SPECIAL REPORT: Dollar Shave Club

Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

SPECIAL REPORT: Elevate Services Inc.

Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

SPECIAL REPORT: Alta Verde Group

Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.


Pair of payment-processing firms bookend the Business Journal’s spotlight of Nos. 2-10.

SPECIAL REPORT: Fast Pizza Chain Delivers

Pretzel purveyors Rick, Elise Wetzel’s twist on fast casual paces field of fastest growing private companies.

Blaze Pizza put together all the ingredients to become No. 1 on the list of fastest growing private companies.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Curly Hair Salon Puts Roots Down in Culver City

BEAUTY: Devachan plans to turn training outpost into flagship facility for brand.

New York’s famed Devachan Salon, known for taming curly tresses and as the birthplace of hair care line Devacurl, is transforming its Culver City training facility into a flagship salon.

Clinical Trial Business to Check Out Remote Service

RESEARCH: Science 37’s system aims to help clients connect with participants.

Enrolling patients in clinical trials can be frustratingly slow and difficult, because not everyone lives near the academic research centers running those trials and it can be hard for very sick patients to travel.

Election Day Delivers Mixed Bag for Businesses

POLITICS: Rejection of shopping center, hike in hotel tax among setbacks.

Local business interests scored some wins and suffered some setbacks in last week’s off-year elections throughout Los Angeles County.

Jewelry Maker Rings Up Deal With National Chain

RETAIL: Dogeared teams with Target to sell firm’s line of holiday necklaces.

Culver City’s Dogeared just connected with potentially its biggest customer yet – Minneapolis retail giant Target Corp.

Why Video-Game Giant Getting Into Mobile Market

INTERNET: Activision to shell out $5.9 billion for maker of Candy Crush.

Activision Blizzard will try its hand at mobile games with its acquisition of the maker of Candy Crush.

High-Price Products Rev Up Auto Parts Dealer

AUTOMOTIVE: New focus at US Auto Parts credited for strong third quarter.

US Auto Parts’ focus on selling high-priced products drove the firm to its first profitable third quarter in six years.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Panorama City’s Icon Community Development Corp. has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration to open an SBA outpost in the neighborhood.

Roots of Good Hair

A bad business deal spurred Riqua Hailes, owner of Just Extensions, a hair salon near the Miracle Mile, to make a documentary about the imported hair trade.

Oscar Winner Books Career as Author

Kevin Costner finds writing his type of work with adventure series.

Actor-director Kevin Costner looks to write a new chapter in his career as the author of adventure books.

Apparel Firm Takes Aim at Friendly Fire

Clothing lets off-duty police quickly identify, arm themselves.

Cherries Covert Ops Apparel comes loaded with safety features for off-duty law enforcement officials.

Sunday, November 8

Skeptics Zap Wireless Charging

TECHNOLOGY: Some question if uBeam system just hot air.

Some skeptics wonder if uBeam’s plan to wirelessly charge electronics is grounded in science.

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Friday, November 6

Spotted Pig to Move to Former Cat & Fiddle Space

The rumors that have been passed among foodies are true: New York’s Spotted Pig is coming to Hollywood, with the eatery poised to take over the former Cat & Fiddle space on Sunset Boulevard.

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Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Nov. 6

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Demand Media Revenue Drops, Shareholders See Silver Lining

Despite a 53 percent decline in advertising revenue in the third quarter, Demand Media shareholders were pleased to see the company’s e-commerce business growing.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Nov. 6

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launch.

Hybrid Streetlight and Cell Tower Unveiled in Hollywood

If you’re frustrated with spotty cell phone coverage in Los Angeles, some relief is on the way in the form of new streetlights that also serve as cell towers.

Activision Blizzard Launches Film Studio

Activision Blizzard Inc. announced the launch of a film and television studio Friday, a step which further expands the videogame maker’s influence across platforms.

