Stories for February 2016

Monday, February 29

Snapchat Asks Publishers to Give Up Control of Ads

Snapchat is pushing to sell its own advertising across all its Discover channels, by asking some publishing partners to relinquish their exclusive advertising rights, according to sources cited by Digiday.

L.A. Tech Calendar Feb. 29 - March 6

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

VCA Collars Las Vegas Veterinary Network

VCA Inc., a Los Angeles animal healthcare company, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire an 80 percent ownership interest in Companion Animal Practices, North America for $344 million.

L.A. Banking Pioneer Bram Goldsmith Dies

Bram Goldsmith, who helped build City National Corp. into one of the largest American commercial banks, died Sunday. He was 93. During his years as chairman and chief executive, Goldsmith grew the company's assets more than five-fold, to $3.2 billion.

Blue Shield Cutting 70 Jobs in SoCal

Blue Shield of California, one of the state's biggest health plans, announced it would eliminate up to 460 jobs, with more than 70 coming from Southern California.

Sumner Redstone Case Moves Forward

The contentious legal dispute over media mogul Sumner Redstone's mental competency will be allowed to proceed. The trial is set to begin May 6.

Oscars No Prize Winner for ABC

The ratings are trickling in for the Sunday’s Oscar show, and the initial stats have the ABC telecast down even more from last year's low viewer numbers.

Gas Prices Accelerate Over Weekend

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose today for the fourth consecutive day, increasing 1 cent to $2.534

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 123 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,517. The S&P 500 fell 16 points to 1,932. The Nasdaq fell 33 points to 4,558. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points to 213.

Hotel Checks In to Visa Program

REAL ESTATE: Developer taps foreign coin for Waldorf Astoria.

Hotel developer looks to book $150 million in foreign investment through the EB-5 program.

Tease photo

Making Tracks

Developers head to Azusa looking to ride business boost from Gold Line extension.

Businesses hope to get a line on new customers riding Metro’s light-rail Foothill Extension.

Tease photo

Long Beach Aims to Sell Voters on Sales Tax Hike

POLITICS: Business groups yet to take sides on increase that will phase out in 2026.

Long Beach businesses are in a tough spot.

Tease photo

Business Booster

NONPROFIT: Thomas Sayles to focus on job creation as new L.A. chamber chair.

New L.A. chamber chair Thomas Sayles is ready to get to work on job creation as his main focus.

Tease photo

`Spotlight´ Takes Top Honors

In case you missed it, "Spotlight" was named best picture, the top award at Sunday's Oscars ceremony, Fox Business News reported. Mexico's Alejandro Iñarritu took the best directing Oscar for "The Revenant," while Leonardo DiCaprio took home his first award for his role in the movie.

Disneyland’s ‘Demand Pricing’ Begins

We knew dynamic pricing was coming to Disneyland, but now we know the actual prices. According to the Los Angeles Times, each day will now be designated a “value” day, “regular” day or “peak” day, with prices ranging from $95 to $119. All one-day tickets previously cost $99.

Snapchat Employee Data Compromised

Snapchat is the victim of a phishing scam. According to the Los Angeles Times, a payroll department employee at the Venice company emailed personal information – including Social Security Numbers – for 700 current and former employees to someone pretending to be Chief Executive Evan Spiegel on Friday. The FBI is investigating.

Wilshire Grand Skyscraper Topping Out in March

The West Coast’s tallest skyscraper is scheduled to be topped out in March, according to DTLA Rising. The tower portion of Wilshire Grand, which has been built over the past two years, will be 1,100 feet high upon completion.

'Deadpool' Dominates Box Office

Marvel's "Deadpool" stayed atop North American box offices over the weekend, earning an estimated $31.5 million in its third week to best newcomer "Gods of Egypt." According to the Associated Press, its total domestic revenue now stands at nearly $286 million, making it the third highest-grossing R-rated film.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 57 points in early trading Monday to 16,639. The S&P 500 was down 1 point to 1,947. The Nasdaq was up 1 point to 4,991. The LABJ Stock Index was down slightly to 216.

Brokerage Hires Texas Veteran to Lasso Business

EXPANSION: Charles Dunn brings in David Pinsel for out-of-state growth drive.

Downtown L.A. real estate brokerage Charles Dunn Co. is aiming to expand its reach beyond California for the first time in the firm’s 95-year history.

Bigger Cranes May Lift Port

SHIPPING: Long Beach to scale new wave of megaships.

Port of Long Beach faces a tall order to handle a new generation of megaships: bringing in higher cranes.

Paper’s Parent Pages Techies

MEDIA: Sector vets hope to deliver on Times’ digital future.

Parent of Los Angeles Times hopes to turn page under guidance of chief executive from tech sector.

New Venues Folded Into Yoga Classes

Grip the Mat heads to galleries, nightclubs for wine, food events.

Grip the Mat shapes up unusual spaces such as art galleries and nightclubs for yoga classes.

Magazine’s Plans Keep Skin in Game

New Penthouse owner won’t shy away from her naked ambitions.

Unlike Playboy, adult magazine Penthouse has no plans to strip nudity from its pages.

Doctors Share Healthy Bond

Talk about being inseparable. When Narbeh Tovmassian and Garen Derhartunian met in third grade at a Glendale elementary school more than 20 years ago, they became best friends. Little did they realize that they would stick together pretty much from then on.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

West Hollywood online media firm Attn: Inc. has raised $18.6 million in an equity round led by Evolution Media Partners of New York.

First Annual Profit Pays Off for Ad Tech Business

INTERNET: Rubicon’s stock pulls interest from investors who once shied from sector.

Rubicon clicks with investors after the advertising tech firm posts its first annual profit.

Aquifer Operator Rides Brief Wave of Enthusiasm

WATER: Cadiz’s stock rises, then falls despite good news on firm’s pipeline proposal.

Shares of Cadiz made a brief splash on Wall Street after news the aquifer operator may salvage its pipeline plan.

Medical Office Offers Shot In Arm to Downtowners

HEALTH CARE: Kaiser’s new outpost in Bunker Hill part of shift to smaller sites.

Though Kaiser Permanente is known for its massive medical facilities in neighborhoods including Los Feliz and West Los Angeles, the Oakland-based health system has been branching out with smaller offices such as one it opened last month in Bunker Hill.

Survey Reports Big Concerns for Small Business

ECONOMY: Owners dislike national outlook but voice confidence in own firms.

With global markets in disarray, election year uncertainty and central banks entertaining negative interest rates, the only people feeling certain about the national economy likely don’t read the news.

Airline Hopes Event Flights Take Wing

Delta’s free service to TED talks part of push to connect with execs.

Delta Air Lines hopes free flights to TED talks will help it speak to a new range of exec-level customers.

Tax Litigator to Make Case for Own Operation

LAUNCH: Marty Dakessian hopes to go against state for businesses, wealthy clients.

Tax problems are all in a day’s work for litigator Marty Dakessian.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Vet Attorney Sees Different CEQA Environment

DEVELOPMENT: Business rivals now use activist tool to slow down, kill projects.

Veteran attorney Edward Casey says business rivals increasingly turn to CEQA suits to trip up projects.

Tease photo

Sunday, February 28

Looking Up

Virgin Galactic in race to take tourists to space

Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight program may not be grounded in a quick financial payoff.

Tease photo

Friday, February 26

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Feb. 26

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

Al Mann Dies, Leaving Legacy of 17 Companies

Serial entrepreneur Alfred E. Mann died on Thursday. He was 90.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Feb. 26

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

55Haitao Raises $15 Million for Chinese Shopping Guide

Pasadena’s 55Haitao, a Chinese-language online shopping guide, has raised $15 million.

Herbalife Discussing Marketing Practices With Federal Trade Commission

Herbalife Ltd. shares posted their biggest ever same-day gain after the company announced talks with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Bumpy Road to Kite Pharma’s Cancer Treatment ‘Revolution’

Safety concerns regarding Kite Pharma Inc.’s cancer treatments have dogged the Santa Monica biotech firm on Wall Street over the past year, contributing to the firm’s 20 percent stock price decline during the last 12 months.

Are the Oscars Golden for LA?

In 2008, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimated that the Oscars ceremony pumps around $130 million into the local economy every year.

Fig+Pico Hotel Heading to South Park

Fig+Pico, a new upscale hotel, will soon arrive in downtown’s South Park neighborhood.

What to Watch This Weekend

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

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

West L.A. private equity firm Vance Street Capital announced Thursday that it has acquired A&E Medical Corp., a Farmingdale, N.J. medical device designer and contract manufacturer. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 58 points in Friday trading to close at 16,639. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,948. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 4,590. The LABJ Stock Index remained at 215.

Movers_0226, an El Segundo company providing Internet-based mailing and shipping services, was one of the week’s leading gainers on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Stock Index of local companies, with shares up 21 percent to close at $116.51.

New Water Line Would Buoy SoCal

Proposed pipeline project would make a big splash in California, according to Gary Toebben and Ron Miller.

Trouble Homing In on Landlords?

Noel Hyun Fleming fears landlords could be exposed as the residential rental market continues to fill up.

Small Businesses Big on Future

This may be the best time to own a small business, Charles Crumpley writes.

Wrong Bunny Trail

Playboy should turn focus from reviving magazine to restoring status as lifestyle, hospitality maverick.

Senn V. Moses wants Playboy to picture itself as a lifestyle and hospitality business.

Biotech Entrepreneur Alfred Mann Dies at 90

Alfred E. Mann, a businessman and innovator who helped develop medical devices including the first rechargeable pacemaker and an artificial retina that allows the blind to see, died Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 90. Over his career, Mann founded 17 companies and built a fortune of over $2 billion. He was the Business Journal’s Business Person of the Year in 2003.

Aliso Canyon Leak Was Biggest Ever

The months-long natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon poured roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas into the air as nearly 600,000 cars, scientists reported on Thursday. It was the largest known accidental methane release in U.S. history, according to Reuters.

Al Sharpton to Stage Oscars Protest

The Rev. Al Sharpton has announced plans to stage a rally protesting a lack of diversity in Hollywood, according to the Associated Press. Other rallies are planned in New York, Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and Michigan.

Disney Worker Had to Train Foreign Replacement

A former Disney IT worker got emotional Thursday while speaking before a Congressional hearing on the H-1B visa's impact on high-skilled workers, according to Computer World. He told the story of how he had to train his replacement, a foreign visa holder.

Deposition of Dauman Will be Conducted

Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Philippe Dauman will be deposed, a New York state Supreme Court ruled. As part of a lawsuit brought by Manuela Herzer, the former girlfriend of Sumner Redstone, Herzer claimed that a declaration made by Dauman about discussions with Redstone was "riddled with falsehoods," according to Reuters.

Sold?: Kim and Kanye’s Starter Mansion

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are inches away from selling a Tuscany Villa- style mansion, in a move to help themselves out of debt. According to Curbed LA, the off-market deal is priced between $14 and $18 million.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 212 points in early Friday trading to 16,967. The S&P 500 rose 22 points to 1,952. The Nasdaq rose 40 points to 4,582. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 215.

Thursday, February 25

SpaceX’s Flight Scrubbed Less Than 2 Minutes Before Launch

Anticipation turned to disappointment late Thursday afternoon, both at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Elon Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, when the second launch attempt of the Falcon 9 rocket was halted 1:40 seconds before liftoff.

Snapchat Video Ads to Be Measured by Nielsen

Snapchat video advertising performance will now be measured by rating agency Nielsen.

Overnight Going Places by Raising Money

Overnight, a Los Angeles travel booking app startup that connects last minute travelers with local hosts, has raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round.

Expo Line on Track for May 20 Opening

After a five-decade hiatus, passenger rail service will return to L.A.’s congested Westside on May 20, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gasoline Prices May Rise 30 Cents By Weekend

The slide in California’s gasoline prices could abruptly end Friday, with prices possibly jumping 30 cents a gallon due to seasonal changes in the state’s refinery operations, according to Consumer Watchdog.

