Empty'Idol' attraction set for Disney World
NEW YORK — "American Idol" is making its way to Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Florida with a new theme park attraction late this year. Disney and Fremantle said that the "Idol" attraction will follow the model of the Fox hit, with Disney guests able to audition, perform onstage in competition, get judged by theme park producers and vote for their favorite performers in a "live interactive entertainment setting with all the glitz and glamor of the distinctive 'American Idol' set." Guest performers with the highest number of votes during several shows throughout the day will compete in an end-of-day grand finale show, and the "Idol" winner for that day will receive a guaranteed reservation for a future regional stadium audition for the TV show — to ensure no waiting in long lines.
CBS Radio trims 5% of its work force
NEW YORK — CBS Radio on Thursday became the latest radio group to trim its work force. Fewer than 5% of positions have been reorganized or eliminated. Not all of the groups' markets, however, were affected. Like Clear Channel and Emmis Communications, CBS Radio is tightening its belt amid a soft radio ad market. Many of the positions eliminated Thursday aimed at reducing layers of management.
Warners, Imax go 'Under the Sea'
Warner Bros. and Imax have titled their third original Imax 3-D co-production "Under the Sea 3D." Previously referred to under its working title, "Deep Sea-quel," the film will explore the impact that global climate change has had on ocean wilderness. Production began last month in Papua, New Guinea, and a February 2009 release is planned. "Under the Sea 3D" follows 2006's "Deep Sea 3D," which has grossed more than $60 million worldwide.
Daytona 500 an ad sellout for Fox
NEW YORK — Fox has sold out its Feb. 17 telecast of the NASCAR Daytona 500, with 30-second spots selling for $550,000 each, up from $475,000 last year. The network also has sold about 90% of its ad inventory for its NASCAR race telecasts through March. Overall, for its 17 race windows into June, Fox has sold about 85% of its ad inventory, which is more than 20% ahead of last year.
AFTRA, record companies in harmony
NEW YORK — AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement with record labels on the AFTRA Sound Recordings Code. The national contract covers royalty artists and session singers who work with the more than 1,200 record companies, including the four major labels. The agreement includes wage increases for union session performers, improvements in health and pension coverage for royalty artists and a new formula for compensation on digital downloads. Complete details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the terms are presented to the AFTRA National Board's administrative committee for its approval before membership ratification.
Kayse makes an executive Discovery
NEW YORK — Discovery Communications has named former AOL executive Kathleen Kayse as executive vp digital media sales, the company said Thursday. She will lead the development of ad sales strategies for Discovery's Web properties, including recent acquisitions HowStuffWorks.com and TreeHugger.com, and report to Discovery ad sales president Joe Abruzzese. Kayse, a 24-year veteran of Time Warner, was executive vp marketing solutions for AOL's Platform A group.