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

Covina jobs summit for potential employers

A Los Angeles County agency hosted a jobs summit Tuesday at a hotel in Covina. The meeting wasn’t for job seekers, but for businesses and non-profits that would gladly hire new workers … if they could only afford to pay them.

Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights memorializes remains found during Metro construction

Almost five years ago, Los Angeles County Metro construction crews were excavating to widen First Street in Boyle Heights to build the Gold Line Extension. They discovered human remains and more than 150 unmarked graves near Evergreen Cemetery. On Monday, Metro and government officials unveiled a memorial wall in the cemetery to honor the dead whose remains were found.

Inventors pitch products to the Infomercial King

The Windshield Wonder, the PedEgg, and the GoDuster are just a few of the products A. J. Khubani has marketed into household brands with relentless TV ads. Khubani is the chief executive of Telebrands and known as the "infomercial king." The king held court Wednesday in Los Angeles as more than 30 inventors from across the country pitched their concepts and creations.

New Metrolink rail cars designed to protect riders from impact of crashes

Metrolink invited reporters to a show and tell Tuesday at the Port of Long Beach. Officials with the commuter rail service displayed new rail cars designed to increase rider safety, and described what other precautions they plan to put in place.

Metrolink to add first 2 rail cars of a safer fleet

Metrolink plans to welcome two new rail cars to the Southland on Tuesday. They’re the first of a new fleet of supposedly safer train cars that Metrolink ordered a few years ago.

Deadline for Oscar ballots is Tuesday afternoon

Voting members of the Motion Picture Academy must turn in their Oscar ballots by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Arts hold promise as jobs engine in California economy

California lost thousands of manufacturing jobs when the economy soured in the early 1990s. The recession has drained away thousands of construction jobs. What the state could use is a new source of well-paying jobs — and it might have found it in the arts. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Arts held a hearing last week in Culver City to find ways to help the arts heal the ailing economy.

Executive director of Napa State Hospital arrested on charges of sexual molestation

Police arrested the executive director of the Napa State Hospital Wednesday on charges of sexual molestation. Prosecutors allege that 62-year-old Claude Foulk sexually molested a foster child who lived with him in Long Beach.

'Captain EO' returns to Disneyland Tuesday

A fantasia from the 1980s, "Captain EO," is returning to Disneyland as an homage to its late star. Michael Jackson’s special effects-laden starring role hits the Magic Kingdom’s screen again on Tuesday.

Negrohead Mountain now Ballard Mountain in honor of African-American pioneer

For decades, a peak in the Santa Monica Mountains was known as “Negrohead Mountain.” At a private ceremony on Saturday, federal and Los Angeles County officials will formally dedicate a new name for the peak: Ballard Mountain.

Schwarzenegger highlights benefits of 1-year-old federal stimulus package

California received more money from the federal stimulus package than any other state. On its first anniversary today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasized the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Yorba Linda family's drag racing dynasty gears up for 50th Winternationals

The National Hot Rod Association kicks off the drag racing year Thursday with the 50th Winternationals in Pomona. In the Funny Car division, there’s a family dynasty. John Force Racing has won 16 championships in the last 20 seasons.

Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray is charged in pop star's death

Michael Jackson's personal physician was charged with involuntary manslaughter today in connection with the pop superstar's death from an overdose of a powerful prescription sedative. Dr. Conrad Murray, 56, pleaded not guilty to the felony charge at a brief arraignment hearing this afternoon at the Airport Branch Courthouse.

Toyota dealer and Prius owner navigate automaker's bumpy road

Wednesday was another rough day for Toyota, what with the U.S. transportation secretary’s strong words and complaints about the brakes in its hot-selling hybrid Prius. A major Southern California Toyota dealer and a Prius driver kept the faith.

First Regional Bank branches re-open under First Citizens ownership

First Regional Bank is no more. The Southland bank became the first in California to fail this year. Regulators shut it down on Friday. Its branches reopened Monday morning under the name of the bank that agreed to take it over: First Citizens Bank and Trust.