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Friday, Dec 2, 2022
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Headlines: Aames, Box Office, FCC



Mortgage Firm Aames to Be Sold

In deal that may foreshadow a wave of consolidation among home lenders, the parent of Aames Home Loans said Thursday that it was being acquired by Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. for $340 million in stock and cash, the Los Angeles Times reports. Aames Investment Corp., a 50-year-old Los Angeles fixture, and Accredited, a San Diego firm founded in 1990, specialize in loans to risky borrowers, charging higher interest and fees to compensate. residents, having bombarded the region with TV ads in the 1960s and 1970s. Both companies make direct-to-consumer retail loans as well as wholesale loans through independent mortgage brokers. Aames has bigger retail operations , 76 branches to Accredited’s 45 stores , but Accredited has 15 regional wholesale stores to Aames’ three. The combined company would be the sixth-largest retail originator and the 12th-largest overall originator of “sub-prime” mortgages, the companies said. On Thursday, shares of Accredited rose $1.35 to $53.29 as Aames fell 36 cents to $5.36.





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Expectations High for Holiday

With “X-Men: The Last Stand” joining “The Da Vinci Code” in theaters Friday, the movie industry will be looking to surpass or come close to grosses from the past two years when it recorded the two biggest Memorial Day weekends of all time at the box office, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. “Da Vinci” was expected to cross the $100 million mark in domestic grosses on Thursday after a $77 million opening weekend and impressively strong midweek ticket sales. As of Wednesday, the film’s total stood at $97.2 million. “X-Men,” released by 20th Century Fox, will have to perform big if it is to lead the top 50 movies past the record $246 million earned over Memorial Day in 2004 by a slate led by “Shrek 2,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Troy.” Last year’s holiday total of $231 million was nearly as impressive, with huge numbers from “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” followed by the hits “Madagascar,” “The Longest Yard” and “Monster-in-Law.”





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FCC Looks at Stations’ Use of PR Videos

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating allegations that dozens of television stations, including three in Los Angeles, aired corporate advertisements masquerading as news stories, the Los Angeles Times reports. Federal regulations require that broadcast stations disclose the corporate backers of “video news releases” or face a maximum fine of $32,500 for each violation and possible revocation of their license. The FCC probe was initiated in response to a report by a nonprofit watchdog group that found that 77 stations broadcast video features about products from 49 companies, including General Motors Corp., Intel Corp. and Pfizer Inc., without disclosing that they were produced by public relations firms. The three local stations are KCBS-TV Channel 2, KABC-TV Channel 7 and KTLA-TV Channel 5, which is owned by Los Angeles Times’ parent company, Tribune Co.





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East Village Goes Global

A hodgepodge of tiny art galleries, coffee houses, book stores and boutiques in downtown’s budding East Village Arts District has struggled over the past few years for recognition. An organization dedicated to promoting the area has two monthly events Second Saturday and Last Saturday as well as the upcoming annual Tour des Artistes in June to promote itself, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports. But one of the biggest public relations boosts for the area may come Saturday, with the opening of a new gallery that brings with it the promise of drawing attention from the international art world. the23project on Linden opens Saturday with a show titled, “God Doesn’t Blink,” featuring the works of Austrian actionist Hermann Nitsch, avant garde composer and artist Karlheinz Stockhausen, American neo-realist Jane Smalldone, the late pop artist Denny Dent and Southern California’s pop-surrealist photographer Tiffany.





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Garamendi Blasts InsurersS

Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi accused insurers Thursday of reaping “excessive profits” and vowed to force carriers to cut homeowners and auto rates by next year, the Sacramento Bee reports. Garamendi said a financial analysis of the state’s 20 largest auto, property and casualty insurers found that companies have paid less than normal for claims in the past two years. Insurance company and industry officials called Garamendi’s analysis flawed, saying not all expenses were included in the state review. They also said the commissioner shouldn’t be surprised by the results because his department must approve rates proposed by carriers.The commissioner has scheduled a July 20 hearing for insurers to justify their expenses and profit on homeowner policies.





