Stories for May 2005

Tuesday, May 31

NuTech Signs Distribution Deal with Warner Music Subsidiary

NuTech Digital Inc. will distribute previously unreleased material from WEA, Warner Music Group's U.S. sales and retail company.

Calabasas Marketing Company Brokers Deal between Courteney Cox and Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Calabasas-based RPMC announced that Cox will be the face of Valeant's line of Kinerase skin care products.

Wednesday, May 25

UCLA Study Claims Health Insurance Within Reach for All Californians

By consolidating federal, state and county programs and increasing spending slightly, the authors of a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research say that the state can insure every resident.

Tuesday, May 24

Job Hunters Prefer Laptops to Company Cars

A new survey shows that job hunters would prefer to snag a new laptop from prospective employers over the use of a company car.

United Online, Inc. Offers PrivatePhone Service

Free phone service will be made available via the Internet through a new service offered from United Online, Inc., the company announced Wednesday.

Monday, May 23

Employers, Workers Get Squeezed by Uninsured

Health care is in a mess and Valley-area businesses and their employees are caught in the middle with a host of factors coming together to cause rising costs and lack of access to treatment.

Greuel Calls on Sacramento to Restore Transportation Funding

Councilwoman Wendy Greuel introduced a resolution in the City Council that would call on state leaders to deliver $16.6 million in additional transportation revenues guaranteed under Proposition 42.

M & A; Deals Fueled by Private Equity

Swelling cash coffers and pressure to deliver returns to investors has accelerated merger and acquisition activity by equity funds.

California United Bank Opens Doors

The bank is opening after raising $35 million in an an initial stock offering; many shareholders are Valley residents and business owners.

Firms Get Workers' Comp Relief But Want More

Businesses can't make decisions about health care benefits without taking into consideration problems in the workers' compensation system.

Hospitals Try to Recover From Unfortunate Events

Local hospitals face many challenges, low reimbursement rates for services and labor problems chief among them. After a shakeout in which smaller facilities have been closed, the ones remaining try to develop specialties.

What Works at Two Hospitals

An up-close look at the workings of two area hospitals.

Stevens: Valley Nursery Property Sold to Developer

Steven's Nursery & Hardware, a 65-year-old Valley Village Institution, may close, a victim of high land prices.

Universal Studios Film Library Now Available for Licensing

Footage from Universal Studios Film Library is now available for licensing exclusively through Getty Images, Inc.

Broad-Based Growth Seen in Economy

Growth is expected in nearly all sectors of the Valley economy this year, according to the CSUN San Fernando Valley Economic Forecast

Warner Bros., Disney Locked in Virtual Online Battle

Reporter Jeff Weiss says Valley-based Disney and Warner Bros. are locked in a virtual battle over online games.

Blue Cross of California Under Microscope by State Over Rate Hikes

Blue Cross of California is under scrutiny by the State of California over rate hikes.

Companies Dial Into Interest in New Cellphone Feaures

Several Valley companies are reaping the benefits of interest by consumers for new features on their cell phones.

NBC Universal Merger Puts Prime Property on Market

A year after the company acquired Universal Studios and paired it with its NBC division, NBC Universal is selling a 9-acre parcel that is part of NBC's Burbank campus.

Local Firms Want to Be Alternative to Yellow Pages

Two local firms want to put the traditional yellow pages and other traditional forms of local advertising out of business.

Small Businesses Find Better Access to Benefits

Although many small-business owners feel they can't afford to offer health benefits to their employees, there are several options available for them.

Things Not So Easy for Large Companies These Days

Large companies have their own problems when it comes to providing health care to workers.

Mayor-Elect Scrutinized by Business

Local businesspeople and L.A. councilpeople will be watching closely to see how Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa will work to invigorate the city's economy.

Neighborhood Council Backs Zone Variance for Market

Owner of neighborhood grocery store gets backing from neighborhood council for zoning variance.

Extent of Nursing Crisis in Debate

The exact extent of the so-called nursing shortage that has plagued the health care industry is open to debate.

Plans Tout Affordable Options for Business

Criticized as the only segment of the health care industry doing well these days, health plans still face some challenges.

Plans Ignore Possible Development Ban

A proposed ordinance that would temporarily halt development in the Warner Center area is not dampening interest by developers in building residential projects there.

Thursday, May 19

Vivid Entertainment's Virility Supplements Hit Big in Asia

Vivid reports sales increases in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China and has started advertising on Spice, Playboy TV and radio programs.

Power One to Repurchase $20 million in Common Stock

The power conversion manufacturer will buy back shares over the next 18 months.

