Philip Anschutz completes sale of minority stake in Lakers to Mark Walter and Todd Boehly

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Philip Anschutz sold his 27% minority interest in the Los Angeles Lakers to Los Angeles Dodgers co-owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly in a deal that closed Friday.

The transaction was approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, according to AEG.

“We remain strongly invested in the franchise’s long-term success,” Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, said in a statement. “We are confident that with Jeanie (Buss) as the team’s controlling owner, the Lakers will continue to be the gold standard in the NBA. Mark Walter and Todd Boehly are great additions to the ownership group, and we look forward to partnering with them for many years to come.”

Anschutz-owned AEG and the Lakers recently announced a 20-year extension to the team’s lease at Staples Center. It includes both sides investing in upgrades and improvements to the downtown Los Angeles arena, which the Lakers will continue to call home through 2041.

Boehly will join the Lakers’ board of directors, representing the interests of both Walter and himself.

Walter is co-founder and CEO of Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services company, and is chairman of the Dodgers.

“The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful and admired franchises in sports history,” Walter said. “I have watched the organization grow under Jeanie’s leadership and couldn’t be more excited to partner with her and the entire management team.”

Boehly is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Eldridge, a holding company that invests in businesses involving sports and gaming, media, and real estate. He is part-owner of the Dodgers.

Real estate commissions near record $100 billion amid sales boom

By Noah Buhayar | Bloomberg

The hot U.S. housing market is poised to deliver a banner year for real estate agents.

Commission revenue — the cut that brokers collect for helping buy and sell homes — is on track to surge 16% in 2021, surpassing $100 billion for the first time, according to a new analysis by Knock, a property-technology company that lends customers money to buy a new home while helping them sell their old one.

The increase comes despite a slight dip in the rate that agents are charging customers. In 2021, the average commission rate is expected to be 4.94% — 20 basis points lower than two decades ago, according to Knock.

Real estate agents have remained the dominant way to buy and sell homes in the U.S., even as companies promising to streamline the process with technology have proliferated. As home prices soar across the U.S., that’s led to a surge in revenue for the real estate brokers, who typically take a cut of every transaction.

While the increase in fees is boon for agents, it puts a spotlight on a revenue model that has drawn scrutiny. Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department pulled out of an antitrust settlement reached during the Trump administration with the National Association of Realtors, saying it intends to proceed with a probe of the organization.

Universal Studios Hollywood to debut ‘Haunting of Hill House’ maze for Halloween Horror Nights 2021

The Tall Man, the Ghost in the Basement and the Bent-Neck Lady will make their Halloween Horror Nights debut when Universal Studios Hollywood introduces a new maze inspired by “The Haunting of Hill House” in September.

The annual Halloween transformation of the movie-and-television-themed amusement park — which was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic — returns on Sept. 9 and continues on select nights through Oct. 31.

“The Haunting of Hill House” debuted as a Netflix series in 2018 and Thursday its first-ever transformation into a maze was announced by Universal Studios Hollywood.

“I have loved Halloween Horror Nights for so long,” said Mike Flanagan, creator, director and executive producer of the Netflix hit in a written statement. “Some of my favorite memories of Halloween were made at Universal Studios, screaming and laughing with my friends.

“It is such an honor to be included among such fantastic haunts, and I’m so glad that fans will be able to walk the halls of Hill House this Halloween,” he continued. “This is – without a doubt – one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to us at Intrepid (Pictures). We are so excited to visit the Red Room again – we hope to see you all there!”

The Red Room, as viewers of the series know, is the terrifying heart of Hill House, where the Crain family was haunted and menaced as children, and forced to face those fears again as adults.

In addition to that set-piece, the maze will also feature the Hall of Statues, where all who enter must face its powers. Apparitions promised for the maze include William Hill, also known as the Tall Man, the Ghost in the Basement, who crawls about the lower reaches of the house, searching for victims, and the Bent-Neck Lady, whose screams and disturbing visage are most unnerving.

Halloween Horror Nights visitors will either escape the supernatural hold of the house or “wander the endless halls forever…alone,” the park statement promised.

“Mike Flanagan has elevated the horror genre with his supernatural thriller, ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’” said John Murdy, executive producer of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. “We continuously challenge ourselves to raise the bar with each maze we create, and we look forward to creating a unique experience for our guests that combines both the psychological and visceral twists from the series.

“The goal is to make our guests feel as if they are walking in the footsteps of the Crain family, re-living all the horrors that they experienced.”

Tickets for the event at Universal Studios Hollywood will be available soon. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

KROQ’s Ted Stryker says goodbye during final show after 22 years at FM radio station

Ted Stryker wrapped up his final shift as host of the Stryker & Klein Show on Tuesday with the same easygoing charm that marked his 22 years on the air at KROQ FM (106.7).

There were lots of laughs as Stryker and the rest of the morning crew — Kevin Klein, Ally Johnson and DJ Omar Kahn — remembered highlights from shows past, took calls from listeners and played music by the radio personality’s favorite bands.

“There is no way I could have lasted in this job 22 years without incredible support from everyone I’ve worked with, but also the artists,” Stryker said, before sharing an anecdote about being the first DJ at the station to play Linkin Park years ago.