LA 2024 ‘Snaps’ to App Partnership

LA 2024 officials have partnered with Snapchat in a move they hope will further their campaign to position Los Angeles as the young, innovative choice for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Huntington Park Plans Pacific Boulevard Makeover

Huntington Park city officials have proposed a $3.9-million redevelopment project to help Pacific Boulevard change with the times, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

L.A. Flavor Purveyor Acquired By Monster

American Fruits and Flavors, a Los Angeles flavor supplier, was purchased by Corona energy drink maker Monster for $690 million. The transaction will allow Monster to take ownership of intellectual property related to new flavor development and its existing products.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 213 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,698. The S&P 500 rose 22 points to 1,952. The Nasdaq rose 40 points to 4,582. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 215.

Models May Need Doctor’s Note to Work

Models may soon need a doctor’s note in order to work if a new bill is approved, CBS reports. California would become the first state to require modeling agencies to be licensed by the state and would fine them for hiring models who don’t have a doctor’s note saying they’re healthy.

Crackdown on Tip Sharing

Restaurants and other businesses where employees receive tips cannot order those workers to share tips with other employees who don’t, such as cooks and dishwashers, a federal appeals court has ruled, reports the L.A. Daily News.

Lionsgate Braced for Big Flop Film

Big budget movie ¨Gods of Egypt” looks set to be a big flop for Santa Monica’s Lionsgate. The special-effects filled epic starring Gerard Butler cost $140 million to make yet is tracking to earn as little as $15 million in ticket sales when it opens this weekend in the U.S. and Canada, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Private Oscar Parties Not So Exclusive After All

TheVIPConcierge, a ticket marketplace, has offered tickets for exclusive Oscar-related parties to online buyers, according to Variety. Tickets were offered to parties hosted by Weinstein Co., ICM, UTA, WME and Vanity Fair, although guests won´t be likely to gain entrance.

Valley of the Dolls

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday agreed to a plan for toymaker MGA Entertainment, the company behind Bratz dolls, to open new headquarters in Chatsworth on a campus including manufacturing, office, residential and retail space. According to the L.A. Daily News, the development will break ground by the end of 2016.

SpaceX Take-Off Delayed

Elon Musk’s Space X delayed yesterday’s latest launch of its Falcon 9 rocket on a satellite delivery mission due to unfavorable weather conditions. The company will try again today with a Thursday blast-off scheduled at Cape Canaveral, Fla, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points in early Thursday trading to 16,532. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,933. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 4,549. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 215.

Wednesday, February 24

Case Against Apparel Supplier Sewn Up

The Department of Labor’s wage and hour division said Wednesday that it has gotten a consent judgment against a primary clothing supplier for Ross Stores.

Teacher Tenure Talks Resume in California Court

An appeals court on Thursday will weigh the 2014 ruling that sent shock waves through California school districts by striking down the tenure and seniority system for public school teachers. The ruling is on hold pending an appeal.

Rubicon Beats Expectations, Turns First Annual Profit

Online advertising marketplace Rubicon Project of Playa Vista posted its first annual profit of $400,000 last year.

Uber to Serve Burbank Airport

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is close to an agreement with Uber to allow the service to pick up or drop off passengers at the Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

Kobe, Ferrell Among Stars in L.A.’s Pitch for Olympics

Kobe Bryant, Will Ferrell and Jessica Alba are among celebrities appearing in a new video pitching Los Angeles for the 2024 Olympics that premiered Wednesday. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 2 1/2-minute spot, “Where Will You Be in 2024,” was produced by LA 2024, the committee orchestrating the bid.

Forecast: El Niño Threat Still Present

Although the promised epic storms of El Niño have not come to fruition, the threat of future storms still lingers as does their menace to ambitious downtown construction projects.

Stalled DTLA High-Rise Plan Revived

A long-stagnant housing project near the Ramon Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts is being revived.

Former Obama Speechwriter Joins Funny or Die

David Litt, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, is joining Funny or Die as head writer and producer of the Hollywood video website and production company’s Washington, D.C. operations, Variety reported Wednesday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,485. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,929. The Nasdaq rose 39 points to 4,543. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 214.

READER POLL: Space tourism may be coming to Los Angeles. Would you spend $250,000 for a in which you’d be weightless for a few minutes?

Space tourism may be coming to Los Angeles. Would you spend $250,000 for a in which you’d be weightless for a few minutes?

Want to Buy a Studio?

Viacom is looking for an investor to take a strategic minority stake in its movie studio, Paramount Pictures, as its stock tumbles and questions swirl about who will control the company after Sumner Redstone. According to the Associated Press, new Chief Executive Philippe Dauman will aim to find an investor by the end of June.

Hollywood Buildings Turn ‘Creative’

You know that a slew of creative office space has been appearing throughout Los Angeles for years. This New York Times article focuses on Hollywood, where, one source says, 30 million additional square feet may be converted to creative space in the next five years.

White House Enlists Hollywood in ISIS Fight

Executives from tech companies and Hollywood studios will help the White House develop strategies to oppose ISIS. According to CNBC, executives today will hear from national security chiefs at an event called the “Madison Valleywood Project,” a name which references Madison Avenue, Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

DreamWorks Animation Sees Strong Quarter

DreamWorks Animation on Tuesday reported strong earnings in the three months ended Dec. 31 – much better than the loss recorded a year earlier. The growth was attributed to the Glendale company´s television business, according to the Los Angeles Times.

McDonald's Meets Chobani in L.A.

McDonald's is partnering with Greek yogurt maker Chobani to make parfaits and smoothies in Southern California, according to the Associated Press. The partnership will mean Chobani yogurt will be available at about 800 restaurants in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Are You Ready for Your Close-Up?

From “bone injections” to dissolving string face-lifts, Academy Award nominees are scheduling all the beauty treatments they can fit in before the big show, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Some of the treatments are new, but more traditional treatments such as dermabrasion, peels and fillers are all on the agenda.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 188 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,431. The S&P 500 fell 21 points to 1,900. The Nasdaq fell 57 points to 4,445. The LABJ Stock Index fell slightly to 213.

Tuesday, February 23

Studios Invest in Hong Kong Game Developer

Hong Kong gaming company Fifth Journey has signed partnerships with Universal, Lionsgate and MGM to develop mobile games for the Chinese market.

Garcetti Kicks off 2016 Entrepreneurs Program

Eva Ho and Jason Nazar, entrepreneurs known for their accomplishments in business start-ups, will anchor the 2016 edition of L.A.’s Entrepreneur in Residence program, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today.

Activision Closes Big Acquisition of King Digital

Activision Blizzard of Santa Monica has closed its $5.9 billion acquisition of King Digital.

L.A. Says ‘Guten Tag’ To German Grocer Aldi

Aldi, a German discount supermarket chain, announced plans today to open 45 stores employing more than 1,100 in Southern California by the end of the year.

Broker Convicted of Making False Statements to Banks

Felicia Muhammad, a Lakewood real estate broker, was found guilty Friday of five felony charges for lying to banks that funded mortgages for three properties that later went into default.

New Leader for Arcadia Chamber

Karen Gutierrez-Mac Nair will be chief executive of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce effective Monday, according to an announcement today by the chamber.

‘Selma’ Director Tapped For Disney Film

Ava DuVernay, whose drama “Selma” was nominated for a best picture Oscar last year, is set to direct an adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 novel “A Wrinkle in Time” for the Walt Disney Co.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 189 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,432. The S&P 500 fell 24 points to 1,921. The Nasdaq fell 69 points to 4,504. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points to 213.

Tribune Publishing Exec Jack Griffin Ousted

Jack Griffin, the man who fired Austin Beutner as publisher of the Los Angeles Times, has been dismissed as chief executive of the parent company, Tribune Publishing. Justin C. Dearborn has been given the top job. According to the Los Angeles Times, Michael Ferro, a tech entrepreneur, is now the company´s leading shareholder.

Pot Delivery Crackdown in L.A.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is suing Speed Weed, a delivery service that has 25,000 customers across Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to Leafly. In an announcement, Feuer said that marijuana delivery services oppose the will of the voters who passed Proposition D, which is a zoning law that limits dispensaries.

Disney’s Co-Chairwoman of Digital Media Resigns

Leslie Ferraro, has resigned as co-chairwoman of consumer products and digital media at Walt Disney Co., a job she took only nine months ago, The New York Times reports. In a news release, the company’s chief operating officer said that Ferraro wanted to return to marketing.

Rivalry at Long Beach Airport

The operations of Southwest Airlines at Long Beach airport could set up a possible battle of low-cost carriers, the Los Angeles Times reports. JetBlue Airways, the biggest carrier at Long Beach, will now go head-to-head with Southwest.

Oxnard to Vote on Rams

The City of Oxnard has agreed to host the L.A. Rams during the 2016 off-season. The Oxnard City Council will vote on the arrangement Tuesday, according to NBC.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 4 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,543. The S&P 500 was down 2 points to 1,934. The Nasdaq was down 11 points to 4,204. The LABJ Stock Index was up 2 points to 215.

Monday, February 22

Snapchat Launches Paid Geofilters

Looking for new ways to make money, Snapchat of Venice has launched $5 geofilters.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar Feb. 22 – March 6

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

PR Executive Ron Rogers Dead at 72

Ron Rogers, an influential figure in both the public relations business and L.A. civic affairs, died Friday from respiratory complications related to cancer. He was 72.

USC Study: Hollywood So White

The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD), released Monday by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC, reveals the lack of diversity in Hollywood runs through the industry’s entire hierarchy.

Industrial-Sized Downtown Dilemma

While downtown Los Angeles is still in the midst of its renaissance, a new Central City East Planning Study details the physical and financial struggles facing the Industrial District and lays out some possible solutions.

L.A. Not Too Friendly to Women-Owned Businesses

Los Angeles has major shortcomings as a place for women to start businesses and succeed with them, according to a study released Monday by personal finance information web site WalletHub.

High-Ticket Pot Legalization Bill Extinguishes Competition

Cannabis advocates and social justice reformers believe 2016 may be the year that California voters legalize all marijuana. That optimism has ignited more than 20 proposed statewide ballot measures. However, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday that only one bill, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, is the clear favorite to make the November ballot.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 225 points in Monday trading to close at 16,617. The S&P 500 rose 27 points to 1,945. The Nasdaq rose 66 points to 4,571. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 215.

Fax-Based Strategy

INTERNET: J2 Global says early struggles communicated need for focus on margins.

J2 Global says it received a message on margins during its early struggles as an online fax business.

Tease photo

Owner Refuses to Be Railroaded Into Yard Sale

DEVELOPMENT: Piggyback site valued at over $650 million.

Price of Union Pacific yard could derail revitalization project.

Tease photo

Recast as Rentals

Modernica’s co-founders say state tax credits for film, TV projects spurred new business.

Rentals for TV and film productions are playing a bigger role in Modernica’s furniture business.

Tease photo

Beauty Schools Make Up Numbers as Rival Shuts

EDUCATION: Marinello’s aid problems leave enrollees with debt load, no diploma.

Beauty school students get a course in hard knocks after Marinello shutters over federal aid issues.

Tease photo

Lofty Goal

Developer looks to put new museum on display

Developer Tom Gilmore looks to reframe downtown’s Old Bank District with a multibuilding museum.

Tease photo

Labor and Business Groups in L.A. Divide

Labor unions and business groups had been working together to defeat a ballot proposal known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which is aimed at preventing real estate ¨overdevelopment.¨ But the alliance has come under strain after union leaders revealed they had submitted a competing measure for the Nov. 8 ballot, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new measure puts hiring and affordable housing requirements on real estate projects.

Uncertain Future at Aliso Canyon

Attention has turned to the future of the gas storage field at Aliso Canyon, according to the Los Angeles Times. On Monday, the Senate energy committee will hear a bill to extend a moratorium on injecting gas there until Southern California Gas completes safety measures. The gas field can’t be shut down: the L.A. area depends on it.

