Monday morning headlines

Week of conferences: Fasten your seat belts and prepare to be inundated with dispatches from the Consumer Electronics Show, the Macworld conference and the Detroit auto show. Sony is among the first out of the box at CES with plans to sell a device that will connect high-definition content streaming off the Internet with the next generation of TVs. Connecting PCs to TVs is expected to be a big theme. NYT Satellite in a box: Game show producer Rick Rosner hit the jackpot this morning with a NYT biz front feature on his SatGo satellite television receiver that he'll be hawking at CES. El Segundo-based DirecTV will be selling the receiver, which weighs 25 pounds, folds up like a piece of luggage, and is being priced at $1,000-$1,300. True television fanatics can take it to places that don't have cable.

More LAX flights?: That would be the upshot of a plan to have the Airport Commission take over Terminals 2 and 5 as airline leases expire. Airport-operated terminals would free up more gates for low-cost carriers, something the LAX folks have been looking to do. The airlines that now control those terminals aren't exactly wild about the idea. Still, it seems like a novel way to expand capacity without overhauling the entire airport. LAT

Northrop pulling out?: The L.A.-based aerospace company hints that it might abandon a high-stakes bidding contest to supply the Air Force with aerial-refueling planes - a $100 million program - because of how the government's rules are set up. Northrop claims that chief competitor Boeing Co. has the advantage. This could be a negotiating ploy, but if Northrop pulled out it would create complications for the Air Force. The government doesn't like single bids - especially coming from Boeing - because it would stir up noises in Congress. WSJ

Health insurer bias: LAT cites documents that show coverage is denied individuals simply because of their occupations - roofers, pro athletes, dockworkers, migrant workers and firefighters, among them. Blue Shield, PacifiCare and Health Net say that certain workers pose too big a risk. Blue Cross of California does not exclude applicants based on occupation. The types of drugs an individual uses is another reason coverage may be denied.

Herbalife recoups: Well, sort of. In early trading, it's up 42 cents, or 1.4 percent. But the L.A.-based nutritional supplement company has lots to make up after Friday's meltdown, when shares plummeted almost 25 percent. Slower sales in Mexico will bring down 2007 earnings estimates. Seems like a good argument for index funds.

Big box ban: It's looking like Long Beach voters will decide whether grocery sales at bix box stores should be prohibited. The council voted for such a ban last September, but business interests presented a petition that called for repealing the ban. The matter will now be put on the June 2008 ballot (no big rush since there aren't any plans to open the kind of big box superstore that sells groceries). LAT

NY after LA biz: You mean they shoot NY-based crime dramas in Los Angeles? How shocking! Well, Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the New York City mayor's office of film, theater and broadcasting, is pushing for more TV production in the Big A. LAT's Scott Collins notes that NY is already home to all three "Law & Order" shows, "The Sopranos," "30 Rock" and ABC's new sitcom "The Knights of Prosperity." Give the hassles of shooting in some parts of the city, it's amazing that many shows make the trek.

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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