The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: Layoffs coming at Sony, Veronica Mars earns $2 million in opening weekend, so-called Bitcoin creator has hired an L.A. lawyer

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! Welcome to KPCC's The Breakdown, where our business team compiles a list of interesting stories throughout the region every weekday.

  • Deadline reports layoffs are coming soon at Sony as early as today. Sony announced plans last year to cut $250 million from its entertainment division, which would take place over the next few years.
  • About 520 Parkview Memorial Hospital workers in Riverside have voted to unionize under Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (The Press-Enterprise).
  • Port of Long Beach will save 15 percent in electricity each year, due to an agreement with Southern California Edison that was approved by the Public Utilities Commission (Press-Telegram). The port has been in negotiations with Southern California Edison for about eight years.
  • Los Angeles Times fired investigative reporter Jason Felch for having and not disclosing an inappropriate relationship with a source (Associated Press). The Times also said there was an error in Felch's story about Occidental College not disclosing 27 alleged sexual assaults on campus. The Times said the college did not have to disclose those cases under the federal Clery Act, because they didn't meet the law's requirements. 
  • Some Hollywood-related businesses gathered over the weekend to express their concern for runaway production and support for expanding the state's film tax credit program (Variety). A recent report showed that California lost 16,137 film production jobs from 2004 to 2012, while New York gained 10,675 jobs (KPCC).
  • Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto is tired of being called the creator of Bitcoin by Newsweek and has now hired an L.A. lawyer (Los Angeles Times). "I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report," Nakamoto said in statement obtained by the Times.
  • It's not been a cake walk for Newsweek reporter Leah Mcgrath Goodman, who wrote the story on Nakamoto, either. She's received death threats and Newsweek has hired security for her (PandoDaily).
  • The Veronica Mars movie earned $2 million from 291 theaters this weekend. A Warner Brothers executive was happy with the turnout (Entertainment Weekly). But some of the movie's Kickstarter supporters complained, because they could only get a version of the movie via Flixster as part of their agreement, not on iTunes or Amazon. The studio pointed out that was all part of the original agreement, but did offer refunds (PCMag.com).
  • The drought has impacted Southern California in many ways and now it has taken the fanfare out of new airlines coming to the Los Angeles International Airport. Los Angeles Times reporter Hugo Martin says Emirates Airline won't get the traditional water cannon salute -- instead they will get fire fighters saluting them during the airline's inaugural flight.

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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