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

New chief installed at LA Animal Services Dept.

The city of Los Angeles’ troubled Department of Animal Services has a new chief. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Brenda Barnette today after a nationwide search that ended in Seattle, Wash.

LAPD to deploy large force for Lakers-Celtics final

Police officers on foot, horseback, bicycle and motorcycle will be on hand Thursday night at Staples Center for Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says his department will deploy four times as many officers as it did when the Lakers won the championship last year.

Claims filed in City Council meeting scuffle with cops

Six people have filed claims for damages against the Los Angeles City Council and Police Department for injuries they suffered during a scuffle at an L.A. City Council meeting last month. Claimants say police officers responded with violence: swinging batons, shoving, and using Tasers. They maintain that police closed the council chamber's back door and prevented people from leaving.

Assembly panel examines impact of sports stadiums on local economies

California is home to plenty of professional sports stadiums and arenas. A state legislative committee held a hearing today near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the effect those venues have on local economies.

USC campus reacts to NCAA sanctions

Thursday was a tough day for the Trojans. The governing body for college sports, the NCAA, slapped the University of Southern California with sanctions for violations in its football, men’s basketball and women’s tennis programs.

Betsy Butler wins 53rd Assembly District Democratic Primary, faces Republican Nathan Mintz

In a crowded Democratic primary in Assembly District 53, Betsy Butler of Marina Del Rey prevailed over seven other candidates. Butler now faces Republican Nathan Mintz and the Green Party's Lisa Ann Green in the general election.

Jerry Brown wins Democratic nomination, makes third run for California governor

He's back! Thirty-six years after California voters first elected him governor, Jerry Brown has won the Democratic nomination for the job again. It will be his third run for the state's top office. KPCC's Brian Watt was at Brown's celebration Tuesday night in downtown Los Angeles.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown speaks at Club Nokia

The room is slowly filling up this evening at Club Nokia, where Attorney General Jerry Brown is expected to address the crowd after 8:30 p.m. He passed through at 6:15 and spoke briefly with reporters. Then, the room was empty, filled only with the sound of two big screens broadcasting the Lakers-Celtics game.

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.