Stories for January 2017

Tuesday, January 31

Amgen Promises Trump 1,600 Jobs

President Donald Trump met with pharmaceutical chief executives Tuesday, including Amgen Inc.’s Robert Bradway, who promised to add 1,600 jobs, according to a tweet from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

L.A. City Council to Regulate Street Vending

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to decriminalize and regulate street vendors.

Monday, January 30

BizFed Installs New Officers

The Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed, has installed new officers for 2017.

Avison Young Adds Three Brokers

Real estate brokerage Avison Young has hired three new brokers for its Los Angeles North office.

Planning Commission Keeps Animal Rescue Open

Woodland Hills animal shelter Rockin’ Rescue and its 80 current resident animals have a second chance, thanks to a recent decision by the South Valley Area Planning Commission.

Friday, January 27

Report: Ixia in Acquisition Talks

Data technology company Ixia is in talks to be acquired by Keysight Technologies Inc., according to media reports.

Tutor Perini Secures $1.4 Billion Wilshire Subway Contract

A joint venture led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini Corp. has been awarded a $1.4 billion contract by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to construct the second phase of the Metro Purple Line subway through Beverly Hills and into Century City.

Thursday, January 26

Katzenberg Raises Funds for New Venture

Former DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg has raised nearly $600 million for a new venture, according to a federal filing.

Cynvenio Signs Mexican Distribution Deal

Westlake Village clinical diagnostics developer Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Mexico-based Milenia Labs, the companies announced Thursday.

Wednesday, January 25

Law Firm Expands Startup Accelerator

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, a Sherman-Oaks law firm, plans to expand its early-stage business accelerator program.

Simi Hospital Names Chief Medical Officer

Simi Valley Hospital on Tuesday announced it has promoted Dr. John Dingilian to full-time chief medical officer.

Tuesday, January 24

City, County Officials Seek Answers About Aliso Canyon

Los Angeles City and county officials have submitted motions endorsing a state legislative bill to prohibit gas injection at Aliso Canyon until the last year’s leak is explained.

Semtech Deploys Network in Australia

Semtech Corp.’s long-range wireless platform is being used in Australia’s first low-power, wide-area network, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, January 23

Salem Selects Leader for Eagle Wellness

Salem Media Group in Camarillo has promoted Maritza Lizama, the marketing head of its health division, to general manager.

North Hills Apartment Portfolios Sold

Two apartment portfolio sales have closed in North Hills for more than $23 million, according to real estate database firm CoStar Group Inc.

Chinese Investors Acquire Source Photonics

Optical component maker Source Photonics has been sold to two Chinese private equity firms, the company has announced.

Chinese Investors Acquire Source Photonics

Optical component maker Source Photonics has been sold to two Chinese private equity firms, the company has announced.

Remodel Creates Futuristic Office

REAL ESTATE: CBRE showcase at former Kate Mantilini location.

With the future of work sites and locations in mind, CBRE takes over former Kate Mantilini restaurant in Warner Center.

Amgen Wins Court Battle for Cholesterol Drug

BIOTECH: Secure patents for lucrative Repatha could boost share price.

Amgen flexes its legal might against competitors.

DineEquity to Open Hybrid IHOP-Applebee’s

RESTAURANTS: One menu, round-the-clock cuisine at Detroit location.

Foodies craving tri-tip with a side of pancakes will be in luck this fall, when the world’s first co-branded IHOP and Applebee’s restaurant opens at the General Motors Co. headquarters in Detroit.

Drag-and-Drop Site Supports Internet of Things

TECHNOLOGY: Semtech has hardware so it invests in myDevices, a startup that facilitates software writing.

Semtech invests in Calabasas software startup to help others build the Internet of Things.

MannKind Passes $1 Million Research Milestone

PHARMA: Payment comes from partnership to develop inhalable drugs.

Valencia biotech MannKind Corp. received a $1 million milestone payment for completing initial formulation studies.

Measure M: That’s the Valley’s Ticket

Measure M is an economic and health necessity for the San Fernando Valley.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Simulations Plus Inc. beat analysts’ expectations by reporting net income of $1.36 million on revenue of $5.4 million during the fiscal first quarter ended Nov. 30.

Meal Service Goes to Gym To Up Sales

Food delivery firm hopes to broaden clients beyond celebs.

Shaping up: food delivery company partners with gym to offer free membership.


Calendar of events

Shiny New Nick

Cable TV’s Nickelodeon opens Burbank HQ

Nickelodeon’s new headquarters reflects creativity behind children’s television.

Tease photo

Sales Self-Helper

Motivational speaker and author Jim Cathcart is Cal Lutheran’s first entreprener-in-residence.

Jim Cathcart on speaking, selling and self-improvement for his own life and others.

Tease photo

AV Hospital Hires New CEO

HEALTH CARE: Labor issues lead to board ousting management.

