The Long Beach Business Journal premiered on this day, March 15, 30 years ago.

It was 1987 and Long Beach was on a roll. Construction was everywhere: business parks; office buildings; hotels; single-family, condominium and apartment units; shopping centers; and much more.


Port of Long Beach facilities continued to expand to meet the growing demand from Asia. The hospitality industry was doing well, but larger convention facilities were being discussed – a good problem to have. McDonnell Douglas was churning out commercial aircraft like the DC-10 and MD-80, and the U.S. Air Force awarded it a contract to work on the C-17 aircraft. There were more than 25,000 employees working at Douglas alone (soon heading to more than 40,000). The Naval Shipyard employed 7,000 people and Hughes Aircraft another 3,900 in the city.


A few other items:

• The Long Beach Airport was also booming, with commercial airline service provided by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Jet America, PSA and United Airlines.

• The city was home to 8 banks founded in Long Beach.

• The Wrather Corp., owner of the Disneyland Hotel, operated the Queen Mary. 

• The International Container Transfer Facility had just opened to bring railcars closer to vessels and reduce pollution and freeway traffic.

• The city’s population, which was experiencing a double-digit increase during the decade, was nearly 60% white and 24% Hispanic.

• Long Beach’s own George Deukmejian was Governor of California, Dan Lungren was our congressman and Dennis Brown our assemblyman – all Republicans.

• The city council, a politically moderate group, consisted of names such as Braude, Edgerton, Hall, Clark, Kell, Smith, Grabinski, Tuttle and Harwood. A year later, Hall and Kell would face off in the city’s first-ever citywide mayoral race. Kell beat Hall for a two-year term; then in 1990 he beat Clark for a four-year term.

• James Hankla was the new city manager. In preparing the 1987-1988 budget, he said the city was facing its tightest budget in a decade.


Yes, there were hundreds of stories to tell. It seemed like a perfect time to start a newspaper.


Over the years, the Business Journal has always aimed to tell it like it is. To be informative, factual, straightforward – and always fair; to challenge readers to get involved and speak out on issues impacting them and their city. If we’ve been successful at doing those things over the past 30 years, then we’ve done our job.


George Economides

Founder & Publisher