Stories for July 2016

Friday, July 29

What To Watch This Weekend: "Jason Bourne"

A look at the plot of this weekend's big new movie release from a business perspective.

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Soylent CEO Faces Jail Time Over Montecito Heights Shipping Container

The chief executive of Soylent, a meal replacement drink start-up based in Los Angeles, was charged on Friday with four criminal counts stemming from his refusal to move an abandoned shipping container from a Montecito Heights hillside.

Movers for Week Ending July 29, 2016

El Segundo-based direct marketing company PCM was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 40 percent to end at $16.62. Commerce-based Differential Brands Group was also among the week’s movers. The branded consumer platform gained 38 percent to end at $4.89. Commerce-based Smart & Final grocery store company was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 11 percent to end at $13.79.

Long Beach Approves $46.4 Million Program to Battle Pollution

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners will give $46.4 million to mitigate the impacts of the port-related air pollution in adjacent communities.

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Convention Center Demand Sparks Plans for 1,100-Room Hotel

Lightstone Group is moving forward with plans to build a $450 million hotel with 1,100 rooms across from the Convention Center. The New York developer recently submitted its application to city planners for a Gensler-designed project of two towers, one of 40 stories and the other of 28, which would be run by three hotel brands.

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Playa Vista Office Headed for $426 Million Sale

A pair of Playa Vista offices built during the bottom of the market in 2009 are slated to sell for $425.8 million, or $850 a square foot, according to a source working in the market. The buyer expected to pick up the silvery buildings on Bluff Creek Drive from JP Morgan Chase & Co. is Edward J. Minskoff Equities of New York. A representative at Minskoff declined to comment. JP Morgan, represented by Eastdil Secured, could not immediately be reached.

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Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment Taking Flight

BIOTECH: Kite’s state-of-art facility puts research on fast track.

Kite Pharma’s nondescript El Segundo manufacturing facility is at the forefront of cancer-fighting efforts.

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Knockout Opportunity

FITNESS: Sale of UFC to WME/IMG may boost franchising.

The purchase of Ultimate Fighting Championship by WME/IMG may boost the prospects for franchisees of its branded gyms.

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Inner-City Opportunity

Britten Shuford says the best way to help inner-city youth is to have businesses engage in their training.

Still Game

American Olympians, young Angelenos benefit from ’84 event

The financial legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles lives on as local leaders continue their effort to secure the 2024 summer games.

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Food Entrepreneurs Have Menu for Underserved

DINING: Everytable seeks to bring health, equity to fast food in poorer locales.

Startup Everytable wants to deliver on its promise of meals priced according to neighborhood income levels.

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Good Times

Norman Lear, 94, is still at it, producing a new version of an old hit, hosting shows, and worrying about Trump

Legendary TV producer Norman Lear talks updating a classic show, creating provocative content, and his fear of Donald Trump.

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A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

TECHNOLOGY: Rise of virtual reality industry has conference growing quickly.

Virtual reality innovators, industry leaders, and consumers are about to gather in actual reality for the VRLA Summer Expo.

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Animation House Drawn to Project

Foray into hybrid live-action series, a first for firm, makes its debut at Comic-Con.

Hollywood animation studio Titmouse is generating buzz for its forthcoming Fox sitcom “Son of Zorn.”

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Cigar Maker Meets its Match

Tobacco company wedded to line of custom marriage- related smokes.

Custom Tobacco’s cigar rolling service is booming during summer wedding season.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Immigrant Entrepreneurs

The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.


The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.


The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.

SPECIAL REPORT: Clara Reis Winston

The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.

SPECIAL REPORT: Beatriz Acevedo

The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.

SPECIAL REPORT: Michael Laznicka

The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.

SPECIAL REPORT: Victoria Silchenko

The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.

SPECIAL REPORT: Hector and Norma Orci

The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.


The Business Journal spotlights local company founders for whom the advantages of being in Los Angeles hit home.

In Homes We Trust

Homeownership ‘cheerleaders’ are driving the housing market here and across the nation toward a bubble.

Signs are pointing to another real estate bubble, writes Linnea Bernard McCord.

Failure to Connect

Business and government can’t seem to get it right on technology, so it’s time to think creatively about alternatives.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Catch of the Day

Scott Gibson enjoys fishing as a way to bring balance into his fast-paced work life as president of Gibson International, a residential real estate firm in Brentwood.

Munger’s Tech Venture Booted

The State Bar has booted Charles Munger’s Daily Journal Corp. from a contract to revamp the organization’s case management system.

MCNs Dial Into Foreign Content

Local multichannel networks are turning their attention overseas as the domestic market becomes saturated.

Spa Claims Landlord Squeezing It Out of Lease

LITIGATION: Koreatown club says developer wants to make way for condos.

A lawsuit filed last week by a popular Koreatown spa and health club claims the developer who bought the historic Wilshire Galleria building for $49 million in November is illegally trying to force the business out to make room for a luxury condo and hotel project.