What’s behind the rapid leadership switch at Antelope Valley Hospital?

Money Helps MobileCause Find Funders

Startup secures $18.5 million amid Trump uncertainty.

Fundraising app developer raises its own funds for expansion.

VALLEY RISING: Builders’ North County Land Grab

Got land? The San Fernando Valley doesn’t – but the Santa Clarita Valley does. And because of that, developers are busy building there.

Andy Gump’s Sanitation Celebration

On-site toilet provider tallies up 60 years in the business.

Next-gen plans for SoCal’s iconic on-site commode company.

Valencia Plaza Turns Corner With Upgrade

RETAIL: After three years of rehab, shopping center sold for 44 percent gain.

Valencia Town Center Plaza was old, in poor condition and more than half vacant. That made it a great opportunity for a Los Angeles private equity firm to turn it around, add value and make a fast profit.

Smart Mirror: A Makeover With Makeup

Augmented reality overlays color on image at CES debut.

Mirror, mirror: FaceCake’s new mirrors try makeup on for women so they don’t have to.

ApolloMed Merger Anticipates Nasdaq Listing

M&A: Health management firms combine with the aim to leverage big data.

Expansion, and Nasdaq listing, are next for ApolloMed after merger.

Running on Air

Jeff Marrs, new chief executive at HVAC contractor Acco Engineered Systems, learned the business from the bottom up.

Jeff Marrs engineered a management career as Acco Engineered Systems’ new CEO.

WageSpot Sees Market for Mapped Salary Data

APP: Startup plans to beat competitors by telling how much the neighbors make.

When the WageSpot app was launched in the fall of 2015, the three co-developers were pleased with the response but they ran into problems typical of startups.

Flat Floors Open Doors

CONSTRUCTION: Tenants like warehouses with Klorman’s extremely horizontal surfaces.

How superflat floors are opening new doors for Klorman Construction.

The Scourge of Compact Parking

More compact parking spaces equals fewer cars.

Friday, January 20

Burbank's Buena Vista Plaza Sells for $53 Million

Buena Vista Plaza in Burbank’s Media District has sold for nearly $53 million.

Calabasas Office Center Sold

The dual-building Calabasas Center Two in Calabasas sold to a single buyer, according to Lee & Associates – LA North/Ventura Inc.

Canyon Club Coming to Santa Clarita

Sterling Venue Ventures, the company that operates the Canyon Club restaurant and performance venue in Agoura Hills, is opening a new location in Santa Clarita, according to the L.A. Daily News.

Preview: Sales Self-Helper

Jim Cathcart was a college drop-out with little ambition when a five-minute radio program by Earl Nightingale inspired him to change his life.

Preview: VALLEY RISING: Builders' North County Land Grab

New feature highlights construction projects in specific markets of the Valley region.

Thursday, January 19

House Prices Rise in Valley Region

Prices for homes of all types saw healthy increases in 2016 in both the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, according to the Southland Association of Realtors.

Salem Buys

Salem Media Group in Camarillo has announced the acquisition of, an internet resource for news and events about Christian music artists.

Wednesday, January 18

Tull Out as Chief of Legendary Entertainment

Thomas Tull has stepped down as chief executive of Legendary Entertainment, the production company he founded and made into a Hollywood powerhouse and then sold to Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. of China a year ago.

Hi-Speed Rail Meeting Still on Track

Although the future of California’s high-speed rail may be cloudier than ever, the city of Lancaster is hosting an open house on the rail project that is supposed to come through the Antelope Valley.

Tuesday, January 17

Location Filming Rose 6 Percent in 2016

On-location film, television and commercial production increased by more than 6 percent last year compared to 2015, according to figures released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Salem Syndicates ‘Good Clean Fun’ in 60 Markets

Salem Media Group announced Tuesday that its show “Good Clean Fun with Kevin and Taylor” will launch in 60 markets across the United States.

Monday, January 16

Gelb Group Sells, Buys Properties

Gelb Group of Encino sold and bought a pair of equal value properties in Woodland Hills and Granada Hills in a 1031 exchange, a way for investors to defer paying capital gains tax on the sale of property.

B. Riley Underwrites Ooma Share Offering

Investment bank B. Riley & Co. is the sole underwriter in a secondary offering of 2.85 million shares of stock in Palo Alto-based communications company Ooma Inc.

Friday, January 13

Union Plans Protest at Tarzana Medical Center

Workers on Monday will hold a protest at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, which recently terminated approximately half its housekeeping staff.

Conejo Spectrum's Developable Land Sold

The last 29 acres of buildable land in the Conejo Spectrum Business Park in Thousand Oaks has been sold to an Irvine investment and development firm.

