The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: FTC investigates Herbalife, Cerritos considers banning e-cigarettes

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53511 full

Good morning! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, I compile a list of interesting business stories in the region.

  • Herbalife has disclosed that the Federal Trade Commission has started a civil probe into its practices, according to Bloomberg.
  • Disney is in discussions to buy Culver City-based Maker Studios for about $500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources. Maker Studios produces and distributes online videos, with more than 340 million subscribers. If the deal goes through, the Wall Street Journal says it will be the biggest acquisition by a large media company of a business that produces videos for YouTube. Last year, I reported on DreamWorks Animation's purchase of Awesomeness TV, a teen network on YouTube.
  • In other Disney news, Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, said she is leaving the company to direct TV shows, according to the Associated Press. She has been called the most powerful woman in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter, the AP said. Check back here later this afternoon for my colleague, Brian Watt (@radiobwatt)'s story on her departure.
  • Airport officials at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is "serious" about building a new terminal, according to the Daily Breeze. The newspaper reports that airport officials estimate the new terminal could cost $300 million to $400 million. In order for the buildout to take place, voters in Burbank would have to approve the project, the Associated Press reports.
  • More Southern California cities are considering banning e-cigarettes from certain areas, following Los Angeles' lead. Cerritos City Council will consider banning e-cigarettes in city-owned or operated facilities, according to the Press-Telegram. A group in Santa Monica is also pushing to ban e-cigarettes in their city, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.
  • Wet Seal adds another member to its board, the CEO of  Wanelo, a social networking site for shoppers, according to Re/code. Wanelo is significant because it is second highest source of social network referrals to Wet Seal, following Facebook and its part of Wet Seal's aim to reach out to 16-year-old shoppers through their phones, Re/code reports. 
  • I enjoy posting some photos on Instagram now and then, but I don't have the fan base that wealthy 20-year-old Kevin Sacco does. He's part of a group of rich kids that have a large number of followers on Instagram, enough to be a part of a Tumblr called "Rich Kids of Instagram," according to the Los Angeles Times. These kids post pictures of their daily lives, such as driving expensive cars and lounging in a jacuzzi. You won't see me doing that on my Instagram (thewendylee)

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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