N.Y. Hotel Developer Checking Into Downtown

HOSPITALITY: Demand for rooms near Convention Center spurs large project.

Lightstone Group is moving forward with plans to build a $450 million hotel with 1,100 rooms across from the Convention Center.

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Scopely Closes Series B as Mobile Games Spur Race for Partnerships

Mobile game producer and distributor Scopely has closed a $55 million Series B funding round, bringing its total equity funding to $99 million.

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Sports Museum Makes Another Pitch for Fans

HOSPITALITY: Collector revives memorabilia venue after seven-year hiatus.

As the Dodgers mire through the dog days of summer, sports collector Gary Cypres is trying to ignite a passion for baseball among younger generations.

‘Suicide Squad’ to Breathe Life Into Box Office

FILM: Warner Bros.’ anti- heroes expected to break summer ticket sale record.

Star-studded supervillain movie “Suicide Squad” looks set to save the summer box office by opening to record numbers this weekend.

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Network’s Olympic Effort Has Station Seeing Gold

BROADCASTING: KNBC has doubled the size of its team covering Rio games.

KNBC is doubling down on its coverage of the Summer Olympics as ad dollars help bring home the gold.

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Thursday, July 28

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Speaks at DNC

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is speaking for the first time at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday in Philadelphia. In addition to showing his support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Garcetti said he will “share the story of Los Angeles as a model for the country,” according to an email sent to his 2017 reelection supporters. Of his achievements under his administration, Garcetti is expected to highlight the citywide law passed in May to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Culver City Firm to Build Zero-Emissions Bus Station in Long Beach

Long Beach officials are planning on building a new zero-emissions bus station near the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

Wednesday, July 27

Silicon Beach Report July 27: Opens Massive New Headquarters opens massive new headquarters, Hyperloop opens manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas, Influential raises $5 million, and more.

Los Angeles Clippers May Leave Staples Center for Westside

The Los Angeles Clippers could be moving out of downtown’s Staples Center once their current lease expires in June 2024, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Hyperloop One Builds World's First Hyperloop Manufacturing Plant

Los Angeles-based next generation transportation company Hyperloop One announced that it opened the world’s first Hyperloop manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas today. Opens Massive New Headquarters

Car shopping website Inc. moved into a new 143,000-square-foot headquarters at the Colorado Center in Santa Monica on Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 26

Clicks Targeted in Legal Battle between Online Ad Firms Criteo and SteelHouse

Culver City-based online ad firm SteelHouse Inc. filed a countersuit Tuesday against French rival Criteo SA in a quickly escalating battle over how the two companies generate and track clicks that lead to web sales for their clients.

Silicon Beach Report July 26: Neil Clark Warren Steps Down as eHarmony’s CEO

Neil Clark Warren steps down as eHarmony’s chief executive, SteelHouse Countersues rival, Scopely raises $55 million, and more.

Neil Clark Warren Steps Down as eHarmony’s CEO

Neil Clark Warren is retiring from his position as chief executive of eHarmony. He will retain his position as chairman of the dating website.

Monday, July 25

Silicon Beach July 25: AwesomenessTV Signs United Kingdom Distribution Deal

AwesomenessTV signs United Kingdom distribution deal, StackPath acquires MaxCDN, Atom Tickets expands ticketing service, and more.

AwesomenessTV Signs United Kingdom Distribution Deal

AwesomenessTV of West Los Angeles has signed a deal to distribute its TV series in the United Kingdom through British broadcaster ITV.

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Friday, July 22

Mattel Reports Strong ‘Ghostbusters’ Sales Amid Disappointing Q2 Results

Mattel Inc. is ready to believe in the new “Ghostbusters.” On Friday, the El Segundo-based toymaker reported strong sales figures that have “exceeded expectations” for its “Ghostbusters” action figures and movie-inspired replica items such as the Ecto vehicle and the Proton pack. The announcement was originally reported by Variety.

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Movers for Week Ending July 22, 2016

Los Angeles-based bio pharmaceutical company Puma Biotechnology Inc. was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 26 percent to end at $$42.52. Commerce-based Differential Brands Group was also among the week’s movers. The branded consumer platform gained 19 percent to end at $3.55. Manhattan Beach’s performance footwear company Skechers Inc. was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 23 percent to end at $24.99.

Silicon Beach Report for July 22: Birchbox Runs Customer Service Test on Snapchat

Birchbox runs customer service test on Snapchat, Free Reign Entertainment launches Shattered Skies, and Easypose expands on-demand yoga instruction.

Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.8 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in June, the lowest it’s been since January 2007, according to figures released Friday. In May, the seasonally adjusted rate was 4.9 percent.

Radio, TV Broadcaster Tops Chart

INVESTMENT: Entravision hits No. 1 on list of most profitable.

Spanish-language radio and TV broadcaster Entravision dialed up its performance to top the Business Journal’s list of most profitable public companies.

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Giving Credit

LENDING: Chinese search giant links with ZestFinance algorithm.

