Category: Business

Headline News Cartoon Network Seeks Sound A-likes For Powerpuff Feature

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 24, 2001 at 12:00am

The actresses behind the Powerpuff Girls are in a real battle of their own and it's not with Mojo Jo Jo but Cartoon Network. The AOL Time Warner-owned animation network has put out a call for sound a-likes to imitate the Powerpuff Girls for the upcoming feature film. Apparently, Tara Strong (Bubbles), Catherine Cavadini (Blossom) and E.G. Daily (Buttercup) are in heated discussions over the financial terms they were offered.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, January 23, 2001

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Z.Com Seeks Savior

Z.com is in need of an Internet savior. In October, Z.com laid off 50 employees, which was most of its staff. The Web entertainment site is looking around town for a possible merger partner. The company's major backers include Internet incubator Idealab, Basic Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Maverick Records partner Guy Oseary. Z.com CEO Joe DiNunzio told THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER that, "We're exploring strategic alternatives that include mergers or bringing in new equity partners."

Headline News EM.TV Shareholders Demand $16.8M

Angry EM.TV shareholders are stating that the company should pay them DM35 million (US$16.8 million) in damages for financial mismanagement and deliberately misleading the investors. Shareholders, represented by lawyers Tilp & Kaelberer and Klaus Rotter, said they would sue EM.TV if the firm doesn't comply with their out-of-court settlement. The German children's production house has refused to discuss a settlement until an investigation by the Munich state prosecutor's office into the company's actions is completed.

Headline News Entertaindom To Fold February 1st

Entertaindom.com has become the first casualty of the AOL Time Warner merger. As part of overall company trimming, Entertaindom will fold up operations on February 1st. The content from the site will most likely be combined with series on the Warner Bros. Online site. How many employees will lose their jobs is yet to be known. However, insiders say that over the next few weeks there will be major cuts throughout Time Warner. Already 400 staffers have been cut from news division CNN. The completion of the merger has long loomed over Entertaindom.

Headline News EM.TV's Haffa Brothers Admit To Selling Off Stock

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 17, 2001 at 12:00am

EM.TV's CEO Thomas Haffa and deputy chairman Florian Haffa have admitted that they sold shares in the company without consulting the firm's financial advisory, WestLB. The sale may be a violation of German stock exchange rules. Thomas sold DM40 million (US$19.2 million) worth of EM.TV shares while Florian's amount was not released. Up until Tuesday, Thomas had insisted that he informed WestLB of the sales, but now says he only informed the bank of his intention of the sales and did not place the move in writing.

Headline News BKN International Buys Its Former Parent Company

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 17, 2001 at 12:00am

Germany-based children's TV and licensing firm, BKN International, has acquired the operational assets of its former parent Los Angeles-based BKN Inc. BKNI will pay US$25.5 million over the next two years to gain the rights to BKN's fifth largest animation portfolio in the U.S. In addition, BKNI will pay $2.6 million in cash for BKN Inc.'s L.A. studio and its trademark. Therefore, BKN Inc. will only exist as a holding company with a 34% share in BKN International. In a separate deal, Sony Pictures Family Entertainment has purchased 3.8% of BKNI from BKN Inc.

Headline News Macromedia To Acquire Allaire

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 17, 2001 at 12:00am

Macromedia Inc., creator of Flash software and parent to Shockwave.com, has announced that it will acquire Web content management company Allaire Corp. in a US$360 million cash and stock deal. Macromedia will exchange 0.2 shares of its stock plus $3 in cash for each share in Allaire. Macromedia CEO Rob Burgess will continue as CEO of the new combined firm, with Allaire's CTO Jeremy Allaire talking over the same role at Macromedia. The combined company will retain the Macromedia name.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, January 16, 2001

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Mondo Media Lands $17M More In Financing

Mondo Media has announced that it has obtained over US$17 million in its third round of equity financing. The round was led by SBVC with supporting investment for global expansion from Venturepark and others. Returning investors included Foundation Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and Red Rock Ventures. As part of the round, Carl Rosendahl, principal managing director for SBVC, has joined Mondo Media's board of directors. The money will be used to continue Mondo Media's current productions, develop new ones and expand the company's presence in Europe.

Headline News Film Roman Dropped From Nasdaq

The Nasdaq Stock Exchange has officially delisted Film Roman Inc. shares from their Small Cap Market. The move is not unexpected due to Film Roman's failure to meet the Exchange's minimum bid requirements. The final share price on the Nasdaq for the company's shares was 56 cents. After being delisted, Film Roman's common stock was immediately eligible for trading on the OTC Bulletin Board under the new symbol ROMN.OB. The OTC Bulletin Board is a regulated quotation service that displays real-time quotes, last-sale prices and volume information in over-the-counter (OTC) equity securities.

Headline News FCC Approves AOL/Time Warner Merger

The Federal Communications Commission gave the final approval to the US$106 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner. The deal will give AOL access to Time Warner's high-speed cable lines allowing the merged company to leverage content to AOL subscribers. The two conditions put on the merger opened Time Warner's cable lines to other Internet Service Providers and stipulated that any upgrades in AOL's instant messenger service would allow communication with other instant messenger services. Currently, AOL instant messenger users can only communicate to other AOL subscribers.

