Hope everyone survived April fool's day. Here are the stories we're following on the KPCC business desk today:
- L.A. hasn't recorded positive job growth in the last 23 years, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast, which is being presented today downtown. In fact, the county has lost more net jobs than any large metropolitan area in the nation from 1990 to 2013. The forecast predicts more unemployment ahead.
- Digital First Media is shutting down its centralized news service, Project Thunderdome, "one of the news industry’s highest-profile experiments in centralized, digital-first, mobile-friendly, new-news-partner content creation," according to media analyst Ken Doctor. Doctor says DFM's papers, including the Los Angeles Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram, will likely go on the auction block, with the company's majority owner. Alden Global Capital, likely wanting out. "They’re not yet on the market, but expect regional auctions of DFM properties (with clusters around the Los Angeles area, the Bay Area, New England, Philadelphia, and Texas) — unless Alden can find a single buyer, which is unlikely," predicts Doctor.
The New York Times examines Disney's new billion-dollar MyMagic+ bracelet, which the Times says is a crucial project for the company's theme park division. Analysts are growing restless – it's taken a year to roll out the bracelet at Disney World – but Disney says the new technology is already successful, packing more visitors on rides, and greatly improving their experience. No word on when MyMagic+ will come to Disneyland.
Charles H. Keating Jr., who was head of the Irvine-based Lincoln Savings & Loan, before it was seized by regulators in 1989, is being remembered as "a national emblem of the fast-buck 1980s" and "the poster child of the S&L crisis," in the words of the LA Times.
Sill no agreements between Time Warner and pay TV providers for the new Dodgers channel. What's been frustrating for Dodgers fans has been good news for the Angels, who recorded their highest ratings in at least 23 years on Monday, and also for bar owners, who are attracting customers not able to see games at home.
Watch out Uber. Lyft has raised $250 million– more than was expected – in its latest round of financing, with the help Daniel Loeb’s Third Point, hedge fund Coatue Management, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The cash infusion will be used to help the ride-sharing service's international expansion.
Got more business news you'd like us to follow? Tweet me at @thebenbergman.