EmptySony selling complex in Berlin
COLOGNE, Germany — Sony is selling its Sony Center complex on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, the headquarters of Sony's European operations and one of the German capital's most striking landmarks erected since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sony said it will sell all shares in the complex to real estate funds managed by Morgan Stanley, German investment group Corpus Sireo and an affiliate of Chicago-based real estate company John Buck Co. The sale is estimated to be in the €600 million-€700 million ($906 million-$1.1 billion) range.
XM, Sirius extend merger deadline
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have extended by two months a deadline to potentially terminate without penalty their year-old merger agreement. The original deadline would have expired Saturday, but both companies in recent days signaled their intentions to extend it. U.S. regulators have yet to decide whether to approve the merger.
Rutles roll in 'Cash' anniversary
It was 30 years ago today — well, this month — that the Rutles film "All You Need Is Cash" had its world premiere on NBC. The Mods & Rockers Film Festival will celebrate the anniversary with an event March 17 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood featuring all four original Rutles: Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Ricky Fataar and John Halsey. A digitally restored version of "Cash" will be screened, along with the rarely seen 1975 British TV skit that inspired the film, Rutles-related footage from "Saturday Night Live" and more. Details: ModsAndRockers.com.
'Lost' audience wanders a bit
Critics and fans are praising this season of ABC's "Lost," yet ratings continue to erode. The drama hit a season low Thursday night (12.9 million, 5.4 rating/13 share), as did NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" in the same time period (7.6 million, 3.1/8). Fox's ever-dominant "American Idol" (25.5 million, 9.1/24) was up slightly from the previous week and gave another series high to "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (14.6 million, 5.2/13). According to preliminary Nielsen ratings, Fox won the night among total viewers (20.2 million) and adults 18-49 (2.5/6), followed by CBS, ABC and NBC.
Animal Planet, Clorox hop on 'Frog'
Animal Planet and Clorox have teamed on a new project, dubbed "The Vanishing Frog," to focus attention on a deadly fungus that is destroying frogs and other amphibian populations worldwide. At the center of the multimedia project is a Discovery Studios-produced documentary that will feature Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin uncovering clues about the frogs' plight while and unifying viewers to protect wildlife resources. It is set to premiere in the fall.
Renew Media in TFI fold
NEW YORK — Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal will co-chair a bigger and stronger version of the Tribeca Film Institute, partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation's Renew Media to deliver more than $1 million in film, media and arts grants annually. The nonprofit groups are expected to complete their union by April, setting a goal to create a permanent exhibition space, screening venue and artist workspace in downtown Manhattan.