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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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Around the Valleys

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY About a dozen RadioShack stores in the greater Valley are expected to close due to the electronics chain’s bankruptcy. They are among 1,600 to 2,500 underperforming company-owned outlets that the Fort Worth, Texas retailer plans to shutter pending approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. It wants to sell 1,500 to 2,400 of its remaining company stores to Standard General, its largest shareholder. The New York investment firm has a deal with wireless carrier Sprint Corp., and plans to sell wireless service and mobile phones in up to 1,750 of the stores. Set for closure are outlets in Encino, Panorama City, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Ventura, Oxnard, Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. BURBANK Studio veteran Thomas Staggs was named chief operating officer at Walt Disney Co. – a promotion that puts him in line to succeed Robert Iger as the next leader of the media and entertainment giant. Staggs, 54, has been with Disney for almost 25 years, most recently as chief of the parks and resorts segment. He assumes a role that has been vacant since Iger left the position in 2005 to become chief executive. As leader of the parks and resorts segment since 2010, Staggs oversaw development of the Shanghai Disney Resort and expansions at Disneyland, Disney World, and Disney California Adventure, the launching of two new cruise ships and the opening of a resort in Hawaii. The Burbank City Council has rejected terms proposed by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for building a replacement terminal at Burbank Bob Hope Airport. The authority sought to have the Council sign off on terms that would cap the terminal at 14 gates, restrict its size to no larger than 355,000 square feet and require the airport to continue a voluntary curfew from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. In a special Feb. 8 meeting, the Council voted 5-0 to reject the terms, which had been submitted to the city in November. However, a city spokesman said negotiations over a new terminal would continue. Woodbury University announced the sudden departure of school President Luis Calingo, who will relinquish his responsibilities and go on sabbatical at the end of this month. Calingo was appointed to the post in 2012 from Domincan University in San Rafael, where he was executive vice president and chief academic officer. He will be succeeded on an interim basis by Provost David Dauwalder. CHATSWORTH Warren Boley abruptly resigned as the president of Aerojet Rocketdyne and was replaced by Scott Seymour, chief executive of GenCorp, the rocket engine manufacturer’s Rancho Cordova parent company. A media report quoted sources saying Boley and Seymour had differences about the future of the company, which made the engines that sent men to the moon. Boley had been president of Aerojet Rocketdyne since July 2012, after GenCorp acquired Rocketdyne from United Technologies Inc., in Hartford, Conn., in a deal valued at $550 million. In October, an Antares rocket using an Aerojet built engine exploded in Virginia. GLENDALE Cheryl Fair, news director at KABC-TV for 15 years, has been named president and general manager of the Glendale station. She replaces Arnie Kleiner, who retired at the end of January after 19 years with the station owned by Walt Disney Co. in Burbank. Fair graduated from Pennsylvania State University and began her career at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh as a producer and writer in 1973. She spent 20 years with WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as producer, managing editor and executive producer. Last year, Fair was named a distinguished journalist by the Society of Professional Journalists Los Angeles Chapter. SYLMAR Tutor Perini Corp. promoted longtime company executive James Frost to the positon of president and chief operating officer. Frost has worked at the Sylmar construction company for more than 25 years and supervised a number of high-profile projects, including part of the 9-11 Ground Zero reconstruction and the massive Hudson Yards mixed-use complex in New York. Since 2008, he has served as chief executive of Tutor Perini’s Civil Group, which focuses on building and renovating infrastructure projects. Previously, Robert Band served as president and Chief Executive Ron Tutor directly supervised the chief executives of the company’s three operating divisions. Tutor previously told the Business Journal that he plans to take less of a day-to-day role in managing the company. UNIVERSAL CITY NBCUniversal is making over its popular tour at Universal Studios Hollywood with high-tech tram vehicles and a new 3-D attraction based on “The Fast and the Furious” films. The changes are part of a larger $1.6 billion plan to improve the theme park, and expand production and post-production for film and television. Improvements to the tour include illuminating backlot sets to extend the tours after dark. In addition to remaking the tour, the park plans to open a “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction next year. WEST HILLS Bank of America Corp. will lay off up to 113 employees this spring at its West Hills mortgage loan processing center – the latest in a series of cuts the bank has made as the housing market has improved. The Charlotte, N.C. financial institution will lay off the workers at the Fallbrook Avenue facility as of March 29. Bank of America and other large lenders have gradually made staffing cuts the past two years in the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere at their mortgage servicing offices, which had been busy during the recession handling delinquencies and foreclosures. Employees affected by the latest cuts will be eligible to apply for open positions at the bank. WOODLAND HILLS The stabilizing San Fernando Valley housing market has prompted a merger of two local real estate companies, A Team Realty of Woodland Hills and WG Financial of Canoga Park. The companies will retain their separate names. A Team, founded in 2010, has 40 agents and concentrates its activity in the San Fernando and surrounding valleys. It represents both residential and commercial properties for sale and lease. WG Financial brought 11 agents into the combined company and moved its headquarters to Woodland Hills as part of the merger. CONEJO VALLEY WESTLAKE VILLAGE Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. signed licensing agreements with Swiss drug maker Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and the University of Pennsylvania to develop a new treatment for hair loss. The agreement gives Kythera worldwide rights to Actelion’s setipiprant, a clinical-stage oral drug that inhibits a receptor associated with hair loss. In a separate agreement with the Philadelphia school’s Penn Center for Innnovation, Kythera acquired rights to patents for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Kythera Chief Executive Keith Leonard said baldness treatments present a business opportunity similar to its main pipeline drug, which dissolves chin fat but is unlikely to qualify for insurance reimbursement. ANTELOPE VALLEY MOJAVE Virgin Galactic is moving the development and manufacturing of its LauncherOne satellite-carrier rocket to the Long Beach Airport from the Mojave Air & Space Port. The commercial aerospace company founded by billionaire Richard Branson leased 150,000 square feet in Long Beach to develop the rocket, used to launch small payloads into space at low cost. Virgin Galactic Chief Executive George Whitesides said the new facility will better serve the company’s expanding customer base. The company will retain its development team for the SpaceShipTwo commercial passenger spacecraft in Mojave. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the first SpaceShipTwo’s crash in October, which killed one pilot and injured a second. – Compiled by Karen E. Klein

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