TrueCar Remains Hopeful

In his first earnings call since becoming chief executive last year, TrueCar´s Chip Perry said that despite the company's struggles, he remains convinced that TrueCar's business model is sound, Automotive News reports. In 2015, several top executives left, the company´s stock plummeted, and hundreds of dealer partners fled.

China´s Hollywood Calculus

Chinese film studios are focused on how much money comes in at the box office, not winning Oscar nominations, the International Business Times reports. Chinese studio execs are focused on English-language co-productions such as animated comedy “Kung Fu Panda 3” and the action-adventure “The Great Wall,” neither of which is likely to sway the Academy.

‘Deadpool’ Stays Atop Box Office

¨Deadpool,¨ an R-rated movie starring Ryan Reynolds, earned approximately $55 million at North American movie theaters this weekend, bringing in a two-week domestic total of $235 million, according to the New York Times. Internationally, “Deadpool” took in in an additional $256 million.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 177 points in early Monday trading to 16,569. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 1,940. The Nasdaq rose 51 points to 4,556. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 214.

Deal for CNN Building Big News for Hollywood

SALE: $127 million value towers well above market’s average square-foot price.

Hollywood’s 14-story CNN Building on Sunset Boulevard has just sold for a whopping $127 million.

Arrested Development?

Richard Giller of law firm Polsinelli fields an extensive collection of sports memorabilia.

Intern Firm Turned Into Full-Time Gig

Owner Lauren Berger has helped 5 million students line up work.

Career decision to help students line up jobs has worked out for Intern Queen founder Lauren Berger.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Restaurateur Turns Up Heat Over ‘The Kitchen’

DINING: Kimbal Tesla has words with Wolfgang Puck over trademark assertions.

A trademark dispute is pitting star chef Wolfgang Puck against restaurateur Kimbal Musk, brother of Tesla Motors Inc.’s Elon Musk. At issue are just two words: “the kitchen.”

Footwear Maker Steps It Up for Italian Runway

FASHION: Malibu Sandals saw luxury label Missoni as shoo-in for collaboration.

Milan received a taste of Malibu on the runway during its Men’s Fashion Week.

Subscription Razor Service Refuses to Cut, Run

GROOMING: Patent lawsuit by rival draws sharp reply from Dollar Shave Club.

Dollar Shave Club is hitting back against Proctor & Gamble Co.’s allegations of patent infringement by counterclaiming that the razor giant’s patent is invalid.

L.A.-Based Movie Chased Tax Credits in Louisiana

FILM: New offerings from California may help city hold on to productions.

Bryan Cranston is among this year’s actor Oscar nominees for his performance in “Trumbo.” Yet while the whole movie is set in Los Angeles, not one of his scenes was actually filmed here.

Developer Says Time Still on Retail Center’s Side

REAL ESTATE: Ratkovich exec defends renovation’s timetable, financial outlook.

Developer Ratkovich is still sold on the Bloc’s prospects despite the shopping center’s renovation delays.

Review Sites Pass Muster With Film-Ticket Seller

ONLINE: Fandago acquires Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster in bid to reach moviegoers.

Movie-ticket seller Fandango hopes to rate as a bigger Internet presence with the pickup of two film review sites.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Studio One Eleven, a Long Beach architecture and design firm, has opened an office in downtown Los Angeles.

Producer Scales Back on Party Life

Jeff Beacher spent most of his life thinking big.

Denim Maker Fashions Plan For Startups

M. Anthony’s program will also offer tips on making it in industry.

Denim maker M. Anthony has launched a program to help startups join the clothing industry’s fold.

Historic Stand For Hot Dogs Gets in Shape

Form follows function again as co-owners revive Tail O’ the Pup.

Co-owners of Tail O’ the Pup have formed a comeback plan for the hot dog-shaped stand.

Link to Retail May Lift IPO

INVESTMENT: Honest mulls flotation amid tech disconnect.

Honest Co.’s focus on consumer service could help sell the e-tailer’s IPO on Wall Street.

Hospital Hack Bill May Grow

HEALTH CARE: Future costs unknown for facility, patients.

Hospital may end up paying more than just hacker’s ransom after cyberattack.

Friday, February 19

Virgin Galactic Unveils New Spacecraft, Richard Branson Acknowledges ‘Soul Searching’ After Crash

Virgin Galactic has unveiled a new spaceship just over year after that craft’s predecessor crashed during a test flight, killing one of its two pilots. The Long Beach company unveiled the new ship, VSS Unity, at Mojave Air & Space Port Friday. Virgin Galactic said it would continue to pursue the goal of putting tourists into space despite the October 2014 crash of its SpaceShipTwo, which was caused when one of the pilots prematurely deployed tail surfaces.

Alfred Mann Steps Down as Chairman of MannKind Corp.

Alfred E. Mann, the 90-year old billionaire founder of MannKind Corp., has resigned as its executive chairman, according to a company statement. Former Northrop Grumman Corp. Chief Kent Kresa will succeed Mann after serving as a director at the Valencia drugmaker since 2004. Mann, who founded the company in 1991, poured much of his personal fortune into its operations. He will remain as chairman emeritus and serve as an adviser.

Hotels: Happy to House Gas-Leak Refugees, Glad to See Them Go

For Los Angeles hotels, the announcement Thursday that the Porter Ranch-area gas leak had been officially sealed was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it means lots of hotel rooms will be emptied out as gas-leak refugees return home. On the other, it will give hoteliers options to serve other guests – often at higher rates.

Uber, Lyft Say Carpooling Popular in LA

Californians have embraced carpooling options offered by ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft despite the fact that commercial carpooling is still illegal in the state, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Drake’s Whiskey Nears Launch, Raises Funds

Rapper Drake might have another hit on his hands – but this time not of the musical variety. The artist, who also goes by the nickname “Champagne Papi,” is ramping up for the launch of Virginia Black Whiskey. The beverage line has already generated some bling to the tune of $1.6 million in seed funds, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What to Watch This Weekend

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

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points in Friday trading to close at 16,392. The S&P remained flat at 1,918 points. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to close at 4,504 The LABJ Stock Index was up 1 point to 213.

NantKwest, United Online Among Week’s Biggest Movers

NantKwest, an immunotherapy company in Culver City, was one of the week’s leading gainers on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Stock Index of local companies, with shares up 25 percent to close at $8.14. The firm is known for using “natural killer” cells to treat cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. Woodland Hills Internet service provider United Online Inc. also had a good week. Shares rose 23 percent to close at $12 a share. Differential Brands Group, a downtown Los Angeles apparel firm, was one of the week’s biggest losers. Shares fell 13percent to close the week at $4.50.

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Feb. 19

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

Silicon Beach Launch List: Feb. 19

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

Virgin Galactic Unveils New Spacecraft, Richard Branson Acknowledges ‘Soul Searching’ After Crash

Virgin Galactic has unveiled a new spaceship just over year after that craft’s predecessor crashed during a test flight, killing one of its two pilots.

Political Media Startup Attn: Inc. Raises More Than $18 Million

Attn: Inc. of West Hollywood, a politically liberal news and advocacy site, has raised $18.6 million.

Slower Than a Speeding Bullet

The first 250-mile section of the California bullet train will be built from the Kern County line to San Jose instead of Fresno to Burbank, the Los Angeles Times reports. High construction costs and political opposition in Southern California were cited as reasons for the change.

Affordable Housing in the Mix

A ballot proposal unveiled on Wednesday would force real estate developers in Los Angeles to provide affordable housing if proposing a project larger than planning rules allow. According to the Los Angeles Times, the measure is targeted for the Nov. 8 ballot.

City Council Wants Petroleum Administrator

A petroleum administrator will oversee all oil and gas production activity in the city, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion to create the petroleum administrator position by a vote of 14-0.

Sony Entertainment President to Step Down

Nicole Seligman will step down from her position as president of Sony Entertainment and Sony Corp. of America, the Los Angeles Times reports. The executive, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities, will stay with the company through the end of next month.

Alfred Mann Steps Down as Mannkind Chairman

Alfred E. Mann has resigned as executive chairman of Mannkind Corp., according to a press release. Kent Kresa, who previously served as lead director, has been named the Valencia drug manufacturer`s new chairman. Mann was the Business Journal´s Los Angeles Business Person of the Year in 2003, while Kresa received the honor in 2002.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 105 points to 16,286 in early Friday trading. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 1,903. The Nasdaq fell 31 points to 4,125. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 211.

Thursday, February 18

Dollar Shave Club Countersues P&G

Dollar Shave Club is hitting back against Proctor & Gamble Co.’s allegations of patent infringement by counterclaiming that the razor behemoth’s patent is invalid.

Feuer Fires Up Lawsuit Against DaVinci Developer

City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against developer GH Palmer Associates for $20 million in compensatory damages incurred to city property by a massive fire at the DaVinci Apartment construction site on Dec. 8, 2014.

DoubleLine Capital Made In Oaktree Shade

One gamble that paid off for Howard Marks, co-founder of Los Angeles distressed-debt manager Oaktree Capital Group, was his $20 million investment in 2009 for a one-fifth stake in DoubleLine Capital, founded by Jeffrey Gundlach.

Revolve Makes Fashion Statement With Profits

Downtown clothing company Revolve is a local fashion powerhouse, selling $440 million worth of apparel, yet you may not have heard of it. Likewise, the top execs, Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, are not household names, a strategy in place since 2003 involving slow growth and anonymity.

Metro Rolls Out Underground Cell Service

Underground cell phone service in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s rail system has at last arrived, at least for downtown commuters. The MTA aims to roll out free cell service between Union Station and the Seventh Street/Metro Center Station by late March, the Los Angeles Downtown News reported Thursday.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,413 points. The S&P fell 9 points to 1,918. The Nasdaq fell 47 points to 4,488. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 211.

SoCalGas Pleads Innocence in Leak Case

SoCalGas pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor criminal charges stemming from the months long gas leak near Porter Ranch that led thousands of residents to relocate. If convicted, the company could be fined up to $1,000 per day for air pollution violations and up to $25,000 for each of the days it didn’t notify state emergency authorities of the leak, according to the AP.

ABC TV Hires First African American Network Boss

Channing Dungey has been named entertainment president of the Walt Disney Co’s ABC television network, the Los Angeles Times reports. Dungey, who replaces Paul Lee, will be the first African American to lead a major broadcast network. The news comes at a time when calls for more diversity in executive positions is a hot topic in Hollywood.

Yahoo’s Burbank Office Closing Down

Yahoo Inc. will close its office in Burbank, the Los Angeles Times reports. At least 90 jobs are being eliminated there and others will be consolidated to the company’s Playa Vista office. This is part of an overall plan by the company to cut nearly 15 percent of its 11,000 employees.

Pressure Builds for Viacom to Sell Paramount

Wall Street is calling for Viacom to sell off assets to raise cash. Jettisoning underearning Paramount Pictures is among the options, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Bruin Strikes Deal with Branson Company

Westwood medical device developer Bruin Biometrics announced Thursday that its lead product, a handheld scanner that detects pressure ulcers, will be used by U.K. medical provider Virgin Care, owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Marina Towers on Market for $193 Million

Real estate giant Brookfield Office is looking to sell the Marina Towers in Marina del Rey for almost twice what it paid for the oceanfront property ten years ago. Sources pinned the asking price for the Silicon Beach complex at $193 million, reports The Real Deal.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 14 points in early trading Thursday to 16,467. The S&P 500 was down 2 points to 1,925. The Nasdaq was down 5 points to 4,529. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 212.

Wednesday, February 17

Fandango Buys Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster

Online movie-ticket seller Fandango has acquired movie rating websites Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster for an undisclosed amount.

Big Snag for Oscar Swag Bags

For years, Distinctive Assets, a marketing company specializing in product promotion and placement, mounted an annual campaign to “win” during Hollywood’s awards season by giving away its highly publicized nominee gift bags.