Online-focused ZestFinance hopes its algorithm model clicks with the Chinese market.

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Paper Delivers With Internet

Los Angeles Times has found social media more welcoming than local TV news rivals.

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Game Gives Firm Leg Up On Wellness

Citadel incorporates Pokémon Go craze into walking club program.

Citadel Environmental Services steps up its walking club program with the addition of Pokémon Go.

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Co-Working Space Still Campaigns for Ad Firms

REAL ESTATE: El Camp’s founder Eric Johnson sees strength in sector focus.

Founder of co-working space El Camp still sees ad industry focus as a plus.

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Hitching Ride at Theme Parks

MARKETING: Index sees sites as major attractions for toy sales.

Index Promotions looks to ride the theme park boom into more custom merchandise orders.

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Lawmakers Question Support for Infrastructure

POLITICS: Group alleges SoCal projects not getting share of federal grants.

A group of local lawmakers is demanding to know why the U.S. Department of Transportation has denied freight and road grants to several Southern California projects, including two at the Port of Long Beach.

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New FAA Guidance May Lift Drone Companies

New FAA Guidance May Lift Drone Companies

New federal rules on commercial use could help sales take off for drone maker AeroVironment.

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Eyes of Kids Worth Look For Nonprofit

Austin Beutner frames children’s health as Vision to Learn’s goal.

Austin Beutner sees Vision to Learn’s eye exams as a way to focus on children’s health.

High on Scary Situations

If the sky is the limit in starting and running a business, Dan Goman wants to see just how high he can go.

Research Business Hopes to Ring Up Responses

SURVEY: Reconnect touts misdialed calls as chance to accurately poll public.

As election season heats up, opinion polls are on everyone’s mind.

Multilevel Marketing Makeover?

Herbalife Ltd.’s $200 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission will mean a rethinking of how it conducts operations, but reimagining a $6 billion company’s business model is no easy task.

Business Journal sorts through the good and bad news in Herbalife’s $200 million FTC settlement.

Playa Vista Office Acquisition Sets Record High

SALE: Tech influx helped drive up Playa Jefferson’s price tag to $165 million.

Playa Jefferson has sold for $165 million, or $843 a square foot, making it Playa Vista’s priciest office sale, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Different Directions

The profitability of publicly held real estate companies and Dollar Shave Club’s $1 billion exit are all part of the story of the strength of the local economy.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Online Razor Service Proves Cut Above as $1 Billion Acquisition

The acquisition of Dollar Shave Club by Unilever for $1 billion in cash gave the London-based consumer goods giant its first razor business.

Virtual Monster Hunters Big Game for Businesses

INTERNET: Mall, battleship museum among courters of Pokémon Go pedestrians.

Some businesses are seeing real boosts in customer traffic from hunters of Pokémon Go’s virtual beasts.

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

LAW: Most lawyers likely will be courting failure at this week’s bar exams.

Recent law graduates in California are gearing up to take the state’s bar exam, which will run July 26 to 28 and is given locally at the Los Angeles Convention Center as well as in Culver City and Pasadena.

Thursday, July 21

Social Productivity App WeDo Launches Publicly

From Fantastical to Evernote there are dozens of popular productivity apps that help users do everything from planning an interview to remembering to take out the garbage. Organization junkies will need to make room for one more as WeDo, the latest iteration on so called to-do apps was publicly launched on Thursday.

Silicon Beach Report July 21: Tinder Launches Group Activity Feature

Tinder Launches group activity, Legend VR to create virtual reality for Stan Lee, and Machinima launches in China.

Millennials Drive Growth in Attendance at Universal Studios

Zombies and wizards are drawing an unexpected audience to Universal Studios Hollywood this year: millennials.

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June Los Angeles Residential Real Estate Market Heats Up

The number and price of homes sold in the Los Angeles metropolitan area continued their upward trend this year in June, according to data from the Seattle real estate company Redfin.

L.A. Metro Sued Over Downtown Project

An outdoor mall in Little Tokyo sued the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday in an attempt to halt construction of the major rail project in downtown.

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Wednesday, July 20

Feds Look to Recover Assets from 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Money Laundering Scheme

Oscar-nominated film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” produced by West Hollywood’s Red Granite Pictures Inc., is at the top of a list that identifies more than $200 million in assets linked to Los Angeles that the United States government aims to recover after an alleged international money laundering conspiracy.

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Silicon Beach Report July 20: Dollar Shave Club Acquired for $1 Billion

Dollar Shave Club acquired for $1 billion, Rubicon Project signs deal to automated Spotify ad inventory, RadPad adds electronic leases, and more.

Director and Producer Garry Marshall Dies at 81

Legendary director and producer Garry Marshall died on Tuesday, at the age of 81. His publicist, Michelle Bega confirmed the news first reported by Access Hollywood that Marshall had died of complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank.

