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Hahn Touts New TV Show in Hollywood

Complex at Highland is the site of Ryan Seacrest's upcoming daily program.

September 25, 2003|Nita Lelyveld | Times Staff Writer

Spiky-haired "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest announced Wednesday that he'll soon start taping a daily TV show live from the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood. Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn, who was on hand for the announcement, touted the news as a major economic coup for the city and as further evidence of an ongoing Hollywood revival.

"People have figured out what's going on here, and they're coming here to Hollywood," the mayor said at a morning news conference at Hollywood & Highland, during which he also cited a new study that states that tax revenue from Hollywood nearly doubled from 1998 to 2002.

The presence of "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest" certainly will be a boost for Trizec Properties Inc., the owner of Hollywood & Highland. The complex, to which the city contributed $90 million, got off to a rough start after its 2001 opening and is now valued at about one-third of its more than $600-million cost.

Twentieth Television, which is creating Seacrest's show, has signed a 10-year lease for more than 13,000 square feet in Hollywood & Highland. The retail and entertainment complex, which was less than 60% leased when it opened, is now 87% leased, according to LeAnn Stables, a Trizec spokeswoman.

Hahn said Seacrest's news and variety show will help draw more attention to Hollywood.

"Because of this, we'll have national exposure in a very exciting TV show really showcasing everything that's going on in Hollywood, which, as I've said over and over again, is the heart and soul of Los Angeles," the mayor said.

Seacrest's show, due to start next January, will be syndicated and will air on Fox stations across the country.

Seacrest said the leased space at Hollywood & Highland will include a radio studio, and that he hopes to do a daily live radio show from the space. He currently hosts an afternoon show on FM station Star 98.7.

He said the TV show will air in the afternoon and feature Hollywood news, celebrity guests, musical performances and a live audience -- both in the studio and outside, in front of a giant television in the courtyard.

"We want to create a unique energy to a live afternoon television show that invites fans of Hollywood and television and of the celebrities ... to come by and be part of the show," he said. "The location is so important to me because to create that type of authentic live energy, I really believed we needed a version of Times Square in Los Angeles."

The Hollywood & Highland complex includes the Kodak Theatre and the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Both the hotel and the retail stores have been doing better recently, said Trizec's Stables. On 45 of the last 140 nights, the hotel was more than 90% full, she said. Retail sales in the center's shops have had "double-digit increases" in the past four months, she said.

The Hollywood economic study that Hahn cited in the news conference was prepared by Economics Research Associates for the Hollywood Entertainment District, an 18-block stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that formed a business improvement district in 1996.

According to the report, tax revenue from the area rose from $6.6 million in 1998 to $11 million in 2002. During that same period, property values in the district rose from $404.6 million to $845.4 million, the report said.

"Our numbers are showing that the investment that everyone's made in Hollywood is paying off," said Kerry Morrison, of the Hollywood Entertainment District. "The message has always been that Hollywood is an economic engine for Los Angeles, and that by investing in our future here, the city will reap its reward."

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