Tuesday morning headlines

YouTube coverage: WSJ, which has been ahead of the story, plays Google's $1.65 billion purchase inside, but LAT and NYT have P1 coverage that raises the broader issue of whether we're back to the go-go days of the 1990s. Some interesting tidbits: Did you know that News Corp. had sent a letter to YouTube expressing interest, but by then Google was racing to close the deal? Also, San Bruno-based YouTube only has 67 employees, which must be some sort of record low for a billion dollar-plus acquisition. Deal of the century: Sure, the two founders made off like bandits, but what about venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which invested just $11.5 million in YouTube in 2005 and 2006 and now stands to walk away with almost $500 million!

Overreaction on lettuce: The voluntary recall of more than 8,500 cartons of green-leaf lettuce appears to have bee precautionary. E. coli was discovered in the Salinas Valley irrigation water used on a lettuce crop. But the water apparently doesn't have any common sources with water that irrigates the spinach crop.

Tribune's clubby board: They call them "independent," but the seven Tribune board members who will help decide the fate of the company - and with it the LAT - are apparently joined at the hip. They're part of a tight-knit business community and the LAT wonders whether those close ties will result in an objective decision on how best to handle Tribune's assets.

The committee members were selected because they were neither Tribune employees, as is FitzSimons, nor part of the dissident board faction representing California's Chandler family. The Chandlers are Tribune's largest shareholder group, owning nearly 20 percent of the stock and three seats on the 11-member board. But some outside experts question whether, given their close ties, the committee members can be truly objective. "When people are meeting frequently on corporate boards or charities or in sports clubs, it's not like they'll collude to protect each other's interests, but they'll tend to share the same outlook," said Jackie Cook, a senior research associate at Corporate Library, a corporate-governance watchdog firm.

Housing in Alhambra: A 351-unit condominium complex is being planned. It wouldn't be that big a deal in many parts of Socal, but the San Gabriel Valley has seen relatively little new housing. Construction is to begin next year. LAT has analysts saying that the development reflects the influx of Asian money and immigrants into the area.

Bumpy rides: The number of passengers involuntarily bumped off flights jumped more than 40 percent in the second quarter to the highest number in any second quarter since 2000. WSJ says it's the result of airlines trimming flight schedules in order to offset financial pressure from high oil prices.

The (Department of Transportation) requires that airlines compensate passengers for bumping them off flights, but the maximum amount of $400 was set in 1978 and hasn't changed. Had the maximum amount been adjusted for inflation, it would be more than $1,200 today. And some argue that since the last tickets sold are usually the most expensive, airlines have too much incentive to sell $1,000 tickets when no seats are available if the penalty is only $400 to bump a cheaper-fare passenger.

KB delays earnings: The L.A.-based homebuilder said this morning that it needs more time to complete an internal review of stock-option grants. It's been looking at the possible backdating of options by Chairman Bruce Karatz. Citigroup analyst Stephen Kim doesn't think the option grants will have a material impact on the company.

Lacter on KPCC: This morning's business chat with Steve Julian (6:55 and 9:55) covers September home prices, whether MySpace was sold at the right time and price, and this year's hot toys, many of them from locally based companies. Audio available later today.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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