L.A. Ready for its Olympic Close-Up

Only six months of planning time may pose a challenge for many American cities to make an effective bid to host the Olympics. However, LA 2024 organizers say they are ready for the Wednesday deadline of their first major submission to the International Olympic Committee since it was selected as America's candidate city in September, according to Athletics Business.

Brown’s New Plan to Mop Up Exide Woes

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $176.6 million spending plan Wednesday to fund expedited and expanded testing and cleanup of residential properties, schools, daycare centers and parks around the former Exide Technologies facility in Vernon.

A ‘Perfect’ Opportunity for Universal Pictures

Perfect World, one of China's largest video game companies, is making a big investment in Universal Pictures to help launch its global film business. reported Wednesday that the Chinese company is investing $250 million in equity and expects to raise about $200 million in debt according to its president, Rong Chen.

Claremont’s Downtown Campus Ready for School

Claremont Graduate University, the Claremont Colleges’ graduate school, announced Wednesday that its new campus in downtown Los Angeles will open this spring with a ceremony on March 3. It is hoped the facility “will serve as a hub for creative industry academic programs, special events, and creative collaborations.”

Beutner Questions DWP Rate Increase

Did you know that every time DWP customers turn on a light or charge a cellphone, they pay a hidden and steep tax? Austin Beutner, former deputy mayor for Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Times publisher, wants to make Angelenos aware of this in his Wednesday editorial in Huffington Post.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 254 points to 16,451 in Wednesday trading. The S&P rose 31 points to 1,927. The Nasdaq rose 97 points to 4,533. The LABJ Stock Index rose 5 points to 213.

Convention Center Redesign on the Table

The City Council's Economic Development Committee has approved a proposal to consider tossing out old plans to redevelop the L.A. Convention Center campus and look at a more ambitious idea to turn over the convention center to a developer for a bigger re-do. According to Curbed LA, the city could hand over the project to a developer in a public-private partnership or proceed with a design by HMC Architects and Populous.

Small TV Stations Could Go Off Air

Small, low-power TV stations could be knocked off the air by the federal government with no compensation to their owners, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Federal Communications Commission plans to use an auction to shift some public airwaves from carrying TV signals to delivering wireless services to smartphones.

Apple Opposes FBI Order

Apple said Wednesday that it would not help the FBI unlock the phone belonging to the San Bernardino shooter. The company sees the order as an "overreach by the U.S. government," according to the statement.

From Printing Plant to Office Space

A former Los Angeles Times printing plant may become creative office space. According to the Los Angeles Times, Kearny Real Estate Co. plans to spend more than $100 million to morph a 300,000 square feet Costa Mesa plant.

Los Angeles Unveils Olympics Bid Logo

Los Angeles has unveiled its logo for the city's Olympic bid, according to the AP. The logo, a figure of an angel with outstretched arms, was displayed on a downtown skyscraper shortly after sunset on Tuesday. The city's accompanying slogan is "Follow the Sun."

John Kerry Speaks with Hollywood Execs about Islamic State

Secretary of State John Kerry met with Hollywood studio executives in Los Angeles and spoke about the Islamic State, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to a person familiar with the meeting, some networks could play a role in countering propaganda from the terrorist group.

Aspiriant Acquires Glowacki Group

Independent wealth management firm Aspiriant this morning announced that it would merge with Glowacki Group, another independent wealth manager in Los Angeles which oversees $360 million in assets.

Forecast: L.A. Job Growth Slowing Down

The local economy will see slower job growth this year and next as it reaches cruising altitude, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. says in a forecast to be released this morning.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 117 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,313. The S&P 500 was up 16 points to 1,911. The Nasdaq was up 44 points to 4,479. The LABJ Stock Index was up 3 points to 210.

Tuesday, February 16

Stiritz Slims Down His Herbalife Holdings

William Stiritz, one of the largest investors in Herbalife, cut his stake in the Los Angeles nutrition and weight loss company to 5.2 percent, down from 8.2 percent, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday reported by Reuters.

CW Chases Gaming Viewers

Reality series “Chasing the Cup,” which made its broadcast television debut Monday night on the CW Network, offers avid video gamers and casual fans an up-close look at competitive gaming. Although the airing reached a niche audience, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the broadcast was part of an “important experiment” for Warner Bros. Entertainment, parent company of CW.

A Touch of ‘Americana’ Coming to Baldwin Hills

There are ambitious plans in the works to revive Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles, and make it as much of a community destination as the recently gentrified Downtown and Highland Park areas. This would be accomplished through transforming the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and surrounding area into an “urban village” that would mirror Glendale's Americana at Brand.

Most Innovative: Fast Company’s 2016 L.A. Picks

While some may argue the Academy Awards’ nominee pool lacks diversity, there’s no question that Fast Company magazine’s Most Innovative Companies List of 2016, released Tuesday

Nevada Treasurer Inquiring About Faraday’s Finances

Nevada State Treasurer Dan Swartz said he is growing concerned whether Faraday Future or its billionaire backer, Jia Yueting, will put up the money needed for the company’s $1 billion electric car factory in North Las Vegas.

Tease photo

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 220 points to 16,194 in Tuesday trading. The S&P rose 31 points to 1,895. The Nasdaq rose 98 points to 4,436. The LABJ Stock Index rose 4 points to 208.

L.A. Marathon a Fun Run for Skechers

Manhattan Beach sneaker purveyor Skechers not only gained a national marketing boost from its inaugural sponsorship of the Los Angeles Marathon, now dubbed 2016 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, it also crossed several milestones to elevate its brand over the weekend.

Beverly Center to be Renovated

The Beverly Center mall, sometimes derided architecturally as a blob of ’80s amber, appears set for a major re-do. According to Curbed LA, details of the renovation will be announced March 7, but the chief executive of Taubman Centers, the owner, has said it will be a “comprehensive renovation” and added it will be “very expensive.”

Hackers Demand Ransom from Hollywood Hospital

After crippling the computer systems of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, hackers are demanding a $3.6 million ransom, according to Business Insider. Computer systems at the hospital have been useless for more than a week, and some patients had to be transferred to other hospitals.

China's February Box Office Truly Boffo

Want to know how fast China’s movie industry is booming? Last week set a box office record for any week anywhere. Not only that, the week’s receipts were greater than for the entire year of 2007 in China, the Los Angeles Times reports. For the full month, the box office in China likely will outpace that of all of North America.

Hong Kong Disneyland Reports 2015 Loss

People in China apparently are so busy attending movies they aren’t patronizing theme parks. Hong Kong Disneyland posted a net loss of $19 million in fiscal 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times. A decreasing number of visitors was mainly to blame.

Teachers Union Case Improves with Scalia´s Death

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia could neutralize a California lawsuit previously expected to weaken teachers unions. According to the Los Angeles Times, without Scalia, a 4-4 split in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association is considered likely, which means the union would be safe – for now.

Dodgers Strike Deal with Leiweke Firm

The Los Angeles Dodgers have partnered with entertainment executive Tim Leiweke and music industry veteran Irving Azoff to attract major bands to Dodger Stadium, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 143 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,117. The S&P 500 was up 19 points to 1,884. The Nasdaq was up 64 points to 4,401. The LABJ Stock Index was up 3 points to 207.

Monday, February 15

Disney’s Final Purchase Price for Maker Studios: $675 Million

The final tab for Walt Disney Co.’s purchase of Culver City’s Maker Studios is $675 million, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Turf Removal Program May Evaporate

Although lawn remodeling rebates prompted many Los Angeles homeowners to replace their grass with native California plants and other drought-friendly forms of landscaping, budget cuts at the Metropolitan Water District could mean those incentives would dry out.

Accounting Aid Keeps Streetcar Program on the Rails

Financial services firm Ernst & Young may help put a planned Los Angeles Streetcar program back on track, the Los Angeles Downtown News reported Monday. A June report on the proposed Los Angeles Streetcar suggested the 3.8-mile Downtown loop would cost $281.6 million, leaving a shortfall of at least $144 million after accounting for local tax dollars and hoped-for federal government funding.

Firecracker Run Goes Extra Mile for Chinatown Economy

Businesses and race planners in L.A.’s Chinatown are hoping this year’s edition of the Firecracker Run on Feb. 20 and 21 will boost visitor numbers, foot traffic and interest in Asian-American culture.

A British Curry Invasion?

Harry Styles, of One Direction boy band fame, has made himself at home in Los Angeles to move ahead with his solo career. However, he finds himself so homesick for Wasel Ali's Paradise, his favorite London “curry house,” that he announced plans to help Wasel Ali’s owner launch an outpost in Los Angeles, according to the Business Standard on Monday.

Boutique Chain Hopes to Rise Beyond Star Clients

RETAIL: Kin Los Angeles looks to niche brands for splash outside mainstream.

Clothing boutique Kin Los Angeles tries on a new strategy with a focus on labels outside the mainstream.

Tease photo

Cracking Shell Game

FOOD: Will Iranian farmers field challenge to Wonderful’s pistachio market share?

Wonderful Co. so far has refused to go nuts over looming competition from Iranian pistachios.

Tease photo

Speaking Out

PR exec Richard Grenell doesn’t shy away from intense jobs or backing gay rights as a Republican.

Former U.N. spokesman Richard Grenell has lots to say in defense of his clients and his beliefs as a gay conservative.

Tease photo

Shore Leave Hits Silicon Beach

REAL ESTATE: Santa Monica’s vacancies rise as firms relocate.

Santa Monica’s once-red-hot office scene cools as Silicon Beach tenants warm up to less-pricey markets.

Tease photo

SoCal Gas Prepares for Court

With the Porter Ranch-area natural gas leak plugged, Southern California Gas Co. is preparing to face a series of legal battles with various government agencies that have piled up. According to the Los Angeles Times, the company is insured in excess of $1 billion.

Shari Redstone to Influence Viacom

The daughter of Sumner Redstone is intent on remaining a key player in the future of CBS and Viacom. According to the Los Angeles Times, Shari Redstone owns 20 percent of the family’s investment vehicle that holds the controlling shares of both companies.

EHarmony Stays Relevant in the Internet Age

In the age of Tinder, eHarmony remains successful. According to a profile of the company in the International Business Times, eHarmony´s commitment to helping people find serious relationships online has made it one of the leaders of the $2.4 billion online dating industry.

Designer Creating Bel Air 'Giga-Mansion'

An Orange County designer has the vision behind what could be the most expensive home on the planet. According to the Orange County Register, Paul McClean is designing a $500 million home in Bel Air.

‘Deadpool’ Breaks Records for R-Rated Film

“Deadpool,” an R-rated movie from 20th Century Fox, took in about $135 million at North American theaters over the weekend. According to the New York Times, it was the biggest domestic opening on record for an R-rated movie.

No Stocks

The stock markets are closed today in observance of Presidents’ Day.

SPECIAL REPORT: Plugging Into Tech

Though Jae Whan Yoo lived in South Korea for the majority of his life, his first bank job came from an American lender and would lay the groundwork for a career that’s seen him crisscrossing the Pacific.

Another Wave Of Fame For Mouthy Fish

Fake shark in ‘Jaws’ will make jump from junkyard to museum.

The prop shark from “Jaws” is ditching his digs at a dump for a starring role at a new museum.

Pie Maker’s Taste Leads To Rare Fare

Lindsay Hollister’s ingredients include tea, mac ’n’ cheese.

Blossoming chain Pie Hole looks to fill customers with its range of exotic flavors.

Website Aims To Click With Rental Market

Crelow hopes to speed matchmaking process for tenants, landlords.

Crelow’s website aims to open the door to easier, speedier deals for tenants and landlords.

Lawyer Drums Up Money for Charity

Perrie Weiner might have been a rock musician, but instead he became a co-managing partner of global law firm DLA Piper.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

K2 Intelligence, a New York-based investigative, compliance and cybersecurity firm, has opened an office in downtown Los Angeles.

Hole Deepens for Oil Companies as Prices Plunge

ENERGY: Breitburn, CRC dragged down further by firms’ heavy debt loads.

Local firms lose even more ground with investors as stock and oil prices continue to plunge.

