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Starring Headline News

Echo Bridge Acquires Alliance Atlantis Int'l

Echo Bridge Entertainment has today signed an agreement to acquire, through a share purchase, Alliance Atlantis International Distribution from Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

As a result of this transaction, Echo Bridge Entertainment would distribute rights to first run and catalog programming from Alliance Atlantis International Distribution worldwide, excluding Canada.

Production Headline News

MPC Coming To Los Angeles

The Moving Picture Company, announced plans to open a Santa Monica-based visual effects facility in late 2008.

MPC LA will initially focus on the U.S. commercials visual effects (VFX) market, and it will also provide a front-end presence to MPC's Los Angeles-based studios features VFX business.

Headline News

Google Shedding 300 DoubleClick Employees

THE NEW YORK TIMES is reporting that Google will cut about 300 jobs from the American operations of DoubleClick, the ad tech company it acquired last month for $3.1 billion.

DoubleClick has about 1,500 employees worldwide, and an American force of around 1,200. Google's CEO Eric E. Schmidt has suggested there might be job cuts overseas at a later date.

Games Headline News

Video Game Vets Start TimeFly Studios

Three longtime video game industry veterans have started TimeFly Studios, an independent video game development company.

Brad Ruminer, Dennis Booth, and Glenn O'Bannon, former employees of Rainbow Studios, will be developing games based on licensed property as well as original game concepts from action/adventure to rhythm games to puzzle games.

Business Headline News

TV-Loonland Releases 2007 Report

The management of TV-Loonland has released its annual accounts for the year 2007. Due to the restructuring agreement closed with the company´s bankers, the overall situation of the business has been stabilized.

In particular, the loss for the year has been significantly reduced and a positive net operating cash flow generated.

Animation Headline News

Maxon Spring Special - Save Up To 24 Percent

Spring is in the air. Temperatures are warming, flowers are blooming and Maxon is unleashing an unbeatable special for anyone who is ready to enhance their productivity and awaken their creativity by adding CINEMA 4D to their digital design pipeline.

Widely recognized as easiest-to-use, professional 3D application for film, broadcast and visualization worldwide, new users can now get their hands on this multi-award-winning animation package with up to 24 percent savings.

Studio Headline News

Staffing News From Radium

Digital studio Radium, San Francisco/Santa Monica/Dallas, announces the addition of Executive Producer Stacy McClain to head up their San Francisco studio and Meghan Lang as Head of Sales, based out of Radium's Santa Monica office.

Also joining the creative team is designer Angela Ko, working out of the Santa Monica studio.

Headline News

Superman Not Steely Enough To Avoid Legal Problems

Warner Bros. lost a potentially costly SUPERMAN battle against attorney Marc Toberoff for co-creator Jerome Siegel's heirs, VARIETY reports.

The federal ruling gives the heirs a stake in the rights, which were sold more than 70 years ago, and could put a wrinkle in Warners' plans to make more movies. Compounding the problem, co-creator Joe Shuster's heirs are eligible to also sue in five years.

Headline News

EA/Take-Two Battle Continues

Electronic Arts is not giving up their battle for GRAND THEFT AUTO publisher Take-Two, per VARIETY.

They're keeping the heat on Take-Two's shareholders despite the board's recommendation that a hostile $2 billion acquisition offer be rejected.

EA pushed back the expiration date to April 18, to counter Take-Two's decision to move their annual meeting back to April 17, a week after the bid was set to run out.

The offer now can be discussed at the meeting and gives shareholders one last opportunity to sell.

Channel Headline News

The Brits and French Get Edgy With Nice One Studio

The UK's edgiest indie, Channel X, and the enfant terrible of French production companies Moi j'aime la television (I love television) are to launch a new joint venture - Nice One Studio - at MIP TV 2008.

Created by Channel X's Alan Marke and Jim Reid and Moi j'aime la television's Phil Ox, Nice One's aim is to produce long running scripted series -- both live action and animation -- for the 15 to 34 year old audience.

Global Headline News

Former Disney, Baby Einstein Execs Introduce Children To Global Wonders

Bringing children "a wonderful world of cultural discoveries," the award-winning former executive producer of Disney's BABY EINSTEIN and former vice president of Disney Interactive Studio's -- Learning is launching Global Wonders.

Global Wonders is a new children's multicultural education and entertainment brand to introduce children to the customs, music, languages and lifestyles of friends next door and around the world.

Series Headline News

Hugh Jackman To Create Original Comic Series

Hugh Jackman, already portraying a comic book character in 20th Century Fox's upcoming X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, is now teaming with scribe Marc Guggenheim and Virgin Comics to create the original comic series NOWHERE MAN.

Story details are being kept under wraps but Virgin officials describe the story as a sci-fi odyssey set in a groundbreaking vision of the future in which mankind has traded privacy for safety.

"I've had so much fun in the graphic novel world with the X-MEN franchise that I wanted to get even more involved," said Jackman about the project.

