Monday, 5.8.06

Morning BuzzYes, those long lines of game geeks outside the Pantry all week can only mean one thing: it's E3 time again. Plus Nielsen has you covered, Scientology papers the house at the Arclight, and the Q network may be sticking around a while longer after all. Details and a whole bunch more when you click on the Buzz.

♦ E3: The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo—the biggest convention-slash-trade show to hit Los Angeles each year—returns this week. Downtown hotels are full with video game geeks and the firms who sell to them. The New York Times' Seth Schiesel is here covering it on an official NYT blog, the Gamer.
♦ Watching us: Nielsen Media Research is launching a new service to track selected Angelenos as they tool around town, hoping to gauge the demographics of who sees billboards. Participants in the survey will carry "Nielsen personal outdoor devices"—Npods—that collect GPS data, the L.A. Business Journal says.
♦ Qurious: The Q network's demise may have been exaggerated, BoifromTroy reports.
♦ Mission unwinnable: Both Mark Ebner and Nikki Finke report that Scientologists were buying out the (many) available weekend seats at the Arclight for Mission:Impossible 3. Ebner: "Hollywood, Interrupted just received an eyewitness report from a moviegoer who, while purchasing tickets for a later show that day, saw a woman in front of him in the ticket line purchase 900 tickets at a cost of just shy of $9,000 all for the Church of Scientology!"
♦ Sunset-Gower: Ground will be broken today on a new Technicolor building and a parking garage at Sunset-Gower Studios, says Jon Crowley at Hollywood Thoughts. In his hat as supervising producer of "Lie Detector," he also takes issue with last week's mention here of a website that questions the bona fides of the show's polygraph expert.
♦ No fear of heights: Another harrowing crane rescue by the LAFD in Century City.
♦ KTLA moves confirmed: Ron Fineman says (via email) that the new exec producer of the KTLA Morning News will be John Hensley, now second in command of the station's Creative Services department. Angela Kye will become line producer for Channel 5's 10 pm news show, he writes. Current producer Christine Miceli is said to be moving to the KTLA web site. Last week's item.
♦ LAT endorses Jerry Brown: "Easily the better candidate...Delgadillo is not ready for the job." Ouch.
♦ Building boom: All the investment along Figueroa Street downtown rivals the amount of money put into construction after the Northridge earthquake, but with less benefit for the region as a while. Jack Kyser of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. gives the Daily News the quote it wanted to hear:
"What does the Valley get out of it? That is the big issue," said Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. "On the one hand, you would have to say the Valley gets very little. On the other hand, people will be coming from all over the world to see professional football here. That has a benefit for everyone."
♦ Housing bubble: The least-affordable place to buy in the U.S.—measured by how much income is devoted to mortgage payments—is Salinas. California has the top eleven spots.
"California has both political and geographical constraints on building," said Dowell Myers, professor of policy, planning and development at the University of Southern California. "That drives up prices, and then it snowballs."
♦ Attention Burbank: Hey you folks at Yahoo Search Marketing, today's New York Times has a big piece on you and Project Panama.
♦ Crossover appeal: Daily Journal columnist Garry Abrams penned a Sunday Current piece for the Times about Hollywood attorney Bert Fields' Pellicano problems.
♦ Big Sunday: 25,000 volunteers turned out around the county, the Times says.
♦ Memory lane: Brent Hopkins had a nice Sunday piece in the Daily News on the long lore of low-riding and cruising in the San Fernando Valley, told through customizer Abel Perez. Excerpt:
On Wednesday nights, they'd cruise Van Nuys Boulevard, mingling with the hot-rod guys, the surfers and their friends with the metal-flake rides with the little whitewall tires. The girls were nice, the coup de grace, but the ultimate compliment was when another driver said you had the baddest car on the block. As Abel recalls it, he always did. "Getting the car ready, that was the best high in the world. You didn't need drugs, you didn't need a beer, just the anticipation of driving around with the best car in the Valley."
♦ Welcome to the club: Rookie Dodgers catcher Russell Martin got his first major league hit on Friday and bashed a homer on Sunday. Kid may be sticking around.
♦ Media marriage: The New York Times Vows page covered the union of Los Angeles-based ABC News producer Herran Bekele and "Arrested Development" writer Sam Laybourne, son of Oxygen Media chair Geraldine Laybourne.

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