The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: DreamWorks to build $2.4 billion complex Shanghai, Disney's succession plan

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

  • Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric has proposed a $629 million project to add two natural gas pipelines and compression equipment (U-T San Diego). The paper's reporter Morgan Lee says California gets 90 percent of its natural gas from out of state. The project would need the approval of state regulators.
  • Construction began on a roughly 250,000 square foot cold storage facility in Long Beach (Press-Telegram). Press-Telegram reporter Andrew Edwards says the $75 million building, owned by Baker Cold Storage and operated by Lineage Logistics, will employ about 100 people. 
  • The National Park Service has raised concerns about a solar panel project near the Mojave National Preserve because it believes the project could negatively impact the environment and animals (Press-Enterprise). The project, led by a subsidiary of Bechtel Corp., would be built a half mile from the preserve.
  • If the Time Warner Cable and Comcast deal goes through, Time Warner Cable's CEO could get $80 million "golden parachute"  (The Wrap)
  • DreamWorks Animation will build a $2.4 billion entertainment site in Shanghai (Variety). China has been increasing its investment in entertainment, building 13 movie screens a day, Chris Dodd, head of the Motion Picture Association of America told KPCC last year.
  • Who will be Anne Sweeney's successor? Sweeney will leave her position as co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group at the end of the year. The Hollywood Reporter's Marisa Guthrie evaluates the possible candidates. She says one "especially strong contender" is ABC News president Ben Sherwood. KPCC business reporter Brian Watt looked into the reasons for why Sweeney left Disney.
  • A new report by the Southern California Association of Governments says film tax credits do pay off, providing $1.11 in tax revenue for every $1 in tax credits (Los Angeles Times). There have been efforts by state legislators to expand California's film and TV tax credit program, which they believe will prevent production jobs from leaving the state.
  • Richmond City Council voted to increase its minimum wage to $12.30 an hour, which could be the highest minimum wage rate in the state by 2017 (Contra Costa Times). KPCC's Frank Stoltze has reported on the debate to increase the minimum wage for hotel workers in L.A. to $15.37 an hour.
  • U.S. consumers spend billions of dollars on their pets and start-ups want a piece of that action, including L.A.-based Feed and Go (New York Times). The company is selling a product that lets you feed your pet remotely and make sure they are eating their food through a webcam. The cost? About $200.

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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