SEC: Tip at Super Bowl Led to Insider Trading

INVESTMENT: Wedbush broker, two others accused in sale of marketing firm.

Federal regulators accuse broker and two others of insider trading in deal for marketing firm.

Downtown Group Sees Opening for Minipark

NONPROFIT: Temporary project to put South Park on road to more greenery.

Business district finds grounds for creating a parklet along a median in downtown Los Angeles.

Eatery Clients Still Find Print Fine for Promotion

MEDIA: Co-founders of JS2 turn to magazines, papers to serve customers’ desires.

Digital media has been a boon to L.A. restaurants as foodies often use blogs and social media to crow about their favorite eateries.

City Attorney Looks to Rub Out Massage Parlors

GOVERNMENT: Mike Feuer says some L.A. operations are fronts for prostitution.

Los Angles City Attorney Mike Feuer has launched a crackdown against massage parlors believed to be fronts for brothels.

Full Ballot Could Work Against Business Interests

POLITICS: Supporters, foes of measures face choices on use of campaign resources.

Local businesses face the prospect of being overwhelmed this fall by the sheer number of major ballot measures that would impact operation.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

SPECIAL REPORT: Unlocking Homes

Pursuing computer programming in addition to business studies allowed Noor Menai to get his finance career started at some of the biggest banks in the world.


Li Yu has a background in accounting and finance, but he got into banking by chance.

Restaurant Group Keeps Accent on Italian Cuisine

DINING: Factory Place eyes another serving of succes at new Industrial District spot.

Factory Place Hospitality Group is continuing to infuse downtown L.A.’s Industrial District with Italian dining.

SPECIAL REPORT: Dealing With Data

Though he’s a physicist by training, banking caught Dunson Cheng’s eye when he saw the impact it could have on Chinese emigrants in Los Angeles.

SPECIAL REPORT: Broad Perspective

South Korean-born Chong Guk Kum has been a banker for four decades, but he’d never worked for a Korean-American bank until he joined Hanmi Bank three years ago.


Bank executives give their accounts on how to serve an ethnic niche clientele and grow business.

NFL Stadium Kicks Off New Interest in Inglewood

ACQUISITION: Investor scores pair of apartment properties for $5.82 million.

A growing crop of investors is looking to cash in on Inglewood real estate now that the National Football League has declared the city will be home to the Los Angeles Rams.

Big Plans

How Gensler’s Cohen got world’s largest projects

Co-CEO Andy Cohen has seen business build up at Gensler side by side with downtown L.A.’s renaissance.

Tease photo

Employers Mull State Pay Hike

POLITICS: One rate may ease clash of different city wages.

Some business groups hope a statewide minimum-wage measure will pay off with a uniform rate.

Tease photo


Kevin Kim started his career as an accountant for “big eight” accounting firms, but he wanted something less predictable.

Tease photo

Tech Taking a Tumble?

Charles Crumpley worries there may be a bloodbath in Silicon Beach.

Friday, February 12

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Feb. 12

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

Silicon Beach Launch List: Feb. 12

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

Musk Upbeat Despite Epic Downs

Defiant billionaire Elon Musk remains confident his companies will persevere even in the face of heavy financial losses and speculation about their viability.

Straight Into Compton?

Compton city officials have moved to address the lack of a movie theater there by proposing the construction of a 14-screen, 60,000-square-foot cinema, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Magical Opportunity To See Harry Potter’s World Early

While the hotly anticipated Universal Studios Hollywood attraction, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, doesn't officially open until April 7, a handful of lucky theme park guests would be getting a sneak peek, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Delta Renews AEG Partnership, Announces Record Profit Sharing

Delta Air Lines is deepening its ties to L.A.’s sports and entertainment community with a new six-year, multi-platform agreement with Downtown L.A. sports and entertainment presenters Anschutz Entertainment Group, the airline announced this week.

Broadway Revival

Downtown L.A. street Broadway has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, with the redevelopment of several vintage buildings and openings of new restaurants and retailers. However, our Broadway is not quite ready for its full-on comeback, thanks in part to the lack of the neon signs that defined the thoroughfare during its golden age in the mid-20th century.

What to Watch This Weekend

Sandro Monetti’s business take on the plots of this weekend’s new movie releases.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Cheviot Hills health care-focused private equity firm Varsity Healthcare Partners announced Thursday it has sold its majority interest in Manitowoc, Wisc.-based Forefront Dermatology, a network of dermatology practices, to OMERS Private Equity, the Toronto investment arm of a Canadian pension plan. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stocks Rebound

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 305 points in Friday trading to close at 15,965. The S&P 500 rose 35 points to 1,864. The Nasdaq rose 71 points to close at 4,337. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 204.

CytRx, Nova Lifestyle Among Week’s Biggest Movers

Among stocks trading above a dollar, Los Angeles biopharmaceutical research and development oncology company CytRx was the week’s leading gainer. Shares rose 42 percent to close at $2.51 on Friday. Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Century City purveyor of therapeutic treatments for gastrointestinal diseases, also had a healthy week. Shares rose 19% percent to close at $1.41. Commerce furniture designer and manufacturer Nova LifeStyle Inc. was the week’s biggest loser. Shares fell 18 percent to close at $1.26.

Next Step for Porter Ranch

There is still much work to do after the massive gas leak which caused thousands of people in Porter Ranch to leave their homes was temporarily plugged yesterday. SoCalGas is now working to permanently plug the well in Aliso Canyon so that the community can start returning to normal, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A Tattoo With Your Tofu?

When Whole Foods opens the first of its new Whole Foods 365 stores in Los Angeles this May, a tattoo parlor could be included there as part of a plan to appeal to millennials, USA Today reports.

Building Firm Settles Shoddy Construction Claims

Los Angeles company KB Home, one of the nation’s largest home builders, has reached a $23.5 million settlement with the attorney general of Florida to resolve allegations of shoddy construction and deceptive business practices, the Los Angeles Times reports. Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi alleged that the firm failed to disclose to buyers that its homes violated building codes.

Redstone’s Successor Has ´Free Rein´ at CBS

Les Moonves, who was named CBS chairman last week, told analysts in the company’s quarterly earnings call he has been given a “free rein” by dominant shareholder Sumner Redstone, reports Deadline Hollywood. Moonves said there would be stability at the company for years to come and was especially bullish about the health of TV advertising.

Rams Fans Should Thank Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones provided the pivotal support that helped assure the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles, ESPN reports. An impassioned plea from the Dallas Cowboys owner turned the NFL vote in favor of Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood plan.

The Man Who Can’t Lose at the Grammys

Lucian Grainge, chairman of Santa Monica’s Universal Music Group, will be a winner no matter what at Monday’s Grammy Awards, the Hollywood Reporter says in a profile piece. All five album of the year nominations are his artists.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 162 points in early trading Friday to 16,822. The S&P 500 rose 18 points to 1,847. The Nasdaq rose 26 points to 4,292. The LABJ Stock index fell 1 point to 201.

Thursday, February 11

MySpace Parent Company Sold to Time Inc.

MySpace parent company Viant has sold a majority stake to New York’s Time Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Leak Stops, Loans Start at Porter Ranch

The gas leak that has been plaguing Porter Ranch for almost four months has been temporarily stopped, Southern California Gas Company announced Thursday.

Full Steam Ahead For Local Ports

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles kicked off 2016 with a record surge of traffic.

Big Price Paid for Little Santa Monica Building

A small bank building in Santa Monica has sold for a huge price. An affiliate of New York private real estate investor KLM Equities Inc. beat out about a dozen other all-cash offers for the 2,200 square-foot building at 2301 Wilshire Blvd. with its $6.25 million bid, according to downtown L.A. brokerage CBRE Group Inc., which represented the buyer and seller.

The Rogue Initiative: To Make a Mark in VR

The newest enterprise to surface in the burgeoning field of content-focused virtual reality companies is The Rogue Initiative in Los Angeles.

‘100,000 Opportunities’ Knock at Job Fair

Starbucks, Taco Bell and Papa John’s are among restaurant chains joining forces for a massive hiring fair called 100,000 Opportunities on Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It targets “opportunity youths,” or young people who are neither working nor in school, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 255 points in Thursday trading to 15,660. The S&P fell 23 points to 1,829. The Nasdaq fell 17 points to 4,267. The LABJ Stock index fell one point to 202.

Coastal Commission Fires Executive Director

The California Coastal Commission voted 7-5 on Wednesday evening to fire Executive Director Charles Lester. The move came despite the objection of hundreds of Lester supporters, many of whom characterized the decision as a boon for developers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Southwest Airlines at Long Beach Airport?

Southwest Airlines has submitted an application to begin daily service out of Long Beach Airport later this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The carrier would join JetBlue, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines at the airport.

Los Angeles: Solar Job Capital

Los Angeles County had more people working in the solar industry last year than anywhere else in the country, with Orange County a close second, City News Service reports. The Solar Jobs Census tallied more than 15,00 solar industry jobs in L.A. County and 6,100 in Orange County.

SBA Disaster Loans Available for Porter Ranch Businesses

Federal financial assistance will be made available to Porter Ranch businesses impacted by the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The businesses will be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Obama Traffic: It’s Back

Los Angeles motorists should brace for heavy traffic as President Obama heads to town for a two-day visit, according to the Los Angeles Times. Obama is scheduled to attend an afternoon taping of “Ellen” in Burbank before heading to Hancock Park in the evening for fundraisers.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 252 points in early trading Thursday to 15,614. The S&P 500 was down 29 points to 1,817. The Nasdaq was down 59 points to 3,908. The LABJ Stock Index was down 2 points to 201.

Wednesday, February 10

Patch of Land Gets $250 Million Commitment

Real estate crowdfunding website Patch of Land of Westwood has signed an agreement with an undisclosed lender, who will purchase up to $250 million in loans, reports Crowdfund Insider.

eHarmony Matches Up With Industry Awards

There are many fish in the sea, and a new fleet of online matchmaking services offer fresh ways to reel in the perfect mate. At this year’s iDate Awards in Miami, however, the online dating industry recognized one of its oldest members, Los Angeles dating service eHarmony.

Major Chinatown Project Rethought

College Station, an ambitious Chinatown multi-purpose real estate project initially broached in 2014 by now-defunct developer Evoq, has been redesigned under the helm of Atlas Capital Group, which acquired Evoq, the Downtown News reported Wednesday.

Beyonce Film, ‘42nd Street’ Get State Tax Credits

The California Film Commission announced Wednesday that 13 new feature films, including 10 studio productions and three independent productions, were earmarked for the state’s expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program in its second round of selections.

City Sues Massage Parlors

City Attorney Mike Feuer said has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles-based massage salons after allegations their owners were operating a ring of brothels.

Lakers’ Buss Puts Penthouse on Market

Jim Buss, Los Angeles Lakers co-owner and executive, has put his penthouse in downtown Los Angeles up for sale at $8.8 million, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 100 points in Wednesday trading to close at 15,915. The S&P 500 remained at 1,852 points. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 4,284 points. The LABJ Stock index fell one point to 203.

READER POLL: Reports that Mattel may be in merger talks brings up an old question: Do you hate to see a big local company get bought by an out-of-town one?

Reports that Mattel may be in merger talks brings up an old question: Do you hate to see a big local company get bought by an out-of-town one?

Big Sale: Runway Playa Vista

If you want to know how much Playa Vista is taking off, consider this: A mixed-use project there has been sold to a Dallas investment firm for $475 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. The retail, residential and office development known as Runway Playa Vista, only cost about $300 million to develop.

Redstone Revoked Bequest to Former Companion

Manuela Herzer, the jilted companion of Sumner Redstone, was set to receive $50 million and his $20 million Beverly Park mansion, but she was abruptly removed from his estate plan in October, the New York Times reports. The assets will now go to Redstone’s charitable foundation after his death.

L.A. Teachers Union Wants to Raise Dues

Needing money to fight charter schools, the Los Angeles teacher´s union has asked its 32,000 members to raise dues by nearly a third, to about $1,000 a member annually, the Los Angeles Times reports. A previous attempt to increase dues failed in 2008.

