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Headline News EA Starts Up Development Studio in Chicago

Electronic Arts put on line today (Oct. 25, 2006) a new studio in downtown Chicago to focus on next generation videogames. Housed at 215 West Ohio Street is the development team is best known for the hit EA SPORT Fight Night franchise. The group is working on three state-of-the-art games for the PlayStation3 and Xbox 360, including the hip-hop lifestyle game, DEF JAM: ICON, as well as a licensed title and a new intellectual property in the fighting videogame genre.

Headline News Chinese Primetime Foreign Toon Ban Spurs Local Production

Since a September ruling by the Chinese government that prohibited foreign-produced cartoons from airing every evening from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, local production has began to grow and more students are joining animation schools to take advantage of the wave of new jobs in the industry, reports ChannelNewsAsia.com.

As a result, Beijing Glorious Animation has started adapting one of China's favorite cartoon series, SANMAO, into an animated series. The comic chronicles the adventures of a young boy growing up in Shanghai during the 1930s.

Headline News Atari Sells Shiny Ent. to Foundation 9 Ent.

Atari, Inc. has completed the sale of Shiny Ent. to Foundation 9 Ent. The sale completes the operational streamlining and portfolio refocus by Atari announced in early 2006.

David Pierce, president/ceo of Atari said, "We now have a centralized organization that can utilize external studio execution while maintaining internal focus on creative development and production."

Atari will retain its current project planning formerly developed by Shiny, including EARTHWORM JIM. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Headline News Missouri Library Pulls Graphic Novel “Porn” from Shelves

In Marshall, Missouri, the Marshall Public Library has removed two graphic novels FUN HOME by Alison Bechdel and BLANKETS by Craig Thompson from circulation, reports the DEMOCRAT-NEWS. The graphic novels will remain off the shelves until the library board drafts a new policy regarding graphic novels after looking into what other libraries throughout the state have done in this arena, said board president Anita Wright.

Headline News Paul Allen Triggers DreamWorks Animation Secondary Offering

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has exercised a right to force DreamWorks Animation to sell about 14 million shares to the public in a secondary offering following the Nov. 3 release of FLUSHED AWAY, reports BLOOMBERG NEWS.

The complicated move would not only dissolve Allens partnership with Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, but also allow the Microsoft co-founder to benefit from the stock sale in the long run if the shares sell at a low price now.

Headline News Novocom Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Novocom, a creative services agency specializing in the design and production of motion graphics for the global broadcasting industry, has completed a corporate restructuring, and will celebrate its 25th anniversary in conjunction with MIPCOM 2006.

Headline News Google To Acquire YouTube for $1.65B in Stock

Google Inc. announced that it has agreed to acquire YouTube, the consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos, for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. Following the acquisition, YouTube will operate independently to preserve its successful brand.

Headline News Yoram Gross-EM.TV Takes Off as Flying Bark Prods.

Yoram Gross-EM.TV, a leading producer of children's animated programming and family entertainment, revealed their new corporate identity Flying Bark Prods.

Following the acquisition of the remaining 50% of Yoram Gross-EM.TV by EM.Ent. GmbH at the beginning of the year, the company is now being re-branded and re-structured with the new Flying Bark identity. The primary divisions of Flying Bark Prods. include Greenpatch Prods., Forest Interactive and Trackdown.

Headline News Sony & Minimax Announce Acquisition Of Anime Channel, A+

Sony Pictures Television Intl (SPTI) and Minimax, one of the leading childrens TV channels in Central Europe, announced SPTIs acquisition of A+, a dedicated channel for anime programming that airs on Minimax in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The channel will be part of SPTIs international networks group, which includes more than 45 channels around the world.

Headline News Google Eyeing YouTube

According to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Google is in negotiations to buy YouTube. Both companies have yet to comment on the reports. The article states that Google is floating $1.6 billion as a possible pricetag for the viral video site. YouTube founder/ceo Chad Hurley previously said he was not adverse to either an IPO or a sale of his quickly growing media phenomenon. However, media experts have also sighted YouTubes legal woes with companies over copyright violations as a stumbling block for any acquisition.

Headline News Electronic Arts Acquires Digital Illusions

Electronic Arts has acquired Digital Illusions CE (DICE), the development team and creators of the BATTLEFIELD game franchise. Stockholm, Sweden-based DICE becomes a fully integrated EA studio dedicated to growing the Battlefield franchise and developing new products for the PC, next generation consoles and other new platforms.

Headline News China Fines Pirates

The Hong Kong film industry has issued a second warning letter to 20 Bit-Torrent file-sharing software users demanding HK$23,400 ($3,000) for downloading illegal copies of locally produced films, VARIETY reports.

The users were uncovered after the courts ruled ISPs had to turn over names, Hong Kong identity card numbers and postal and billing addresses of the accused copyright infringers.