Music Headline News

DIC Launches Production Music Site

DIC Music, a subsidiary of global brand management company DIC Ent., is launching a new online production music business,

The new venture will serve as a one-stop, royalty free music source for film and television professionals, independent film producers, instructors and students to purchase quality, affordable production music for all premium media productions, including station themes, news and commercial music, animation, live action, home video, Webisodes, demo reels, video games, student projects and temp tracks.

Company Headline News

Studio Expansion and Upgrade For Liquid 9

Post-production boutique Liquid 9 has completed a complete redesign and upgrade of its studio in conjunction with a restructuring and a new owner: Chris O'Connor.

The upgrade includes additional space, giving the facility 3,000 sq. ft. of new and improved creative quarters with a fresh new look. Renovations included redoing all the video editing, sound design and motion graphics suites, which include Avid Adrenaline HD, Final Cut Pro HD, After Effects, Smoke and Pro Tools HD stations.

Productions Headline News

Phoenix Productions Acquired By International Duplication

International Duplication Centre , a New York City-based digital post-production and new media facility, has acquired Phoenix Productions.

A new fully integrated production, creative motion branding and post-production division, Air Station, will be headed by Chris Phoenix.

Phoenix Productions has specialized in consulting for magazine publishing companies expanding their brands to the web through video and rich media programming and advertising.

Dark Headline News

Universal And Dark Horse Sign Deal

Universal Pictures and indie comic book company Dark Horse Entertainment have signed a worldwide production and distribution agreement, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Universal is now the studio home of Dark Horse, which is one of the largest comic book companies outside of Marvel and DC.

It has access to all Dark Horse characters, properties and any material Dark Horse acquires on its own.

In return, Dark Horse projects have financial backing and a distribution entity.

Headline News

DoubleClick - Google Deal Finalized

After nearly a year of regulatory wrangling, Google acquired DoubleClick on Tuesday for $3.1 billion, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports.

Google took control of DoubleClick only a few hours after Europe's antritrust regulators cleared the path for approval, 11 months after it was initially announced.

US regulators cleared the deal in December, despite objections from Microsoft and others that the transaction would give Google too much control over online advertising and consumer behavior.

Effects Headline News

Red Magnet Attaches Itself To Venice

Red Magnet, a visual effects boutique catering to the advertising industry, has launched in Venice, California.

Headed by Shira Boardman, former executive producer at Sway Studio, the new company will offer 2D and 3D design and effects, previsualization, project management and supervision, compositing and animation.

Red Magnet has already completed its first project and has two more underway.

Headline News

New Line Merges Into Warners, Co-CEOs Out

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is reporting that New Line Cinema co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne will leave the studio as it consolidates into Warner Bros. Entertainment, Time Warner announced Thursday.

New Line will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution and business affairs operations.

However, it will now operate as a unit of Warners, coordinating operations to "maximize film performance and operating efficiencies," Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said.

Headline News

Autodesk Reports 20 Percent Growth

Autodesk, Inc. reported Tuesday record revenue of $599 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, an increase of 20 percent over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

Fourth quarter net income was $96 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, on a GAAP basis and $124 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, on a non- GAAP basis.

Net income in the fourth quarter of the prior year was $96 million, or $0.40 per diluted share on a GAAP basis, and $113 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, on a non-GAAP basis.

Media Headline News

WGA Strike Officially Over

The members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) put their final stamp of approval Wednesday on the deal that ended their 14-week strike, giving writers new rights and protections for work distributed on and created for the Internet and other new media platforms.

An overwhelming majority of the WGA membership voted in favor of ratifying the three-year contract by 93.6 percent of 4,060 votes cast in Los Angeles and New York. The term of the agreement is from February 13, 2008 through May 1, 2011.

Business Headline News

TV Loonland's Munich Office Staff Reduced

German TV Loonland will lay off nine of their 15 employees at its Munich headquarters later this summer.

The news prompted the company's stocks to jump 12 percent to 0.28 euros ($0.42), according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER on Feb. 27.

In a statement from Loonland on March 7, they said they had "undertaken this restructuring step now so that its future shape across its offices better reflects its ongoing business."

Headline News

Viz Teams With Madman To Bring Manga To Australia And New Zealand

VIZ Media, one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced its continued global expansion with a new distribution agreement with Madman Entertainment to offer a wide variety of Shueisha manga (graphic novel) series to the burgeoning market in Australia and New Zealand.

Shueisha Inc., is one of Japan's largest publishers and is a parent company of VIZ Media.

Business Headline News

Variety To Be Sold

VARIETY parent company Reed Elsevier announced Thursday they will sell Reed Business Information, which includes VARIETY and DAILY VARIETY.

Reed Business Information is the magazine publishing division, and also owns BROADCASTING AND CABLE, MULTICHANNEL NEWS, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and NEW SCIENTIST.

VARIETY reports chief executive Crispin Davis said the move was aimed at "reducing exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality," enabling the Anglo-Dutch group to focus on its core business of "subscription-based information and workflow solutions."