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More Colorful Reading

December 07, 1987

The battle for Spanish-language newspaper readers in Los Angeles has left the competitors black and blue--and green, red and yellow, too.

It all started when newcomer El Diario de Los Angeles--one of the area's three Spanish-language dailies--premiered in May with color photographs throughout. Then this fall, the 61-year-old La Opinion began publishing front-page color.

"They knew we were coming out in color," so they had to do likewise, said Mark Buenrostro, assistant to El Diario's publisher.

Not so, say officials at La Opinion, which was already publishing color photos in its food section and supplements. "The trend is towards color," said John Stouwie, La Opinion's chief operating officer. And early next year, L.A.'s third major Spanish-language daily, Noticias del Mundo, plans to begin publishing in color, editor Alberto Mesones says. "We have to look for ways to remain competitive."

Raisin Some Memories

Fresh from a 1915 assignment promoting raisins at San Francisco's Pan-Pacific International Exposition, Lorraine Collett was asked by grape growers to pose for a painting. She and artist Fanny Scafford obliged, producing a picture of a young woman in a bright red bonnet, carrying a tray overflowing with fresh grapes.

The painting, which today hangs at the Kingsburg headquarters of Sun-Maid Growers of California, evolved into one of the world's most recognized trademarks. Lorraine Collett Petersen, who died in 1983 at age 90, gave the now-faded bonnet to Sun-Maid in 1974. And next month, that red bonnet will be presented to the Smithsonian Institution as part of the cooperative's 75th anniversary celebration.

News of Los Angeles

The barely begun battle of the Los Angeles business publications already has a loser: Crain Communications.

The New York-based publisher announced plans a year ago to start a Los Angeles business magazine. But then it discovered increased competition in Los Angeles. "We've decided it's not the best place to put our money," said publisher Rance Crain, who noted that the company's New York Business is losing money.

Crain's decision may leave more room for the soon-to-be-created LA Business. It will be stapled inside California Business, starting in April. "We expect to be profitable in 1988," said Jim Gressinger, publisher of California Business and its new insert.

But Don Miller, president of the weekly Los Angeles Business Journal, believes that the new competition faces a long struggle for readers. "They'll soon discover that Los Angeles is not an infinite market," he said.

Where's That You Work?

When the Los Angeles Arts Council honored Security Pacific for its contributions to the city's cultural life at a gala luncheon at the Century Plaza Hotel last week, bank President Robert H. Smith was a last-minute substitute to receive the honor in place of Chairman Richard J. Flamson, who was ailing with the flu.

So perhaps it was merely nerves that left the normally smooth Smith unable to pronounce "Pacific" as he accepted the plaque from industrialist-philanthropist Armand Hammer. Smith went through "Security Specific" and a few other versions of the name for the place he has worked for the last 26 years.

Finally, he grew so exasperated that he told the audience: "Well, I'm sure not going to say Wells Fargo."

His deftness in pronouncing the archrival's name drew the biggest hand of the day from the crowd.

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