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Tuesday, July 19

Mattel Acquires License for ‘Jurassic World’ Toys

El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc. said today it won the toy license for the upcoming new “Jurassic World” film.

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Silicon Beach Report July 19: Snapchat Confirms Bitstrips Acquisition

Snapchat confirms Bitstrips acquisition, Hyperloop One hits back at former executives, DreamWorks inks virtual reality deal, and more.

Snapchat Confirms Bitstrips Acquisition

Snapchat of Venice has confirmed that it has acquired Bitmoji app maker Bitstrips of Toronto.

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Hyperloop One Hits Back at Former Execs In Latest Court Filing

A week after being sued by four former company executives, next-gen transportation firm Hyperloop One struck back asking for $250 million in damages from what it’s calling the “Gang of Four.”

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Monday, July 18

Silicon Beach Report July 18: Snapchat in Talks for Hollywood TV Shows

Airbnb to pay hotel taxes to City of Los Angeles, Snapchat is in talks for Hollywood TV shows, SpaceX lands fifth rocket, and more.

Academy Elects Steven Spielberg to Board of Governors

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences based in Beverly Hills announced Monday that its newly elected board of governors will be composed of at least six new members, including famed director Steven Spielberg in the directors branch.

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Airbnb to Pay Hotel Taxes to City of Los Angeles

Airbnb will begin to collect and pay hotel taxes on behalf of L.A. properties that are rented on its website starting Aug. 1, per a three-year agreement with the City of Los Angeles.

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Friday, July 15

Playa Vista Office Primed for $165 Million Sale

The Playa Jefferson office campus in Playa Vista is set to sell for $165 million, or $843 a square foot, putting it in league with Playa Vista’s priciest office sales. Rockwood Capital is slated to pick up the 195,668-square-foot site in a deal closing next week, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

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Silicon Beach Report July 15: SpaceX to Launch Ninth Resupply Mission

SpaceX launches ninth resupply mission, Jacobs Engineering Group sells off French subsidiary, Hyperloop pod competition postponed, and more.

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Movers for Week Ending July 15, 2016

Los Angeles-based Spark Networks Inc. was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 25 percent to end at $1.82. West Los Angeles-based Marathon Patent Group was also among the week’s big movers. The patent asset acquisition group gained 15 percent to end at $3.10. Mailing and shipping company was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 13 percent to end at $74.72.

Herbalife Stock Jumps After $200 Million FTC Settlement

Herbalife Ltd. agreed Friday to pay $200 million and change its business model as part of a settlement that ends a two-year probe by the Federal Trade Commission. Crucially, however, the downtown-based company avoided being labeled as a pyramid scheme by federal regulators.

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SpaceX to Launch Ninth Space Station Resupply Mission

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne is scheduled to launch one of its rockets on a resupply mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to the International Space Station on Monday, July 18.

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BBCN and Wilshire Bank Shareholders Approve Merger

Shareholders at the nation’s two largest Korean-American banks, both based in Koreatown in Los Angeles, approved a merger Thursday, according to a press release.

Spirited Offer Draws Ad Execs

Duo pours themselves into developing unique take on Absolut Co.’s Our/Vodka.

Steven Ocheltree and Tyler Simmons seek to bottle L.A.’s spirit with their venture for Our/Vodka.

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L.A. Live Operator Throws Hat in Ring with Headwear Maker

L.A. Live has tipped its cap to a new business partner.

SPECIAL REPORT: Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the second quarter.

Main submarket events in the second quarter.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Measure’s Shaky Foundation

The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative seeking to land on next year’s ballot is laying a weak foundation.

Still Only Human

Well-prepared employees remain middle-market companies’ best defense against attacks by hackers.

Michael A. Gold touts informed employees as middle-market firms’ first line of defense against online attacks.

County Department to Work on Wage Transitions

Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs aims to help workers and bosses navigate new minimum-wage rules, writes Brian J. Stiger.

Video-Game Firm Has Score to Settle Over Mods

ENTERTAINMENT: Suit by Blizzard says product hacks cost millions in revenue.

Video-game company Blizzard looks to play rough with developers of hacking mods.

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Trucking Firms Suspect Amnesty Won’t Deliver

SHIPPING: Employers in drive classification fight give state program a pass.

Trucking firms facing fines over driver misclassification are steering clear of an amnesty program.

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3-D Printers Could Shape Future for Toymaker

MANUFACTURING: Mattel pitches pricey device for use at home by children.

Toy giant Mattel makes a play for creative kids with pricey 3-D printers to be used at home.

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At Home

TECHNOLOGY: Vet execs give guidance to furniture-buying app.

Veteran CEOs are helping design app Homee reshape the furniture-buying business.

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Founder: Boutique Chain Undone by Legal Ties

RETAIL: Ross Fraser goes after former representation for collapse of his Kitson.

Kitson founder Fraser Ross says his former lawyers and chain’s ex-CEO busted his business and cost him millions.

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Good Magazine Hopes to Do Well With Revamp

MEDIA: New editor-in-chief’s makeover includes price hike.