ESPN Blunts 'Star Wars' Success

Although the Walt Disney Co. reported earnings that beat expectations on Tuesday, its stock declined more than 5 percent in after-hours trading, Reuters reported. Investors appear jittery about ESPN’s decline in profit, which overshadowed the success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Disney Parks Ride Popularity Wave

Speaking of Disney, the Burbank company reported a 10 percent increase in attendance at the company's domestic theme parks and a 7 percent rise in per-capita spending on food, drinks, admission and merchandise in the most recent quarter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Small-Business Optimism Falls

Optimism about the economy by U.S. small-business owners has slipped to a recent low, according to the Los Angeles Times. The monthly optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business declined by 1.3 points to 93.9 last month, which suggests small business owners feel uncertain about the economy.

Stan Kroenke Buys Texas Mega-Ranch

Los Angeles´ Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who already owns 11 ranches, has agreed to purchase a ranch in Texas that’s bigger than Los Angeles and New York put together, Bloomberg reports. The 520,000-acre estate had been listed for $725 million.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 56 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,070. The S&P 500 was up 13 points to 1,866. The Nasdaq was up 51 points to 4,319. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 203.

Tuesday, February 9

Snapchat Signs Advertising Deal with Viacom

Snapchat has signed a multiyear deal to allow Viacom Inc. to sell advertisements on its app.

Disney Accelerator Parts Ways With Techstars

Walt Disney Co. of Burbank has parted ways with Techstars, the company running its accelerator program, reports the L.A. Times.

Dauman On The Defensive

New Viacom Inc. Chairman Philippe Dauman is already on the defensive after the media company fell short of revenue expectations for the fifth quarter in a row.

Top Silicon Beach Venture Capitalist Warns of ‘Bloodbath’

Mark Suster, a partner at L.A.’s largest venture capital firm, Upfront Ventures in Santa Monica, has warned that a major correction could be coming to the tech financing market.

Hasbro Chief Coy on Mattel Speculation

Following fourth quarter profits bolstered by sales of “Star Wars” toys, Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner said he would be open to future deals, but would not comment specifically about recent speculation over prospective merger talks between his company and El Segundo toy giant Mattel Inc.

Happy Birthday Song Enters Public Domain

Warner Music Group and others who fought to hold the copyright on “Happy Birthday to You” – listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recognized song in the English language - have given up their claims to the song.

Marijuana Company Turns Over New Leaf

A pioneer of the medical marijuana industry has been appointed to the advisory board of Santa Monica’s Marijuana Company of America, CNN Money reports.

Stocks Mostly Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,014. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,852. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 4,269. The LABJ Stock Index remained at 204.

Coastal Commission Battles Over Development

A battle over whether to fire the executive director of California Coastal Commission is really about whether the commission will allow more development along the coast. According to the Los Angeles Times, the commission will consider ousting Charles Lester, a 23-year veteran of the agency, during its regular meeting in Morro Bay on Wednesday.

´The Martian´ Not Enough for 21st Century Fox

Rupert Murdoch´s 21st Century Fox reported disappointing earnings Monday. According to the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. based film unit was a big drag; “The Martian” and “The Peanuts Movie” fell short of rescuing the quarter.

Warner Music Group Invests in Artist Partners

Warner Music Group has stepped up its investment in Artist Partners Group, a Los Angeles-based venture that provides business services to artists and producers. The Los Angeles Times reports that Warner Music and Atlantic are investing "multiple millions" of dollars in the venture.

DMV Grants 605,000 Licenses to Undocumented

Over 600,000 illegal immigrants who live in California were granted driver's licenses in 2015, AFP reports. Under a new law, the California Department of Motor Vehicles expects a total of about 1.4 million people will get their license by the end of next year.

The Show Goes On

Despite an ongoing controversy over diversity, Oscar rituals will proceed as usual, the New York Times reports. At a luncheon for Oscar nominees Monday, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, did not discuss additional steps to broaden the group’s membership and choices.

Free Burritos at Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is spending $10 million on food-safety — and it is offering free burritos. The company closed all of its 1,971 U.S. stores for part of Monday so employees could attend a national team meeting, after recent food-borne illnesses sickened customers.

Miley Cyrus Buys Retreat in Malibu

Miley Cyrus has bought a house in Malibu for $2.53 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. The contemporary two-story house has four-bedrooms and three-bathrooms and sits on two-plus-acres.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,001. The S&P 500 was down 2 points to 1,852. The Nasdaq was up 11 points to 4,294. The LABJ Stock Index was up slightly to 204.

Monday, February 8

Gas-Leak Refugees Get Some Relief

Southern California Gas Co. announced Monday it has reached a new agreement with the city to extend the time allotted for displaced Porter Ranch residents to return home once the Aliso Canyon gas leak has been resolved.

Interest in Imagine Entertainment ‘Raines’ Supreme

Imagine Entertainment, anchored by Hollywood heavyweights Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, announced Monday that it has received a significant investment from the merchant bank the Raine Group.

Dollar Shave Club and Honest Co. Run Super Bowl Ads

Online retailers Dollar Shave Club and Honest Co. ran their first Super Bowl advertisements on Sunday, signifying a major push to expand each company’s brand. The Super Bowl commercials come as both companies aim to be better known among consumers and perhaps retail investors.

CBS CEO Moonves Eyes Digital Programming

CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, who last week also became executive chairman, is using his expanded influence at the network to build a greater presence in the digital television realm, Reuters reported Monday.

Pop-Up Park in the Middle of DTLA Street?

In an effort to bring more green space to Downtown L.A.’s concrete jungle, the South Park Business Improvement District is working on plans to create a temporary park in the median of Hope Street.

Zirx Loses Consumer Parking

On-demand parking service Zirx is pulling out of its on-demand, consumer parking business, which it launched in Los Angeles in November 2014.

Crystal Cruises to Reuse Old Ocean Liner

The New York Times reported Monday that Crystal Cruises in Century City has announced plans to convert the SS United States, a historic ocean liner from the Cold War era, into a cruise ship called the United States by Crystal Cruises.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 178 points to close at 16,027 in Monday trading. The S&P 500 fell 27 points to 1,853. The Nasdaq fell 79 points to 4,283. The LABJ Stock Index fell 4 points to 204.

Dollar Shave Club and Honest Co. Run Super Bowl Ads

Online retailers Dollar Shave Club and Honest Co. ran their first Super Bowl advertisements on Sunday, signifying a major push to expand each company’s brand.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Feb. 8 - 21

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

SoCalGas’ Relocation ‘Painfully Frustrating’

Residents of the Porter Ranch area say their stress has been magnified by confusion and misinformation about reimbursements, disorganization, and bureaucracy on the part of SoCalGas, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Since a gas leak was discovered at a well in October, SoCalGas has placed more than 6,000 households in temporary housing.

Bullet Train Back in Court

The proposed California high-speed rail is back in the spotlight. Some residents have filed a lawsuit against the state, saying it can't keep the promises made to voters in 2008 about travel times and system cost, the AP reports.

What to Watch in Disney’s Earnings

Despite Walt Disney Co.´s blockbuster success with “Star Wars,” investors are worried about subscriber losses at its cable networks, MarketWatch reports. The company on Tuesday is expected to report earnings of $1.45 a share for the first quarter, a 14 percent increase, but may not be enough to reverse a 10 percent stock slide so far this year.

´Kung Fu Panda´ Stays Atop Box Office

"Kung Fu Panda 3" fended off the Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" to stay on top at the box office this weekend, Box Office Mojo reports. The movie grossed an estimated $21 million during its second weekend in theaters.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 211 points in early trading Monday to 16,205. The S&P 500 was down 35 points to 1,880. The Nasdaq was down 146 points to 4,363. The LABJ Stock Index was down 6 points to 208.

Survey Says: No Fallout From Miss Universe Flub

TV: ‘Family Feud’ puts up record ratings in wake of gaffe by host Steve Harvey.

Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe gaffe might have embarrassed him in the eyes of the world, but it hasn’t hurt the ratings for his TV game show.

CEO Refuses to Pull Plug on Lighting Fixture Firm

Richard Stellar plugs light fixture exec Jack Zukerman’s demanding standard of excellence.

Labor Not Making Grade

Teacher’s lawsuit over ‘agency fees’ points to union’s inability to prove advantages of membership.

Teacher’s lawsuit over “agency fees” is teaching unions a lesson on their lack of appeal for some workers, writes John Mirisch.

Eatery Owners Hit by Cut, Run

DINING: Chef shows may be feeding high cook turnover.

Dreams of celebrity chef status brings in cooks but the hard work drives them out as eateries struggle to hold on to good workers.

Tease photo

Hollywood Revival

Taft Building at Hollywood and Vine turns corner as renovations pull in new tenants.

Hollywood’s iconic Taft Building steps into the spotlight with help from a $15 million makeover and tech tenants.

Tease photo

Solid Image

ENTERTAINMENT: Burnish Creative’s co-founders credit firm’s physical office, location with scoring TV editing work.

Burnish Creative’s co-founders say a physical office played a lead role in growing their TV editing firm.

Tease photo

Riding Rail

Businesses make tracks to incoming Expo Line stops

Businesses are pulling out the stops to take advantage of the incoming Expo Line’s stations.

Tease photo

Desal Plants Worth Their Salt?

It’s unfortunate, but desalinated water may become a sticky industry for Californians, Charles Crumpley says.

Developer Checks In to Pasadena’s Medical Market

ACQUISITION: Meridian picks up pair of buildings with $37.5 million offer.

A $37.5 million deal last month for a pair of decades-old buildings showcased investors’ healthy interest in Pasadena’s medical office market.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Stylist Aims for More in Store With Pop-Up Shop

RETAIL: Rachel Zoe looks to brick-mortar location to expand celeb-fueled status.

L.A. designer and stylist Rachel Zoe is taking on a new project this month.

Pizza Chain Serves Up Stake to Chinese Food Vet

DINING: Pieology Pizzeria hopes Panda Express’ parent can help guide expansion.

Pieology Pizzeria has got plans in the oven to win the parlor wars.

Lender Puts Its Money on Olympic Games in L.A.

SPORTS: Bid committee pursues event with backing from Banc of California.

While some Angelenos might be banking on Los Angeles being chosen to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, Banc of California will be banking the actual effort.

Mexican Food Chain Serves Up Healthy Revival

DINING: Chipotle and rivals take heed following food contagion crisis.

Investors find shares of Chipotle easier to swallow after containment of the chain’s health scare.

Security Systems Maker Fails to Lock In Revenue

MANUFACTURING: OSI’s shares tumble after missing targets for second quarter.

Wall Street sees shares of OSI as too risky after the maker of security systems misses revenue targets.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Cathay General Bancorp, the downtown L.A. parent of Chinese-American lender Cathay Bank, has approved the repurchase of up to $45 million of the company’s common stock.

Number of Reasons to Start Scholarship

Most people who start a scholarship fund do so in the mid- to late stages of their successful career.

Auction Firm Still Bidding For Business

Family-run Abell looks back on lots of history in 100-year existence.

Family-run Abell has seen lots of action after being on the block for 100 years.

Track Hopes New Pit Stop Worth a Spin

Speedway in Fontana believes $2,500 tickets won’t drive off VIPs.

Auto Club Speedway gears up to land VIPs with its pricey, trackside lounge.

Survey Offers Answers On Compatibility

Sexologist Ava Cadell uses system to hook up clients with romance.

Sexologist Ava Cadell’s compatibility survey helps people get what they are asking for in the bedroom.

Big-Game Ads’ New Playbook

ADVERTISING: Agencies get ball rolling outside Super Bowl.

Agencies crafting Super Bowl ads say the new trick is how they will play online outside of the game.

Mayor Protective of NFL Score

SPORTS: James Butts praises Inglewood, rips Eric Garcetti.

Mayor James Butts discusses how he and Inglewood officials – not Eric Garcetti – tackled the return of the Rams.

