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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Money Issues Reportedly Split L.A. Times, Parent

Tensions are mounting between Los Angeles Times staff and bosses at Chicago parent company Tribune Publishing Co.

The latest punch in the sparring match was thrown after a New York Times story last week that claimed L.A. Times executives disputed its parent’s decision last month to revise its revenue predictions downward based on the L.A. Times’ performance and that of the San Diego Union-Tribune, which is also housed within Tribune’s California News Group.

A Tribune spokesman, however, told the Business Journal there was no basis in fact to the report, dismissing the story as speculation by unnamed sources.

The spokesman insisted that Tribune lowered its 2015 guidance after a widespread review of its finances.

Meanwhile, Tribune Publishing’s Chicago headquarters, Tribune Tower, has been put on the market by sister company Tribune Media Co., which received the Windy City property and the Times building in downtown Los Angeles as part of its spinoff in August 2014.

Company officials did not respond to requests for comment about the prospect of a sale of the Times building.


If you thought leggy blondes were rocker Rod Stewart’s greatest passion, think again.

“Trains are my life,” said Stewart during a recent interview with BBC Radio London.

The iconic 70-year-old crooner makes room in his palatial Beverly Hills home for a model train set that’s so big it wouldn’t fit on a standard tennis court.

Stewart said he loves playing with his miniature trains so much that he even takes them on tour and books a separate hotel room wherever he goes in order to tinker with his toys.

But Stewart, whose new album, “Another Country,” comes out this month, plans to crank things up a notch. He’s now looking to buy a full-size working steam locomotive on which to travel. This dream purchase is expected to cost more than $1 million, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the music superstar, who holds an estimated net worth of $220 million.

Flying Camera

One star of the new “Steve Jobs” movie is a state-of-the-art drone camera developed by North Hollywood company Integrated Media Technologies.

The so-called DragonFly makes its screen debut capturing sweeping aerial cinematography in the acclaimed drama and now looks set to land more film and TV work as a result.

“Its success in a big movie like ‘Steve Jobs’ brings credibility and shows we can be trusted at the most high-stakes level,” said IMT Chief Executive Bruce Lyon, adding that the technology isn’t just for big-budget movies.

“When you roll out a new service it’s important to have flexible prices,” he said. “We can adapt solutions to any budget so this technology adds value to a whole range of film and TV projects.”

Success Story

When he wasn’t busy taking selfies, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti used his visit to the 21st Century Fox set of “American Horror Story: Hotel” to hail the economic impact of hit shows coming back to film in the city.

Having started out in Los Angeles, “American Horror Story” shot its next three seasons in Louisiana before being lured back for its latest installment by California’s improved film and TV tax credits.

“We are fighting back against runaway production, and this tax credit is delivering results for the heart and soul of the film and television industry — the people who swing hammers, run cable and serve food on set so they can pay the bills and contribute to our economy,” said Garcetti, adding that the FX show will pay out $21.5 million in salaries to below-the-line employees.

Short Takes

Comedy icon Jerry Seinfeld is set to headline a Beverly Hilton event this week that will bring together local business leaders, entertainment professionals and philanthropists with the aim of raising more than $6 million for Israel’s national emergency medical response organization known as Magen David Adom.

The third-annual Red Star Ball will take place Oct. 22 and is organized by New York nonprofit American Friends of Magen David Adom. The committee putting together the prestige gala includes the likes of Beverly Hills dentist to the stars Dr. Bill Dorfman and former “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Mary Hart. … The extended hot weather in Los Angeles has led various outdoor movie-screening businesses to extend their seasons beyond the anticipated late summer cutoff. Among them is Hollywood’s Rooftop Film Club, which will be showing nightly horror movies during Halloween week. … Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio’s West Hollywood production company, is teaming with Paramount Pictures to make a movie based on the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The two companies, which previously teamed up on “The Wolf of Wall Street,” have bought the rights to an unpublished book that will form the basis for the film. Environmental campaigner DiCaprio will produce and possibly star in the adaptation.

Staff reporter Sandro Monetti can be reached at smonetti@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext 226.

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