Headline News New Visual Design Firm Opens In Jersey

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 10, 2001 at 12:00am

Toms River, New Jersey-based Theme Studios has opened a new visual design studio. The company will focus on the production of graphics, illustrations and 2D3D visuals. Theme currently creates projects for distribution on the Web or in digital formats. For more information contact Robert Breisch at: 882 Salem Dr., Toms River, New Jersey 08753; Tel.: (732) 270-1220; E-mail: design@themestudios.com; or Web: www.themestudios.com.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, January 9, 2001

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Das Werk Acquires Centropolis Effects

German post-production house Das Werk has acquired Centropolis Effects, the f/x arm of Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's Centropolis Entertainment. The deal was for stock. Centropolis Effects will still be based in Los Angeles and Centropolis Entertainment will use the F/X firm for their visual effects needs. The purchase will allow Centropolis Effects to expand into commercials and music videos. President Mark Franco, head of production Aaron Dem and CFO Amir Nasrabadi will continue on in their current posts. Emmerich and Devlin will stay on Centropolis Effects' board of directors.

Headline News Kirch Might Not Bail Out EM.TV

On Friday, rumors surrounding a breakdown in talks between EM.TV & Merchandising AG and possible buyer KirchGroup drove EM.TV's stock to an all-time low. EM.TV's stock closed Friday at 5 euros (US$4.97). Apparently, the talks have broken down over price and a conflict between Nickolaus Becker, chairman of EM.TV's supervisory board, and Dieter Hahn, deputy chief executive at Kirch. As part of the proposed deal, Kirch would purchase a 16.74% stake in the troubled EM.TV. A Kirch spokesman said, "We are still checking EM.TV's books, doing the due diligence, seeing if everything is in order.

Headline News Aardman Catches Spies In Their Midst

Upon the success of CHICKEN RUN, Aardman Animations has reported spies lurking in the halls of the cartoon factory. Reported on in the LONDON INDEPENDENT, people, rumored to be American, have snuck into the company's complex to hunt out tidbits about upcoming Aardman productions. Richard Goleszowskoi, producer and director of Aardman's next feature THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE, said, "It's crazy.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, January 2, 2001

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Pentamedia Acquires Media Dreams

Continuing its rapid growth, Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics has acquired three additional India-based companies, including entertainment production house Media Dreams. Pentamedia purchased all three firms in a share swapping deal. Media Dreams produces television, theatre and Internet content and has recently expanded into post-production. The company boasts deals with Indian sci-fi writer Sujatha Rangaraja. In addition, Pentamedia has bought sports entertainment company, Krish Srikkanth Sports & Entertainment Pvt.

Headline News Stan Lee Media Probed Over Stock Trades

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an informal inquiry into stock trades at Stan Lee Media, which may have attributed to the company's stock plunging from $12 to $0.12. The SEC is looking into large trades made by executives and investment partners. In addition, the government agency is investigating possible misuse of company funds by former employees. The alleged misuse was uncovered during a recent internal investigation. Stan Lee Media has terminated executive VP operations Stephen Gordon and its consulting pact with Paraversal Inc.

Headline News Incanta and AtomFilms Announce Distribution Agreement

Incanta, a managed content solutions firm for broadband service providers (BSPs), has announced a new distribution deal with AtomFilms. Incanta's Cinema and Arts channel will feature AtomFilms' short films and original animation. Incanta's content services for BSPs include an award-winning personalized radio service as well as customized video offerings that range in subject from sports to film, from chat to music video. Incanta's other content partners include Quokka Sports, Vidnet, Planet Jam, AdventureTV and Academy Entertainment.

Headline News Saban Forces His Way Out Of Fox Family

Children's TV executive Haim Saban has exercised his option for News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting to buy his 49.5% in the Fox Family Worldwide Inc. cable network. As part of the original agreement, each side will enlist an investment bank to determine the fair market value of the company. If the two numbers come within 10% of each other, the final purchase price will be the average of the two numbers. If they differ by more than 10% than a third bank will be brought in to mediate the settlement. Each parties' bank must determine Fox Family Worldwide's value by January 31, 2001.

Headline News Z.com Sues Chris Rock Over Non-Delivery Of Content

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 21, 2000 at 12:00am

Late Tuesday, December 19, 2000, Z.com filed suit against Chris Rock for repayment of fees in excess of US$1 million for content not delivered. In Z.com's filing, they claim that Rock and his Chris Rock Enterprises entered into a preliminary programming agreement on April 6, 2000 with a finalization deadline of June 30. Z.com then paid Rock $1.075 million on April 10, 2000 as promised. However, Rock quickly counter-sued Z.com and incubator idealab! for intentional misrepresentation, negligence, breach of a written contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Headline News EM.TV Shares Rocket Upward

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 20, 2000 at 12:00am

EM.TV's stock price made a hefty jump upward on Monday, December 18, 2000 after announcing a creditors' banks' backing. Over the weekend the kids production and merchandising firm had positive meetings with 40 creditor banks to help fund a company overhaul as part of media house KirschGroup's purchase of a non-controlling share in EM.TV. The company's stock jumped up 18% to finish out Monday at 6.73 euros (US$6). Since February, EM.TV shares have lost 90% of their value after the company reported accounting errors in its acquisition of the Jim Henson Co.

Headline News Cinar Announces Canadian Tax Settlements

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 20, 2000 at 12:00am

Cinar Corp. announced that it has finally come to settlements with Canadian federal and provincial tax officials over the repayment of improperly obtained tax credits. Scandal hit the Montreal-based company in the fall of 1999 when fraud allegations were made in the House of Commons claiming that Cinar was placing false Canadian names on scripts written by U.S. writers to gain tax credits. Subsequently, the firm's co-founders Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg and CFO Hasanan Panju were fired.

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