Good magazine sees a refocus on editorial content as the best way to revive the publication’s circulation.

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Oh, Boy! Smut Suit Hits Snapchat

INTERNET: Class action filed on behalf of 14-year-old user.

Attorney looks to send a lasting message to Snapchat with a decency lawsuit filed on behalf of a boy.

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Cake Figurines Find Sweet Spot

Swirly Celebrations crafts custom characters to cover range of wedding parties.

Swirly Celebrations positions its cake figurines as a top attraction for weddings.

Holiday a Workday for CEO

Smart & Final Stores Inc. Chief Executive Dave Hirz marked the Fourth of July making rotisserie chicken. His culinary endeavors weren’t, however, part of a family cookout.

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A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

DINING: Restaurant Week has goal to feed business for participating eateries.

Local eateries hope profits will be on the menu during Dine L.A. Restaurant Week, which helps restaurants entice customers with special menus that will take smaller bites out of their wallets.

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Hyperloop on Wrong Track?

Departed executives allege Hyperloop One working in leadership vacuum.

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Best-Of Edition Ranks as Magazine’s Top Seller

PUBLISHING: Los Angeles hits annual sales high with curious category salutes.

Swimsuits – and ranked lists – sell magazines.

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Streaming Service Takes Break on Traditional Ads

INTERNET: Crackle to run fixed-time commercials with show-related content.

Crackle, a multiplatform streaming service from Sony Entertainment, has implemented a new advertising model designed to keep viewers more engaged during commercials.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Rebuilding Blueprints

Specter of city of L.A. voter initiative that would impose construction restrictions for two years has spurred some property developers to speed up, reposition, or postpone projects.

Fear of a proposed initiative restricting construction projects has real estate firms redrawing their plans for the city of Los Angeles.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Rental Rates Rise as Office Vacancies Dip

Office vacancy rates in Los Angeles County tightened slightly in the second quarter, with rental rates reaching record peaks.

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Maker of Body Cameras Sought Lift From LAPD

TECHNOLOGY: Wolfcom says selection process hurt shot at big business boost.

Wolfcom had hoped to nab the LAPD body camera contract for an image and business boost.

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Thursday, July 14

Bijan Store on Rodeo Drive Sells for At Least $67 Million

Bijan’s yellow store on Rodeo Drive just sold for what the seller’s brokers are describing as a record value per square foot, hitting above last year’s sale of the Chanel building on Rodeo. That site sold for $13,217 a square foot, or $152 million.

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Silicon Beach Report July 14: RealD Acquires Tessive

RealD Acquires Tessive, L.A., tech executives denounce Donald Trump, Airbnb conviction in Santa Monica, and more.

Judge Denies Restraining Order Request Targeting Former Hyperloop One Lawyer

A swarm of allegations continues to buzz around futuristic transportation company Hyperloop One in the wake of an ugly personnel shakeup, but former general counsel Afshin Pishevar – brother of company co-founder and board chair Shervin Pishevar – got some good news in court Thursday.

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Having an Impact in the Workplace Matters Most to Millennials

Knowing their work makes a difference is the most important thing for millennial employees, according to the results of an online survey of almost 900 executives from around the world conducted by Century City-based global organizational advisory firm Korn Ferry in June.

‘Game of Thrones’ Dominates Emmy Nominations

Netflix and “Game of Thrones” dominated the list of nominations for the 68th Emmy Awards, which were announced Thursday morning.

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Snapchat Ranked Second Nationally in Funding Last Quarter

Snapchat raised the second-most amount of money out of all venture capital-backed companies in the country during the second quarter, according to a report released by Dow Jones VentureCapital.

Wednesday, July 13

Yamashiro Restaurant in Hollywood Ready for Revamp

The future of Japanese restaurant Yamashiro in Hollywood is looking brighter following a period of flux after the property sold to a Chinese hotel company. The eatery recently reopened under new management by companies Boulevard Nightlife Group and Sugar Factory, which are planning upgrades to the space and the menu.

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Silicon Beach Report July 13: Virtual Reality Society Launched

Virtual Reality Society launched, Fullscreen hires Vevo’s Scott Reich, and online camera rental startup ShareGrid Raises $1 million.

Universal's Film Chief Detained and Barred From Russia

In an apparent escalation of diplomatic tit for tats, NBC Universal’s film chief Jeff Shell said he was denied entry into Russia and detained by that country’s authorities for about five hours.

New Era Cap Signs Multiyear Deal With L.A. Live Owner AEG

L.A. Live has a new founding partner. Buffalo, N.Y.-based New Era Cap Co. signed a multiyear deal with complex owner AEG to become the official headwear provider for the downtown sports and entertainment campus. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tuesday, July 12

Chapman Plaza Sells as Koreatown Hotspot

Seizing on Chapman Plaza’s appeal as a hip dining and nightlife scene, ArcWest Partners has purchased the Spanish revival-style marketplace in Mid-Wilshire.