New Open Data Laws Aid California Businesses

Two recent bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown could help businesses grow by making troves of government data available online in easily accessible formats.

NantKwest, Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 1 percent to close at 240, with gainers outpacing losers 97 to 55. Three companies closed the week unchanged.

Regulators Approve Merger of Premier Business Bank and First Mountain Bank

PBB Bancorp, the parent company of downtown L.A.’s Premier Business Bank, announced late Thursday that it has received final approval from regulators for its merger with Big Bear Lake’s First Mountain Bank.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points in Friday trading to close at 17,910. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 2,099. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 5,147. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

What to Watch this Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

RYOT Partners with Associated Press on Virtual Reality Reports

Venice media company RYOT has launched a partnership with the Associated Press to produce five short virtual reality documentaries.

Charney Fights Without Lawyer

Dov Charney, the ousted founder of American Apparel Inc. who lost much of his net worth when the company filed for bankruptcy, said he can’t afford to hire a lawyer to fight the hedge fund Standard General in court, Bloomberg reports. As a result, he is representing himself in that case.

Former Tesla Workers Starting Anew

Could a Chinese Tesla be starting up? Some former employees of Tesla Motors are working on their own $1 billion electric-car startup called Faraday Future in Gardena, the Los Angeles Times reports. The mysterious company apparently is backed by a Chinese company owned by one of the richest men in China.

Transferring Control of Ontario Airport

The Los Angeles City Council will soon consider a deal that would transfer ownership of the Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport to an Inland Empire authority, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported. The Board of Airport Commissioners, which oversees the Los Angeles World Airports, referred the agreement to city lawmakers at a meeting Thursday.

Batmobile Creator Dies

George Barris, known for creating dreamy, futuristic cars for TV shows, died Thursday at the age of 89, the Los Angeles Times reports. He transformed a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura into the famous black and red-pinstriped Batmobile, spending only 15 days and $15,000 on the project.

Strong Job Growth in October

The private sector added 271,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department reported Friday morning, which beat economists’ expectations, the Wall Street Journal reports. An improving labor market may prompt the Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates next month.

Export-Import Bank Back?

The controversial Export-Import Bank, which closed in June, may be close to reopening after authorization of it was included as part of a highway spending bill that passed the House Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill included a five-year extension of the bank’s charter.

Trade Agreement Weighed

The battle over the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal is heating up after the 2,700-page agreement was released Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal could have big implications for ports in Los Angeles.

Lighting Up the L.A. Zoo

With the holidays fast approaching, the Los Angeles Zoo is preparing for the return of its “L.A. Zoo Lights” show, LAist reports. The event will feature light displays including a 130-foot illuminated snake as well as visits with Santa Claus including real reindeer. There will also be two “VIP Experiences,” that include a holiday happy hour for adults and a family New Year's Eve party.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 54 points in early trading Friday to 17,810. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to 2,088. The Nasdaq was down 21 points to 5,107. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Thursday, November 5

MarketShare Sold for $450 Million

Marketing attribution company MarketShare of Westwood has been acquired by Neustar Inc. for $450 million.

Hyperloop Technologies Raises $26 Million in Convertible Notes

Vacuum tube transportation company Hyperloop Technologies Inc. has raised $26 million of its $80 million Series B round.

DreamWorks Posts Loss and Beats Estimates

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue for the third quarter, helped by strong increases from its television and consumer products divisions.

Thousands Converge on Downtown for Small Business Expo

Thousands of entrepreneurs from across the Los Angeles area came to downtown’s California Market Center Thursday for the city Small Business Expo, hoping to pick up new techniques and contacts that could give their businesses a boost.

TrueCar Narrows Loss, Revenue Rises

TrueCar Inc. on Thursday reported a 3-cent-a-share loss for the third quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of a 5-cent loss.

Disney Earnings Mixed

Walt Disney Co. missed analysts’ expectations on revenue for the fourth quarter but exceeded on earnings.

