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Category: Business

Company Headline News

Cinar investigated for tax fraud

Montreal, Canada-based LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL reported Friday, October 15that Cinar, producer of such shows as PBS' ARTHUR, THE BUSY WORLD OFRICHARD SCARRY, ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK and WIMZIE'S HOUSE, substitutedthe names of Canadians for work done by non-Canadians to become eligiblefor tax credits that were intended to help Canada's film industry. Althoughthe film company was not named in the newspaper story, the CanadianBroadcasting Company (CBC) reports that on Friday, in the Canadian House of

Animation Headline News

Europeans set up new animation group

Seven European animation companies have joined to form a company called theEuropean Animation Group, although its name is likely to change. The grouphopes to produce a minimum of one animated feature or series per year,beginning in 2001 with its first feature, the $15 million ELFQUEST, set togo into production in January 2000. The announcement was made at MIPCOMheld October 4 - 8 in Cannes, France. European Animation Group bringstogether seven companies. From France, the partners are

Design Headline News

MACROMEDIA announces several strategic moves including merger

Macromedia, the industry leader in web design and web graphics tooldevelopment, announced several moves and agreements which gear thecompany toward taking e-commerce to a new level, and making Macromedia acentral part of this growing sector's evolution. The company unveiled itseBusiness Infrastructure strategy, i.e. plans to provide 'solutions' forcontent creation, management, personalisation and management of Extranetand Internet sites.

The company also made several other significant announcements, most notably

Studio Headline News

Studio B moves to new facility

Studio B Productions has moved to a custom designed studio at 190 AlexanderStreet in Vancouver, British Columbia. The three-floor, 27,000 sq. ft.facility is home to Studio B's animation studio and production house aswell as Mercury Filmworks, a fully equipped digital animation facility, andDick and Roger's, a fully equipped sound studio which means that thefacility now has the ability to produce an animated show or series in itsentirety from script to post-production. The move to larger, custom

Headline News

Oxygen Media names online executive team

New York City-based Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne's media companyfounded to provide content for women, has named eight executive producers,seven of whom are new to Oxygen's team, to guide the development ofOxygen's growing online network, including building five new sites - Style,Sports, Teens, O2 Simplify, and womenshands - as well as expanding thepopular existing parenting site, Moms Online and Oprah.com. The new andexpanded sites will be rolled out this winter. Oxygen's online executive

Studio Headline News

Nickelodeon opens animation studio in New York

Nickelodeon is opening a new animation studio in New York City at 1515 Broadway which will be knownas Nickelodeon Animation Studio New York (NASNY). The digital animationstudio and development laboratory will open in October, although the movehas already taken place. Among the series that will be produced at the newstudio will be BLUE'S CLUES, LITTLE BILL, and GARBAGE BOY, a new weeklysegment for KABLAM!. The studio will house 140 employees including 70animators/digital designers. All phases of production other than

Studios Headline News

Disney halts Peter Pan production

Disney's sequel to its 1953 PETER PAN, which had been in production at Disney's Toronto and Vancouverstudios, has been put on hold, resulting in layoffs of animators and staffat the Canadian studios. The rumors that the studios are being completelyshut down appear to be untrue at this time, but the total number ofemployees who have been laid off is unknown. According to Laurel Whitcomb,a Disney spokeswoman, the PETER PAN sequel "was in early stages ofproduction and needed to go back into development for retooling of thestory."

Animated Headline News

MIPCOM announcements

On Monday, October 4 at 4 pm Jean-Marie Messier, president of Vivendi, aFrench multimedia, communications and power company, will deliver thekeynote address for the special three day forum on convergence, TV Meetsthe Internet @ MIPCOM. The address will be entitled "21st CenturyTelevision: Visions for Next Generation Broadcasting.". . . Rome,Italy-based RAI TRADE will offer BROTHER JACOB, an animated edutainmentseries for children about a storytelling monk, as well as GONE WITH THE