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Silicon Beach Report July 12: Hyperloop One, Its Chairman Sued by Co-Founder

Hyperloop One and its chairman sued by co-founder, Virgin Galactic to restart spaceship testing, Disney Accelerator names 2016 class, and more.

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Bravo Sports Acquires La Jolla Skateboard Maker

A portfolio company of Transom Capital Group, a Los Angeles private equity firm which specializes in the lower-middle market, acquired La Jolla skateboard maker Sector 9, the company announced today.

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities Aims at New Pasadena Home

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. will soon put its architects to use on a personal project. The real estate investment trust bought a lot for $17.5 million next to its Pasadena headquarters, and plans to build a home base office.

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UPDATE: Hyperloop One Sued By Co-Founder Over Assault, Financial Mismanagement Allegations

Hyperloop One co-founder and former chief technology officer Brogan BamBrogan sued the next-gen transportation company and its executive membership alleging his ouster in June came after a “hangman’s noose” was left on his desk by the company’s general counsel.

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Monday, July 11

Campaign Veterans Jacobson and Zilber Launch Joint Venture

Veteran political consultants David Jacobson and Maclen Zilber have launched an East Hollywood-based campaign communications firm called Jacobson & Zilber Strategies.

J2 Global Inc. Acquires Another Six Companies in Q2

As it does every quarter, J2 Global Inc. gobbled up another slate of companies. The Hollywood-based internet services company acquired six small companies for an undisclosed amount in the second quarter. The acquired firms include email marketing companies SMTP and Publicaster, digital media company GameTrailers, as well as backup storage companies Electronic Vaulting Services, Safebackup, and 24sevenbackup.

Silicon Beach Report July 11: Warner Bros. Settles with FTC Over Undisclosed Promotions

FTC Hits Warner Bros. for undisclosed paid promotions, the NFL is hiring a Snapchat editor, J2 Global acquires another six companies, and more.

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Warner Bros. Settles with FTC Over Undisclosed Promotions

Burbank-based Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission after reportedly failing to adequately disclose an online marketing campaign for the late-2014 release of role-playing video game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the FTC announced Monday.

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Friday, July 8

Developers Buy Into Bioscience Building

USC, Cal State Los Angeles, and local officials have long pushed for a bioscience community in the industrial area between Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and the Cal State L.A. campus just east of downtown. Now, developer Agora Partners is pitching in, pouring private investment into plans to develop a “bioscience corridor.”

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Silicon Beach Report July 8: Surf Air Expands Routes in Europe

Surf Air expands routes in Europe, SpaceX signs lease for Orange County office, and Fullscreen offers sample content via AT&T and DirecTV.

Movers for Week Ending July 8, 2016

Los Angeles-based biotechnology company Puma Biotechnology Inc. was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 15 percent to end at $35. Santa Monica-based TrueCar Inc. was also among the week’s big movers. The automotive pricing and information web site rose 9 percent to end at $8.72. Trio-Tech International was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 14 percent to end at $2.86.

Surf Air Adds Routes in Europe

All-you-can-fly subscription airline Surf Air will start flying several routes in Europe starting this October. The Santa Monica-based airline will fly between London, Cannes, France, Geneva, and Zurich. Members of the service will pay a monthly fee of about $3,200, which will allow them to fly an unlimited amount of times.

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What To Watch This Weekend: 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' and 'The Secret Life of Pets'

A look at the plots of this weekend's big new movie releases from a business perspective.

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A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

EVENTS: Comic-Con real draw for Hollywood with its nerd consumer power.

Legions of fans and journalists along with L.A.-area entertainment executives and Hollywood stars will soon flood into San Diego for the influential annual pop culture festival Comic-Con International.

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Apparel Maker Folds Schedule

CLOTHING: Hale Bob drops calendar for see now, buy now.

Hale Bob has decided it’s time to ditch seasonal apparel rollouts for a see now, buy now approach.

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Equity Firm Pulls Off Sweet $725 Million Deal for Maker of Twinkies

Is Gores Group developing a sweet tooth?

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Buyer Pictures Plaza in Koreatown as Hot Spot

ACQUISITION: ArcWest’s deal for historic Chapman site valued at $53 million.

Seizing on Chapman Plaza’s appeal as a hip dining and nightlife scene, ArcWest Partners has purchased the Spanish revival-style marketplace in Mid-Wilshire.

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Game Company Makes Move for More Mobile

LICENSING: SGN acquires TinyCo with eye toward Hollywood franchises.

In a move to further consolidate the mobile gaming industry and to obtain lucrative licensing deals for several Hollywood franchises, last week mobile-game maker SGN of Culver City acquired game developer TinyCo of San Francisco for an undisclosed amount.

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Nonprofit Steps Up Historic Walks for Summer

TOURISM: Conservancy adds nighttime events to handle seasonal demand.

The Los Angeles Conservancy is trying to make it easier to explore L.A.’s architectural history on foot this summer.