PBB Bancorp Sees Strong Growth

PBB Bancorp, the holding company of Premier Business Bank, reported Thursday that income for the nine months ending Sept. 30 increased by 344 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

Stocks Fall; MRV Communications Rises, Ducommun Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 4 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,863. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 2,100. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 5,128. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Tribune Eyes O.C. Register

Could the Los Angeles Times create a publishing empire covering the Southland? The Times’ parent company, Tribune Publishing, which already owns San Diego’s daily paper, on Wednesday expressed interest in buying the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise out of bankruptcy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Condom Measure May Go on Ballot

An initiative requiring that condoms be used on adult film sets statewide has enough signatures to appear on the November 2016 ballot, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Meanwhile, a group representing the adult film industry filed opposition Wednesday to safety standards that would require condoms and eyewear on sets.

Downtown Office Market to Heat Up?

The vacancy rate in downtown Los Angeles is relatively high. So what will happen when the $1.2 billion Wilshire Grand Center in downtown Los Angeles is completed in 2017? It could help bring more businesses downtown, the New York Times reports, and even lower the vacancy rate.

Change of Heart

Remember the crazy situation in which AES could not keep its old power plant in the city of Redondo Beach but could neither build a replacement plant nor redevelop the land into a mixed-use complex? (See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.) The Daily Breeze reports that the city and the company have made a truce, at least temporarily. The company will suspend its quest to build a power plant and look to develop its 50-acre waterfront site for shops, hotels or other non-industrial uses.

Sleepover for Grownups Returns

If you missed out on the adult sleepover at the Natural History Museum on Halloween, you’ll get one more chance. The museum is hosting another slumber party for adults on Nov. 20, LAist reports. For $135, attendees can go on a gallery scavenger hunt, hang out at a craft beer and wine bar or stuff themselves at a late night buffet.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 39 points in early trading Thursday to 17,906. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,106. The Nasdaq was up three points to 5,146. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Wednesday, November 4

Howard Marks Leads Activist Investors Against United Online Board

Frustrated with United Online Inc.’s stagnant stock price, a group of activist investors led by former Activision chairman Howard Marks are campaigning to replace the company’s board of directors.

Rogers & Cowan Gets New CEO

West Hollywood’s Rogers & Cowan, a public relations and marketing agency known for its work in the entertainment industry, named Mark Owens as its new chief executive Tuesday.

Voters Reject Malibu Shopping Center, Pass Hotel Tax in Hermosa Beach

Voters rejected a Whole Foods-anchored shopping center project in Malibu on Tuesday, while voters in Hermosa Beach approved a hike in that city’s hotel bed tax.

Stocks Fall; NantKwest Tops, ReachLocal Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,868. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 2,102. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 5,142. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points to 240.

Intel Banks on FreedomPop’s Potential

Intel Capital, the chipmaker's venture capital arm, announced an investment in FreedomPop, a provider of low-cost wireless that relies on public Wi-Fi hot spots, Investor’s Business Daily reported Wednesday. The investment in the company, based in Los Angeles, will allow Intel to continue its wireless push. In 2016, FreedomPop plans to sell a smartphone equipped with Intel's new SoFia mobile chipset, the news site reported.

Herbalife Outlook Down; Growth a Concern

Herbalife Ltd. on Tuesday warned that 2016 earnings will be below analysts’ estimates. The Downtown Los Angeles-based nutrition company forecast earnings to be $4.35 to $4.75 a share next year, including a 50 cent headwind due to currency fluctuations. According to Bloomberg, analysts had estimated earnings at $5.18 on average.

LA Film Festival Departs Downtown

The LA Film Festival will ditch downtown and spread out its locations next year, festival’s organizers announced Tuesday. Film Independent, the non-profit that produces the event, said the festival will take place at ArcLight Cinemas located throughout the city between June 1 and 9.

