Time Warner cutting cable?: It's under consideration, according to the WSJ. Just too much Internet competition. Rather than spend all that money on cable, some at TW figure they might be better off focusing on Web stuff. Nothing has been signed off yet, but the most likely scenario would involve gradually reducing its 84 percent Time Warner Cable. From the Journal:
Getting rid of a big chunk of its cable holdings would transform the nature of Time Warner, making it more reliant on its role as a provider of filmed entertainment and print and Web content. For years, Time Warner has believed in wedding its movies and television programs to powerful distribution networks -- primarily its cable operation -- as a way to ensure that their content wouldn't be blocked by rivals. But with the Internet increasingly serving as a home for TV and film offerings, content companies may feel they no longer need to control old-style distribution networks such as cable or satellite TV.
DWP overruns: L.A.'s aging water system needs a major overhaul, of course, but at what price? The Daily News reports that work has been shifted from private contractors to DWP construction crews, causing costs to jump. Using union crews to install trunk lines also doubled the length of time it would have taken the private workers. Most DWP workers are represented by the politically powerful International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18.
The 13 future projects will cost ratepayers an estimated $737 million, officials said, but could have cost as much as $1.3 billion had DWP employees done the work. "Am I totally happy? No! However, it's a great beginning to correct a totally unacceptable situation," said DWP Commissioner Nick Patsaouras.
Proposed compensation limit: An Edison International shareholder is campaigning for new guidelines on executive compensation that would base at least 75 percent of future stock options and stock awards on new performance measures. Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., an influential shareholder advisory group, recommended the proposal, but Edison maintains that its stock and option awards are already performance based. Edison is the parent of Southern California Edison. LAT
Tough summer to fly: The airlines have scheduled 3.5 percent more flights in June, July and August, compared with a year ago, which means that passengers should be prepared for additional flight delays. Summer, of course, can be nasty because weather delays are common - and unpredictable - and vacation season increases passenger loads. Cancellations and delays are already up this year. From the WSJ:
The storms that hit the Northeast this past weekend illuminated the strains in the system. FlightStats counted 807 flight cancellations at New York's three main airports on Sunday, about 21% of all scheduled flights. Travelers at New York's La Guardia Airport, where fewer than half the flights flew on-time, were left sleeping on their luggage. Monday morning, with the storm still pounding the Northeast and flooding closing roads and even some smaller airports, delays averaged about two hours as airlines struggled to catch up and catch a break in the weather.
Calpers opposes Clear Channel deal: The California Public Employees' Retirement System becomes the third big shareholder to oppose the proposed takeover by two private equity firms. Calpers owns 3.34 million shares of Clear Channel, or less than 1 percent. The offer needs to be approved by two-thirds of shareholders at a special meeting on April 19. Bloomberg
Housing slump hurts workers: One explanation for the government not seeing much of a drop in construction employment could be the role that illegal immigrants have been playing in homebuilding. No need to fire anybody - just tell them there's no more work. With the homebuilding industry in a slump, many of these workers are going back to farms. From the NYT:
Illegal immigrants played a big if quiet part on the supply side of America’s housing boom. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization in Washington, immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries account for about one in five construction workers. Those who arrived since 2000 — who are likely to be unlawfully in the United States because they had virtually no way of immigrating legally — account for an estimated 7 percent of the construction work force.
Lacter on radio: This morning's business chat with KPCC's Steve Julian covers the increase in defaults and foreclosures, troubles at LAX, and the latest Fortune 500 rankings of L.A. companies.