Stories for March 2005

Thursday, March 31

THQ Will Host Video Game Tournament for Pro Wrestlers

The Calabasas-based video game developer sponsors its third video game competition Friday, competing WWE wrestlers will promote a new Wrestlemania video game.

Hahn Reaches Out to South LA, Announces Former Councilman Nate Holden's Endorsement

The mayor shined the spotlight on his African American supporters, hoping to win back voter support in South Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 30

Warner Bros. and Midway Games Sign Video Game Development Deal

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Midway will develop video games based on "Happy Feet," and animated feature film scheduled for release in 2006.

Informa Research Signs Deal with The Motley Fool

The Calabasas-based company will allow visitors to the Motley Fool's Website to search for mortgage and home equity loan rates.

Tuesday, March 29

Henry Mayo Breaks Ground on Emergency Department Expansion

The emergency department will more than double in size and will be stocked with upgraded equipment to treat critical care patients.

101communications Secures $25 Million in Financing

The money will help the Chatsworth media company expand and acquire other companies.

Monday, March 28

VoIP Gaining Popularity at Valley Firms

Propelled by increasingly lower costs and a growing familiarity with the technology, businesses in the Valley are starting to implement voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) telephony.

National Technical Systems Buys Phase Seven Laboratories

The Calabasas-based IT staffing company bought Santa Rosa-based Phase Seven for an undisclosed sum.

Profiting From Personal Attention

Working for family businesses can be a very different experience.

Developer Pushes Plans Despite Opposition

Developer pushes "urban village" plan for area near the intersection of the 5 and 14 freeways.

Election: Candidates Push Support for Business

Mayoral candidates James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa focus on the Valley while pushing business issues.

New CFO Named at Countrywide

Effective April 1, Eric P. Sieracki will fill the positions of executive managing director and CFO.

Friday, March 25

TVN Entertainment to Offer VOD Content for Hispanic Audiences

The Burbank-based company said customer requests prompted its switch to Spanish-language content.

Providence Holy Cross to Construct New Building

Officials at the Mission Hills hospital say the new 101-bed building is necessary as the hospital is nearing the limits of its capacity.

Wednesday, March 23

Greuel Proposes Banning Rush Hour Road Construction

Construction during peak hours is not officially prohibited right now, although The Bureau of Street Services avoids rush hour work.

ISWest Purchases a Valley Competitor

The acquisition of Woodland Hills-based DCN Internet is ISWest's sixth since 1997.

Tuesday, March 22

Digital Insight Completes Stock Repurchase

The Calabasas provider of online banking services repurchased about 1.5 million shares for $25 million.

Warner Bros. Lets PC Users Into the Matrix

The PC-based game will be available at game retailers and will require a monthly subscription of $14.99.

Monday, March 21

Sherman to Present El Proyecto del Barrio with $180,000 in Federal Funds

The money is part of more than $2 million in federal funds secured by Sherman under the Omnibus Appropriations Bills last year.

CSU Channel Islands Receives Grant to Train Teachers

The university will use $774,000 provided by the U.S. Department of Education to help teachers develop "gender equitable" plans.

Friday, March 18

Kaiser Permanente Expands Sales Network

Deal with Warner Pacific Insurance Services will include HMO's small group medical plans.

Thursday, March 17

VICA Board Urges Congress to Pass Hybrid HOV Lane Access Act

Federal approval is needed in order to legitimize Calfornia legislation allowing hybrid vehicles to use carpool lanes.

Hahn Floats a Plan to Stop Runaway Production

The mayor's plan would reimburse productions for a percentage of costs. Hahn said the maximum city payment would be $15 million, $2.5 million more than New York City's film incentive program.

Wednesday, March 16

L.A. County Residents Increasingly Discontented with Quality of Life

A new report issued by the Public Policy Institute of California indicates that one third of the county's residents are planning to leave within the next five years, as residents become more concerned about traffic, housing costs and other city services.

Same Store Sales Rise at Earl Scheib

Third quarter loss narrows to $1.3 million from $2 million last year, while revenues are up 8.1 percent at the Sherman Oaks-based operator of auto paint and body shops.

