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Meet LA Times’ new publisher Austin Beutner

Posted August 20, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Austin Beutner has become publisher of the Los Angeles Times.

Former investment banker Austin Beutner was First Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles under Antonio Villaraigosa. He raised $600,000 to run for mayor on his own, but dropped out before the campaign really began. Then, his plan to run the Los Angeles Times as a non-profit with fellow investors fell through, but now he’s signed on as publisher of the paper he wanted to buy. 
“I’ve come to work everyday …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Trail to Hollywood sign temporarily closes

Posted March 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
View from behind the Hollywood sign, reached by Hollyridge Trail. Photo via

This week it’s going to get a little harder to get an up-close view of the Hollywood sign.
The entrance to the Hollyridge Trail near the Hollywood Sign will be closed for about five weeks, starting Tuesday.
The city of Los Angeles is about to erect a heavier and bigger gate that’s harder for people to jump over.
Residents are celebrating. Tourists are grumbling. And it’s all …

Interviews, News, Politics »

Aaron Kushner’s Grand Plan for Expanding the OC Register to LA

Posted December 16, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]
Aaron Kushner

The parent company of the Orange County Register is looking to expand its reach by launching a new daily newspaper – here in LA.
Aaron Kushner, the CEO of Freedom Communications, says the new paper will be known as the Los Angeles Register.
Kushner says the paper will share sports content and other stories of regional interest with the OC Register.
But he says the new paper …

Interviews, News, Politics »

18 LA Sheriff’s Dept. officials charged with corruption, civil rights abuses

Posted December 9, 2013 by and | 10 Comments | ]

Charges of civil rights abuses and obstruction of justice have been filed against 18 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. In a press conference, United States Attorney in Los Angeles André Birotte Jr. ran down a list of alleged crimes, including beatings, detentions and and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation at the Men’s Central Jail.

The wide ranging investigation included unlawful …

Environment, Interviews, News, Politics »

LA Observed: Measuring air pollution along LA freeways

Posted August 26, 2013 by | 70 Comments | ]
In this May 28, 2010 file photo, the rush hour commute starts in early afternoon and with greater intensity as traffic is jammed in both directions on Interstate 405 on the Westside of Los Angeles as commuters and vacationers hit the road. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Environmental officials are going to start tracking the amount of air pollution in areas near Southern California freeways.
Starting next year, air quality regulators will install monitors at four sites along some of the region’s busiest highways, to see how the air quality is affected by engine exhaust. That will provide some new insight into the health risks of living near these heavily traveled corridors.
Studies …

economy, Interviews, News, Politics »

LA Observed: Can Big Data improve City Hall?

Posted August 19, 2013 by | 57 Comments | ]
Los Angeles City Hall. Photo by stevecadman via Flickr/CC.

New Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin is using some tools at his disposal to gather information that’s germane to his job.
Galperin’s using a huge database to make comparisons of city spending, including salaries at the Department of Water and Power compared with other LA city employees.
The new data release is shedding some light on how tax dollars are being spent here in the …

economy, Interviews, News, Politics »

Connecting LA to LAX by train

Posted August 13, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo of LAX by Salim Virji via Flickr/CC.

I made yet another trip to LAX last night to pick up a friend of mine coming back from an international vacation
The Tom Bradley International Terminal, by the way, looks really nice after a more than billion-dollar face lift.
But I could not help but wonder why there’s no easy public transportation into or out of LAX, one of the world’s busiest airports. A train …

Interviews, News, Politics »

A special election in LA’s sixth council district

Posted July 22, 2013 by | 91 Comments | ]
Cindy Montanez, left, and Nury Martinez are seeking the Council District 6 seat in Los Angeles.

Voters in Los Angeles’s Sixth City Council district head to the polls tomorrow for a special election.
Candidates Nury Martinez and Cindy Montanez are campaigning in this part of the San Fernando Valley to replace Tony Cardenas, who’s now a U.S. Congressman.
Among the chronic problems that both candidates promise to address are neglected zoning laws and a lack of city inspectors.
Joining us with more on …

Commentary, Interviews, News, Politics »

LA Observed: Zimmerman verdict prompts LA protests

Posted July 15, 2013 by | 90 Comments | ]
Demonstrators gathered to show their anger at the not guilty verdicts in the trial of George Zimmerman and to show their support for Trayvon Martin's family.  Photo: Saul Gonzalez

Protests continue today in Los Angeles since the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict in the death of Trayvon Martin over the weekend.
The fallout continues to be felt here in Los Angeles and across the nation. Local African-American community leaders and representatives of the LAPD held a news conference this morning, calling on people who disagree with the verdict to protest peacefully. There have been …

