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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023


Court Throws Book at Katzenberg Hollywood’s juiciest lawsuit took another nasty turn late last month after a court-appointed referee ordered Walt Disney Co. chieftain Michael Eisner to turn over portions of his yet-unpublished autobiography to archrival Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg, who was chairman of Walt Disney Studios before quitting in 1994 after Eisner failed to give him Disney’s No. 2 job, is pursuing a $250 million breach-of-contract suit against his former employer. The DreamWorks SKG co-founder claims that his old contract with Disney guaranteed him 2 percent of the profits from any productions created or acquired during his tenure. Eisner has been working for months on his autobiography along with celebrity profile-writer Tony Schwartz. The book was listed in the fall catalog for New York publisher Random House, but its release has been postponed indefinitely because the book isn’t ready. On Aug. 25, referee Lucas Campbell (who was appointed to hear arguments during the discovery portion of the case by L.A. Superior Court Judge John Ouderkirk) ordered Eisner to give any portions of the book relevant to the suit to Katzenberg’s attorneys. Secret Deals… When it comes to what real estate companies are talking about, there’s one topic that’s always off-limits: deals for entertainment clients. “It’s like they don’t want to ruin the magic of their industry with such unpleasantness as real estate and monetary transactions,” said one architect, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Interior design firms to real estate brokers have stories of being told by their entertainment clients that they absolutely, postively can’t mention their work. Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. were often mentioned as the strictest silencers, but spokespeople for both firms perhaps not surprisingly declined to comment. …And a Not-So-Secret One “THE SECRET’S OUT” the Daily News trumpeted in a Page One story last month detailing plans for new city, county, state and federal buildings in the downtown Civic Center. “The plan is a virtual secret,” the paper said of the proposed “10-Minute Diamond” plan, named for the time it takes to walk to any of the four corners of the area. A secret plan? Not quite. A number of publications have written about the proposal, including the 1 million-circulation L.A. Times, which printed a detailed story on the 10-Minute Diamond last year. If anything, lack of public awareness of the plan seems more a function of disinterest in the Civic Center than of any plot by city officials. “The secret part of it was confusing,” Rocky Delgadillo, deputy mayor for economic development, said of the story. Leg Advertising Just when you thought advertising had been placed everywhere on the sides of office buildings and hotels, on large boards on the back of trucks, and on stickers placed on grocery store produce a Newhall businessman has found a new place to advertise: His right leg. Ryan Villiers-Furze, owner of Ryebread’s Toaster, a graphic design and advertising firm in Newhall, broke his leg playing softball a few months back. He at first was put into a hip cast, but it was replaced last month by a smaller cast. “When I broke my leg, I was kind of joking with people that I would sell ad space on my cast,” he said. The joke became a reality when he started gluing the business cards of friends, colleagues and others to his new cast for a $10 fee per card. The money is being donated to the Association to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence a group for which he already has raised more than $200 with the ads and the cast was almost completely filled within a week. “It’s truly the one time an advertiser can say space is limited,” Villiers-Furze said. Gripe, gripe, gripe Newsroom denizens are known to grouse and apparently they get an early start at it. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake knocked the Journalism Department at Cal State Northridge out of its Jerome Richfield Hall and into temporary trailers. The shift was not popular with the reporters-in-training the trailers were away from the center of the campus, lacking the conveniences and amenities of a real building. Richfield Hall reopened with the fall term, and one would think the students would be happy. But, of course, these are journalism students. “For the most part it’s better,” said one student. “There’s still a lot of construction going on around here.” Fowl Punishment While much is said about the cost of incarcerating felons, no one ever seems to talk much about the cost of incarcerating fowl. Any time a cockfighting ring is broken up in Los Angeles County, the birds must be kept as evidence until the accused cockfighters are tried. Each of those birds costs $2 a day to store potentially costing hundreds of thousands if the case doesn’t go immediately to trial, not exactly chicken feed. So what do state lawmakers want to do with birds to save taxpayers money? Kill ’em. Two Antelope Valley legislators and L.A. County Sheriff Sherman Block are pushing a bill in Sacramento that would allow for destruction of the birds. Of course, as the bill dictates, the killing would be humane. Save Your Change In what must be a panhandler’s version of paradise, the Glendale Civic Auditorium is hosting a convention for aficionados of vintage slot machines, jukeboxes, pinball machines, gumball vendors and other amusement devices. The event, dubbed the Original Loose Change Fun Fair, takes place Sept. 13-14. In addition to the coin-operated stuff, antique dealers from throughout the Western United States are expected to show up with classic neon, advertising and gambling memorabilia. Everything on the floor will be up for sale. General admission is $4 per day so save up your spare change.

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