Headline News

Viacom proposes merger with CBS

Viacom Inc., which owns MTV and Paramount Pictures, has offered to buy CBSCorp., one of the Big Three US television broadcasters, for $37 billion instock, the largest media transaction ever. The new company, which willstill be called Viacom, will be led by Sumner Redstone who will remainViacom's chairman and chief executive. CBS President and Chief ExecutiveMel Karmazin will be president and chief operating officer. The deal ispart of what is expected to be a wave of consolidation in the TV industry

Animation Headline News

MIPCOM announcements

The tradeshow for television programming producers and distributors takesplace October 4-8 in Cannes, France. Basque, Spain-based animation studioIRUSOIN is nearing completion of KARRAMARRO (CRAB ISLAND), a made fortelevision animated feature with rights available for worldwide TV andvideo release. The original story is about a group of kind, song-lovingpirates, focused on luckless Dimitri, a pirate who cannot sing, and aparrot who is the only clue to tracking down a fabulous pirate's treasure.

Series Headline News

Sony formalizes Family Entertainment Group

Sony Pictures Entertainmenthas formalized the name of its newest business unit, Sony Pictures FamilyEntertainment Group (SPFE), and appointed Gary Hirsch as senior vicepresident and general manager of the division. Reporting to SanderSchwartz, president of the relatively new division, Hirsch will oversee newbusiness development opportunities for the division and its day-to-dayoperations, including business affairs, human resources, studio operations,production and marketing. Hirsch comes to Sony's SPFE from Columbia

Headline News

SGI appoints new CEO

San Jose, California-based SGI has announced that Robert Bishop has beennamed new chairman and chief executive officer effective immediately. Hesucceeds Richard Belluzzo, who resigned last week to accept at position aMicrosoft Online. Bishop joined SGI in 1986 and was responsible forbuilding its international division. He joined SGI's board of directors in1993 and continued to be an active member of the management team through1995. Prior to joining SGI he had similar responsibilities at Apollo

Online Headline News

AtomFilms broadens distribution

AtomFilms, a website devoted to short films, is teaming up with WarnerBros. Online, NBC's Snap.com, RealNetworks, On2.com, Atomic Pop, andStreamSearch. AtomFilms will provide short form entertainment to thesecompany's websites. These Internet companies join Atom's existingdistribution partners that span both online and traditional industries,including: HBO, Sundance Channel, Continental Airlines, Air Canada,Excite@Home, Go Network, Reel.com, Film.com, College Broadcast Network, and

Work Headline News

(Colossal) Pictures closes its doors

(Colossal) Pictures will ceaseoperations on August 31, 1999 after 23 years in business. According to theSan Francisco-based production and design studio, the decision was made inorder to liquidate property and honor outstanding debts. (Colossal) hasfiled for Chapter 11 protection before on May 30, 1996, and emerged frombankruptcy on December 1, 1997. It enjoyed a successful year in 1998,employing a lean work force. However, the beginning of this year saw adownturn in revenue. Financially weakened by the bankruptcy, as (Colossal)

Headline News

Film Roman reports losses

North Hollywood, California-based Film Roman has reported second quarter losses of $266,215, or 3 cents a share, whichis an improvement over the losses for the second quarter of 1998 of$718,439, or 8 cents a share. Revenue for the first half of 1999 increasedby 58% to $27.5 million from last year's first half's $17.4 million. FilmRoman produces Fox's THE SIMPSONS and Warner Bros.' upcoming new series,MISSION HILL (previously known as THE DOWNTOWNERS). In recent months, FilmRoman has been making significant strides to enter the original content

Headline News

Silicon Graphics to reorganize and cut jobs

San Jose, California-based Silicon Graphics Inc. has announced that it willcut up to 3,000 jobs and spin off its Cray supercomputer division.According to SGI, the cuts and reorganization will help it focus on sellingsoftware and computers related to the Internet. SGI bought Cray ResearchInc. in 1996 for $740 million. Since its acquisition by SGI, Cray'ssupercomputers have competed with SGI's own powerful systems in a smallmarket. Earlier this year SGI reorganized and divided Cray off into a

