Salem Media Group in Camarillo has named Mike Blakemore to the new position of vice president of programming for its contemporary Christian music stations. Blakemore assumes the role from his current post at Salem’s 104.7 WFSH-FM “The Fish” in Atlanta, where he has served as program director since 2008. He began his radio career in high school as an on-air host and has overseen the programming efforts for a number of stations in the Southeast U.S., according to his LinkedIn profile. Salem has made several station- and corporate-level management changes since the start of the year. The multimedia broadcasting firm, which specializes in producing Christian and politically conservative content, announced in early January executive appointments for its Nashville and Philadelphia stations. Salem has appointed Lorenzo Caldara to oversee its Philadelphia cluster of radio stations as general manager, and Kevin Anderson is the new general sales manager of the company’s Nashville operations. In addition, Salem named former USA Today digital ad salesman Jamie Cohen as vice president of local digital.
PCI Commercial Realty Group closed the $5 million sale of an 8,000-square-foot shopping center in Thousand Oaks, where an undisclosed buyer purchased the property from Century City’s Marks family, according to Costar Group. At $625 per square foot, the University Shopping Center sale represents the highest price per square foot for a multi-tenant retail center in Ventura County since 2015, according to PCI. The sale also marks the fifth highest price per square foot for this type of listing in the Thousand Oaks/Southeast Ventura County submarket, based on CoStar data. Located at 409 to 427 E. Avenida de Los Arboles, the center stands adjacent to a Trader Joe’s and a Rite Aid. Tenants at the strip mall include T&K Nails & Spa, Allegro Pizza Inc., Arboles Animal Clinic, Fresh Donuts, PJ’s Sports Pub and a Subway sandwich outlet. The deal was brokered by PCI President Paul Forbat. Based in Thousand Oaks, PCI specializes in shopping center and office property sales
San Fernando Valley
Woodbridge Group of Cos. has reached a settlement with its creditors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the company has named a new chief executive to steer the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The SEC had sued the Sherman Oaks-based real estate investment firm for cheating investors out of more than $1 billion in a classic Ponzi scheme. “The new management team is cognizant of the difficult position that creditors and investors are in and is fully committed to the mission of achieving the best possible results for all of them,” Michael Goldberg, a member of Woodbridge’s board of managers, said in a statement. Frederick Chin, a real estate advisor and business consultant, will serve as chief executive, while Bradley Sharp will be chief restructuring officer. Sharp previously was chief executive of the L.A. offices of Development Specialists Inc. The settlement agreement also includes the appointment of fiduciary groups for Woodbridge investors, the company said. Woodbridge and its founder Robert H. Shapiro were sued by the SEC on Dec. 22 – just weeks after the company filed for Chapter 11 protection – for allegedly defrauding more than 8,400 investors who were led to believe that their funds would be used for high-interest real estate loans. Instead, new investors’ money was used to pay interest and returns to established investors, the SEC claimed. Also, Shapiro was accused of squandering as much as $21 million on himself and his family, including money spent on private jets, fine wine and luxury goods. Woodbridge cut ties with Shapiro early last month and later appointed a new management board to initiate an executive search. It also formed committees to represent creditors’ and investors’ interests in its bankruptcy proceedings. In turn, the SEC agreed to drop its request for a court-ordered receiver.
Capstone Turbine Corp. announced that its personnel worked to pass the federal Investment Tax Credit for microturbines and combined heat and power projects that was extended for four years in the new budget legislation. The tax credit, which applies to purchases of the Van Nuys company’s natural gas-powered microturbines, will be phased out through the end of 2021, dropping from 10 percent, to 8 percent and then to 6 percent in the final year. The tax credit has accelerated deployment of microturbines, the company said. Capstone Chief Executive Darren Jamison said extending the credit is a key component, along with a weak U.S. dollar and high crude oil prices, to help drive revenue growth for Capstone. “We will work with our U.S. based distribution partners to immediately rerun the economics on all pending CHP (combined heat and power) projects to show customers the new tax impact on their project,” Jamison said in a statement.
B. Riley FBR Inc. on Feb. 7 announced it acted as the sole placement agent for Infinity Bank in its $33 million equity capital raise. The transaction closed on Feb 1. The subsidiary of the Woodland Hills financial service company B. Riley Financial Inc. said the client is a new bank. The proceeds of the placement will capitalize the bank and provide for other business purposes. Infinity is based in Santa Ana. “Our team strived to help Infinity Bank attain its objectives and deliver quick results,” Ajay Asija, senior managing director at B. Riley FBR, said in a statement. “In addition, B. Riley FBR also invested in the transaction of 9.9 percent of the overall capital raise. We are very pleased to have been able to provide a pivotal capital raise for a new bank like Infinity Bank.”
Telus Communications Inc., a major wireless communications provider in Canada, has acquired Xavient Information Systems Inc. in Simi Valley. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Xavient has digital information technology and software delivery operations throughout the U.S. and in India, serving customers primarily in the telecommunications, media, entertainment, health care, and banking and financial services sectors. With the acquisition, Xavient has been rebranded Xavient Digital – powered by Telus International, a subsidiary of Telus Communications in Vancouver. Xavient Chief Executive Rajeev Tandon said closing the deal was an exciting time for the company as it combines its operations with a like-minded business going forward. “The Telus International team’s commitment to putting customers first is mirrored in our passion to provide exceptional services, amplify performance and revolutionize the technology landscape,” Tandon said in a statement.
Santa Clarita Valley
Princess Cruises has announced a culinary cruise that will leave Los Angeles and focus on Mexican cuisine. The Valencia cruise line has recruited food journalist Bill Esparza as host. The ship Ruby Princess will set sail from Los Angeles on March 22 and return March 26 on the initial voyage. Esparaza will bring along chefs Sabina Bandera and Carlos Salgado to collaborate with the Princess culinary staff for a week. The chefs will participate in cocktail-making tutorials, tequila tastings and question-and-answer sessions. “I am honored to work with Princess Cruises to bring Mexican flavors and culture to life through authentic culinary programming,” said Esparaza in a statement. “Princess has a thoughtful approach to immersing guests in its destination and connecting them to the culture and local food.”
Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings and revenue in the fiscal first quarter. The Valencia aircraft parts supplier reported on Feb. 8 an adjusted net income of $14.5 million (15 cents a share) on revenue of $363 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. That compares to adjusted net income of $18.5 million (19 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Analysts on average expected earnings of 13 cents on revenue of $347 million, according to Thomson Financial Network. Chief Executive Todd Renehan said the results reflect improved sales that he attributed to new business and higher volumes in hardware and chemical contracts. “While our fiscal 2018 first quarter results are promising, more work is needed to sustain and further improve our performance,” Renehan said in a statement.
– Compiled by Stephanie Bedolla