Explaining Southern California's economy

Dodgers become first MLB team to air all games in Korean on TV

Ryu Hyun-Jin - 3

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Ryu is the first player to go directly from a Korean professional league to the major leagues in the U.S. He signed a six year, $36 million contract with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have announced that starting with Friday’s home opener against the San Francisco Giants, they will become the first Major League Baseball team to have Korean-language Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) available for every game.

Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers, who like the Dodgers, have their own Time Warner regional sports network, became the first NBA team to broadcast every game in Korean. I profiled the two announcers and their rather inauspicious studio during one of the first assignments:

To find the Korean broadcasters, you have to open the door to a small storage room, half of which is used to keep lights and cameras. With no producer, no engineer, and no staff, the announcers watch the game on a TV smaller than most of us have at home. 

The Dodger announcers – Richard Choi and Chong Ho Yim – will broadcast from the stadium, but as with the Lakers, the Dodgers are trying to broaden their appeal to L.A.’s second biggest minority. There are more than 300,000 Koreans in the greater Los Angeles area, 70 percent of whom don’t speak English at home.

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In SoCal business news: LA county losing jobs, LA Daily News on the block?, Disney's billion-dollar bracelet

Sign of the times? A "help wanted" sign in the window of a Philadelphia business last year.

Matt Rourke/AP

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.

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.

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Report: LA hasn't had positive job growth in 23 years

California Unemployment Tied For Highest In U.S. At 9.8 Percent

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Nicholas Herandez (L), listens to a representative from Raytheon Company during a jobs fair for veterans called "Serving Those Who Have Served" on March 20, 2013 in Los Angeles.

L.A. hasn't had positive job growth in the last 23 years, according to a new forecast released Wednesday. 

The UCLA Anderson Forecast said L.A. needs to make bigger strides in improving the education of its workers and business climate. The county has lost more net jobs than any large metropolitan area in the nation from 1990 to 2013, the forecast said.

"Right now, if we don't do well educating our next generation, when those kids grow up, they will still have less education like their parents," said economist William Yu. "It will be a disaster for them because they cannot find a job in this 21st century." 

L.A. County had an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent in February, compared to the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. 

The biggest factor on why L.A. lacks positive job growth is because of its low level of "human capital," the forecast said. Human capital is measured by looking at the level of education in adult workers. Research has shown if workers have more education, they are more likely to land jobs. L.A. metro ranked 26th out of 30 large metro areas in 2012 for human capital, the forecast said.

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Commercials with union talent now require tracking technology

From now on, all commercials made with union actors must include a digital code that allows the ads to be tracked across all media.  

SAG-AFTRA, The Association of National Advertisers  and the American Association of Advertising Agencies agreed in their current contract to adopt a technology known as Ad-ID by March 31.  The Web-based technology assigns each commercial an eleven or twelve-character code.  

Ad-ID Chief Growth Officer Harold Geller said the system will help advertisers measure the effectiveness of commercials on-air and on-line.

"Advertisers today are looking for what they call brand-specific commercial ratings, rather than aggregate ratings of the time period that a spot ran in," Geller told KPCC. "Using Ad-ID allows the measurement companies to get very granular and very timely in their reporting."

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

NLCS - St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers

Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches while taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Time Warner Cable Sportsnet LA has been on the air for more than a month. Starting Tuesday, the first of many Dodger games will be available on that channel, but many fans who will want to tune in won't be able to. Why? Here are some answers to your questions about the deal.

Q. So what is the problem: Why doesn't Time Warner have deals in place?

It depends on whom you ask. If you talk to the distributors, such as DirecTV, they will tell you that Time Warner is asking for far too much money – between $4 and $5 a month per household. If you ask Time Warner, they'll say that they’re charging a fair price, similar to what other regional sports networks charge, including one that DirecTV itself owns in Seattle. Stuck in the middle are the two-thirds or so of Los Angeles residents who don't subscribe to Time Warner.

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