“I remember I was filling in for the afternoon host — I was doing nights — that was Jed the Fish, a legend,” he said. “They said I could play whatever I wanted to so I played ‘One Step Closer.’ Any time I hear Linkin Park and think about the band, I just get really great feelings.”

Then, after playing “One Step Closer” one last time, he took calls from listeners, thanking them for their support over the years.

“I’m only 23 years old, so I’ve been listening to you all my life,” a caller named Gwen told him.

“You’ve worked here at the station one full Gwen,” Klein joked.

“We’re losing a good guy, best of luck, buddy,” said caller Tim.

At one point, Stryker offered a list of some of the reasons that led him to leave the show.

“This is not a comedy bit. These are real reasons, but only 8 or 10 percent of the 100 reasons,” he said.

His list was, well, unusual, and if you can figure out what it means let us know: The movie “Palm Springs,” the TV series “Mad Men,” the city of Palm Springs, Idaho, System of a Down, the Quentin Tarantino movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” the Interrupters, longtime ESPN host Kenny Mayne, Zoom, “The Karate Kid “actor William Zabka, the TV series “Lost,” and Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser of ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption.”

“It’s a weird list probably for you, but not for me,” Stryker said at the finish.

“When Stryker spat out this list of random things, it only made him sound more and more like a serial killer,” Klein cracked.

The 50-year-old radio personality has not yet said exactly what he plans or hopes to do next.

“I want to be on record for the 700th time: there is no ill relationship within this show,” he said. “This is about personal and professional goals that I cannot meet in this operation, and I’m going to attempt to meet them in the next chapter of my life.”

His cohosts had put together a handful of pre-recorded comedy bits to tease their colleague and friend throughout the final show. One took shape as a faux news radio story on the similarities between Stryker and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also left his job, as CEO of the company, after more than two decades in the saddle.

“What’s next?” the newscaster said at one point. “Well, Bezos is planning to fly to outer space. Stryker is planning to watch ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and eat a cookie.”

He laughed, and agreed that was probably true.

A few minutes before 10 a.m., Stryker said his final farewells.

“This is it, I’m officially signing off,” he said. “And again, I’m not retiring from life. I’ve got a ton of energy. I’ve got a ton of things brewing both professionally and personally.”

He thanked colleagues past and present at the station for making his life and work there a fun ride.

“No matter what you do in your life, your world, your career, you can’t last anywhere for any length of time without people around you who allow you to work,” Stryker said. “It’s their support — people set it up for me on a tee. I just had to hit if off the tee.

“So thank you for allowing me to grow up in front of your eyes and ears the last 22 years,” he said as he cued up his final song, Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).”

“It’s been a wild, wild ride, man.”

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie, 24, killed in fireworks accident

By STEPHEN WHYNO

A medical examiner in Michigan says an autopsy has determined that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast, and not a fall as authorities previously reported.

Police in Novi, Michigan, said the mortar-style firework tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby Sunday night. The 24-year-old Kivleniek was in a hot tub and tried to get clear with several other people, police Lt. Jason Meier said.

The fire department and EMTs got to the private home shortly after 10 p.m. and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Meier said. The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office reported preliminary autopsy results Monday afternoon.

Prior to the autopsy, police said Kivlenieks was believed to have slipped and hit his head on concrete while running from a malfunctioning firework.

“At the moment, we’re pretty certain this was a tragic accident,” Meier said.

The Blue Jackets and Latvian Hockey Federation announced Kivlenieks’ death, with the NHL club saying it resulted from an apparent head injury in a fall. The team’s statement made no mention of fireworks.

Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen tweeted: “Life is so precious and can be so fragile. Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you will be dearly missed.” Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson called it a “devastating time” for the team.

“Kivi was an outstanding young man who greeted every day and everyone with a smile and the impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten,” he said.

“What a tragic loss for all of us who knew him and I am thinking and praying for his family,” former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno tweeted. “Heaven gained a darn good goalie and better person… Just, way too soon.”

Former Columbus defenseman David Savard learned of it from Foligno.

“That was a brutal wakeup this morning,” Savard said in French. “That was a good kid with a lot of talent who was going to be a part of the team next year or in the future. That’s extremely sad.”

Kivlenieks’ death came on the eve of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in Montreal, where the Tampa Bay Lightning had a chance to clinch the championship against the Canadiens on Monday night.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Kivlenieks’ “love for life and passion for the game will be deeply missed by all those who have been fortunate to have him as a teammate and a friend.”

The Latvian Hockey Federation called Kivlenieks’ death “a great loss not only for Latvian hockey but for the entire Latvian nation.”

Kivlenieks most recently represented Latvia this spring at the world hockey championship in which he played four games. He played two games for the Blue Jackets and eight for the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters this past season.

A native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in May 2017 and played eight games for the club overall. He was seen as a possible No. 2 goaltender next season if Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins is traded.

Kivlenieks was at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington last Tuesday as a guest of IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi.

Rossi announced that day he was going to race the Baja 1000 in Mexico in November, and Kivlenieks took a ride around Mid-Ohio in a Honda Ridgeline to help promote both Rossi and Sunday’s IndyCar race.

“This hits hard,” Rossi tweeted. “Prayers to the family and the team.”

Associated Press writers Mitch Stacy and Kathleen Foody, and AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer contributed.