DWP Goes High Tech to Out Water Offenders

There’s no hiding for some water wasters, as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has begun using smart meters to find out which residences are using the most water, LAist reports. The DWP has been installing smart meters around the city in “strategic” locations, according to Marty Adams, LADWP’s water system manager. Those found guilty of excessive water use could face fines and public shaming.

Edison to Pay Billions to Boost Electric Grid

The Los Angeles Times reported that Southern California Edison plans to spend $12 billion over the next three years to modernize the electric grid. Edison International Chief Executive Ted Craver said in a speech Tuesday the decision is due to solar rooftops and other technology innovations. Most of the $4 billion that will be spent each year will be used to upgrade wiring systems and utility poles. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s related coverage here.

Ballooning Cost of Bullet Train

Under pressure from state lawmakers, the California High Speed Rail Authority released a copy of a 2013 report Tuesday that shows a larger estimated cost – 31 percent higher – of the first phase of the bullet train, about, the Los Angeles Times reports. The increase was not used by the state in its 2014 business plan; the rail authority’s chairman argued the numbers were “preliminary.”

Another Misfire for Studio

Warner Bros. Entertainment’s newest movie, ironically named “Our Brand is Crisis,” is the latest in a string of box office flops for the historically dominant movie studio, the Los Angeles Times reports. On the other hand, the studio’s TV and video games divisions are still performing well.

Trouble for County Fair Association

After it was revealed the Los Angeles County Fair Association has lost millions of dollars, pays no property taxes and gives its officers top dollar – including a $900,000 salary to a chief executive – the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has now ordered an audit of the nonprofit, the Los Angeles Times reports. The board also plans to renegotiate the lease that gives the nonprofit control of the fairgrounds in Pomona.

Make Way for Whole Foods Downtown

The latest sign of Downtown L.A.’s gentrification: A 41,000-square-foot Whole Foods market is scheduled to open Wednesday under the Eighth and Grand apartment complex. The Los Angeles Times reports that it won’t be your average store since it features, among other things, chef Roy Choi’s restaurant, Chego.

Refund Postponed, Again

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge, once again, opted Tuesday to postpone a decision in the proposed settlement for thousands of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers who were overcharged because of a faulty billing system, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The judge asked the attorneys to revise the agreement to ensure customers understand their legal rights if they join a class-action lawsuit.

Diane Keaton Flipping Palisades Mansion

Known for usually trying to restore old houses or preserve buildings, actress Diane Keaton is putting her six-year-old Pacific Palisades mansion on the market for an asking price of nearly $7 million, Curbed Los Angeles reports. The six-bedroom home comes with a swimming pool, a wine room and decorative text painted on many of its walls such as “We’re glad you’re here” in the dining room.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up two points in early trading Wednesday to 17,920. The S&P 500 was down two points to 2,108. The Nasdaq was down two points to 5,144. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 242.

Tuesday, November 3

Activision Blizzard to Buy Candy Crush Maker King Digital

In a bid to expand into the mobile gaming industry, Activision Blizzard Inc. intends to acquire mobile game developer King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion.

Stocks Rise; NantKwest Soars, Qualstar Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,918. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 2,110. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to 5,145. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 242.

United Online to Sell StayFriends Website

United Online Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on earnings but fell short on expectations for revenue in the third quarter, even as it plans to sell another website.

ReachLocal Misses Earnings Estimates

ReachLocal Inc. lost twice as much money in the third quarter as Wall Street analysts expected, and the company also missed on top-line revenue.

Fox Rent a Car Continues European Drive

Fox Rent a Car announced Tuesday it will open eight locations in Italy, highlighting its continued global expansion. Fox, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the fifth largest car rental company in the United States.

Surf Air and Uber Partner for Palm Springs Launch

Surf Airlines of Santa Monica is teaming up with ridesharing service Uber to launch the airline’s service to Palm Springs International Airport.