Commentary, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, The Mixer »

The Mixer: A Tale of Two Newspapers

Posted July 12, 2013 by | 5 Comments | ]

This week, Tribune Company announced it would split into two entities. One to focus on electronic media. Think broadcast, like KTLA-Channel 5 and other stations. Think internet properties that go along with those functions. The other company will be focused on newspapers of the company. The Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant and, most notably for us, the Los Angeles Times.
To be sure, the Times has already seen …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, economy, Interviews, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The New Mayor »

Kevin Roderick: Hollywood went Garcetti, now Garcetti goes Hollywood

Posted July 8, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

Kevin Roderick of the LA Observed talks with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis about how candidate Eric Garcetti courted Hollywood, and how Mayor Garcetti now plans to fight to keep film and television production in Hollywood.

Commentary, Education, Interviews, News »

Was Friday’s tragedy a ‘school shooting?’

Posted June 10, 2013 by | 5 Comments | ]
smc mourners

Investigators are still piecing together the details of Friday’s deadly shootings in Santa Monica that killed 5 people. Police shot and killed the gunman in the library of Santa Monica College; he died on campus.
The first incident happened at a house north of the college, but culminated at the school. And that fact has led law enforcement to not label what happened on Friday …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

LA Observed: Nikki Finke and Entertainment Journalism

Posted June 3, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
Nikki Finke

In entertainment journalism, there is perhaps no voice as widely-feared, and read, as Nikki Finke. She’s broken countless stories, made legions of enemies and few friends, and boasts of having ended the careers of many a Hollywood executive.
But as of today, a source is saying that she’s been fired as editor of Deadline Hollywood. Its owner Jay Penske isn’t clarifying her employment status, and …

Interviews, News, Politics »

Villaraigosa’s options after leaving Getty House

Posted May 27, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

The clock is ticking away for outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The mayor is on one last big mission for the next few days: Better trade with China. He’s overseas looking to seal up some trade deals with that country.
But here at home, the mayor also leaves with very little decided about his future.
Kevin Roderick from LA Observed joined KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis to discuss …

Interviews, News, Sports »

Jason Collins and the acceptance of gay athletes

Posted April 29, 2013 by | 30 Comments | ]
jason collins

We’re hearing a lot today about Washington Wizards center Jason Collins, a native Angeleno, who announced to Sports Illustrated that he’s gay. He’s the first player in one of the major men’s professional sports leagues to come out.
Collins wrote on Sports Illustrated’s website today – “If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising …

Issues, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

Poll finds Garcetti has edge over Greuel in LA mayor’s race

Posted April 22, 2013 by | 4 Comments | ]
Eric Garcetti (L) and Wendy Greuel (R) celebrate after winning a place in the May mayoral election.

There’s a new poll out in the Los Angeles mayor’s race. The USC Price/Los Angeles Times survey shows City Councilman Eric Garcetti leading City Controller Wendy Greuel 50 to 40 percent,  with 10 percent still undecided.
The poll also uncovers some interesting nuggets in the race, and maybe some troubling signs for the Greuel campaign.
Greuel says she’s unfazed by the new poll, and that her …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

LA Observed: Jackie Robinson’s Pasadena Ties

Posted April 8, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

The movie ’42’ premieres this week. It’s a look at the life and times of the man who broke the color barrier in baseball — Jackie Robinson.
His life hasn’t been portrayed much on screen, so there are still a lot of fans who don’t know that Robinson was born and raised here in Southern California.
Kevin Roderick has been following that tale at LA Observed …

Commentary, Interviews, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

LA Observed: Clinton endorses Greuel

Posted March 25, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

With the Los Angeles mayoral runoff weeks away, there’s another player in the campaign throwing his support for City Controller Wendy Greuel.
It’s not a union chief or some high-ranking city official. It’s former President Bill Clinton, who’s email was shared with donors and voters today.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis spoke with Kevin Roderick from LA Observed about the latest news from the mayor’s race.

Commentary, Interviews »

LA Observed: Eli Broad and the LA Times

Posted March 18, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad has reportedly partnered with investment banker and former L.A. Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner to make a bid for the Los Angeles Times.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pair is mainly interested in the Times, though they would consider purchasing the block of Tribune Company newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, and the Hartford Courant, and …

Interviews, News »

LA Observed: Looking forward to baseball season

Posted March 11, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

Opening day of the baseball season is less than a month away. For both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels, expectations are high. Of course, that goes with the territory for local sports.
But this season, there’s actually reason to be excited and for the fans to expect more.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talked baseball with Kevin Roderick of LA Observed.

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