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

LA County employees rally as contract negotiations continue

Los Angeles County is the largest employer in... Los Angeles County. Its current labor contract with more than 55,000 employees expires Wednesday night. The union that represents those workers staged a rally Tuesday at L.A. County headquarters, as talks for a new contract entered their final stages. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.

Activists call attention to police-involved shootings

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies have shot and killed 13 people so far this year. Last year, the department reported five such shootings. KPCC’s Brian Watt says the issue of police violence is on the minds of activists in Inglewood.

Foothill Transit wants out of TAP system

Great idea. Not so great execution. That seems to be the rap on L.A. County’s Transit Access Pass – the TAP card. It’s designed to allow public transit passengers throughout the county to board trains or buses on different systems with one fare card. But the Foothill Transit agency decided today it wants out of the TAP system for now. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.

SAG members elect Ken Howard president

Members of the Screen Actors Guild have elected Ken Howard as their new national president. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.

California AG sues alleged middleman for Bernard Madoff

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff had a middleman in Beverly Hills, and his name is Stanley Chais. That’s the chief allegation in a lawsuit state attorney general Jerry Brown filed today against Chais. More on the story from KPCC’s Brian Watt.

SAG holds election for new officers and board members

It’s been a turbulent two years for the Screen Actors Guild. The top union for movie and TV actors fought for months with Hollywood producers over a new contract. And in the middle of that fight, SAG got into a nasty battle with the other union for Hollywood performers. This week, members of the Screen Actors Guild will choose the union’s leaders for the next two years. Ballots are due on Thursday. KPCC’s Brian Watt spoke with two candidates vying to be the next president of SAG.

Bicycle advocates to count cyclists in Los Angeles

By the end of this week, one group hopes to have calculated just how many cyclists and pedestrians there are in Los Angeles. KPCC’s Brian Watt explains.

UCLA forecasters predict slow economic recovery

Economists with the UCLA Anderson Forecast offer their quarterly take today on where the domestic economy’s been and where it’s headed. The recession may be ending, they say, but the recovery could be very slow. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.

State officials move prescription drug database to the Web

A new Web-based tracking system gives California doctors, pharmacists, and police immediate access to a patient’s prescription drug history. KPCC’s Brian Watt says it launched Tuesday.

Teacher organizes reunion to celebrate achievements of past students

This is the first full week of school for hundreds of thousands of students in the Southland. On one night during the summer, some former students of one teacher got together for a reunion of sorts. KPCC’s Brian Watt says the teacher wanted to honor their achievements, and they wanted to honor his.

SoCal economists ponder Lehman's collapse a year later

Economist Ed Leamer says a year ago this month, he and his colleagues at UCLA's Anderson School of Management were expecting the economy to soften in the rest of 2008. Then Lehman Brothers collapsed.

UCLA economist applauds Obama push for new market rules

During a speech to bankers on Wall Street this morning, President Barack Obama called for an ambitious overhaul of the country’s financial regulations. The financial industry executives at the speech reacted quietly.

Carpenter on Santa Monica Pier says it has aged well

The Santa Monica Pier marks its 100th anniversary today. KPCC’s Brian Watt stopped by the pier and met carpenter Eric Broeske. He’s worked on the pier’s maintenance crew for 18 years.

T-shirt memorializes firefighters killed during Station Fire

Firefighters collect T-shirts from the major wildfires they've battled. At the Station Fire, they're also buying T-shirts that honor the two firefighters who died last week. KPCC's Brian Watt has more.

LA County firefighter remembers 1 killed by Station Fire

Two Los Angeles County firefighters, Captain Ted Hall and Specialist Arnie Quinones, died during the Station Fire. A public memorial for them is scheduled Saturday morning at Dodger Stadium.