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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%.

Headline News WireBreak Jumps Net For TV

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

WireBreak Entertainment has restructured its business model to fight going under. As a result, the company has laid off most of its staff except for a few key executives. Started in October 1988, the company quickly moved from being a Web destination site to an online producer and syndicator. Now the firm is moving away from Web content and focusing on interactive television, television and film. Current projects will be outsourced to other production houses.

Headline News Creative Planet Lays Off 72

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

Creative Planet Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, laid off 72 employees, or 20% of the work staff, on Wednesday, December 13, 2000. The move comes on the heels of the company securing US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC. "These reductions are unfortunate," said Creative Planet chairman and CEO Alan DeBevoise. "But we have acquired a number of companies, and as you're scaling and integrating and market conditions change, we have had to streamline the organization.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, December 12, 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 Turkish Network Shut Down After Airing Pokemon

The Turkish government has taken the next step in its fight against the cartoon POKEMON. Broadcasting officials ordered the privately owned ATV network to shut down for a day as punishment for airing an episode of POKEMON. The move came under a law that bars "broadcasting that could affect children's and teenagers' physical, emotional and ethical development negatively." This action comes on the heels of the Turkish government's call to ban the series after two children hurt themselves imitating POKEMON characters [AWN 11/29/00].

Headline News EM.TV Investors Take Company To Court

Munich officials are looking into several lawsuits that have been brought against kid media and merchandising company EM.TV. One case was filed by the German shareholders association DSW, which claims that EM.TV executives repeatedly held back information about their financial problems. EM.TV's financial concerns started when they first announced the cutting of revenues due to accounting errors in the acquisition of the Jim Henson Co. and Formula One racing.

Headline News DreamWorks & Lucasfilm Make Forbes' 500

DreamWorks and Lucasfilm have secured places on Forbes 500 Private Companies list for 2000. Each year Forbes magazine ranks the top privately held companies in the U.S. based on revenue and number of employees. DreamWorks placed #174 and Lucasfilm was #219. If the companies on the list do not provide revenue data to the magazine they arrive at estimates based on analysts, trade organizations and competitor recommendations. For the year 2000, Forbes estimated that DreamWorks made approximately US$118 million in profits and $1.2 billion in revenue.

Headline News Wild Brain Taps AniManagement To Rep

Wild Brain has picked AniManagement to represent the animation house in the U.S. The agency will work in Wild Brain's interest to find syndication deals for the company's film, television and Internet content. AniManagement's Aaron Berger and Rebecca Poole will handle Wild Brain's film and TV productions with James Strader handling the Internet content. Poole will also work with Wild Brain to increase their production slate.

Headline News Microsoft To Acquire Gaming Company Digital Anvil

Microsoft Corp. announced it has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire Digital

Anvil Inc., a Austin, Texas games developer. Under the terms of the

deal, Microsoft would gain the rights to Digital Anvil titles, such

as FREELANCER, the highly anticipated space-combat simulation game.

This deal gives Microsoft more leverage in game development for its

forthcoming Xbox console. Microsoft and Digital Anvil have worked

together on PC games since 1997. Microsoft has recently acquired such

Headline News Fox Loses Interest in Icebox's Zombie College

It appears that Iceboxs announcement of a deal with Fox to take on their Webtoon ZOMBIE COLLEGE was premature and ill-timed. As AWN reported on November 29, Icebox announced that it had signed a deal with Fox to have FUTURAMA writer-producer Eric Kaplan draft a pilot script for a live-action rendition of the Webtoon ZOMBIE COLLEGE. If the pilot had been picked up the Internet company would have been able to claim executive producing fees. However, Fox is now reported to be miffed at Icebox for several reasons.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, December 5, 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 Film Roman Fights To Remain Listed on Nasdaq

Animation house Film Roman has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to keep the company's stock traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. On November 28, 2000, Nasdaq notified Film Roman that it no longer met the minimum price to keep its listing on the Nasdaq Small Cap Exchange. Regulations say that if a stock price slips below US$1 per share for more than 30 days it risks being pulled from the market. Film Roman will defend its stance that its stock should continue to be traded at a hearing on December 19. At Monday's close, Film Roman stock was priced at $.56 per share.

