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BUSINESS
November 18, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
United Airlines has long been the drunk uncle of American carriers -- tolerated at the table when there's no alternative, avoided whenever possible. In the latest airline quality rating survey released in April by researchers at Purdue, United came in worst , marked down for on-time takeoffs, baggage handling and other consumer complaints. Only three weeks ago, federal regulators slapped the airline with their largest fine ever-- $1.1 million for leaving passengers on 13 flights stranded on the tarmac last summer during thunderstorms in Chicago.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2011 | By Richard Rayner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The New Deal A Modern History Michael Hiltzik Free Press: 499 pp., $30 Michael Hiltzik's "Colossus," published last year, told the story of the building of what is now known as the Hoover Dam, an epic public works project that was seized upon by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an icon of his New Deal. Hiltzik's latest, an extension of "Colossus" in a way, moves on to the subject of the New Deal itself, beginning with FDR's election in November 1932 and his inauguration four months later on a cold, damp day when America, in the midst of a banking collapse, was a "stupefied giant standing face to face with insolvency.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2001 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Men's Wearhouse (MW) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Buy * Mike: I'll start with this question about Men's Wearhouse: Jim, would you say that George Zimmer is the Frank Perdue of the '90s? Jim: No question, though some readers might not get the connection. Zimmer is not only the chief executive of apparel chain Men's Wearhouse, he's also its pitchman on TV and radio, just as Perdue flacked--or flicked--for his chicken company. And like Perdue, Zimmer's very good at promotion.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused a columnist for The Times of illegally recording conversations with the president of the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing firm. The company is known for its ubiquitous billboards plastered along Southland freeways — and its catchy jingle that pops up on the radio and television — that promote shedding pounds via the Lap-Band weight-loss device. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Debre Katz Weintraub threw out the lawsuit that Robert Silverman, the marketing company's president, had filed against Times columnist Michael Hiltzik.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2000 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
NetZero (NZRO) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy * Jim: Now, Mike, we both know the old saw about how one way to run a successful business is to give 'em the razor and sell 'em the blades. But-- Mike: What if you're giving away the razor and the blades? Jim: Exactly! Because NetZero offers customers free access to the Internet. Mike: As do several other firms, and their business model is basically the same: You get the free access all right, but in exchange they shove advertising down your throat.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2001 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Lowe's Cos. (LOW) Jim: Buy Mike: Don't buy Mike: I don't know about you, Jim, but I've noticed around Southern California that there's a new store anchoring a lot of these new malls: Lowe's home improvement stores. I think of stores like Lowe's and Home Depot as lumberyards with a college education. Jim: You know, this might be a knock on any other company, but Lowe's is almost a Home Depot wannabe. Mike: Almost? That's exactly what Lowe's is. Jim: All right.
BUSINESS
July 11, 2000 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Sara Lee (SLE) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Buy * Jim: It's a good thing that Sara Lee's new chief executive is trying to turn this company upside down, because if he wasn't I believe Sara Lee would soon succumb to a new owner that would. Mike: Now Jim, before we continue with all that important corporate stuff, let me start by saying I think of Sara Lee as an old friend. Jim: My, so warm and fuzzy today, Mike. Let me guess.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
Who's the most influential billionaire business figure in national politics? If you answered one of the Koch brothers (Charles or David) or George Soros, you're wearing your partisan blinders. The former are known for their devotion to conservative causes, the latter to liberal. In either case, you're wrong. The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson. The son of Greek immigrants, Peterson, 86, served as Commerce secretary under President Nixon, then became chairman and chief executive of Lehman Bros.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2000 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Ethan Allen Interiors (ETH) Jim: Buy Mike: Buy * Mike: There's no more recognized or marketed brand in home furnishings than Ethan Allen Interiors, right Jim? Jim: No question. The name comes from the Revolutionary War hero, I believe. Mike: The leader of the Green Mountain Boys. And your $32,000 question is: What state was he from? Jim: Vermont? Mike: Outstanding! Jim: Well, high school paid off for something.
BUSINESS
July 4, 2000 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Reader's Digest Assn. (RDA/RDB) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy * Jim: When it comes to Americana, Michael, I can't think of any more tried-and-true name than Readers's Digest, correct? Mike: Did you say tried and true or trite and true? Jim: Snippy right out of the box today, eh? But you're right. To many people, Reader's Digest isn't just old, it's musty old--as in not being of much use. Mike: That's right. When you flip the pages of Wall Street reports on this stock, moths come flying out.
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