Posted on January 23, 2004
| Film and Television
Launches and Redesigns
Michael Lynton has
been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), it was announced by Howard
Stringer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation
of America and Vice Chairman, Sony Corporation. Mr. Lynton, who
had been President, Time Warner International; President, AOL
International, and CEO, AOL Europe, since 2000, will be
headquartered in Culver City, California.
At the same time, Amy Pascal, Vice Chairman, SPE, is promoted
to Chairman of the Motion Picture Group at SPE, with
responsibility for all of the films produced and distributed
by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Both appointments are effective
in January 2004.
Commonwealth Business Media,
Inc. has announced the
appointment of William Armbruster to the position of Shipping
editor. Under Armbruster's direction, the company plans
to revamp the 80-year-old magazine in the beginning of 2004 to
include an updated look and feel consistent with its sister
publications, The Journal of Commerce, Pacific Shipper, The
and Gulf Shipper
a targeted media company,
announced that Scott Fogarty (37) has been promoted to
president and CEO of Films for the Humanities & Sciences. With
this promotion, Mr. Fogarty will have responsibility for
extending the market leading position of Films for the Humanities
and Sciences, a provider of educational video content
to schools and universities. In addition, he will direct
curriculum-based content initiatives currently under development
with Channel One, Primedia's satellite-distributed school news
franchise. He will report to Jim Ritts, president and CEO of
Primedia Television. Mr. Fogarty most recently served as vice
president of development at Primedia's corporate office, where
he was responsible for corporate development activities at
Primedia's education companies, in addition to other Primedia
segments. Prior to joining Primedia, he served as an executive
in the television industry at Telerep, a unit of Cox Enterprises.
Supplemental Publishers (HSP) has named its new CEO
and President, Tim McEwen. McEwen joins HSP from Haights Cross
Communications where he served as Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer. McEwen took over the helm of HSP
on January 1, 2004. At his position at Haights Cross,
his operational responsibilities included day-to- day operations
for this $160 million business group, more than 600 employees,
14,000 titles and 400,000 customers. In addition, his prior
experiences include that of President and CEO, Lifelong Learning
Group; President and CEO, Higher Education Group; President and
CEO, South-Western College Publishing; and SVP, Publisher at
Delmar; each within the Thomson Learning group.
Tribune Company has named Thomas D. Leach vice
president/development, effective Feb. 1, 2004. Leach is currently
chief financial officer of Tribune Broadcasting, and has been
with the company for nearly 20 years. Leach was named vice
president/administration and chief financial officer of Tribune
Broadcasting in March 2001. He directs group staff activities
for finance, planning and development for the company's
television, radio and entertainment businesses. In February
2003, his responsibilities expanded to include Tribune
Broadcasting's news and broadcast operations, as well as its
Business Systems Development group.
who started his career as director of development
at Universal Pictures in 1998, is returning to the studio as
vice president, production, it was announced by Universal
Pictures vice chairmen of worldwide production Mary Parent and
Scott Stuber. Mr. Saccani, who is currently developing projects
at Disney, Warner Bros. and Paramount, most recently worked at
Andrew Lazar's Mad Chance Productions, which he joined in early
2002. There he executive-produced Catch That Kid
, a children's
adventure film written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas and
directed by Bart Freundlich, which 20th Century Fox is scheduled
to release in April, 2004. He also recently executive-produced
Carl Franklin's thriller Out of Time
, written by Dave Collard
and starring Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes for MGM.
Mylo Carbia, an
up-and-coming screenwriter has formally announced her
plans to leave Global Screen Partners to launch a new film
production company called Zohar Films. Named after a 2,000-year-old
spiritual text, Zohar Films will initially serve as a production
entity for Carbia's own film projects and will later expand into
a full-fledged independent film company by the end of 2004.
Carbia leaves Global on December 31st with full ownership of
several of her projects including the thriller
Statute of Limitations
which tells the story of a gang-rape
victim who's paid to keep quiet, then years later methodically
destroys the lives of each of the perpetrators.
Global Screen Partners -- who still plan to release
Carbia's big screen version of the comic book Double Impact
said that they harbor no bad feelings about Carbia's decision
to leave the company.
Donald De Line has
been appointed Vice Chairman, Motion Picture
Group and President, Paramount Pictures it was announced
by Sherry Lansing, Chairman, Paramount Pictures. Mr. De Line,
whose appointment is effective January 5th, 2004, will report
to Ms. Lansing. As president of the Motion Picture Group, Mr.
