Explaining Southern California's economy

Could California's film tax credit get a new script?

Hollywood Sign

Vlasta Juricek/flickr Creative Commons

The suspense has been building this week in the plot to expand California's Film and Television Production tax credit program.  

The bill has made its way through the California Assembly and is awaiting consideration by one last committee in the Senate - Appropriations - before going to the full Senate floor for a vote. AB 1839 was originally on the committee's crowded agenda for this past Monday, but was pushed back until next Monday.

Then came word that Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) had serious concerns about the bill.  Since he's the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee, those concerns commanded focus in Sacramento, reported Deadline Hollywood on Tuesday. 

“His conclusion is that the existing credit has too many weaknesses to be substantially expanded this year. At least not in the range the advocates are currently pushing,” said Dan Reeves, Chief of Staff to Senator de León, according to Deadline.  


Developer backs down on West Hollywood 'poor door'

WEHO City Council Meeting - August 19, 2013

Richard Settle/Flickr

The plan for a new mixed-use building in West Hollywood ran contrary to the city's policies of inclusiveness and equal access for all.

The developer of a proposed large mixed-use building in West Hollywood that planned to restrict tenants living in affordable housing units from accessing the property's pool said Wednesday it will reconsider after encountering strong objections from the city's Community Development Department. 

"The City of West Hollywood previously recommended comparable amenities, which we had agreed to," Brian Lewis, a spokesman for the project, said in a statement. "If the City now feels that shared amenities and access best meet the needs of the residents of the affordable housing units, we are more than willing to accept those conditions of the project."

The West Hollywood planning commission is set to vote on approving the proposed building Thursday, which is being developed by Townscape Partners of Beverly Hills and the New York investment firm Angelo Gordon & Co. A staff report from West Hollywood's Community Development Department recommended against approval because of the restricted pool access. 


Dodgers TV blackout a windfall for Angels

85th MLB All Star Game

Elsa/Getty Images

American League All-Star Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels poses with the MVP trophy after a 5-3 victory over the National League All-Stars during the 85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Angels trounced the Dodgers on the baseball diamond Monday night 5-0, in the first game of a four-game freeway series.

The Halos also dominated the Dodgers on FOX Sports West TV, scoring a 4.02 household rating, which equals 346,000 viewers. It was the highest rating of the season for The Angels, and their second-best ever on Fox Sports.

In contrast, The Dodgers notched a lowly 1.01 household rating, or 88,000 viewers, on Sportsnet LA.

FOX Sports West has the advantage of being available to all pay-TV households in Southern California unlike Sportsnet LA, which is only seen by 30-percent of households. Thus, this week's games provide a rare chance for many Dodgers fans to see the team on TV, albeit without Vin Scully calling the game.

Overall, the Angels' TV ratings are up 34 percent this year compared to 2013.


LA Times parent Tribune Publishing's stock loses 4.4 percent on 1st day

Tribune Media/ Tribune Publishing

Courtesy Tribune.com

Tribune Media and Tribune Publishing unveiled new, separate logos Monday, August 4, 2014, as the Tribune Company spun off its newspaper holdings into a separate organization.

On its first day of trading, the stock of Tribune Publishing Co. — the newly spun-off newspaper company that owns the Los Angeles Times — closed down 4.4 percent Tuesday, giving the company a value of about $537 million.

One day after its spinoff from Tribune Co. — which became Tribune Media — Tribune Publishing stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Tribune  reported:

The stock lost 97 cents to close at $21.15 on volume of more than 821,000 shares. That places a value of about $537 million on the stand-alone publishing company, which trades under the symbol TPUB.

The stock began the day valued at $22.12 per share. By 11 a.m. Pacific Time, it had fallen 72 cents, or 3.25. percent.


LAX could set passenger record in 2014

Holiday fares

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Travelers wait in line to have their boarding passes checked at a security screening area of American Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on November 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles International Airport is on track to break a record this year for airline passenger traffic. 

Airport officials report that during the first six months of 2014, LAX saw 34,336,315 passengers,  a 6.5 percent increase over the  32,217,517 during the same period last year. If the upward trend continues or strengthens for the rest of the year, the airport could top 70 million travelers.

LAX's annual passenger record stands at 67,303,182 -- set in 2000, and since then the numbers have fallen and risen in response to world events.  The 9/11 attacks contributed to lower numbers in 2001 and 2002.  The outbreak of SARS took them down again in 2003.  They began climbing again in 2004, only to be knocked back again by the Great Recession in 2008.   But since 2009, the ascent has been steady.