Thursday, January 12

Rams Hire Coach Sean McVay

The Los Angeles Rams on Thursday hired former Washington Redskins’ offensive coordinator Sean McVay as the team’s new head coach.

Television Powers Filming in Santa Clarita

The City of Santa Clarita issued more than 500 on-location filming permits last year, with television shows accounting for more than half the total.

DineEquity Expands Board With Marketing Expert

DineEquity Inc. on Wednesday appointed marketing executive Lilian Tomovich to its board of directors, increasing the Glendale restaurant group’s governing body from 10 members to 11.

Wednesday, January 11

Salem Ends Bill Bennett Show

Salem Media Group Inc. has ended a morning interview series featuring broadcast personality Bill Bennett, the company announced Wednesday.

Wound Center Opens at West Hills Hospital

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center on Tuesday opened its Advanced Wound Care Center to treat patients with hard-to-heal wounds.

Great American Finances Luxury Watch Website

Great American Capital Partners will provide a $20 million secured loan to Eleven James Inc. to support the company’s growth.

Poole & Shaffery Name Two Partners

Santa Clarita-based Poole & Shaffery on Wednesday announced it has promoted two of its attorneys – Jaion Chung and Kimberly Moore – to partners in the firm.

Tuesday, January 10

DineEquity Plans Five-Nation Expansion

DineEquity Inc. on Tuesday announced deals to expand its Applebee’s and IHOP chains into five new countries by 2025.

L.A. Councilmembers Propose Ban on Developer Contributions

Three L.A. city councilmembers on Tuesday proposed banning contributions to council campaigns from developers with projects currently or recently before the city.

PSI Acquires Academic Testing Service

Professional testing firm PSI Services has acquired Software Secure Inc., a testing firm for grade and high schools and higher education, the companies announced Tuesday.

Klorman Construction Wins Parking Garage Project

Klorman Construction in Woodland Hills said it has been selected to build a six-level parking garage for a new development underway in Oceanside.

Simulations Plus Beats Estimates

Simulations Plus reported results that beat Wall Street expectations.

Monday, January 9

Amgen, Immatics to Collaborate on Cancer Drugs

Amgen Inc. on Monday announced it has entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with German pharmaceutical company Immatics Biotechnologies to develop next-generation cancer treatments.

Valley Hospitals Fined for Patient Jeopardy Incidents

Two San Fernando Valley hospitals face fines from the California Department of Public Health over violations that present “immediate jeopardy” to patients or have already resulted in injury or death.

Pepperdine Announces New Graduate Degree in Real Estate

Amid the L.A. area’s burgeoning, post-Great Recession real estate market, Pepperdine University has announced a new master’s degree in real estate investing and financing.

Cynvenio Improves Breast Cancer Test

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. in Westlake Village has released its second-generation ClearID Breast Cancer blood test, the company announced Monday.

SPECIAL REPORT: Trump Bump for M&A?

Investment bankers look forward to a year of deal-making under the new administration.

Investment bankers see a prosperous 2017.

Farmers Test Water Market In Ventura

Cal Lutheran students will monitor deals during pilot program.

Water market debuts in Ventura County.

New Owners Take Reins at Saddle Peak

Restaurant will retain casual ambiance and exotic meat menu.

New restaurateur takes over revered Saddle Peak Lodge.

UCLA Opens Campus in West Valley

Extension facility to feature on-site classes, video conferencing.

UCLA Extension eyes older Valley residents with new satellite.

Smile in a Flash

Dentist’s quest to commercialize quick implants

Dental implant company picks up speed in Simi Valley.

Hollywood’s Film Freezer

ENTERTAINMENT: Vault in Thousand Oaks will preserve movie history at low temperature.

Hollywood films get frozen in new Thousand Oaks vaults.

Biotech Startup Sienna Makes Early Acquisition

M&A: Westlake Village firm combines pharma with laser hair removal.

Westlake Village startup rolls up skin treatment company.

Cloudy Future For Qualstar?

TECHNOLOGY: Company adapts as data storage market evolves.

Qualstar tries turnaround as data storage sector evolves.

StoneFire Sale Could Stoke Growth

RESTAURANTS: Investor to finance expansion by co-founder’s sons.

Valley area’s StoneFire Grill has a new owner.

How One Developer Found In-Fill Opportunity

CONSTRUCTION: Xebec plans to transform former mine into e-commerce complex.

Xebec digs in deep in Sun Valley for new industrial space.

Hospital, Nurses Union Sign Wage Contract

LABOR: Deal will bring financial certainty, better recruitment to AV.

After almost a year and a half of negotiations, Antelope Valley Hospital and the California Nurses Association have signed off on a new union contract, affecting more than 1,000 nurses at the Lancaster hospital.

Exhibit Teaches Tourists the Culture of ‘Avatar’

ATTRACTION: GES works with James Cameron to bring Pandora to life.

