Brian Watt Business and Economics Reporter

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Brian Watt is a Business and Economics Reporter for KPCC. He joined the KPCC news team in 2007. Prior to that, he worked as a producer at "Marketplace," where he filed a number of his own stories and even filled in some mornings as host.

Brian holds degrees in Theater from Yale University and the Sorbonne, and has worked as an actor in France, Italy, Brazil, Hungary and Hollywood. He appeared in a few television shows, including "The West Wing," "Judging Amy," and "The District."


Stories by Brian Watt

Congressional panel examines how Comcast-NBC merger would affect diversity

A Congressional panel heard comments today in L.A. about the effect a proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal might have upon media diversity — on screen, among writers and producers, and in the board rooms.

8 Democrats vie for coastal 53rd Assembly District

One of the most competitive political races in the state is in 53rd Assembly District. Ted Lieu represents the coastal district that runs from the South Bay to Venice and Mar Vista. But the termed out Democrat is running for Attorney General, and more than half a dozen candidates seek the nomination to succeed him.

Prop 17 - increased auto insurance competition or hidden surcharges?

It’s not the most scintillating measure on the June 8 ballot, but Proposition 17 is about something many Californians consider fundamental: auto insurance. The proposition would allow insurance companies to offer the same discount they give to customers who’ve stuck with them awhile to new customers who switch from another insurer.

Century Boulevard corridor approved as 'State Enterprise Zone'

State officials have approved the Century Boulevard corridor that leads to and from Los Angeles International Airport as a new part of the "State Enterprise Zone" program. The City of Los Angeles’ bid to add the corridor to the program had stalled in Sacramento for almost a year. But recently appointed Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner stepped in to give it a push.

First plane uses LAX's new cross-field taxiway

Qantas Flight 11 landed this morning at Los Angeles International Airport – and became the first aircraft to travel on the airport’s new cross-field taxiway. KPCC’s Brian Watt was there.

LA City Council cracks down on upkeep of foreclosed properties

The Los Angeles City Council agreed to fine banks and other owners that fail to maintain foreclosed properties.

Tesla and Toyota to make electric cars in Fremont, not Downey

Toyota and Tesla are joining forces to develop and manufacture electric cars. They’ll do it at a recently shuttered auto plant in Fremont, in Northern California. The heads of the two companies and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held a news conference on Thursday in Palo Alto to announce the deal. The news left the city of Downey, which thought it had a deal with Tesla, in shock.

National Bike to Work Day today in the Southland

Today is National Bike to Work Day. [Audio: KPCC's Steve Julian talks to Brian Watt who's at Helen's Cycles in Santa Monica and tells us how people in the Southland are responding to the day.]

Boeing C-17 assembly line workers’ strike idles plant

The strike at Boeing’s C-17 plant in Long Beach has been on for a week. And the 1,700 workers who usually build the giant cargo planes are now outside walking a picket line. So what’s it like in a plant that makes a product when the product is not being made?

LA City officials kick off Bike Week

City Councilman Tom LaBonge walked his bike up to the front of LAPD headquarters wearing a bike helmet and a warm-up suit. He confessed that the morning drizzle forced him to make only half of his commute by bicycle. He described the last stretch as a little scary.

Day starts with layoffs, prayer at Homeboy Industries

For 20 years, Homeboy Industries has given East L.A. gang members a chance to get out of trouble. Now the acclaimed anti-gang program is in trouble itself. It hasn’t been able to raise the money it needs to keep 300 or so ex-gang-bangers employed and off the streets. Father Greg Boyle, the Jesuit priest who founded Homeboy announced to his staff that everyone’s been laid off.

LA Times parent company hopes green words link to money

Certain articles and blog posts on the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune websites sport a few choice words tinted green. The green words are links to e-commerce sites like Amazon.com and TicketNetwork, which the media company that owns the two newspapers hopes will be a new source of financial green.

Economists see a sustainable recovery for Southern California, US

The economists at Cal State Long Beach believe the nation’s begun a sustainable economic recovery, and the Southland won’t be left behind. They presented their annual economic forecast Thursday morning.

Boeing C-17 line workers in Long Beach go on strike

At 12:01 Tuesday morning, 1,700 workers that build Boeing’s C-17 cargo plane in Long Beach began a strike. They want the defense contractor to come up with a better deal on medical and pension benefits.

Hollywood post office renamed for honorary Mayor Johnny Grant

Celebrities and public officials gathered in Hollywood on Monday to rename the main post office in honor of longtime honorary Mayor Johnny Grant. The radio personality and television producer died two years ago, but the honor came a day after what would have been his 87th birthday.