Queen snafu slams RDF shares

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LONDON -- Fallout over its queen documentary continued to haunt RDF Media on Friday as shares in the U.K. producer hit a new low of £1.92 ($3.95).

The day's trading took a southward turn as ITV followed the BBC's lead in suspending RDF commissions pending the outcome of an inquiry into the BBC1 docu that featured misleadingly edited scenes.

RDF shares traded at £2.55 ($5.24) earlier this month but began to slide after Britain's two biggest broadcasters said they will not do new business with the independent producer in the wake of concerns raised over its editorial standards.

Channel 4 and the Five network have said that they will continue to work with RDF Media, creator of "Faking It" and "Wife Swap," as usual.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, RDF said it has been notified by ITV that it will not commission new shows pending the outcome of the inquiry but that it was still optimistic about the full year. Together, BBC and ITV commissions account for about 22% of RDF's revenues, the company said.

"The directors do not consider that a pause in commissioning by ITV will have a material impact on the group's results in the current year," the company told investors. "RDF expects contracted revenues from ITV to account for about 11% of the group's total revenues this year. The directors remain confident of prospects for the full year."

RDF said Thursday that the BBC accounted for 10% of its total revenue.

RDF said earlier this week that it took full responsibility for editing a scene in a forthcoming BBC1 documentary that suggested the queen had stormed out of a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz.

It later admitted that junior staff had edited the sequence in error, but the BBC is conducting an internal inquiry into how the clips were cleared to be shown to journalists as the highlight of the pubcaster's fall season.
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