Stories for January 2007
Wednesday, January 31
Poor box office revenues and a decline in home entertainment contributed to a decrease in revenues in filmed entertainment for Time Warner Inc., the company announced Wednesday.
Guitar Center Inc. said today that it has received bankruptcy court approval to acquire The Woodwind & The Brasswind, an Internet and direct music retailer.
Cherokee Inc. announced that it has approved a quarterly dividend of $0.75 to shareholders of record as of March 1.
NexMedia Ltd. founder Stephan Helbig won the Web Services Developer Contest sponsored by Commission Junction, a division of Westlake Village-based ValueClick, Inc.
The Sheraton Universal Hotel has been sold to a Brentwood real estate investment and development firm for $122 million.
The Los Angeles City Council and city business leaders have reached a compromise on the controversial measure to expand the city's living wage ordinance to include workers of hotels near Los Angeles International Airport.
Tuesday, January 30
The Board of Supervisors' pick for L.A. County chief administrative officer has bowed out less than a day after he was nominated for the post.
Films made for the SCI FI Channel's Saturday movie night franchise will be released on DVD under an agreement between Image Entertainment, Inc. and NBC Universal Television Distribution.
DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations Ltd. on Tuesday ended the partnership that led to an Academy Award for best-animated feature in 2005.
Calabasas-based mortgage lender sees full year decline in mortgage lending, but other divisions prop up results.
Shareholders of the Woodland Hills insurer 21st Insurance Group are suing in a bid to block a buyout by American International Group Inc.
The Woodland Hills managed health care provider Health Net Inc. has opened a retail storefront in Modesto to pitch insurance to that area's 90,000 uninsured residents.
Monday, January 29
Neither the companies' silence nor naysayers have dampened speculation that emerged last week about an alliance or merger between Bank of America and Countrywide Financial Corp.
Drug maker Amgen won an appeals court ruling Monday that prevents an Israeli company from seeking royalties on rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel.
The Air Group broke ground Monday on its new jet terminal and headquarters at Van Nuys Airport, the company announced.
Orange County's top executive has been named the new Los Angeles County administrative officer by the Board of Supervisors.
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank received top honors for its bariatric surgery from HealthGrades, an organization that ranks health care organizations.
Friday, January 26
Single family home sales declined 24.7 percent in the San Fernando Valley in 2006, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors said.
Western Commercial Bank said today that its total assets reached $39,451,000 million as of Dec. 31.
Drug maker Amgen Inc. reported Friday that its popular drug Aranesp increases the risk of death when used by those with a certain kind of cancer.
Second District City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel has introduced a plan to strengthen the so-called "anti-mansionization" ordinance in Sunland and Tujunga.
Van Nuys sporting goods maker Easton Sports Inc. is moving its Valley manufacturing operations to China and eliminating as many as 250 local jobs.
Thursday, January 25
Twistbox Entertainment, Inc. acquired the mobile games studio of Infospace, Inc., the company announced Thursday.
The baggage door of the Cessna Citation that crashed near Van Nuys Airport two weeks ago may have been open and was a factor in the deadly accident, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its preliminary report on the crash.
The Los Angeles Community College District has approved a master plan and final environmental report for an expansion of Mission College.
The California Association of Realtors reported that home sales statewide dropped by 15.3 percent in December compared to the year ago period, and prices rose 3.7 percent for existing homes.
Big Dog Holdings Inc. laid off 85 workers as a result of its move to a North Carolina distribution center.
Television production, particularly for reality shows, dominated area production in 2006, according to statistics released Thursday by FilmLa Inc.
The high-flying Dow hit a bump Thursday, finishing the day down 119 points.
Wednesday, January 24
The Burbank Gardens Retirement Hotel in Burbank is closing its doors in February after 20 years in business.
The Burbank-based search marketing division of Yahoo! is launching a new model of ranking placement of online ads beginning Feb. 5, the company announced Wednesday.
Woodland Hills-based insurer 21st Insurance Group received an offer Wednesday from American International Group Inc. offering to buy 38.1 percent of the company for $690 million.
Tuesday, January 23
Heavy trading in The Cheesecake Factory shares continued today following reported rumors of a leveraged buyout in the works.
Six Flags Magic Mountain plans to eliminate two of the Valencia park's aging roller coasters.
Video game publisher THQ Inc. was given permission Tuesday to re-list on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Monday, January 22
California United Bank anticipates raising as much as $22 million through a secondary offering.
Is it easier these days to get ahead as a young business person in the Valley area?
LAGraphico gives entertainment companies, other industries, the right look when marketing their products
Editor Jason Schaff says we could all learn something from this year's 40 under 40 winners.
The group in control of a 33-acre Sun Valley parcel that some hoped could jump start the area's economy has filed for bankruptcy.
The cold snap that sent us shivering also caused widespread damage to the area's agricultural industry.
The Woodland Hills managed health care provider Health Net Inc. has been sued by hospitals in two states that contend the company owes $100 million in medical expenses for veterans.
It used to be, someone over the age of 65 still punching into work each morning was a rarity.
Reporter Mark Madler gives us an up-close look at those in the special effects business.
Van Nuys-based Sun Quest Executive Air Charter has suspended flying its Cessna Citation jets in the wake of a crash that killed the company's founder.
Guitar Center was once the toast of Wall Street. What slowed its growth?
With dozens of business groups, why are just a handful geared toward the younger set?
The story of how Lance Sterling turned a music venue in far-flung Agoura Hills into one of the region's biggest.
Northridge Fashion Center has made its extended holiday hours permanent.
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has issued an emergency declaration to speed up insurance claims from agricultural businesses that lost crops during the recent cold snap.
A look at the winners of the Business Journal's annual '40 under 40'
The Swedish furniture behemoth IKEA has found new customers in business clients.
Another area auto dealer, this one in Valencia, is changing names.
The newest breed of private aircraft is the size of an SUV, has no restrooms and is flown by a keyboard.
Venture funding in the greater L.A. area rose more than 42 percent last year to $1.26 billion, according to a report just released by Ernst & Young and Dow Jones Venture One.
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises has agreed to have its ships use shore power instead of running diesel engines when docked at the Port of Los Angeles starting next year.
Martin M. Cooper on the future of the San Fernando Valley.
Opus Seen in Talks to Buy Rare Westlake Property, Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia has found.
Talk examines 'power of the information age.'
Warner Home Video and The International Fight League Inc. have reached an agreement for exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution, the companies announced Monday.
Wells Fargo makes a $33 million donation for housing.
Soil products manufacturer Agromin has been named as the recipient of the 2006 Environmental Excellence Award from the city of Ventura.
Reporter Chris Coates on the resignation of a top Cheesecake Factory Inc. exec.
The film-friendly attitude of Los Angeles World Airports helped contribute nearly $600 million to the area economy over a four-year period through filming of motion pictures, television shows and commercials, a Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp
We sit down with four 40 under 40 winners to hear the inside story of what it's like being an on-the-move business professional.
Friday, January 19
Half of the hospitals in California that vulnerable to collapse during a large earthquake will not receive seismic retrofitting before the state's mandatory 2013 deadline, a study released by the California HealthCare Foundation has found.
DVD maker Technicolor Inc. plans to cut 630 jobs its Camarillo plant by this summer.
The CW Network will make available free episodes of some its top-rated primetime shows on its website, network executives announced Friday.
A Panorama City plating facility has been charged with dumping hazardous materials into city sewers.
Van Nuys-based toy maker MGA has inked an agreement with Rubies Costume Co. to create a series of costumes based on its popular Bratz line of dolls.
Wednesday, January 17
Chatsworth-based 1105 Media Inc. has acquired Florida Educational Technology Corp., the producer of the one of the largest educational technology conferences for the K-12 market.
Valley City Councilman Greig Smith has introduced legislation that would require all buildings in the city to have an earthquake safety rating indicating the structure's seismic strength.
The Burbank City Council Tuesday approved the construction of a hangar and office space for AvJet Aviation at Bob Hope Airport.
First Commerce Bancorp reported net income for the fourth quarter rose 20 percent to $999,000 or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to earnings of $831,000 for the year ago period.
Tuesday, January 16
The Lancaster pharmaceutical industry software maker Simulations Plus Inc. reported a 78 percent increase in consolidated revenues for the first quarter of fiscal year 2007, finishing at $1.45 million.
