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Sunday, Jan 29, 2023

Review & Preview


New Chief: William J. Bratton, the former head of the New York City Police Department, has been picked by Mayor James Hahn to head the Los Angeles Police Department. Bratton was among three finalists selected by the Police Commission; Hahn made the final selection. The nomination needs approval of City Council.

Satellite Losses: EchoStar Communications Corp. will have net losses through 2003, and possibly “years” longer after its proposed purchase of El Segundo-based Hughes Electronics Corp. The combined company would incur losses by deploying a new satellite operation and by paying employee-retention bonuses, severance benefits and pension upgrades, Littleton, Colo.-based EchoStar said in regulatory filings. EchoStar also said in the filing that it might need to raise cash to pare down its debt.

Price-Fix Case: A settlement over price-fixing allegations has been reached involving the five major music labels and three national retail chains. As part of the agreement, the companies have agreed to pay $143 million in cash and CDs to 42 states. The companies involved, which include Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, BMG and EMI, said the settlement does not imply wrongdoing.

Love Update: Courtney Love reached a settlement with Geffen Records over a suit to get her out of a recording contract. As part of the agreement, Love has been released from her contract and has regained ownership of unreleased songs by her group Hole.

New Grammy Chief: Music executive Neil Portnow has been named president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, replacing C. Michael Greene, who stepped down last spring amid allegations of sexual harassment. Portnow, senior vice president of West Coast operations for Zomba Group, has been a volunteer for the Grammy organization.

Earns News: Tenet Healthcare Corp. reported net income for the first quarter ended Aug. 31 of $338 million, compared with $155 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue rose 12 percent, to $3.7 billion. The Santa Barbara-based hospital chain expects per-share earnings to increase at least 25 percent this year, up from its earlier estimates of less than 20 percent.

EIDC Update: Board members of the beleaguered Entertainment Industry Development Corp. named former Los Angeles city Chief Administrative Officer Keith Comrie to study the organization’s operations and recommend changes to improve its financial accountability. The EIDC has been under fire ever since the District Attorney’s office raided both the organization’s offices and the home of its president, Cody Cluff. An affidavit alleges Cluff used hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds for lavish spending.

Disney, etc.: Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner downplayed reports of merging the company’s ABC News division with AOL Time Warner’s CNN unit. Eisner told a Goldman Sachs media conference that there’s a “50-50 chance at best” that ABC will team up with the cable-TV news channel, though he added that Disney “would be thrilled” to forge such an agreement. Separately, the New York Post reported that some AOL Time Warner executives have had internal discussions on the possibility of a merger with Disney. An AOL Time Warner spokesman denied such discussions were taking place.

MGM Report: Kirk Kerkorian may be willing to sell Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. for as little as $15 a share, according to the New York Post, citing unidentified sources. Kerkorian, the majority owner of the studio, has seen his holding lose about half its value over the past year. The Post also reported that MGM had resumed merger talks with Walt Disney Co.; a Disney spokeswoman denied the report.


Gubernatorial Debate: Democratic incumbent Gov. Gray Davis and Republican challenger Bill Simon square off for their first debate Monday (7th) at noon at the Los Angeles Times. It will be broadcast live on radio on KCRW 89.9 FM and on television on KTLA-Channel 5 and KCET-Channel 28; KCRW will rebroadcast an edited version at 7 p.m.

How to Sell: Breakthrough marketing strategies will be discussed on Thursday (10th) at the Westwood W Hotel during a panel discussion sponsored by Business 2.0 magazine. Panelists include Peter Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment, and Scott Gilbert of Saatchi & Saatchi. Reception starts at 6 p.m.; discussion at 7 p.m.

Digital Race: The challenges and accomplishments of minorities in an era of evolving digital technologies will be the subject of a three-day conference from Oct. 10-12 sponsored by the Annenberg Center at the University of Southern California. Award-winning filmmaker Isaac Julien and performer DJ Spooky will be among those attending. Information: annenberg.edu/race.

L.A.’s Future: A cross-section of 200 civic leaders will discuss growth scenarios for Southern California on Thursday (10th) during a symposium entitled “Reality Check on Growth.” The one-day session will be presented at USC’s Town and Gown by ULI Los Angeles (a district council of the Urban Land Institute) and USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate.

Health Discussion: L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will moderate a Gas Co.-sponsored panel on the outlook for health care on Friday (11th) from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Conference Center at Cathedral Plaza (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels). Among those appearing on the panel will be Tony Armada, senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente, and Dr. Brian Johnston of the Los Angeles County Medical Association. Seating is limited. Information: 310-475-5738.

Shooting Event: The California Film Commission hosts the eighth annual California On Location Awards on Sunday (13th) from 3-7 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey. The awards salute location managers and production companies for their work in California. Actor Richard Masur will emcee. Information: 323-860-2960 #111.

Sports Beat: For those diehard fans, the Lakers (without Shaq) meet the Clippers in year’s first preseason game on Friday (8th) at Staples Center. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. On the Saturday college football front, UCLA is at Oregon State, while USC is at Washington State.


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