10 Universal for sale: It's part of a 10-building portfolio that Beacon Capital Properties is putting on the block, reports GlobeSt.com. The properties could bring in more than $5 billion for the privately held real estate investment fund. Other properties are in Boston (John Hancock Tower), Washington D.C. and Denver. 10 Universal City Plaza has 36 stories and was completed in 1984. Owned by Universal, it was sold to Beacon and CarrAmerica Realty in 2003 for $190 million.
Macy's Los Angeles Times: The name might as well be added to the newspaper mast head, given the torrent of ads this morning on the occasion of Federated Department Stores' much-reported conversion of Robinsons-May and other regional chains into the single Macy's nameplate. Besides several sections of the Times having Macy's wraparound ads, there is a double-truck ad in the main section, a back-page ad and a bunch of smaller ads inside. Though the wraps are headlined "Way to shop - Los Angeles," much of the copy is not tied to local stores, part of Federated's efforts at nationwide marketing. And for all the newspaper buys today, much of the action later on will be in magazines and on TV.
Bargain gasoline: Well, it's getting that way. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $3.053, according to the Auto Club's weekly survey. That's six cents lower than last week and more than 17 cents lower than last month.
Opposing container fee: The National Retail Federation says the just-passed legislation that would impose a $30 fee on every container arriving and departing from the ports should be vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. The trade group fears that its members would be stuck with the tab, which would leave retailers seeking alternatives to Long Beach and Los Angeles. Story doesn't indicate where the governor is leaning.
Ranking supermarkets: Monrovia-based Trader Joe's is tied for first and Colton-based Stater Bros. is tied for 10th in a Consumer Reports' poll. The magazine surveyed about 24,000 readers, which reflected 38,000 shopping trips between April 2004 and June 2005. From this survey, CR ranked 54 grocery chains. Vons ranked 21st, Ralphs 42nd and Albertsons 43rd.
Mindboggling Murdoch: The News Corp. chairman had a combined salary and bonus of $25.7 million last year, but that apparently wasn't enough to afford a $50,000-a-month apartment at Trump Park Avenue in New York. So News Corp. is shelling out the rent, according to the WSJ. The company says that Murdoch's primary New York residence is being renovated, so this is like a second home (his family is staying in L.A. until the East Side penthouse is completed). Corporate-governance expert Patrick McGurn says he's never heard of a company paying for an executive's personal residence in the city in which the company has its headquarters.
"Does News Corp. pay for his primary residence? No. So why would they pay for the replacement residence?" Mr. McGurn said. "That just boggles the mind." He said some companies have paid toward the cost of executives maintaining residences in another city. "While I don't love that, that's fairly common," he said.
Skoll gets help: Participant Productions, the independent film company behind "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "An Inconvenient Truth," has a new CEO. He's James Berk, former CEO of Hard Rock Cafe International. Berk succeeds Jeff Skoll, the EBay billionaire who founded Participant in 2004 and retains the title of chairman.
Spyware scheme: Two local firms that promised protection from viruses and spam but instead installed spyware agreed to pay a $2 million fine to settle Federal Trade Commission charges of false and deceptive practices. Named in the complaint are Enternet Media and Conspy & Co. Brothers Nima Hakimi and Baback Hakimi ran the companies, and they, along with their mother, Lida Rohbani, were named in the complaint.
Dodgers dispute: The club has a lot more pressing matters at hand this weekend, but baseball officials have determined that the Dodgers on Demand cable channel violates a 2000 agreement under which Major League Baseball, not individual teams, control "interactive media." The channel is considered interactive because viewers can stop, start, fast forward and rewind programming.
Drum deal: Yamaha Corp. of America in Buena Park has bought the rights to Rogers Drum Co., which made drums for Buddy Rich and Ed Shaughnessy, drummer for "The Tonight Show" during the Johnny Carson years. The sale was part of the bankruptcy auction of Brook Mays Music Co. Brook put the Rogers name on entry-level drums kits.