Sunday, February 7

Event Organizer Making Waves in Silicon Beach

TECHNOLOGY: Digital LA’s Kevin Winston links execs, firms via his one-man shop.

Kevin Winston’s Digital LA helps shore up the scene in Silicon Beach with its signature events.

Tease photo

Friday, February 5

Pat Haden to Step Down as USC Athletic Director

USC athletic director Pat Haden will step down from his post June 30, according to a statement Friday from the university.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Feb. 5

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

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Feb. 5

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

Honest Co. in IPO Talks

Online retailer Honest Co. is working with bankers for an initial public offering of its stock, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.

Virtual Reality Startup WEVR Raises $25 Million

Virtual reality content producer and publisher WEVR of Venice has raised a $25 million round.

Hasbro-Mattel Merger Rumors Cause Tremors In Toyland

CNBC reported Friday that negotiations for a Hasbro-Mattel merger aren't ongoing, contrary to earlier reports that the two toymakers began discussions of a merger in late 2015.

LAX Project Among Largest In L.A. History

The $5 billion Landside Access Modernization Project, one of the largest construction endeavors in Los Angeles history, promises to revolutionize road and rail access to the Los Angeles International Airport and serve as the cornerstone for the airport, the Daily Breeze reported Friday.

Westfield Has Designs on LAX’s Future

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday that global retail giant Westfield has invested close to $100 million in the Los Angeles International Airport as part of its transformation of transport hubs across North America.

Multi-Ethnic Coalition Pushes For Diversity

The Multi-Ethnic Coalition called on major Hollywood studios to do a better job of representing America's diversity at a news conference in Pasadena Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Drought-Caused Vegetable Price Fluctuations Tough to Swallow

It's been a wild season in the winter produce market dominated by California growers, who are responsible for 90 percent of the country's many winter vegetables, the Los Angeles Times noted in a report tied to California vegetables’ role in filling Super Bowl snack spreads.

What to Watch this Weekend

Sandro Monetti’s business take on this week’s new movie releases.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Brentwood private equity firm Angeles Equity Partners announced Wednesday that its affiliate has acquired U.G.N. Inc., an automotive noise damping products maker headquartered in Chicago Heights, Ill. The business will now operate under the name Applied Acoustics International. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 212 points in Friday trading to close at 16,205. The S&P fell 35 points to 1,880. The Nasdaq fell 146 points to 4,363. The LABJ Stock Index fell 6 points to 208.

Marathon Patent, Nova Lifestyle Among This Week’s Movers

Shares of Marathon Patent Group, Inc., a Santa Monica company that acquires assets from patent holders, rose 39% to close the week at $2.50 a share. Nova Lifestyle, Inc., a furniture manufacturer in Commerce, rose 28% this week to close at $1.52 a share. The week’s biggest loser was Differential Brands Group, Inc., a Commerce firm developing clothing brands such as Joe’s Jeans, Robert Graham and Hudson in for retail, e-commerce and licensing channels, falling 33% to close at $5.35 a share.

Marathon Patent, Nova Lifestyle Among This Week’s Movers

Shares of Marathon Patent Group, Inc., a Santa Monica company that acquires assets from patent holders, rose 39% to close the week at $2.50 a share. Nova Lifestyle, Inc., a furniture manufacturer in Commerce, rose 28% this week to close at $1.52 a share. The week’s biggest loser was Differential Brands Group, Inc., a Commerce firm developing clothing brands such as Joe’s Jeans, Robert Graham and Hudson in for retail, e-commerce and licensing channels, falling 33% to close at $5.35 a share.

Marathon Patent, Nova Lifestyle Among This Week’s Movers

Shares of Marathon Patent Group, Inc., a Santa Monica company that acquires assets from patent holders, rose 39% to close the week at $2.50 a share. Nova Lifestyle, Inc., a furniture manufacturer in Commerce, rose 28% this week to close at $1.52 a share.

Hope for Porter Ranch?

A state official said Thursday that the damaged well spewing natural gas near Porter Ranch could be capped by the end of next week, according to the Los Angeles Times. A senior advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown said that the relief well that is being drilled was tentatively expected to intercept the leaking well as early as Monday.

SoCal Gas Scraps Relocation Plan

A controversial plan by SoCal Gas has been thrown out. The plan would have given displaced residents only 48 hours to return home once the Porter Ranch gas leak, which has been spewing gas since October, is contained.

Dauman’s Viacom Appointment Sparks Uncertainty

The appointment of Philippe Dauman as chairman of Viacom Inc. has exposed a boardroom rift that could cause uncertainty for Nickelodeon, MTV and Paramount Pictures. The lone vote against Dauman came from Sumner Redstone's daughter, Shari Redstone.

Marinello Schools of Beauty to Close

Marinello Schools of Beauty announced Thursday it will close all 56 of its campuses after losing federal funding, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The Department of Education said that Marinello was requesting federal aid for students based on invalid high school diplomas, and under-awarding federal aid to students, among other infractions.

Time Up for Lotto Winner

Public schools are set to receive a $63-million boost because the winner of the huge SuperLotto prize has failed to file a claim, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lottery winner had until 5 p.m. Thursday to do so.

Persian Carpets Roll into U.S.

After years of waiting, imported Persian carpets are now available throughout the U.S., following the lifting of sanctions against Iran. The end of the embargo is reinvigorating a commercial lifeline in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 31 points in early trading Friday to 16,385. The S&P 500 was down 10 points to 1,905. The Nasdaq was down 41 points to 4,468. The LABJ Stock Index was down 2 points to 212.

Thursday, February 4

UBeam Hires Two Ultrasound Veterans

Wireless power startup uBeam of Santa Monica has hired two ultrasonic industry veterans.

Viacom: Redstone Replaced Despite Daughter’s Disapproval

MTV and Comedy Central have a new boss. The Los Angeles Times reported that Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman was elected chairman Thursday, succeeding his mentor Sumner Redstone.

Chicagoan Becomes Tribune Publishing’s Largest Shareholder

Chicago entrepreneur Michael Ferro is investing $44.4 million in Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing Co. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that the move makes him the company’s largest shareholder and gives the company cash that could bolster a planned bid for the Orange County Register.

Lions Gate Still Shooting For ‘Starz’

Lions Gate Entertainment plans to restart talks to acquire Starz about a year after buying a stake in the pay-TV network, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Hyperloop Gambles on Las Vegas Test Site

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop Technologies has submitted plans for a full-scale test site at an industrial park in North Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.

‘Unicorns’ Alive and Well In L.A. reported Thursday that a study by the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business revealed Los Angeles is home to 5 percent of all the “unicorn,” or high-value start-up companies.

Stocks Mostly Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,412. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,915. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 4,510. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 214.

Viacom Board Discussing Succession Today

Viacom´s board of directors will meet on Thursday to consider naming a new chairman to succeed Sumner Redstone, CNN Money reports. Chief Executive Les Moonves was named the new chair of Redstone’s other company, CBS Corp., on Wednesday, but the transition at Viacom, owner of Paramount Pictures, MTV and Comedy Central, may not be so straightforward.

Former Port of L.A. Police Chief Pleads Guilty

The former chief of police at the Port of Los Angeles pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of tax evasion and providing a false statement to the FBI, according to the Los Angeles Times. Ronald Boyd faces up to 11 years in federal prison at a sentencing scheduled for July 25.

Playboy’s New Era Stars Now

Playboy has today published its first issue without fully nude photos, CNN Money reports. In a bid to reach a younger audience, the magazine is also doing away with a pair of long-running features: the cartoon and its monthly list of party jokes.

Unclaimed Lottery Jackpot Mystery

California´s public schools might get a boost. With hours to go and $63 million on the line, no one has yet claimed a winning California Lottery ticket that was sold on Aug. 8 at a 7-Eleven store in the Chatsworth neighborhood, the AP reports.

Disney’s Ticketing Plan for China Theme Park

Tickets will go on sale March 28 for the $5.5-billion Disney resort opening in Shanghai in June, Disney announced Wednesday. According to the Los Angeles Times, ticket prices will vary from $56 to $76.

Fur Flies Over Pet Store Rules

Members of the city’s Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee has updated zoning rules regulating pet shops, allowing shops with four or more dogs that stay overnight in the store to be allowed in commercial neighborhoods, the L.A. Daily News reports. Such shops were previously only allowed in industrial areas.

Huge Ratings For O.J. Drama

The premiere of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has become FX´s most watched series launch ever, according to E! Online. The show pulled in 5.1 million total viewers.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 58 points in early trading Thursday to 16,278. The S&P 500 was down 10 points to 1,902. The Nasdaq was down 34 points to 4,470. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 213.

Wednesday, February 3

The Bouqs Raises $12 Million

The Bouqs Co., an online flower delivery company in Venice, has raised a $12 million Series B round.

OpenMethods Raises $5 Million

OpenMethods, a customer service management software company in Los Angeles, has raised a $5 million round.

READER POLL: When the Expo Line to Santa Monica opens in May, you will

When the Expo Line to Santa Monica opens in May, you will

Sumner Redstone Steps Down as CBS Chairman

Sumner Redstone will resign as CBS’ executive chairman amid heightened questions about the 92 year-old billionaire's physical and mental health. Redstone will be replaced by Leslie Moonves, the president and chief executive officer of CBS, Variety reported Wednesday.

Massive USC Project Hits Halfway Mark

The USC Village project, at the southern end of the Figueroa Corridor, hit the halfway point of construction last week.

L.A. Scores Points With IOC

Describing his L.A. visit as "very special" and its venues as "most impressive," International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Los Angeles has a "strong team” and “shows how much you can build on an Olympic legacy,” reported the Orange County Register late Tuesday.

Will ‘Made In USA’ Be American Apparel’s Salvation?

"Made in the USA" has been the backbone of American Apparel's existence since the company went into business 27 years ago. reported Wednesday morning that Chief Executive Paula Schneider, who took the company's reins last year, said this message got lost amid some "salacious" advertising, and controversial headlines regarding founder Dov Charney.

Toyota Scraps Scion Brand

An automotive “Scion” is stepping aside in the name of progress. The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Toyota will shelve the youth-oriented nameplate.

Dershowitz: Simpson Case Changed LAPD

In spite of his opinion that the O.J. Simpson case didn't introduce any novel legal principle, Alan Dershowitz still believes the “Trial of the Century” helped change the way police behave in Los Angeles.

Medbox Puts Out ‘Notis’ of Name Change

In posting Wednesday, Medbox formally announced that as of Jan. 28, it changed its legal name to Notis Global Inc.

Virgin Goes Hawaiian

Virgin America said Tuesday that it plans to launch daily flights between Los Angeles and Honolulu in May, with flights to Maui starting the following month, Pacific Business News reported.

A ‘Treat’ For Beauty Buffs and Salon Owners

Refinery 29, a Los Angeles fashion and beauty news site, announced the launch of Treat, an app that allows women to purchase a subscription for an unlimited number of blowouts at West Hollywood and Beverly Hills salons for $125 a month.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 172 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,326. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to close at 1,912. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to close at 4,505. The LABJ Stock Index was up 2 points to close at 214.

Utility Charged For Reporting Leak Late

The lawsuits are stacking up for the Southern California Gas Co. The utility was charged Tuesday for allegedly failing to immediately report the natural gas leak north of Los Angeles, Bloomberg reports. The criminal complaint filed by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey accuses SoCalGas of four misdemeanors related to discharging air contaminants and failing to report the release of hazardous materials.

A Conundrum for Disney

It’s an odd time for the Walt Disney Co. On the one hand, it's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is generating billions in ticket sales and related merchandise, the Los Angeles Times reports. On the other, Disney´s shares have declined 19 percent in the last three months, mainly over concerns about its drooping TV business.

Mixed Results in USC Union Vote

A vote to unionize part-time and contract faculty of the University of Southern California yielded mixed results, KPCC reports. Faculty at USC's Roski School of Art and Design and USC's International Academy voted to join the Service Employees International Union, while those at USC's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences did not.