Wednesday, May 18

American Realty Advisors Purchases Ontario Industrial Property

The 1.14 million square foot industrial property consists of 16 buildings in Ontario.

SmartSound Software Enters Partnership with Artbeats

Northridge-based SmartSound will provide soundtrack creation tools and royalty-free music to Artbeats customers.

Monday, May 16

Time Warner to Offer Spanish Programming through Video On Demand

Subscribers in the greater Los Angeles area will be able to watch programming from different networks at any time of day.

Thursday, May 12

Vital Express Franchise Launches

The logistics and delivery company will launch its first franchise, which will cover the San Gabriel Valley

IndyMac Opens in Encino

The Encino branch, opening on May 24, will be the bank's twelfth.

Wednesday, May 11

Health Net of California Awarded Medi-Cal Contract

A new eight-year contract is expected to generate $560 million per year for Woodland Hills-based Health Net.

3D Systems to Join Iraq Relief Effort

The Valencia-based company will be working with the Iraqi League for Medical Professionals and will make medical models available to Iraqi Surgical teams.

Tuesday, May 10

Greuel Wants City Ethics Commission to Monitor Business Conflicts

City Commissioners would be required to list all benefits they receive from working with the City to the Council Ethics Commission.

Cal Lutheran Gets Funding

The Amgen Foundation contributed $210,000 to teachers attending a summer science institute.

Monday, May 9

Disney Served with Lawsuit

Roy Disney and Stanley Gold claim that the Walt Disney Co. made false statements to shareholders when searching for Michael Eisner's replacement.

New Chapter for Contaminated Site

Another buyer for a 1,000-acre contaminated parcel in the heart of the Santa Clarita Valley could be close at hand.

10 Steps to Take When Preparing to Sell Your Business

Before shaking hands on a deal to sell a business, the owner should consider several issues.

Air Force One Exhibit Expected to Boost Area Tourism

The planned opening of the Air Force One exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley is expected to boost the number of visitors to the area.

Neighborhood Councils In Valley Gain Influence Over Business Issues

The Valley's neighborhood councils are increasingly starting to wield influence on issues such as land use and development.

Open Source Software Catches on With Local Firms

Valley companies, venture capitalists take note of open source software.

Decision to Delist Helping Paint Brighter Scheib Future

Withdrawal from the American Stock Exchange seems to be working as the latest move for bringing auto paint and collision chain Earl Scheib on the road to recovery.

New Era for Knitting Business

Knitting shops proliferate throughout Valley as new breed of enthusiasts takes to hobby.

Idea People Meet Money People in Venture Session

As reports show venture funding down in Southern California, representatives of companies pitch their ideas in local session.

'Fat Actress' Producer Knows Whims of Hollywood

'Fat Actress' producer is anxiously awaiting word on whether the cable show will be renewed.

Take One: Carsey-Werner Officially Into Feature Films

Reporter Jeff Weiss says Studio City TV production company Carsey-Werner LLC is off and running with the shooting of its first feature film.

Businesses to See Little Change in Cable Ad Productions

Despite the planned sale of Adelphia to Time Warner and Comcast, businesses are expected to see little change in the production of local cable commercials.

Vitesse Eliminating 12 Percent of Its Workforce

In a massive restructuring effort designed to cut costs and eliminate overlap, Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. is dropping 12 percent of its workforce.

Auction Date Set for Encino Gold Mountain Property

Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia writes that a bankruptcy court has set a date to auction off the Gold Mountain Enterprises LLC property in Encino.

Wednesday, May 4

THQ Reports Record Sales and Net Income

The video game company recorded an 86 percent increase in earnings in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, but said losses in the first quarter of fiscal 2006 would be larger than first expected.

Cal State Channel Islands Asking Auto Dealers for Donations

The college's foundation is asking that area auto dealers each donate $25,000 to a scholarship fund.

Tuesday, May 3

Health Net Settles Lawsuit, Reports Increase in Net Income

The Woodland Hills company reported its revenues were down slightly from last year and that second quarter earnings will be lower than analysts expect.

TVN Signs Deal With Cox Communications

The Burbank-based company will provide Cox with video on demand content.

Monday, May 2

Electro Rent Moves Into China

Electro Rent Corp., an electronic and computer leasing company, has inked a deal to begin operating in China.

Acquisitions Boost National Technical Systems

The Calabasas company reported a 30 percent increase in net income in its fiscal year 2005.

Cherokee Announces Quarterly Dividend

The Van Nuys company's Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share to be paid on June 15.