United Online Move Expected To Boost Its Tech Capabilities MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY By Slav Kandyba For United Online, a Westlake Village-based dial-up Internet service provider, the move to a new facility at LNR Warner Center this month serves several purposes. First, the company will be able to house its entire local workforce 250 people under one roof, as opposed to several structures in Westlake Village. Second, it will be able to add new technological amenities and have room to grow, said Mark Goldston, United president and CEO about the move to Woodland Hills. The new facility will have more than 100,000 square feet of space, doubling the area of the main Westlake Village building. United, which is behind the NetZero and Juno dial-up Internet brands, will expand its network operating center, which is “pretty much the command center from which we run our Internet service,” Goldston said. “It’s going to allow us to do things under one roof and allow employees to have access to many more tools,” Goldston said. New amenities will include a “very sophisticated” quality control lab and a formal usability lab, he said. The latter will allow United to “do focus groups and do real-time market research.” The company currently outsources market research. The Woodland Hills offices will also have a state-of-the-art soundstage where the company’s marketing staff will be able to edit commercials and do voiceover recording for radio and the Internet. The Woodland Hills location was chosen because analysis revealed most employees live in the area. Daily News Departures The Woodland Hills-based Daily News of Los Angeles is losing its Los Angeles Lakers beat writer to the New York Times. Howard Beck is headed to New York to cover the New York Knicks, said Daily News executive sports editor Doug Jacobs. Beck’s last day at the Daily News was July 27 and he said he plans to move to The Big Apple sometime in late August. “This is a great opportunity at the perfect time,” said Beck, who has covered the Lakers for seven years. “I was looking for new challenges and somewhere where I can grow. There’s no place better on the planet than the New York Times.” Also, the Daily News sports department is losing the No. 2 editor in Michael Anastasi, who will join the sports department at the Salt Lake Tribune as managing editor. In another Daily News-related departure, former publisher John Schueler was appointed to run Alameda Newspaper Group in the Bay Area. He was serving as president of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which includes the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Both ANG and LANG are owned and operated by the Denver, Colo.-based MediaNews Group Inc. Wildcat Acquires Distributor Agoura Hills-based Wildcat Communication Group, founded last year by the entrepreneur who pioneered the bottled juice industry with his Naked Juice brand, is continuing to grow through acquisition. Wildcat President David Bleeden has acquired the assets of K & B Electronics, a Mesa, Ariz.-based electronics distributor. Two marketing employees were to remain at K & B;’s office as Wildcat employees. Wildcat sells cell phone accessories through a number of Web sites and has had a strategy of growth through acquisition of mobile communications accessories and peripherals companies. “What really attracted us to K & B; was that they have a great catalog and great technology,” Bleeden said. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Another part of K & B; that Bleeden found attractive was that firm’s government market access, he said. K & B; provides “communications products” to the U.S. Army, Air Force and the State Department, among other federal and governmental agencies. “K & B; has a well-developed government sector and that’s a new market for us (Wildcat),” Bleeden said. “We actually provide technology products through K & B; to the troops in Iraq.” Staff Reporter Slav Kandyba can be reached at (818) 316-3126.