Headline News Saban Returns to Kids Roots

Haim Saban has launched a new venture to develop family programs, according to REUTERS.

Saban's L.A.-based private equity firm Saban Capital Group Inc. will form a virtual studio, employing freelance producers, writers and artists. The new company will fund global programming that can be exploited across different delivery systems, including video games, mobile devices and broadcast TV.

"I am thrilled to return to my roots and focus on developing media properties for children and families," Saban said in a statement.

Headline News Disney Feature Animation Starts Online Demo Reel & Portfolio Submission Portal

Disney Animation (DA) breaks new ground connecting talent to animation opportunities with its first-ever online artistic submission portal. Artists may submit their demo reels and/or portfolios www.DisneyMouseLink.com, the company says is a secure web-based upload system that is convenient and progressive.

DisneyMouseLink.com was developed in-house and allows interested applicants to submit their résumés, demo reels, and/or portfolios. This portal is an industry first that will allow greater connectivity to the artistic community.

Headline News Vivendi Games Acquires Secret Lair Studios and Studio Ch'in

Vivendi Games announced today (Sept. 28, 2006) it has purchased two development studios, Secret Lair Studios, located in Issaquah, Washington, and Studio Ch'in in Shanghai, China. The Studio Ch'in purchase is subject to the approval the People's Republic of China under Chinese Law, and Vivendi Games is in the process of obtaining such required approval. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headline News News Corp. & VeriSign Combining Jamba & Fox Mobile

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 12:00am

News Corp. and VeriSign announced a joint venture to form the worlds largest provider of mobile entertainment. News Corp. will pay approximately $188 million for a controlling interest in VeriSigns wholly-owned Jamba subsidiary and will combine it with Fox Mobile Ent. assets.

The new company will serve 30 territories with a potential reach of more than a billion mobile subscribers. The new firm intends to retain the Jamster brand in the U.S. and the Jamba brand worldwide.

Headline News New Line Cinema & Samuel L. Jackson Sign Production Deal

New Line Cinema has signed a two-year, first-look production deal with Samuel L. Jackson.

Jackson most recently starred in NEW LINES SNAKES ON A PLANE, which debuted at #1 in its Aug. 18 opening weekend. He has appeared in more than 100 films, which have collectively grossed approximately $6 billion at the box office more than any other actor in the history of filmmaking. Jackson has starred in such recent hits as COACH CARTER and George Lucas trio of STAR WARS prequels.

Headline News Filipino Animation Industry Provides Jobs For The People

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 12:00am

In accordance with the Philippines growing Cyber Services Corridor, Filipino president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, during a roundtable discussion, applauded the Filipino animators for their talents and creativity, which, she said has made the animation industry in the country boom.

Arroyo cited THE INCREDIBLES as her favorite film, because it was partly made in the Philippines and one of its main characters Violet was designed by Filipina 3D animator Virginia "Gini" Cruz.

Headline News Corus Reorganizes TV & Content Divisions

By Rick DeMott | Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 12:00am

Corus Ent. Inc. announced a new organizational structure for its television and content divisions. Corus Ent.s will focus on its kids portfolio highlighted by the integration of Nelvana Studios into the television division and the creation of Nelvana Enterprises, a separate business unit that will focus on leveraging Corus intellectual property internationally.

Headline News HIT Ent. Expands Into Hong Kong

HIT Ent. is expanding with a new office servicing the Asia Pacific region in Hong Kong. HITs Asia Pacific licensing, TV sales and distribution will be handled out of Hong Kong, enabling the company to work more closely with its broadcasting partners, licensees and licensing agents.

The Hong Kong office will service Australia, Korea, South East Asia and India. HIT already operates an office in Japan.

Headline News Warner Bros. Television Group Creates Studio 2.0

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 12:00am

The Warner Bros. Television Group is establishing a new digital production venture, dubbed Studio 2.0, which will work with creative talent and advertisers to create original live-action and animated short-form programming for broadband and wireless devices. WBTVG has tapped multi-award-winning producer and senior advertising exec Rich Rosenthal to head Studio 2.0.

Headline News AMD Proceeding with Acquisition of ATI

Antitrust conditions and preliminary approvals of AMDs proposed acquisition of ATI have been cleared, and the transaction is expected to be completed during ATIs first quarter of fiscal 2007, which ends Nov. 30, 2006. The proposed acquisition remains subject to the approval of ATI shareholders, court approval of the plan of arrangement and certain other regulatory approvals.

Headline News DAGNABIT! Relocates

DAGNABIT! animation studio is relocating in September to Two Midtown Plaza in the heart of Atlanta (sharing space with The LvngRm and TOYBOX). It will celebrate its five year anniversary at its new location this coming November.

This change of venue will better position DAGNABIT! to interact with Atlanta's bustling ad agency and post-production communities, and puts them within striking distance of The High Museum of Art. Directors John Ryan and Robert Pope will return to the city as well.

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