Toyota to Settle Bias Investigation

Toyota will settle a lawsuit by paying as much as $21.9 million to black and Asian borrowers who paid more for auto loans than whites, the Los Angeles Times reports. Toyota Motor Credit Corp. in Torrance had been under investigation by the Department of Justice and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2013 for its auto lending practices.

VW Submits Proposal to Fix Diesels

Volkswagen, having been caught for cheating on air emissions from diesel engines, will try to bring its motors up to California's air quality standards. According to the AP, the company submitted a proposal Tuesday to fix Porsches, Audis and Volkswagen cars with six-cylinder, 3.0-liter diesel engines.

Musk Denies ‘Rude’ Client his Tesla

A customer’s order for a new Tesla was canceled personally by chief executive Elon Musk after the would-be customer slammed the company in a blog post, CNBC reports. Musk called the customer "super rude." The customer noted that he hadn´t had his car order killed when he criticized BMW.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 71 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,224. The S&P 500 was up 6 points to 1,909. The Nasdaq was up 13 points to 4,529. The LABJ Stock Index was up 2 points to 215.

Tuesday, February 2

Deluxe Sells Its Ad Management Software Unit

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group of Burbank has sold off its AdServices unit, which develops television content management software, to London’s Adstream.

RadPad Adds Short-Term Rentals

Apartment listing service RadPad Inc. has added short-term apartment rentals to its platform.

Pasadena Paves Pathway to $15 Minimum Wage

After a long night of deliberation among members of the Pasadena City Council, Pasadena early Tuesday became the fifth city in Los Angeles County to raise its minimum wage.

Long Beach Businesses Push Back On Minimum Wage

The Long Beach Business Journal reported Monday that businesses there are critical of the Long Beach City Council’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2019 with an eventual pathway to $15 an hour by 2021.

Universal Studios Hollywood Unveils 'Demand Pricing'

If you want to be among the first to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, you may want to familiarize yourself with its new pricing structure.

AMC, Lionsgate Take Gaming Interests to ‘Next’ Level

AMC Networks and Lionsgate were among existing investors that put a combined total of $10 million into Next Games, a Finnish game maker, according to The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.

LAX Won’t Ever Be a Hub

Despite the terminal renovations and flight expansions, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that it would be unlikely that LAX will ever be a true airline “fortress hub” like Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, or Newark, N.J., in which a single airline can command as much as 75 percent of the traffic.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 296 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,154. The S&P fell 36 points to close at 1,903. The Nasdaq fell 103 points to 4,517. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points to 213.

Daily News Owner to Bid for O.C. Register

Digital First Media, the owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, is interested in bidding for the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times reports. A three-way bidding war for the bankrupt publishing company might now be underway between Digital First, Freedom Communications, and Tribune Publishing.

Big Cuts at 21st Century Fox

21st Century Fox will cut its West Coast workforce in an effort to shave $250 million from its budget, the Los Angeles Times reports. The TV network and film studio announced the cuts as consumers increasingly scale back on paid-TV subscriptions.

Lights Still Out in the Southland

More than 18,000 Department of Water and Power customers remain without power following a windy winter storm. The communities most affected are South Park, Harvard Heights, Wilmington, Historic South-Central, East Hollywood, and Larchmont, the L.A. Daily News reports.

Music Industry Lobbying Group in the Works

The organization behind the Grammy Awards plans to form a lobbying group in Washington, the New York Times reports. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is creating a political action committee that will raise money from members for congressional candidates deemed sympathetic to their causes.

Exxon Given Green Light to Truck Out Oil

Exxon Mobil. won approval Monday to use trucks to move more than 17 million gallons of oil in storage tanks, the AP reports. The oil has been stuck since a pipeline break in May caused an oil spill in Santa Barbara, the largest coastal spill in 25 years.

Chipotle Stocks Rally

Two E. coli outbreaks tied to Chipotle Mexican Grill appear to be over, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. According to the Los Angeles Times, shares of the company rallied upon the news. Stocks closed Monday up 4 percent.

Some Former Coastal Commissioners Oppose Ousting Exec

Thirty-five former members of the California Coastal Commission oppose an effort to fire Charles Lester, the embattled executive director of the land-use agency, the Los Angeles Times reports. The effort to oust the director reportedly pits pro- and anti-development factions.

Winner, Claim Thy Prize

If a SuperLotto winner fails to come forward by Thursday, a $63 million prize will be forfeited and go toward California’s public schools, CBSLA reports. The winning ticket was bought in August at a 7-Eleven in Chatsworth.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 248 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,202. The S&P 500 was down 26 points to 1,913. The Nasdaq was down 54 points to 4,569. The LABJ Stock Index was down 3 points to 213.

Monday, February 1

Beacher in Talks to Buy, Transform, Playboy Mansion

Jeff Beacher, the creator of the Beacher’s Madhouse theater venues at the MGM Grand Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, is setting his sights on the Playboy Mansion for his newest and most exclusive showplace.

Atom Tickets Raises $50 Million from Studios

Movie ticket app Atom Tickets of Santa Monica has raised a $50 million Series B round from investors, including Lionsgate, Walt Disney Co. and Twentieth Century Fox.

L.A. Tech Calendar: Feb. 1 – Feb. 21

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

Fandango Buys Video-Streaming Platform

Online movie ticket seller Fandango announced that it acquired Culver City video-streaming service MediaNaviCo, known as M-Go, late on Friday.

Relativity Has Day in Court With Assist From Kevin Spacey

Beverly Hills film and television studio Relativity Media, which declared bankruptcy last year, faced a court hearing in New York Monday as it worked to regain its financial footing. Variety reported that Relativity Media on Monday revealed that the company raised just $20 million of the $100 million that it had said it needed to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Santa Monica Appeals Ruling to Keep Airport Open

The Aviation International News reported Monday that the city of Santa Monica has appealed the Federal Aviation Administration’s December determination that requires the city to keep the historic airport open at least through 2023.

IOC Gives L.A. Its First Olympic Trial

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, is in Los Angeles to visit proposed venues for the 2024 Olympic Games, KCBS (Channel 2) reported Monday morning.

Company Owners Sentenced In Fraud Scheme

The owners and operators of a medical equipment supply company in Long Beach were sentenced Friday for their roles in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud scheme, the Justice Department announced Saturday on its web site.

JetBlue to Launch Flight to Buffalo

JetBlue on Monday announced it is launching non-stop flights between Buffalo, N.Y. and Los Angeles. The new service begins June 16 and will operate year-round.

Stocks Mostly Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17 points in Monday trading to close at 16,449. The S&P fell 1 point to close at 1,939. The Nasdaq rose 7 points to close at 4,287. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to close at 216.

South Bay Cities Oppose State´s Pot Regs

Cities are making their own rules regarding federally banned marijuana. Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, Lawndale and Gardena have enacted comprehensive medical-marijuana prohibitions, with Hermosa Beach, El Segundo and Rancho Palos Verdes poised to do the same by next month, the Daily Breeze reports.

SoCal Casinos Aim to Lure Millennials

Casino executives are turning their attention to younger millennials, increasingly sure that baby boomers may soon be placing their last bets. According to the Los Angeles Times, large-scale projects including the $50 million renovation of the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens and a $285-million casino in the works by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians are aimed at reaching a younger audience.

O´Hara´s Closes Its Doors

The last of Westwood's dive bars, O’Hara’s, celebrated its final night of business Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Rocco's Tavern, an Italian-themed chain restaurant, will replace the bar.

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Opens On Top

"Kung Fu Panda 3" led the North American box office this weekend, with a respectable $41 million. According to Fox, the DreamWorks Animation film cost $145 million to make and earned an "A'' CinemaScore from audiences — 70 percent of whom were families. "The Revenant" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" took second and third place, respectively.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 133 in early trading Monday to 16,333.. The S&P 500 was down 14 points to 1,926. The Nasdaq was down 31 points to 4,583. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 215.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tech's New Stages

How does an old-fashioned form of entertainment such as live theater survive and thrive in an era when so many consumers stream their entertainment at home and on mobile phones?

Tease photo

Prices Often Hottest Topic for Ice-Cream Shops

FOOD: Businesses look to balance expenses with mix of low-, high-cost flavors.

Here’s the scoop: Artisanal ice-cream shops find consistent menu prices pay off in more sales.

Tease photo

Parking Up the Wrong Tree

An assemblyman’s Parking Bill of Rights needs an important amendment, Charles Crumpley writes.

DJ’s Agency Cues Up Gigs For Women

Tessa Young’s Prism looks to turn tables on male-dominated sector.

Tessa Young’s Prism aims to tune up the careers of women DJs.

Looking Up

Trumark Urban moves into downtown L.A.’s tight condo market with luxury tower project.

Developer Trumark Urban is high on prospects in downtown Los Angeles for its luxury condos.

Tease photo

Boutique Firm Rules in Favor of Youthful Hires

STAFFING: Wilkinson Walsh founders hope to make their case with younger associates.

New boutique law firm Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz is banking on youth.

Passion for Cars Shifts Gears

When Paran Johar gets ready to drive to work, he has his pick of impressive autos: a Mercedes, Jaguar, Chevrolet Camaro convertible and custom Triumph, among others.

Costs Hit Too Close to Home

L.A. housing grabs bigger chunk of owners’, renters’ income than other more famously high-price areas.

A variety of factors has opened the door to L.A.’s high costs for homeowners and renters, writes Ted M. Handel.

Ex-CEO Says Unique Approach Powered American Apparel

American Apparel’s ousted founder Dov Charney writes how the new owners are a poor fit for the clothing company.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Lee & Associates, an Orange-headquartered commercial real estate services firm, has opened an office in Pasadena, the firm’s 27th in California.

Toymaker’s Tablet Deal Plays Well on Wall Street

MANUFACTURING: New line of Barbies may also lift struggling Mattel’s stock.

Mattel’s pickup of tablet maker Fuhu pushes the right buttons with investors.

L.A.’s Ad Tech Firms Connected With Healthy 2015

ONLINE: SteelHouse, others saw revenue soar with help of ‘programmatic’ process.

Revenue surged last year as SteelHouse and other ad tech firms continued to click with clients.

Online Subprime Lender Banks on Diverse Hiring

EMPLOYMENT: Women engineers particular focus in hiring for ZestFinance.

ZestFinance is trying to increase its employee diversity and the company wants the world to know why.

Downtown Renaissance Coming In on the Money

ECONOMY: Area boosters tout bright financial picture beyond pricey real estate.

Downtown L.A.’s renaissance has spread well beyond residents moving into high-price apartments and is now boosting the entire economy.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tech's New Stages

Entertainment Law

Joe Calabrese works on major entertainment deals around the world out of law firm Latham & Watkins’ Century City office.

Fresh Money In Old Shows

TV: Revenue from streaming alters big picture for some.

Streaming services can prove a lucrative new financial channel for old programs.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tech's New Stages


John Cohen might not be a household name but the Hollywood movie producer is a megastar in the animation community.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tech's New Stages


Eighteen months ago, West Hollywood actress Ruth Connell was struggling to get auditions, let alone roles.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tech's New Stages


Summer Watson has studied as an opera singer at London’s prestigious Royal College of Music, scored a No. 1 album on the U.S. classical charts and performed for royalty and celebrities on the world’s leading concert stages.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Beach Hotel’s Revamp Aims For Big Splash

Santa Monica’s Loews checks into $30 million renovation project.

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel looks to shore up its seaside appeal with a $30 million makeover.

Auto Dealerships Helped Drive Deal for Center

SALE: Decron gives credit to broad tenant lineup for $84.5 million transaction.

Decron Properties, an L.A. real estate and management firm that made a $30.3 million wager on a struggling shopping center in the San Gabriel Valley nearly two decades ago, has seen its bet pay off.

Stepping Out

FOOTWEAR: Shoes of Prey puts design decisions in hands of consumers while taming added costs of custom-made products.

Shoes of Prey touts its customer-designed products as the next step in connecting with consumers.

Tease photo