Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: Boeing's C-17 production to end earlier than expected, Yahoo to ramp up video content

Boeing Delivers First C-17 Globemaster III To United Arab Emirates Air Force

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A C-17 Globemaster III airlifters built for the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence is prepared for takeoff from Long Beach Airport after Boeing delivered the first of six C-17 Globemaster III airlifters during a handing off ceremony at the company's final assembly facility on May 10, 2011.

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

  • Boeing says it will end C-17 production in Long Beach three months earlier than expected (Los Angeles Times). The closure will impact about 2,000 workers in Southern California. 
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier earned $203 million this weekend in box office sales worldwide, with about $96 million from U.S. theaters (Variety). Variety reporter Andrew Stewart says the movie's U.S. box office figures were the most for any film in April and roughly 50 percent more than when Captain America opened its first film in the nation three years ago. More on the weekend box office numbers here
  • Yahoo is ramping up its game in original video content (Wall Street Journal). WSJ reporters Mike Shields and Douglas MacMillan say Yahoo is close to commissioning four web series, which could have "per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars."
  • Some legal experts say it could be challenging for Comcast to explain to regulators why it won't have a high-speed Internet monopoly after it buys Time Warner Cable (New York Times). Comcast plans to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.
  • ABC struggles with declining viewership, skews toward female audience (Ad Age). Jason Kanefsky, an executive with Havas Media tells Ad Age, "ABC attracts the lowest common denominator—women 35-to-64—which is the easiest target to reach on TV. There are plenty of other options that are more efficient than ABC."
  • A lawsuit challenges the use of unpaid internships in Hollywood (Los Angeles Times). L.A. Times' Daniel Miller and John Horn say if the lawsuit succeeds, it would "force Hollywood to change everything from the way film crews are assembled to the manner in which new talent is cultivated."
  • San Diego airport signs deal to add solar power to two main terminals (U-T San Diego). Reporter Morgan Lee says the deal could provide savings of up to $8 million.
  • Retailers would be liable if consumers get hacked under a new bill in the state legislature (Los Angeles Times). The move comes amid concerns about hacking at places like Target. Earlier this year, I reported up to 110 million people were impacted by a security breach of Target's data system.
  • United will drive its top fliers to their gates in Mercedes-Benz cars at LAX (Daily Breeze). 
  • If you're too lazy—I mean, busy—to type into Amazon the groceries you need to reorder, there's a tool for that. Amazon has given a wand-like tool to its L.A. and S.F. AmazonFresh customers, which lets them point and scan the products they need to reorder or speak into its microphone, so they don't need to type it out (re/code).


At home opener, Dodger fans not sure who to blame in Time Warner dispute

Opening Day

Ben Bergman/KPCC

The Dodgers home opener provided a rare chance for many fans to see the game who've missed out getting the Dodgers new cable channel.

With the Dodgers’ new cable channel only available in only about a third of Los Angeles homes, Friday's home-opener brought an added appeal for many fans: A chance to see a team they’ve missed out getting on TV. 

I talked to a random sampling of fans at Dodger Stadium. None of them get the Dodgers Channel, but most of them aren’t sure who to be mad at.

“I haven’t paid enough attention to assign blame either way," said Bill Child of Long Beach. "I’m sure there’s a good argument on both sides. I’m just fed up and want to see my Dodgers.”

But some fans are taking sides, like Gilda Lopez, who’s says Time Warner is being greedy.

“They seem to really want a lot," said Lopez.  "I think it’s a tactic to encourage fans to switch to Time Warner, but I’m not doing that.”

For fans like Lopez it’s back to the days of Babe Ruth; Catch the game on the radio, or in-person. Lopez is trying to make the most of it. 


Battle for 'Late Show': Mayor Garcetti invites show to LA (but no tax credits?)

David Letterman announced his retirement on Thursday night, but Twitter got to it first.

Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

David Letterman announced his retirement on Thursday night, but Twitter got to it first.