Los Angeles a Conference City? Yes, and Here’s Why

San Diego hosts Comic Con. Orlando has 44 large hotels. But take note: L.A.’s superior entertainment will work just fine for your next conference, thank you.

Iceland Airlines to Fly to Los Angeles

Wow air said it plans to add flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco from its base in Iceland starting next summer.

Newsom Supports Statewide Wage Hike

The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday reported that California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced he is throwing his support behind statewide efforts to raise the minimum wage. The proposal, which is supported by the Service Employees International Union’s state council, would gradually raise the wage to $15 by 2020 and include six paid sick days a year.

In Quest to Go National, CBRE Acquires Retail Services Firm in Midwest

Downtown L.A. real estate giant CBRE Group Inc. is expanding its retail footprint in the Midwest.

Activision’s Stock Surges on Acquisition

Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard Inc., which announced late Monday that it agreed to purchase the creator of the “Candy Crush Saga” mobile game, enjoyed a boost in its stock on Tuesday. The purchase of King Digital Entertainment – which will cost a mammoth $5.9 billion – gives Activision a much bigger presence in mobile gaming. Activision is known for console games, including “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft.” Activision’s stock initially fell early Tuesday but rebounded as much as 9 percent – an all-time high, Variety reports – before closing at $35.82 a share, up 4 percent.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up six points in early trading Tuesday to 17,834. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,100. The Nasdaq was down 10 points to 5,117. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 240.

Biden’s New Campaign Could Include Soon-Shiong

Billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong may be called upon by Vice President Joe Biden if fighting cancer becomes his new campaign, the New York Times reports. Biden developed a relationship with Soon-Shiong after seeking out the doctor’s aid when Biden’s son, Beau, was suffering from the disease and subsequently died earlier this year.

Tech Class-Action Lawsuits No More?

In light of a tech industry case involving Spokeo of Pasadena that’s currently before the Supreme Court, the justices may soon choose to limit class-action lawsuits filed by people who want to fight false information about themselves that appears online, the Los Angeles Times reports. Many of the court's conservatives say lawsuits should be limited to individuals who can show they were actually hurt by any inaccurate data.

Fighting Condom Regulations

The Free Speech Coalition, which represents the adult film industry, plans to continue its fight against state-imposed regulations that force actors to wear condoms and goggles, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. “This isn’t regulation, this is a complete shut down of adult production,” said the CEO of the coalition.

City Council to Reduce Parking Fines?

The Los Angeles City Council is looking at a proposal that could cut the fine to $23 for a first ticket at an expired meter – down from the $68 current charge – with higher fines for subsequent tickets, the Los Angeles Times reports. And the creation of commercial loading zones in dense areas would cut the pile of tickets that delivery services routinely get.

Weighing Tax Break

The tax status of the Los Angeles County Fair Association is now being questioned since the nonprofit has received millions in government grants and pays no property taxes on a hotel and other businesses it runs on its fairgrounds in Pomona, the Los Angeles Times reports. And its officers get handsome pay, such as $900,000 a year for its top exec.

Activision Blizzard to Buy 'Candy Crush' Maker

Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard Inc. has agreed to purchase King Digital Entertainment, the creator of "Candy Crush Saga," for $5.9 billion, Reuters reports. Activision is known for console games such as “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” and the move could strengthen Activision’s mobile games portfolio.

Monday, November 2

XYZ Accused of Blocking Website Domains at Request of Chinese Government

Domain registry XYZ Inc. of Santa Monica has been accused of helping the Chinese government censor Internet domain names outside of China.

Tweet of the Day: Snapchat

Snapchat tried to clear up confusion about its new privacy policy, which to some appeared to give the company permission to save disappearing picture and text message.

New ‘Star Trek’ TV Show to Stream Exclusively on CBS All Access

CBS Corp. will launch a new original “Star Trek” television show on its paid subscription service CBS All Access in Jan. 2017.

L.A. Tech Calendar: Nov. 2 – Nov. 15

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

U.S. Auto Parts’ Stock Burns Rubber

Investors rallied at positive earnings news from Carson’s U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. on Monday as stock prices soared nearly 21 percent.

Chase to Pay $100 Million Settlement

Under a settlement announced Monday, New York finance giant JPMorgan Chase Inc. will have to pay $100 million – $50 million in state penalties and $50 million to credit-card customers – for its debt-collection practices, the Los Angeles Times reports. California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a lawsuit two years ago alleging, among other things, that the bank had sent threatening letters to customers, miscalculated the amount of money owed on their credit cards and had improperly obtained default judgments against members of the military.

Manatt Phelps Named Top Firm for Music Law

West L.A. law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips was crowned Monday as the 2016 “law firm of the year” for music law by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

Bankruptcy Loan Approved for American Apparel

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that downtown Los Angeles apparel maker American Apparel Inc. received some good news today as a Delaware bankruptcy court approved the company’s use of a $90 million bankruptcy financing package.

VCA Sells Subsidiary

VCA, which operates the largest network of pet hospitals in the country, announced on Monday that Henry Schein Inc. will acquire a majority interest in VCA’s subsidiary Vetstreet Inc., a provider of health information analytics.

Royal Bank of Canada Completes Acquisition of City National

L.A.’s biggest bank is officially Canadian.

Stocks Rise; Second Sight Soars, TrueCar Brakes

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 165 points in Monday trading to close at 17,829. The S&P 500 rose 25 points to 2,104. The Nasdaq rose 73 points to 5,127. The LABJ Stock Index rose 4 points to 241.

Reader Poll

Among other things, public utilities are recommending new fees for customers who install rooftop solar panels. Should homeowners who install solar rooftop panels be required to pitch in financially to help maintain the electric grid?

O.C. Register Files for Bankruptcy

The owner of the Orange County Register filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Publisher Rich Mirman, who is also the company’s chief executive, plans to bid to acquire the newspaper. But other suitors could emerge, including the Times. The bankruptcy, by the way, wipes out the stake owned by former CEO Aaron Kushner.

New Chapter for City National

Toronto’s Royal Bank of Canada is expected today to finalize its acquisition of downtown L.A.’s City National Bank in a $5.4 billion deal, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bank, which is the largest headquartered in Los Angeles, was founded more than 60 years ago in Beverly Hills.

Tripped Up Over Sidewalk Sales

City lawmakers are weighing where – if any place – sidewalk vendors should be allowed to operate. Communities and activists oppose each other over the issue, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some think there are areas, such as the Westside, where few if any sidewalk sales should be allowed. Others say allowing areas to opt out would create a crazy patchwork of no-sale zones, confusing to everyone.

Big County Pay Raise?

Los Angeles County workers could receive a 10 percent pay raise, one extra week of vacation and a new paid holiday if their union labor contract is approved, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to vote Tuesday whether to raise pay for firefighters, deputy sheriffs and other county employees.

Box Office: ‘The Martian’ Tops, Bullock Bombs

Trick or treaters opted to find fun outside of theaters, and that led to the worst Halloween weekend for the domestic box office in 16 years. Director Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” kept its No. 1 spot but made only $11.4 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Meanwhile, new releases “Burnt” with Bradley Cooper and “Our Brand Is Crisis” with Sandra Bullock bombed.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 72 points in early trading Monday to 17,736. The S&P 500 was up nine points to 2,089. The Nasdaq was up 23 points to 5,077. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 238.

Cloudy Future For Solar Sales

ENERGY: Utilities’ proposals would cost installers, customers.

Utilities’ proposed changes to solar power incentives could leave installers and customers in the cold.

Tease photo

Bank Earns Stock Surge by Beating Expectations

LENDING: Third-quarter performance drives up Preferred shares 9 percent.

Shares vault higher after Preferred Bank beats analysts’ earnings expectations.