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. (reg. required)

In deal that may foreshadow a wave of consolidation among home lenders, the parent of Aames Home Loans said Thursday that it was being acquired by Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. for $340 million in stock and cash, the Los Angeles Times reports. Aames Investment Corp., a 50-year-old Los Angeles fixture, and Accredited, a San Diego firm founded in 1990, specialize in loans to risky borrowers, charging higher interest and fees to compensate. residents, having bombarded the region with TV ads in the 1960s and 1970s. Both companies make direct-to-consumer retail loans as well as wholesale loans through independent mortgage brokers. Aames has bigger retail operations , 76 branches to Accredited’s 45 stores , but Accredited has 15 regional wholesale stores to Aames’ three. The combined company would be the sixth-largest retail originator and the 12th-largest overall originator of “sub-prime” mortgages, the companies said. On Thursday, shares of Accredited rose $1.35 to $53.29 as Aames fell 36 cents to $5.36.





Read the full story

. (registration required)



Expectations High for Holiday


With “X-Men: The Last Stand” joining “The Da Vinci Code” in theaters Friday, the movie industry will be looking to surpass or come close to grosses from the past two years when it recorded the two biggest Memorial Day weekends of all time at the box office, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. “Da Vinci” was expected to cross the $100 million mark in domestic grosses on Thursday after a $77 million opening weekend and impressively strong midweek ticket sales. As of Wednesday, the film’s total stood at $97.2 million. “X-Men,” released by 20th Century Fox, will have to perform big if it is to lead the top 50 movies past the record $246 million earned over Memorial Day in 2004 by a slate led by “Shrek 2,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Troy.” Last year’s holiday total of $231 million was nearly as impressive, with huge numbers from “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” followed by the hits “Madagascar,” “The Longest Yard” and “Monster-in-Law.”





Read the full story



FCC Looks at Stations’ Use of PR Videos


The Federal Communications Commission is investigating allegations that dozens of television stations, including three in Los Angeles, aired corporate advertisements masquerading as news stories, the Los Angeles Times reports. Federal regulations require that broadcast stations disclose the corporate backers of “video news releases” or face a maximum fine of $32,500 for each violation and possible revocation of their license. The FCC probe was initiated in response to a report by a nonprofit watchdog group that found that 77 stations broadcast video features about products from 49 companies, including General Motors Corp., Intel Corp. and Pfizer Inc., without disclosing that they were produced by public relations firms. The three local stations are KCBS-TV Channel 2, KABC-TV Channel 7 and KTLA-TV Channel 5, which is owned by Los Angeles Times’ parent company, Tribune Co.





Read the full story

. (registration required)



East Village Goes Global


A hodgepodge of tiny art galleries, coffee houses, book stores and boutiques in downtown’s budding East Village Arts District has struggled over the past few years for recognition. An organization dedicated to promoting the area has two monthly events Second Saturday and Last Saturday as well as the upcoming annual Tour des Artistes in June to promote itself, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports. But one of the biggest public relations boosts for the area may come Saturday, with the opening of a new gallery that brings with it the promise of drawing attention from the international art world. the23project on Linden opens Saturday with a show titled, “God Doesn’t Blink,” featuring the works of Austrian actionist Hermann Nitsch, avant garde composer and artist Karlheinz Stockhausen, American neo-realist Jane Smalldone, the late pop artist Denny Dent and Southern California’s pop-surrealist photographer Tiffany.





Read the full story

.



Garamendi Blasts Insurers


Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi accused insurers Thursday of reaping “excessive profits” and vowed to force carriers to cut homeowners and auto rates by next year, the Sacramento Bee reports. Garamendi said a financial analysis of the state’s 20 largest auto, property and casualty insurers found that companies have paid less than normal for claims in the past two years. Insurance company and industry officials called Garamendi’s analysis flawed, saying not all expenses were included in the state review. They also said the commissioner shouldn’t be surprised by the results because his department must approve rates proposed by carriers.The commissioner has scheduled a July 20 hearing for insurers to justify their expenses and profit on homeowner policies.





Read the full story

. (reg. required)

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