money digest


Nat'l CineMedia sinks 17%

Shares of National CineMedia dropped 17% on Wednesday to $20.87, a new low. The drop-off came after Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Lloyd Walmsley cut National CineMedia's rating to "market weight" citing uncertainty surrounding the company's agreement to take over ad inventory for Loews screens in 2008. National CineMedia is taking the Loews inventory from Screenvision as part of an agreement with AMC Entertainment, but the analyst said Screenvision might use the inventory as a "competitive weapon" against National CineMedia by selling bundled packages at cheap rates. "If Screenvision has sold most of the inventory, National CineMedia will be unable to capitalize on the new inventory," Walmsley said.

Clear Channel TV's CEO exits

Clear Channel Communications said Wednesday that Donald Perry had resigned as CEO of Clear Channel Television. Craig Millar, senior vp, Southern region, will assume Perry's duties on an interim basis until a replacement is named, the company said. Perry had been CEO since January 2006. The company said he is departing "to pursue the next phase of his broadcast career." Clear Channel is in the process of selling its TV assets.

WorldSpace jumps on financing

Shares of WorldSpace, an international satellite radio company, rose 26% on Wednesday after it said that it has secured a subordinated financing facility for up to $40 million from Yenura, a company controlled by WorldSpace CEO Noah Samara. The notes will carry interest at 8% per annum and the price at which the notes may be converted into the Company's Class A Common Stock has been set at $4.25 per share. The stock closed Wednesday at $2.11.

New Insight for Comcast

Comcast said Wednesday that the cable company has completed a previously announced deal with Insight Communications to divide their Insight Midwest partnership, in which each company held a 50% interest. Comcast paid the partnership about $1.3 billion at closing for its share of the partnership's debt. Now Comcast owns 100% of a cable system that passes 1.2 million homes and serves about 696,000 basic video subscribers. Insight owns 100% of a cable system that passes about 1.3 million homes and has about 665,800 basic-video customers.