Studio Brass Puts in Call To Female ‘Ghostbusters’

FILM: Sony teams up for cross-promotions to help boost remake’s box office.

Sony hopes its female “Ghostbusters” remake will scare up big returns at the box office.

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City, County Have High Bar for Disbarment List

CONTRACTING: DWP’s feud with consultant raises specter of work exclusion.

Debarment is a little used but potentially lethal move against firms reliant on government work.

Water Company Faces Double Trouble in Court

UTILITY: American States fights to retain subsidiary; pushes for rate increase.

Two looming legal decisions for its subsidiaries could sink business for American States Water.

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Calling for Change

FreedomPop, textPlus see low-cost, free services as ways to connect with cellphone customers.

A pair of local firms aim to get a line on cellphone customers with low-cost and free offers.

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Philanthropy Builds Up At L.A. Mission

PCL Construction renovates restroom for Skid Row institution.

PCL Construction gives, and Los Angeles Mission receives, a new restroom.

Design Studio Has New Plan For Property

Woo hopes to convert spare room at store into space for artists.

Design studio and boutique Woo pitches shop space as home for artistic pursuits.

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Chain Harnesses Fish’s Raw Power for Expansion

DINING: Sweetfin Poké angles sushi-like dish for mass market.

Co-owners of Sweetfin Poké cooked up the raw fish chain with the goal of scaling up quickly.

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Net Gains

Festival events flesh out beach volleyball series

Asics World Series of Beach Volleyball organizers have spiked the event with added attractions.

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You Brexit You Bought It

So much for a quick end to the Brexit hangover; it looks like uncertainty will be with us for a while.


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Downtown Firm Takes Shot at Snapchat Content

INTERNET: Class action filed by Geragos alleges sexually explicit material.

A class action filed in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday claims Venice-based Snapchat Inc. exposes minors to sexually explicit material without providing proper parental controls.

Attorney Pours It On

Ellie Altshuler, an associate at law firm Nixon Peabody downtown, spends her workday helping entertainment and fashion companies. She also runs her own business on the side.

Thursday, July 7

Snapchat Sued for Exposing Minors to Explicit Content

A class action filed in federal court in Los Angeles Thursday claims Venice-based Snapchat Inc. exposes minors to sexually explicit material without providing proper parental controls.

Silicon Beach Report July 7: Snapchat Hit with Indecency Class Action

Snapchat hit with indecency class action, J2 Global may be outbid for Gawker Media, Buzzfeed Motion Pictures show tops iTunes, and more.

Los Angeles Continues to Lose Manufacturing Jobs

Los Angeles continues to face decline in high-paying manufacturing jobs as workers flee the city, according to a recent report.

Wednesday, July 6

Report Finds Los Angeles Struggles to Keep Top Talent

Los Angeles is ranked as one of the top cities to produce highly skilled tech workers, but the high cost of living and lack of job opportunities are forcing those workers to other cities, said a report released today by CBRE Group Inc.

Silicon Beach Report July 6: OpenMail Buys Infospace for $45M

OpenMail buys Infospace for $45 million, SGN buys TinyCo, Snapchat’s new feature allows users to store pictures, and more.

Federal Prosecutors Settle Whistleblower Suit for $5.8 Million

A group of five Gardena-based government service contractors agreed Wednesday to pay $5.8 million to settle a federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging the information technology companies duped the government in order to win money specifically set aside for small businesses.

OpenMail Buys InfoSpace for $45M

Email marketing-services company OpenMail of Venice has agreed to purchase search engine InfoSpace for $45 million in cash.

Tuesday, July 5

Hyperloop One Looking to Connect Helsinki, Stockholm

Hyperloop One announced today along with research partners FS Links and KPMG that its proposed Nordic Hyperloop system would enable people and freight to travel between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland in just 28 minutes.

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Silicon Beach Report July 5: Hyperloop One Announces Results of Full-Scale Study

Hyperloop touts benefits of proposed Helsinki-Stockholm project, buys ShippingEasy, and more.

Office Campus Sells East of Playa Vista for $135M

An affiliate of Lincoln Property Co. has purchased an office complex just east of Playa Vista and has plans to freshen up the 560,000-square-foot site. LPC Realty Advisors I bought the six-building Wateridge campus in Ladera Heights on behalf of a public pension fund for $135 million, or about $240 a square foot, according to a source close to the deal.

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Friday, July 1

Crossover Appeal Fuels Bridge Plan for DTLA Buildings

Architecture firm Gensler long ago outgrew its jewel box office in downtown, taking two floors in the neighboring tower at City National Plaza to accommodate nearly 600 employees. Now the firm is breaking down the walls to bring everyone together. Plans call for building a bridge between the jewel box and the tower to its north, where Gensler would remove part of the fourth floor to create a cavernous, flexible space.