De Line will be responsible for the company's annual slate of
films which includes overseeing the acquisition of literary
properties, development, budgeting, casting and production of
Mr. De Line takes over this post from John Goldwyn who is
stepping down to become a producer at the studio.
Donald De Line has been at Paramount Pictures since 1998 with
De Line Pictures where he produced The Italian Job
upcoming Stepford Wives
and Without a Paddle
Aviation Today announced that it is now part of
Arlington, Va.-based GCW Consulting, a strategic consultancy
for organizations in the aviation sector. The publication's
founder, Daniel-Robert Gooch, will continue to manage the daily
email newsletter as well as serve as a media and communications
advisor to GCW clients. Founded by 30-year airline industry
veteran Mo Garfinkle, GCW Consulting's principals have provided
strategic and legal counsel for airlines, airports and industry
vendors around the world.
Professional, a division of worldwide educational services
provider Kaplan, Inc., announced that a subsidiary of Kaplan,
Inc. has acquired the assets of Transcender LLC, a publisher
of IT certification products. Based in Nashville, Tennessee,
Transcender is a subsidiary of Information Holdings Inc.
Transcender will be joining Kaplan Professional's existing IT test
prep and training businesses, which include Self Test Software, a
leading provider of exam simulation software for technical
certifications, and Perfect Access Speer, which provides
software training for law firms and financial services companies.
Transcender and Self Test Software represent the industry's
number one and number two providers of IT practice tests
respectively, preparing an estimated 250,000 professionals
annually for IT certifications from leading vendors including
Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Novell, Lotus, CIW and CompTIA.
Inc., announced that it has entered into an exclusive
global publishing agreement with Reno-based developer BattleBorne Entertainment,
Inc. for their soon-to-be announced video game for the
next-generation gaming systems. Comprised of former members
of the Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
teams, BattleBorne is currently
utilizing the Snowblind Studios technology
and their own proprietary tools to develop the game.
A.G. Media Group, Inc. announced that it has acquired
all of the issued and outstanding shares of GospelCity.com Inc.
GospelCity.com is a
web destination site for new, established and
independent Urban/Gospel music artists, fans and consumers.
Founded in 1999, the North American based media company currently
draws an audience of over 250,000 visitors.
Launches and Redesigns
· Electronic Gaming Monthly
, the flagship publication of the Ziff Davis Media Game Group, has teamed up with MTV to bring viewers
the Ultimate Video Game Countdown. The television show which
will celebrate the best games from the past three years of the
new millennium will air on MTV: Music Television on January 2,
2004 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. The show will repeat six times within
a two-week time period. The winners will also appear in the
February 2004 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly
VerticalScope Inc. has
launched MarketingFind.com, a dynamic new Web portal
tools and ideas for SMEs to improve their online presence.
MarketingFind, a marketing resource, provides
marketing guides and vendor
directories to help SMEs establish their online strategy to
increase traffic or fine-tune existing targeted efforts
to draw new customers. MarketingFind provides informative and
articles on marketing topics including: affiliate
programs, email marketing, pay per click initiatives, search
engine optimization, online promotional tools and technologies,
Web design, and Internet strategy development.
Search engine Google has unvelied a new online social networking service called Orkut. The new service allows users to connect with friends and friends
of their friends, as does online soon-to-be-rival service
Friendster. Orkut is named for Google engineer Orkut Buyukkokten,
who worked on the project during the 20 percent of his work time
that Google lets their employees use to pursue their own projects.
Orkut is a Stanford graduate who in his pre-Google years created
social networking sites InCircle and Clubnexus.
Orkut only accepts people who are invited by someone already
on the Orkut network. After you have been accepted you are able
to see profiles of the person who invited you and their friends.
Orkut gives you the option to limit who can view which parts of
your personal information, such as email addresses or IM names.
Film and Television
A host of celebrities including Ann Archer, Roseanna Arquette
and Holland Taylor have signed on to guest star on the new
upcoming Showtime original series The L Word
, about a group of
young women living in Los Angeles. The series follows their
lives, careers, and romantic relationships -- both gay and
straight. Co-produced by Showtime and MGM, The L Word stars
Jennifer Beals, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman,
Mia Kirshner, Karina Lombard, Eric Mabius, Katherine Moennig,
and Pam Grier.
Joining the ensemble cast for guest appearances are: Anne
Archer, Rosanna Arquette, Lolita Davidovich, Ossie Davis,
Devon Gummersall, Kelly Lynch, Tammy Lynn Michaels,
Julian Sands, rap star/actor Snoop Dogg and Holland Taylor.
Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner) is a writer of fiction who has
just graduated from college and arrives in Los Angeles to begin
her "adult life" with her boyfriend Tim Haspel (Eric Mabius).
They reside in West Hollywood, next door to Bette Porter
(Jennifer Beals) and her partner Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman),
who are trying to find the perfect sperm donor to help them
start a family. Bette's and Tina's close network of friends
includes Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig), who is the
resident heartthrob; Dana Fairbanks (Erin Daniels), a professional
tennis player not yet out of the closet; bisexual journalist
Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey), and Bette's half-sister Kit
Porter (Pam Grier), who is a musician and a recovering
alcoholic. In the two-hour pilot, Jenny's plans for her
future are shaken when Marina (Karina Lombard), a beautiful
and compelling woman who owns a West Hollywood caf�, makes
a pass at her at a party hosted by Bette and Tina.
The L Word
is executive produced by Ilene Chaiken, through
her production company Posse Productions, Inc., Steve Golin
and Larry Kennar. The pilot is produced by Kathy Greenberg,
Michele Abbott and Bob Roe. The pilot teleplay was written
by Ilene Chaiken, with the story by Ilene Chaiken and Kathy
Greenberg & Michele Abbott. The pilot was directed by Rose
Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Family Room Entertainment
Corporation, recently announced in conjunction with
Avi Lerner's Millennium Films that they have teamed up to produce
and finance Edison
from writer/director David Burke.
Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman and LL Cool J are set to star.
The producers for Edison
are Randall Emmett, George
Furla and Avi Lerner. Production
is scheduled to commence in Vancouver on February 27th, 2004.
is being financed by Avi Lerner's Millennium
Films, who will also handle the worldwide distribution.
is the story of an elite unit of cops caught in
of corruption by a young journalist who quickly finds himself in
over his head. To find the truth and to save the lives of those
around him, he must make an uneasy alliance with a burnt-out
reporter (Freeman) and the DA's ace investigator (Spacey).
David Burke, a prolific writer/producer/director for television,
will be making his feature film debut. Burke began his career as
a writer on Michael Mann's Crime Story
for CBS. He received an
Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for his work on CBS' Wiseguy
for which he was Executive Producer as well as a writer and
director. Most recently, Burke executive produced NBC's Law &
MGM Pictures and Dimension Films have signed a co-production deal
to produce and release the films The Amityville Horror
, it was announced by MGM Vice-Chairman and COO
Chris McGurk and Dimension Films Chairman Bob Weinstein. Under
the deal, MGM will take the lead on the production and domestic
release of The Amityville Horror
(as well as select international
territories) while Dimension will handle the bulk of international
distribution. For True Believers
, the roles will be reversed:
Dimension will take production and domestic distribution leads
while MGM will release the film abroad.
A modern retelling of the classic ghost story, The Amityville
is being produced by Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Ted Field,
and Andrew Fuller, the same team that struck gold with the recent
update of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
. True Believers
produced by Arnold Rifkin, David Wally, and Richard Gladstein,
with Ringu director Hideo Nakata set to direct from a script by
Loudeye Corp., a leader in managing, promoting and
distributing digital media, has announced a multi-year music
samples agreement with Amazon.com. Loudeye operates the world's largest archive of digital music
with more than 4 million tracks from over 400,000 CDs. By using
music samples from Loudeye, Amazon.com retains access to the
most comprehensive music samples catalog available with the vast
majority of new release material available on or prior to their
official release dates.
Liquid Digital Media, a provider of custom digital media
services, has announced the test release of a Music Downloads
service at walmart.com. There are plans for an official
launch in 2004. Wal-Mart's Music Downloads service is the first
service developed under the Liquid Digital Media name.
Liquid Digital Media is a provider of custom digital
music solutions, encompassing design, technology, and commerce.
Current distribution partners include Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and
Clear Channel. Created in January 2003, Liquid Digital Media is
a division of Anderson Media, a large music distributor, and was
formed from the assets of Liquid Audio. Liquid Digital
Media is staffed with experts
in the digital music industry, including former employees of
Liquid Audio, Rioport, and Listen.com.
The Ziff Davis
Media Game Group announced that beginning
with the March 2004 issue, Xbox Nation
gaming magazine exclusively serving the Microsoft Xbox gamer
community, is increasing its publishing frequency from bi-monthly
to monthly. Launched back in December 2001 as a quarterly
has increased in frequency every year, moving to
bi-monthly in November 2002 and now to monthly. XBN
information on Xbox games and accessories, game reviews and
previews, along with targeted tips and strategies, and
news and features covering Xbox culture.