Themed attraction company GES and partners have produced a traveling educational exhibit based on the blockbuster film “Avatar.”

LAPD’s Foothill Fund Fills Baskets for Needy

PHILANTHROPY: Donations of toys, cosmetics and cash boost campaign.

The Foothill Community Police Department’s annual drive to replenish its Needy Family Fund was successful again this year thanks to the generosity of the local business community, with Woodland Hills’ USI Insurance Services LLC leading the way in both monetary and material donations.

Special Needs CEO

Cynthia Sewell, long-time leader at New Horizons for the developmentally disabled, retired last month.

Cynthia Sewell, New Horizons’ former chief executive, reminisces on changes in special needs.

Cap Reminds Pot Patients To Medicate

Prop 64’s passage opens new market for bottles with timer.

Expanded pot legalization widens potential for bottle timers.

SPECIAL REPORT: Open Market to Close Books

Local companies battle for niche in financial software market.

Apartment Builders Seek Industrial Lots

DEVELOPMENT: Chinese firm buys Woodland Hills site.

Developers have hunted all over the Warner Center area of Woodland Hills for older retail and restaurant centers that they could replace with apartments. Now they have widened their search to put industrial buildings in their crosshairs.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Antelope Valley Hospital will face reduced Medicare payments based on a health care quality score, according to the Antelope Valley Press.


Calendar of events

Cherokee’s Pattern of Self-Renewal

Cherokee’s strategy; public pensions bury Californians.

Handbook for the New Year

2017 rings in new laws for businesses.

Marketing Lessons from Hillary, The Donald

Election strategies, academic study illustrate how a sequence of messages guides consumers to make a decision.

Trump and Clinton’s election messages yield insights on strategies.

Staying Ahead in a Global Marketplace

Today’s global market means inventing – and re-inventing – jobs.

Friday, January 6

Court Blocks Competitor to Amgen's Repatha

Amgen Inc. has successfully blocked Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi from selling a competitor to its cholesterol drug Repatha.

Semtech Invests in myDevices

Semtech Corp. has invested about $3 million in myDevices, an internet of things solutions company.

Preview: SPECIAL REPORT: Trump Bump for M&A?

Investment bankers look forward to a prosperous 2017.

Preview: Stonefire Sale Could Stoke Growth

StoneFire Grill, the homegrown restaurant that started in Valencia almost 17 years ago, now employs more than 1,000 workers at eight locations – and with a recent majority investment by New York private equity firm Goode Partners LLC, it’s poised for further expansion.

Thursday, January 5

CBRE to Transform Former Kate Mantilini Site

As part of its ongoing strategy to position itself as an advisor in reconfiguring workspaces for the future labor force, L.A.-based CBRE Group Inc. has leased space at a former restaurant in the Warner Center in Woodland Hills.

Antelope Valley Hospital Names CEO

Antelope Valley Hospital has named a new chief executive, following the district board’s Dec. 23 decision to oust prior administrative leader John Rossfeld.

Oak Park Shopping Center Sold

An Oak Park shopping center has changed hands for nearly $30 million, according to L.A.-based CBRE Group Inc.

Salem Creates Broadcast Sales Strategy Position

Salem Media Group Inc. has promoted Michael Mann to the newly created position of director of sales strategy for broadcast media.

Galpin Rocket Car Returns to Production

Galpin Motors announced Thursday that the sports car VLF Rocket V8, formerly known as the Galpin Rocket, is in production at a Michigan speed shop.

City Sues Pacoima Shop for Catalytic Converter Theft

A Pacoima automotive parts recycling business has been accused of involvement in a catalytic converter theft ring, according to a civil lawsuit filed Thursday by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

Wednesday, January 4

Hulu Adds CBS to its Upcoming Live TV Service

Hulu, one of the companies racing to provide television packages that compete with traditional cable networks, on Wednesday finalized an agreement to offer CBS’ sports and entertainment programming.

Teledyne to Supply Underwater Robots to Navy

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has received a multi-million contract from the Pentagon to supply underwater robots used in disposing of explosives.

Disney Recalls Infant Hoodies

Walt Disney Co. is recalling about 15,000 hoodie sweatshirts sold at its U.S. theme parks due to a potential choking hazard.

Tuesday, January 3

New Owner Plans to Rename, Renovate Glendale Apartments

The 52-year-old Verdugo Village apartment complex in Glendale has traded hands for more than $50 million in a deal that will also provide a new name and significant upgrades to the property.

On Assignment Names President in Succession Plan

On Assignment Inc. has promoted Ted Hanson to the position of president, the company announced on Tuesday.

MannKind Receives $1 Million Milestone Payment

Valencia biotech MannKind Corp. on Tuesday announced that it has received a $1 million milestone payment from Receptor Life Sciences Inc. of Seattle for completing initial formulation studies.