Headline News Oxygen Breathes In $100M In New Funding

Oxygen Media, the year-old television/Internet media company dedicated to programming for women, has received a hefty investment of US$100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures. Allen's investment firm was an early fund supplier to the fledgling network. The channel has struggled since its inception to find major cable systems to carry its programming. Oxygen was founded by Gerry Laybourne, the former president of Nickelodeon, who helped build the children's network into one of the top rated cable channels in the U.S. and around the world.

Headline News EM.TV Releases Large Profit Warnings

EM.TV & Merchandising has announced a profit warning for its year-end report. The German children's production and merchandising firm will miss the mark by DM475 (US$214 million) the company said. EM.TV said earnings before interest and tax will be DM50 million ($22.5 million) instead of DM525 million-600 million ($236 million-$269 million) originally thought. The company also said that their 2000 revenue will be decreased 2.7% from last year's revenue of DM1.38 billion ($621 million).

Headline News Creative Planet Nails Funding & Knowledge

Creative Planet, Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, has announced that it has received US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC, a $6 billion media and market information company based in London. In addition, Creative Planet has acquired United News "The Knowledge," an industry-standard database of film and TV production professionals in the U.K and Ireland. As part of the deal, United News gains exclusive sales and marketing rights in the U.K.

Headline News EM.TV Stock Hits New Low, Buy-Out Rumors Abound

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 29, 2000 at 12:00am

On Tuesday, November 28, 2000, EM.TV & Merchandising AG shares hit a new two-year low of 17.58 euros (US$15), but by the end of the day rebounded a bit to finish out the day at 21.50 euros ($18.42). A company spokesman assured the public that EM.TV is "definitely not broke." Rumors abounded yesterday that German media giant KirchGroup is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the branded merchandising and children's TV company. EM.TV is scheduled to release its third quarter results on Friday.

Headline News Turkish Official Urges For Pokemon Ban

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 29, 2000 at 12:00am

Turkey's health minister, Osman Durmus, has urged TV stations to remove POKEMON from their line-up in light of two children suffering injuries copying the actions of the cartoon's characters. On Friday, November 24, 7-year-old Seda Aykanat suffered a broken leg when she leapt off the fifth-floor balcony of her apartment. Previously this year, a 4-year-old boy in Turkey also sustained injuries copying the super-powered stunts of POKEMON characters.

Headline News Icebox Halves Staff, Gets Sued & Sells Toon To Fox

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 29, 2000 at 12:00am

In a restructuring move, Icebox.com has cut its staff of 100 in half. The decision was made in an attempt to make the company profitable by the end of next year. Icebox will no longer produce its content in-house, but will use freelancers some being the laid off employees -- and Flash animation production firms. Company CEO Steve Stanford reassured the industry that Icebox has US$2 million on hand, but needed to convince investors that the company is close to profitability. Stanford said that a new round of about $10 million in financing should close next month.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, November 28, 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 Microsoft Appeal Filing Calls Judge Biased

On November 27, 2000, Microsoft filed legal papers with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to prevent the company's break up. In its first filing, the company attacked U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who originally ordered the split, as being biased.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, November 21, 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 Nick Urges UK Officials To Block BBC's Kid Networks

In a report commissioned by Nickelodeon U.K., BBC's plan to form two new children's networks could cause commercially funded networks up to £400 million (US$580 million) in funding over a five-year period by undermining the economics of the commercially funded stations. Therefore the other 14 children's networks in the U.K. would have to rely more on cheap imports and repeat programming to stay viable against the publicly funded BBC networks. The report was conducted by independent analysts at Arthur Andersen. Nick U.K.

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