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

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.

Boeing, union negotiators to meet; hope to avert strike at Long Beach plant

Negotiators from Boeing and the United Aerospace Workers union are scheduled to meet Monday afternoon in Pico Rivera. Both sides want to avert a strike at Boeing’s C-17 plant in Long Beach.

Long Beach Boeing C-17 workers reject contract offer

The threat of a strike hangs in the air at the Boeing C-17 plant in Long Beach. Union workers on its assembly line have rejected the aircraft company’s latest contract offer.

LAX Theme Building shakes as UCLA engineers test for quakes

The Theme Building in the middle of Los Angeles International Airport shook for a few moments Tuesday as engineers tested the space-age structure’s earthquake readiness.

Pasadena-based Southwest Chamber Music participates in exchange with Vietnamese musicians

In downtown Los Angeles tonight, an ensemble of musicians from Vietnam and Pasadena will perform works by young composers from both places. It’s the last concert of the Ascending Dragon Music Festival and Cultural Exchange.

Lung association report gives California air mixed reviews

The American Lung Association released its 2010 “State of the Air” Report on Wednesday. The annual report looks at ozone and particle pollution in California and across the country.

May 1 rally organizers say Los Angeles should expect big turnout

This Saturday’s May 1 immigration rights march in downtown Los Angeles could be huge. That’s the word from the labor unions and immigrants rights groups planning the weekend demonstration. They spoke with reporters at the march’s downtown L.A. starting point of Olympic and Broadway today.

Lawndale charter school in running for Obama commencement contest

Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale has made the final cut in a competition for President Obama to deliver the school’s commencement address. KPCC’s Brian Watt says online voting begins on Monday.

Higher fares likely for Metrolink rail system

Metrolink’s board of directors gave preliminary approval on Friday to a fare increase for the commuter rail system.