Diet Supplements Boosted Natrol in 2004

The company said it has improved distribution in club stores, which offsets weaknesses in its raw materials business and sports nutrition supplement category.

Tuesday, March 15

DFS Flooring Acquires Southern California Flooring Locations

The Van Nuys and San Diego locations and Fullerton maintenance business previously owned by The Invironmentalists will continue operating with the same management and employees.

J.D. Power Will Rank Tech Support Services

The Westlake Village market research company will team with San Diego-based Support Professionals Organization to rank tech support companies.

Buena Vista to Release Five Titles to Play on Portable PlayStation

"National Treasure," "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Reign of Fire," "Kill Bill Vol. 1," and "Hero" will be released first, other titles will follow throughout the year.

Monday, March 14

Kwan to Speak for East West Bank

Kwan will appear in the bank's upcoming media campaigns.

Money: More Startups Expected in Corridor

Venture capitalists say the 101 Tech Corridor presents significant investment opportunities.

North American Scientific Posts Fourth Quarter Loss

The Chatsworth-based company sells radiation therapy products and services for use in cancer treatment.

Election: Valley Takes a Look at Candidates

Valley business community looks for mayoral candidates to address issues in runoff.

Invest: Buyers Look Elsewhere to Invest

With property prices sky high in all sectors of the real estate market, buyers are reevaluating the criteria they use and the way they shop for acquisitions.

VOD: Cable Interest Gives Boost to Companies

Several Valley companies are getting in on the growing video on demand market.

Leaders: Investors Setting Up Their Own Teams

In a strategy change, VCs are paying close attention to the management teams at companies.

Friday, March 11

Arden Group Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings

The parent company of Gelson's Markets saw its 2004 earnings grow 36.7 percent over 2003.

GoTV Launches New Service for Mobile Phone Users

TwinsTV will appear on all major carriers, including SprintPCS, Nextel and Cingular.

Thursday, March 10

Hahn and Villaraigosa Pick Up Endorsements

Controller Laura Chick sides with Villaraigosa, while Hahn picks up the support of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Whittaker Controls Wins Government Contract

The North Hollywood company has been hired to provide engineering services for the U.S. Air Force's C-17 repair facility at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center.

Wednesday, March 9

Cinema Ride Changes Name to Tix Corporation

The Studio City company sells half priced, same-day tickets to Las Vegas shows. It plans to open its fourth Las Vegas location later this year.

Hahn and Villaraigosa Are Headed for a Rematch

Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa captured more votes than any candidate last night, and with 99 percent of districts reporting, Mayor James Hahn barely won the second place spot.

Title Insurance Inquiry Broadened

The expanding investigation will include several firms that do business in the San Fernando Valley.

Tuesday, March 8

Kaiser Health Plan and Hospitals Report Increase in Net Income

Kaiser's health plan and hospitals divisions and other subsidiaries reported an increase in net income and operating margin for 2004.

Monday, March 7

Film Garden Entertainment to Offer No-Cost Documentaries to Charities

The North Hollywood company will offer aspiring filmmakers the chance to make documentaries for non-profit organizations.

Friday, March 4

Net Soars at Public Storage

The Glendale company reported fourth quarter earnings of $107.3, up 24.8 percent from the previous year.

VStar Receives $15 Million in Venture Capital

The Sherman Oaks-based producer of an on-demand television network has received $15 million in venture funding.

Thursday, March 3

Immunologist Joins Advanced Biotherapy's Advisory Board

Yehuda Shoenfeld, Director of the Center for Autoimmune Diseases at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, will join the company's scientific advisory board.

Baseline Consulting Selects Breast Cancer Support Organization as a Charity Partner

Casting for Recovery will receive a portion of Baseline's 2004 profits to support retreats for breast cancer survivors.

Wednesday, March 2

Salem to Purchase Florida Radio Stations

Salem Communications Corp. will purchase two AM stations in Florida for $9.5 million.

Financial Partnership Links Mortgage Data and Credit Scores

Informa Research Services Inc. has struck a deal with Metro Mortgage Guide to provide Metro's customers loan product information with credit score data.

Tuesday, March 1

Earnings Soar at PS Business Parks

PS Business Parks reports its fourth quarter earnings have doubled.