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BamBrogan Steps Down as Hyperloop Chief Technology Officer

Co-founder of Los Angeles-based transportation firm Hyperloop One, Brogan BamBrogan, has stepped down as chief technology officer of the company. Former senior vice president of engineering Josh Giegel will step in to fill the role. The reasoning behind BamBrogan’s departure remains unclear. 

Silicon Beach Report July 1: Hyperloop One Co-Founder Replaced

Hyperloop One co-founder replaced, Faraday Future signs electric racecar partnership, virtual reality startup Within picks up Disney and Zynga vets, and more.

Movers for Week ending July 1

Online marketing and advertising solution provider ReachLocal, Inc. of Woodland Hills was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 184 percent to end at $4.55. Monrovia-based Xencor was also among the week’s big movers. The engineering platform gained 41 percent to end at $18.93. Branded consumer platform Differential Brand Group was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 15 percent to end at $3.

Retailers Bet on Broadway

Mainstream clothing brands and niche fashion lines are descending on Broadway, gradually turning the southern end of the corridor near Apple Inc.’s potential store into a hub for retailers who want a piece of downtown’s edgy allure.

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Broadway’s Next Stage

REAL ESTATE: Cheap space proving good fit with fashion retailers.

Broadway could be back in fashion as high-end clothing companies look to secure space downtown.

U.K.’s Continental Divide Fuels Separation Anxiety

TRADE: Brexit has some L.A. firms remapping Euro strategy.

U.K.’s vote to ditch the European Union is forcing some L.A. businesses to retrench overseas.

Attorney’s Practice Includes Punches, Kicks

Corporate attorney Tamara Kurtzman, 35, doesn’t throw punches at opponents in the courtroom. But her classes in the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga are another matter.

Intravenous Treatments Hit Homes

KabaFusion to pursue healthy boost from demand for therapies.

KabaFusion has homed in on providing intravenous therapies to patients outside of the hospital.

Coca-Cola’s Tastes Run To Organic Drink

LA Aloe pockets funds from soda giant in bid to bottle up market.

LA Aloe hopes new minority partner Coca-Cola will provide some pop for its line of drinks.

Brand Plans Produce Team Players

MARKETING: Ad agency touts low-cost pluses of partnerships.

High Wide & Handsome plays matchmaker for brands seeking social media hookups.

Litigation Costs Go Third Party

Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker has raised questions as to whether litigants should get in the ring with third-party financing.

Shoring Up

Business improvement district centered on Venice Boardwalk gains preliminary OK

Venice Boardwalk businesses’ bid for a business improvement district moves forward.

Climate Change Turns Up Heat on Small Businesses

Climate change can burn small businesses in many ways, writes Shelly Gottschamer.

Getting Transit on Track

State senator must revive proposal to drive back city of L.A.’s outsized representation on Metro’s board.

Patrick Furey and John Mirisch want to hit the brakes on the city of L.A.’s oversized influence on transit matters.

Port in a Storm

Long-delayed implementation of law on cargo scanning should be set adrift in favor of more practical measures.

Crossover Appeal Fuels Bridge Plan for Buildings

DEVELOPMENT: Gensler to connect architecture offices with construction.

Architecture firm Gensler long ago outgrew its jewel box office in downtown, taking two floors in the neighboring tower at City National Plaza to accommodate nearly 600 employees.


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Pot Management Firm Forms $100 Million Fund to Smoke Out Ventures

MedMen, a cannabis management company based in Culver City, is set to broaden its business thanks to a recently launched $100 million private equity fund that will operate as a separate entity.

Downtown Booster Looks to Uproot Park Levy

TAXES: Group says switch to square-foot assessment will hurt property owners.

The Central City Association, a downtown business group, is opposing a parcel tax for parks that Los Angeles County supervisors are poised this week to place on the November ballot.

Products’ Safety Highlighted in Makeup Pickup

COSMETICS: Acquisition of Nude by Beautycounter hinged on nontoxic ethos.

Santa Monica skin care and cosmetics brand Beautycounter is making more room on its shelf.

Trade Paper Switches Up Hollywood Power List

PUBLISHING: ‘THR 100’ includes men, women as Bob Iger secures top spot.

Hollywood’s elite has just learned how much power they really have in Tinseltown.

Studio to Unleash ‘Pets’ In Animated Showdown

FILM: Universal Pictures hopes movie finds success in wake of Disney’s ‘Dory.’

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are projecting slower growth in the years to come.

Port Groups Hope to Box Out New Cargo Rules

SHIPPING: Some officials rip increased scanning as costly, time-consuming.

Industry groups hope to scuttle increased cargo scanning requirements at the local ports.

Men’s Apparel Firm Will Try On Womenswear

CLOTHING: Stikeleather buys White Plum in push to attract mass retailers.

Men’s apparel maker Stikeleather buttons up deal to acquire White Plum and its women’s lines.

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

TRAVEL: Strong dollar spurs Americans to pack bags for London, Cuba.

With a record Fourth of July travel weekend in the books, the start of this summer’s tourism season is heating up with the help of eager travelers and a strong U.S. dollar.