The Mortgage Bankers Association released today projections for the mortgage production market.
Van Nuys-based Sun Quest Executive Air Charter has suspended flying its Cessna Citation jets in the wake of a crash that killed the company's founder last week.
Countrywide Bank has opened its 100th financial center in Smithtown, New York.
As many as 10,000 Los Angeles County security guards will be allowed to organize after talks between building owners, a number of security guard companies and the powerful Service Employees International Union.
Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance has closed two loans totaling $115 million, the company said today.
IHOP Corp. declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 payable Feb. 20 to shareholders of record on Feb. 1.
Monday, January 15
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center has been designated one of 12 specialty centers for acute heart attack patients by the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services.
A retired Simi Valley businessman and active volunteer was awarded top honors from the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Overall, the office market remained extremely tight in the greater San Fernando Valley area in the fourth quarter of 2006, and vacancy levels declined still further in some markets.
Friday, January 12
Countrywide Financial Corp. said today that mortgage loan fundings were down 9 percent at $42 billion for the month of December compared to the year ago period, but had risen sequentially from November, 2006.
The owner of a Valley towing company has been found guilty of illegally taking vehicles and charging owners exorbitant fees to recover them, the city attorney's office said.
Two employees were killed Friday after their company's jet crashed moments after takeoff from Van Nuys Airport.
The City Council could vote as soon as Tuesday whether to allow voters to decide on a living wage ordinance it passed last fall.
Thursday, January 11
Valley entertainment businesses now have a voice on a key Congressional panel that deals with patent rights and a litany of other industry issues.
A Nestle SA executive told a group of investors that the company is, indeed, interested in buying Gerber Products Co., confirming reports that the Swiss company had pursued the baby foods maker, the Associated Press reported today.
City officials are set to announce regulations for construction companies designed to curtail noise and other neighborhood inconveniences caused by these projects.
NetSol Technologies Inc. has received the best export performance award for its software products and consulting services from a Pakistani business group, the company has announced.
The Valencia theme parks Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor were rescued from the selling block Thursday after its corporate parent excluded the parks from a slate of properties it sold this week for $312 million.
Strong holiday sales of its video games moved THQ Inc. to update its third quarter net sales by $50 million, the company announced Thursday.
Wednesday, January 10
The Studio City commercial real estate and business development company The Siegel Group Inc. has acquired a Las Vegas hotel.
A new California Pizza Kitchen has opened in the Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks.
Guitar Center Inc., reporting a disappointing fourth quarter, said today that it expected its earnings to fall below its initial forecasts.
Businesses opportunities along the Los Angeles River was the subject of Wednesday afternoon luncheon sponsored by the United Chamber of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley.
Tuesday, January 9
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. said today that its preliminary revenues for the fourth quarter of the year rose 18 percent to $360.4 million versus the year-ago period.
An investigation by a special committee at video game publisher THQ, Inc. found no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in connection with stock option grant practices, the company announced Tuesday.
Iwao Takamoto, the animator who created characters in the popular Scooby Doo series, died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 81.
The Walt Disney Co. unveiled its redesigned consumer website Monday at the 2007 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
WellPoint NextRx has signed a three-year contract with the Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Highway Patrol Medical and Life Insurance Plan to provide pharmacy benefit management to 27,500 clients.
Cherokee Inc. has inked a licensing agreement for its Cherokee brand with Chilean retailer S.A.C.I. Falabella, owner of Tottus Hypermarket Stores.
Monday, January 8
A look at the issues, events and regulations likely to capture our attention this year.
The Valley job market is taking root this year in several key industries, most prominently engineering, software and technical sectors.
Fourth revenue results for the medical device maker St. Jude Medical, which has two Valley offices, is expected to beat Wall Street estimates, the company said Monday.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday announced an ambitious and comprehensive plan to provide health insurance to all Californians.
The San Fernando Valley Business Journal has announced the winners of its fourth annual "40 under 40" awards, which honors exceptional young businesspeople in the Valley area.
Santa Clarita prepares for enterprise zone benefits.
Two major airlines have expressed interest in starting commercial flights this year at LA/Palmdale Regional Airport.
