Los Angeles Nothing to report from Patrick Soon-Shiong’s presentation last week to the Breakfast Club – such is the guarantee of privacy the group offers guests who grace their monthly meetings at the Jonathan Club. Downtown attorney Frankie F.L. Leung is just as bound as anyone to keep the confidence of Breakfast Club keynoters – including Soon-Shiong, who’s expected to become the owner of the L.A. Times any day now. Leung is good for vibrant conversation otherwise, though, including a tale he recently told about how another billionaire regards the media business. Seems Leung met fellow Oxford grad Rupert Murdoch in the early 1970s, when the budding newspaper mogul was still a relative newcomer in the U.K. and hadn’t yet set his hat for expansion into the U.S. Leung says he asked Murdoch what made him want to invest in media anywhere. Murdoch answered the question with another question: What other business gives you such an obvious way to get the prime minister to return your calls? … Only fair to point out that there are no reports of Soon-Shiong casting his interest in the Times in terms of personal influence … The chatter among the guests at Zocalo Public Square’s recent quinceañera – yes, it’s been around for 15 years – was fittingly eclectic for an outfit that carries a tagline of “Connecting People to Ideas and Each Other.” Observations included talk of worries among the civic-minded in Pasadena over the fate of the 94-year-old Rose Bowl, which got a $152 million facelift in 2011 but looks a bit behind as Stan Kroenke’s $2.6 billion palace on Prairie Avenue takes shape in Inglewood and USC continues to update the Coliseum. Word has it that folks in the know around the Arroyo Seco are mindful that the Cotton Bowl game now takes place in Jerry Jones’ thoroughly modern AT&T Stadium, while the Orange Bowl stadium was torn down 10 years ago, with the game now played at Hard Rock Stadium, a 31-year-old facility that saw a $350 million renovation completed two years ago … Then there was the Boeing engineer who enjoyed the gentle evening on the patio of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, where he relaxed to the point of giving credit to the rival Airbus’ A-380 on its remarkably quiet engine … Moira Shourie, president of Zocalo’s Board of Trustees, was just as gracious as when she hosts the group’s panels at the home she shares with husband, Rajath, a managing director at Oaktree Capital in Brentwood. Shourie was particularly excited for Zocalo’s upcoming panel on what the Trump Administration’s trade policies might mean for our economy. Natalie Kitroeff of the New York Times will moderate on April 26 at the Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo. The panel lineup: Ed Leamer, an economist with UCLA Anderson; Michael Camuñez, an assistant secretary of commerce for trade and compliance in the Obama Administration; and Daniel Sumner, director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center. Visit zocalopublicquare.com for more information … Another subject of conversation at the Zocalo party was the upcoming China Week – produced by a nonprofit supported by the Milken Institute and various other organizations. A highlight of this year’s event will be the 2018 California-China Business Summit, with a delegation of more than 100 Chinese business executives and trade officials on May 3rd at the Beverly Hilton. Organizers bill it as “a good opportunity for California businesses to partner with Chinese counterparts, especially in the challenging atmosphere caused by the Trump Administration’s proposed trade sanctions.” Visit chinaweek.la for more information, and see page 62 for a related Commentary … Another China tie as we update the scorecard on PR pro Michael Gutierrez, who continues to add to one of the more interesting resumes in the business with his new role as director of communications for Hikvision North America in City of Industry, a unit of a Hangzhou-based parent with $6 billion in annual sales of video surveillance equipment, artificial intelligence and robotics. Gutierrez arrives from a stint with West L.A.-based Wonderful Company, which followed a tenure with Herbalife, where he regularly fended off attacks by hedge funder and now-vanquished raider Bill Ackman … Sullivan Says: Please drop a line if you know anyone who’s working harder – or having more fun – than John Cushman.
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