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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.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, December 19, 2000

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 Medusa Etches Deal In Stone To Buy Lanterna Magica

Rome production and distribution company Medusa Films has acquired financially strapped Italian toon house Lanterna Magica. The 20-year-old animation factory will remain under the watchful eye of executive producer Maria Fares and stay in its home in northern Turin. As part of the deal, Lanterna will produce an animated feature each year and an animated TV series for Medusa sister firm Mediaset every two years. Medusa CEO Federico di Chio will serve as president with Lanterna's Guido Manuli and Maurizio Forrestieri remaining in their roles as artistic and creative directors respectively.

Headline News Stan Lee Media Stops Operations

On Friday, December 15, 2000, Stan Lee Media (SLM) stopped operations and laid off "substantially all of its [140 person] staff." The company will keep an executive core to look into possible new directions for the company including selling off the firm's assets. The move comes as a result of the Netcaster's plummeting stock and inability to raise a new round of financing. Early in December, SLM announced it had obtained US$2.2 million as a bridge loan until it could finalize a $40 million financing round.

Headline News AntEye Closes Its Eyes

AntEye has closed its eyes and its doors. The Los Angeles Netcaster shut down on Friday, December 15, 2000 and laid off its 20 employees. The company decided to finally close up shop after finding a buyer was unsuccessful. Matti Leshem, company CEO, told the DAILY VARIETY, "The party is over. We're shutting for the same reason that everyone else has; the market can't support this kind of company.

Headline News iFilm Lays Off 10% Of Its Staff

iFilm has laid off 15 employees, or 10% of its staff. The move was made to release some pressure on the Netcaster's capital. The cuts were across many divisions and come on the heels of the firm's launching of three new projects the iFilm portal, the relaunch of iFilmpro and an online testing business. In the past year, iFilm has purchased film industry business-to-business services such as Film Finders, the Hollywood Creative Directory, Lone Eagle Publishing and TV Tracker. However, rumors have flourished that the company is backing away from a b2b model and refocusing on content.

Headline News TV Loonland Acquires Korean Distrib Firm Saerom

Berlin children's producer TV Loonland has bought a 65% stake in Seoul distribution firm Saerom Entertainment. Saerom is the third-largest video and DVD distributor in Korea and controls a leading Internet film portal, which it has been leveraging as a new means of distribution. TV Loonland will pay US$9.5 million for its share of the company, which foresees sales of $14 million and profits of $2 million for the year 2000. The move is yet another step in TV Loonland's global expansion, giving the company a strong distribution and Internet foothold in Asia.

Headline News FTC Says You've Got A Time Warner/AOL Merger!

On Thursday, December 14, 2000, the Federal Trade Commission approved America Online's US$111 billion acquisition of Time Warner. As part of the approval, AOL must open its high-speed Internet access to competitors. At least three Internet service providers (ISPs) must be offered when AOL/Time Warner enters a new market. "Our concern was, and has always been, about access," said FTC chairman Robert Pitofsky.

Headline News Shockwave.com and AtomFilms To Merge

Shockwave.com and AtomFilms announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, shockwave.com will acquire AtomFilms in a stock-for-stock deal giving Shockwave shareholders 70% of the combined company. In addition, Macromedia, parent of shockwave.com, will now own less than 50% of the new firm. The combined company will announce its new name at the closing of the deal.

Headline News EM.TV Investigated For Insider Trading

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

The Munich state prosecutor, Manfred Wick, has begun a probe into allegations that EM.TV, the German family production and merchandising company, has participated in insider trading and other stock market violations. The investigation will focus on EM.TV CEO Thomas Haffa and his brother, Florian, who recently resigned from company's board. This move comes on the heels of investors filing suit last week against the company after EM.TV cut its year-end profit forecast by 90%.

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