The Walt Disney Company has presented $2.5 million to Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation's PC Pal Program.
Renovations are slated to start this winter on the recently re-branded Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center.
What does 2007 hold in store for us? Depends who you ask.
The Business Journal asked six different local businesspeople about what their hopes were for 2007.
'Work-less-earn-more' option won't be available in 2007, says Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia.
Space travel may be a ways off, but a North Hollywood firm is staking a claim in the business of designing consumer space suits.
Optical Communications Products enters 2007 in transition.
The 2007 economy should perform well, showing some slowdown from last year, but not enough to derail it.
Same store sales for the footwear retail company Shoe Pavilion Inc. jumped 8.6 for the fourth quarter, compared to a 5.5 percent increase during the same 2005 period.
Editor Jason Schaff on the challenges for the Valley over the next 12 months.
Cherokee Inc. facilitated a licensing agreement between HomeGoods stores and Hearst Magazines.
Fatima Marques' methodical preparation for opening up her shop was a successful recipe for natas pastries.
Amgen has expanded its toehold in the cardiac drug market, Reporter Chris Coates has found.
Another one seems to pop up every month, but is there a market for all the new newspapers in the north Valley?
As the world gets smaller, Russell K. Dollinger is making communication easier with a device that allows people who speak two different languages to converse.
Reporter Mark Madler examines a Studio City music label that relies heavily on selling to a Jewish audience.
Is this finally the year some form of universal health care will come out of Sacramento?
Friday, January 5
Several electronics retailers posted better than expected holiday sales results largely on the strength of flat-screen TV sales this season.
Countrywide Financial Corp. CEO Angelo Mozilo reported today that he exercised options for 70,000 shares of common stock under a prearranged trading plan, netting $2,283,400.
Construction is scheduled to start this winter on a $250,000 facelift of classrooms at Pierce College in Woodland Hills.
Thursday, January 4
Precision Dynamics successfully implemented its radio frequency identification patient management system at Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, the company announced.
The Sherman Oaks credit union auto-buying service Auto Land has extended its buy-back policy, allowing members to return pre-owned vehicles for up to five days or 500 miles after purchase.
National Contract Management Association San Fernando Valley Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
The Agoura Hills biotech company NeoStem Inc. has signed a strategic alliance with Utek Corp. in a bid to expand its foothold in the adult stem cell collection and storage field, the company said.
State Farm Insurance Co. is looking to decrease its auto insurance and home rates for policyholders by $489 million.
Retail results for the 2006 shopping season were a mixed bag, with some stores, particularly in the luxury sector, reporting a better-than-expected season and others reporting disappointing results.
Wednesday, January 3
The Calabasas staffing company On Assignment Inc. has moved to acquire Massachusetts-based Oxford Global Resources for $200 million.
California United Bank in Encino said today it closed its common stock offering on Dec. 29 with subscriptions totaling slightly more than $21 million.
Preliminary results show that retailers had a less than stellar holiday season and seasonal growth figures are likely to come in under initial expectations.
AvalonBay Communities Inc., a real estate investment trust with a large presence in the greater San Fernando Valley, was selected as a constituent of Standard & Poor's S & P; 500 on a date to be determined.
The Thousand Oaks drug maker Amgen Inc. has agreed to develop heart failure drugs with the San Francisco company Cytokinetics Inc.
Tuesday, January 2
The popularity of kitchen reality shows and cooking programs is causing increased enrollment at chef schools. But how many are finding work?
1105 Media Inc., the Chatsworth-based publisher and trade-event producer has made two acquisitions.
A new study has found nearly two in five bosses lie to employees and more than a fourth gossip with co-workers about those they supervise.
The owners of a Sherman Oaks medical practice have purchased a San Diego hospital.
Bloomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 Communications Inc. has shelled out $135 million for the content delivery network services business of SAVVIS Inc., the company announced.
In the Bay Area, a number of companies have entered the fray to wage battle with a local institution: Google.
Prices for industrial properties in the greater San Fernando Valley area continued to skyrocket in the third quarter, according to a report released by Colliers International.
A Camarillo-based company has been awarded construction management responsibilities for Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project.
Lydia Kennard will step down at the end of the month as the executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that runs the city's regional airports including those in Van Nuys and Palmdale.