Garcetti Forum

Grant Slater/KPCC

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he wants CBS' next late night show to come to L.A., even though there are currently no tax credits to offer. Photo is a Crawford Family Forum event on Oct. 21.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants CBS to bring the "Late Show" to Los Angeles from its longtime home in New York when host David Letterman retires in 2015, as he announced on April 3.

In a Thursday night letter to CBS Corp.'s chief executive Leslie Moonves, Garcetti said that the city is "aggressively seeking to encourage more production here in Los Angeles by cutting red tape, lending proactive assistance, and by furthering public policy to compete with financial incentives offered by other states."  (Emphasis added.)

(Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his own pitch to keep the "Late Show" in the Big Apple with a tongue-in-cheek "Top 10" list praising Letterman, Variety reported.)

The problem with Garcetti's proposal is that late-night talk shows don't qualify for film tax credits under California's current program. While a bill to expand film tax credits is in the state legislature, late night talk shows are not included.


In SoCal business news: Dodgers channel negotiations stumble, NUVOtv to buy Fuse Network

Pool/Getty Images

Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in Game Three of the 2013 National League Championship Series. (Photo by David J. Phillip/Pool/Getty Images)

Happy Friday! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, we compile interesting business stories in the region.

  • Time Warner Cable says DirecTV walked away from negotiations over the Dodgers channel (KPCC). DirecTV tells KPCC's Ben Bergman, "Nothing could be further from the truth." Meanwhile, the Dodgers channel SportsNet LA's ratings are lower compared to first two games last season on Prime Ticket (Los Angeles Times).
  • NUVOtv plans to buy Fuse TV from Madison Square Garden Co. for $226 million in cash and give MSG a 15 percent equity in the combined company (Bloomberg). Bloomberg's Andy Fixmer and Stephanie Ruhle say L.A.-based NUVOtv has an audience of more than 32 million households. Jennifer Lopez is chief creative officer at NUVOtv and a shareholder.
  • Marvel "signed away" the film rights to X-Men and Spiderman, but it's successfully raking in money with lesser known heroes like Captain America and Thor (BloombergBusinessweek). There will be a discussion on "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" today on AirTalk's Filmweek.
  • Univision had a round of layoffs affecting "dozens of workers" nationwide in its radio division (Los Angeles Times). Reporter Meg James says the company's programming staff and some on-air hosts lost their jobs.
  • Uber is launching its services in Palm Springs during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (San Francisco Chronicle). KPCC's Ben Bergman has covered increased competition for cab drivers.
  • Oakley is reaching out to younger consumers. The Foothill Ranch-based company is the "official eyewear sponsor" of Little League Baseball and Little League Softball (Orange County Business Journal). Reporter Mediha DiMartino says Oakley will provide "customized eyewear" for regional teams at the Little League Baseball World Series.
  • City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants CBS to bring the next late night show to L.A. (The Wrap). The move comes as David Letterman announced his retirement. "The Tonight Show" has moved from Burbank to New York and there are concerns about film and TV production moving to other states.

  • Tesla Founder Elon Musk didn't like the first episode of TV show "Silicon Valley" because he felt it fails to capture what the people are really like. (re/code). I took out the expletives in the quote below.



Time Warner says DirecTV walked away, won't be carrying Dodgers channel this year

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Adrian Gonzalez #23 and Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate the Dodgers 13-6 victory against the Atlanta Braves during Game Three of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

In what appears to be a negotiating tactic to raise pressure on DirecTV, a Time Warner executive told The Los Angeles Times that the satellite provider abruptly ended negotiations over the new all-Dodgers channel, which has yet to strike deals with any major pay-TV provider, leaving about 70 percent of Los Angeles unable to view games.

"DirecTV has advised us that they will not carry the Dodgers this year, and they have walked away from the negotiating table," said Melinda Witmer, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president and chief video and content officer told the Times. "Given the very aggressive and unprecedented terms they put forward, it seems they are very uninterested in carrying the Dodgers."

FAQ: Why two-thirds of Los Angeles can't see the Dodgers on TV

The Times story features a back and forth between Time Warner and DirecTV worthy of junior high; DirecTV released a statement to KPCC flatly denying Time Warner's claims: