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THE BOTTOM LINE

Feds to Check In at Radisson

April 29, 1986|Bill Ritter

The Radisson Hotel, mired in controversy since it opened in early 1984, will go on the auction block Wednesday.

Representatives of the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corp. are owed more than $30 million in defaulted construction loans and, barring a last-minute refinancing miracle by developer Carroll Davis, the regulators will take control of the posh, 13-story, 264-room Mission Valley hotel.

In August, Davis filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy only days before FSLIC was scheduled to take over the hotel through foreclosure.

The opening bid: $26 million.

Full Coverage of Ninth Inning

San Diego Padres fans who catch home games over Cox Cable's pay-per-view may think that the camera stays focused on the field from the start of the ninth inning until the end of the game simply because Cox can't sell any ads in the last frame.

Not true, according to Marty Youngman, the Cox executive who serves as the cablecasts' executive producer. The lack of ads is a matter of policy.

"We're trying to throw in some special things (and) one thing isn't to go to commercial" in the ninth inning, he said.

Instead, the camera remains on the field immediately after the games, showing interviews with players who starred in the contest.

Workers Unwelcome at Annual Meetings

The flood of annual meetings recently at San Diego-based companies has raised a touchy once-a-year problem: Should company employees--most of them curious, some of them shareholders--be allowed to attend the annual gatherings?

Most companies have a simple policy: No.

Sometimes the concern is leaving enough seats available for investors, but most of the time it's the image of the company's work force pouring into a meeting, abandoning their tasks--an image companies would rather not show to shareholders.

At Great American First Savings Bank, employees who are company stockholders can attend the meeting but they have to use vacation time to do so. At San Diego Gas & Electric, only workers who have a "specific reason" to be there are allowed to attend.

At Energy Factors, only six officers of the company's 44 employees are allowed to attend. "We're a small company," Executive Vice President Rick Kay said. "So, for everybody to leave would really disrupt our operation."

Running counter to the trend is PSA, where airline workers are now also shareholders. "We've always encouraged employee attendance," PSA spokesman Bill Hastings said. "That way, they get a firsthand view of how an annual meeting is conducted and it gives them a better understanding of the process of American business."

Of course, that's American as in United States, not airlines.

Sorry, Ernie, Just 3 Paragraphs

It's not as if San Diegans haven't heard enough about developer Ernest Hahn--what with all the hoopla in the last nine months from Horton Plaza and North County Fair.

Now, the marketing staff at Ernest W. Hahn Inc. is peddling story ideas to local reporters designed to promote Hahn's 40th anniversary in business.

In a four-page letter from Kim Wenrick, Hahn's director of corporate communications, reporters are asked if they would like to write a story on Hahn as a leader in the shopping mall industry, the sociological impact of shopping malls, a history of the Hahn company or simply a story on Ernie Hahn, which Wenrick called a "profile of a legend."

No Pay for J. David Creditors' Attorney

Richard Wildman figures he has rung up about $40,000 in legal fees serving as attorney for the official J. David & Co. creditors committee--a group of former investors in the La Jolla firm who have clawed and scratched for an ounce of respectability.

Last week, the committee took another blow: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving that Wildman will not be paid from funds of the J. David & Co. bankruptcy estate.

Wildman on Monday sounded not at all like a man who had just lost $40,000.

"It's not too unexpected," he said, adding that the issue "wasn't about my pay . . . I wasn't asking for any fees. The purpose was that the committee would have legal representation."

Rady Ready for Diluted Ownership

Westcorp, the Orange-based financial services holding company that is set to go public either this week or next, has a strong San Diego tie.

Chairman and Chief Executive Ernest S. Rady, the publicity-shy San Diegan who owns part of Coast Distributing and KEZL radio in Oceanside and all of Insurance Co. of the West, now holds about 90% of Westcorp's common stock.

After the offering--4.5 million shares that will raise $45 million to $58 million--Rady's stake will be diluted to about 64%.

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