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

Rookie firefighter has first big assignment on Southland fires

Firefighters from all over California pitched in against the Marek and Sesnon fires this week. Among them is a strike team from the Alameda County Fire Department. That crew spent yesterday doing mop-up work. It's not as glamorous as fighting a fire, but necessary to make sure the fire doesn't flare up again. One of the firefighters on the Alameda County strike team just graduated from the academy. The Sesnon Fire was the first chance for 26-year-old Francis Blay to work a big job. He took a break to talk to KPCC's Brian Watt.

Prop 8 opponents concerned about shift in momentum

Opponents of the ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage ratcheted up their campaign yesterday. KPCC's Brian Watt tells us new polls and fundraising numbers have the "No on Prop 8" forces in a panic.

Stomach virus sickens 200 USC students

About 200 students have now caught a nasty stomach virus that broke out at the University of Southern California over the weekend. Yesterday, Campus officials told reporters what they know about the virus and how they're working to contain it. KPCC's Brian Watt has the story.

Credit crunch hurts Southland car sellers

While people in Washington look for a fix to the economic crisis, Southland car dealers are feeling its effects. KPCC's Brian Watt made the rounds in West Los Angeles.

UCLA's Anderson Forecast says state's economy is struggling

Forecasters at UCLA predict that California's economy will be in the doldrums for at least the next year and a half. The team behind UCLA's Anderson Forecast seems to have moved beyond the word "recession." KPCC's Brian Watt says that people trying to make it in this economy don't care what word describes them.

Results of SAG'S National Board Election

In an election for the Screen Actors Guild board, a faction dissatisfied with the Guild's Hollywood leaders has won a majority of the seats up for grabs. KPCC's Brian Watt examines the new board's potential effect on the Guild's stalled negotiations with film and television producers.

Train Group Springs Into Action After Metrolink Crash

In the moments after last Friday's collision between a Metrolink run and a freight train, cell phones across the Southland started to whirr. A communication network that helps hundreds of Southlanders ride the rails more efficiently sprang into action. During a visit to the train station in Chatsworth, KPCC's Brian Watt found out that the network worked.

Nobel Peace Laureates Pair With Students at 'PeaceJam' Conference

Six Nobel Peace Prize winners are visiting the campus of Loyola Marymount University for a three-day conference. KPCC's Brian Watt says they'll be exchanging ideas with 3,000 young people from around the world.

Jamiel Shaw's Death Leaves Void on L.A. High School Football Team

The Romans of Los Angeles High School take to the football field tonight for a scrimmage at Taft High in Woodland Hills. Seven months ago, Los Angeles High's star running back, Jamiel Shaw, died in a shooting three doors from his South Los Angeles home. KPCC's Brian Watt visited the team as it prepared for the coming season without Shaw.

Inglewood P.D. Places Eight On Leave After Officer-Involved Shooting

Seven officers and a field sergeant are on administrative leave from the Inglewood Police Department. They were involved in last weekend’s fatal shooting of a homeless man. More on the story from KPCC's Brian Watt.

Santa Monica Beach Offers History Lesson on African American Beachgoers

KPCC's Brian Watt's been on vacation. On a beach somewhere. But not long ago, he discovered that the closest beach to his home harbors some history.

Judge Orders Expo Line Backers to Remove Street Level Crossing

L.A. Metro's proposed Expo Line hit a speed bump yesterday. At a hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission, a judge ordered the light rail line's builders to take the design of one street crossing "off the table." More on the story from KPCC's Brian Watt.

Lots of Celebrations Planned for One Lucky Day

There's a reason Chinese officials chose to begin the Olympic Games on the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the century. For billions of people, including Asian-Americans in the Southland, eight is a very lucky number. KPCC's Brian Watt checked in yesterday on last-minute preparations for a lot of celebrations.

Philippe's celebrates 100 years in business

Hundreds if not thousands of people waited outside Philippe's in downtown Los Angeles on Monday. The home of the original French Dip celebrated its 100th birthday by offering the sandwich for its original price: ten cents. KPCC's Brian Watt spoke with a few of the participants in this milestone of Los Angeles history.

Prosecutors Make Arrests in Scheme to Use Homeless to Defraud Medicare, Medi-Cal

Local and federal prosecutors want to take down what they say is a network of hospitals, doctors, ambulance companies, and others that have used homeless people to bilk Medi-Cal and Medicare out of millions of dollars. KPCC's Brian Watt has more on the story.