Studio Headline News

New performance animation studio launched

Newly launched Atlanta,Georgia-based Giant Studios is a performance animation studio. Theirproprietary Motion Reality? system utilizes the latest advancements inmicroprocessor technology and interfaces with the best animation software.A state-of-the-art motion capture studio is available with a 50' x 50' x24' open floor space. The system can capture and process multiple,subject-object interactions in real-time, as well as the intricate detailof hand and facial captures. The studio offers fully integrated

Imax Headline News

IMAX invests in Mainframe

IMAX Corporation, owner of the large format film theater chain, hasannounced the closing of its strategic investment in Vancouver,Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment Inc., a producer of CGI animation.Under the terms of the agreement, IMAX invested CDN$8 million to acquire a19% equity stake in Mainframe and CDN$8 million to acquire convertiblesenior debt which, if converted, could bring IMAX's ownership up to 30% ofMainframe. Simultaneously, Mainframe announced that two leading Canadian

Headline News

Disney earnings decline

The Walt Disney Co. has reported its earnings for the third quarter, andthe nine months ended June 30, 1999. Net income for the fiscal thirdquarter ended in June fell to $367 million from last year's $415 million.The figure includes a pretax loss of $87 million from the November purchaseof a 43% interest in Internet search engine Infoseek Corp. Net income forthe nine month period ended June 30, 1999 fell to $1.215 billion from lastyear's $1.554 billion. "While we are not satisfied with our current

Cartoon Headline News

Cartoon Network forms Cartoon Network Studios

Cartoon Network is forming Cartoon Network Studios, an independentproduction facility to develop and produce original animated programmingfor the 24-hour, all-cartoon cable channel. The new, Los Angeles-basedfacility, due to begin operation by the end of the year, will give CartoonNetwork more control over series development, production, andadministration procedures. Among the series that the new studio willproduce are the currently airing THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, JOHNNY BRAVO, and

Animation Headline News

Mercury Filmworks adds 3D

One year old Vancouver-based Mercury Filmworks, a fully equipped digitalanimation facility, has added 3D production to its list of in-houseservices. Currently, the 3D animation department at Mercury is working onthe television series D'MYNA LEAGUES, which has been created and developedby Vancouver-based animation house Studio B, and is slated to air onCanada's CTV/VTV in January 2000. With the addition of the new 3Ddepartment, Mercury is now unique in its ability to take not just a single

Television Headline News

Touchstone TV merges with ABC

Walt Disney-owned companies Touchstone Television Productions and ABCTelevision Group are merging to form ABC Entertainment Television Group.According to ABC Television Group president Pat Fili-Krushel, "The goal inconsolidation is to produce creative results that result in more Disneyproduct on ABC and also allow us to achieve economies of scale." In otherwords, this consolidation will likely result in more Disney-producedtelevision programming appearing on ABC (Touchstone currently has only two

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks pulls out of studio deal

DreamWorks SKG, the Hollywood film studio co-founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen, pulled out of a deal to build a new $250 million studio on July 1, 1999 because it could not reach a financing agreement. DreamWorks said it was unable to reach a financing deal that "makes good business sense." The closely held company also cited rising construction costs and tougher financing terms due to the rebound in the Los Angeles real estate market. Last year DreamWorks signed a deal with developer Playa Capital Co.

Disney Headline News

Disney and Katzenberg settle suit

The Walt Disney Co. and former Disney head executive Jeffrey Katzenberg have settled a lawsuit for undisclosed terms, thus ending a months long public trial. Since it began in April, the trial has produced many headlines as Katzenberg sought to secure from Disney two percent of future income derived from all movies, TV shows and merchandise made while he was studio boss from 1984 to 1994. Katzenberg estimated his share of the bonus, which was part of his employment contract with Disney, to be anywhere between $382 million and $580 million in court filings.

Film Headline News

Film Roman signs licensing agreement with MSH

MSH Entertainment Corp. has announced that it has entered into adevelopment, co-production and cross licensing agreement with Film Roman,Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will own a portion ofthe adjusted gross profits from the television broadcast, toy andmerchandising licensing rights of each other's selected animated andlive-action properties produced under the agreement. In addition, MSH willengage Film Roman for co-development funding and deficit financing of some

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