YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


October 17, 1994|JAMES BATES

Opening Up the Books

Celebrity-rich Dove Audio Inc.--one of the pioneers in the audio book field--last week published its own books. They're unlikely to attract much readership, but nonetheless contain some eye-opening narrative.

A prospectus for an initial offering of 833,333 shares filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the Beverly Hills firm has been an erratic performer. Documents say Dove earned $107,000 in 1993 and $1.2 million in 1992, but lost $2.3 million in 1991.

Dove also lost $357,000 in the first six months of 1994; most of its sales, however, occur in the latter part of the year.

The prospectus also shows Dove has experienced "significant negative cash flows" from time to time, which has been offset by equity and debt financing.

The company said it will continue to experience negative cash flow periodically as it expands its production and distribution facilities, but it added that money from the offering should meet its working capital requirements of the next year.

Dove, which also produces TV movies and publishes printed books--including a new biography of Nicole Brown Simpson--is led by entertainment executive Michael Viner and his wife, actress Deborah Raffin. Dove directors include best-selling author Sidney Sheldon, who owns 20% of the company, and entertainment executive Freddie Fields.

As for Viner and Raffin, the prospectus shows Dove owes them $2.16 million in the form of deferred compensation, loans and compensation for production and other services. Some $300,000 of the stock offering proceeds are earmarked for them.

Ideal for Insomniacs

There're laws on the books. Now there're laws on the disk.

Prompted by public interest in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Arcata, Calif.-based software developer Grady Ward is selling a computerized version of the California Penal Code on a 3.5" diskette for $14.95, marketing it to people following the case who are not familiar with the state's laws.

Ward is advertising the diskette with an ad that reads "OJ?" and highlights some of the questions he feels people following the case may have, including, "When can a jury simply ignore the law?"

Ward says he's sold several hundred copies, mostly to people out of state.

Asked if he is exploiting the case, Ward said: "That's certainly true. Even though I may be a charlatan, it is still a good, useful product that will last even beyond O.J."

And No Hassle With Credits

Now you can study to be a mogul.

UCLA Extension is launching a $250 seven-week course centered on the career of Mike Medavoy, who was ousted by Sony Pictures earlier this year as head of its TriStar unit.

A cheaper--but arguably more provocative--course comes courtesy of the Learning Annex in the form of "An Evening With Robert Evans."

The producer of such films as "Chinatown" and "Sliver" recently chronicled his hedonistic life in an autobiography.

In contrast to the Medavoy course, the Evans seminar is only $39 and promises to cover "a life of high drama and wild times."

Los Angeles Times Articles