news digest


NL, HBO get in line behind Blu-ray

A New Line Home Entertainment spokesman has confirmed reports that the mini-major is following distributor and sister company Warner Home Video's lead in abandoning HD DVD and releasing all future next-generation titles in the Blu-ray Disc format only. Meanwhile, HBO Video president Henry McGee said HBO also is "following the same policy as Warner Home Video."

Crackle airs what 'Penn Says'

Crackle, the Sony-owned Web-based content company, said Wednesday that magician-comic Penn Jillette is set to star in an unscripted series for the Internet site that debuted Wednesday. "Penn Says," a series of one- to three-minute videos delivered at least four times a week, will feature Jillette recording rants on subjects ranging from politics to celebrities to the hottest news events of the day.

Oxygen names Chu vp and CFO

Cynthia Chu has been named vp and CFO of Oxygen Media, marking the first major executive appointment since NBC Universal acquired the network in October. Chu is moving to Oxygen after having been with NBC Universal's local media division, which she joined in 2004.

TV One hits 'Funny Spot'

TV One, the network that targets black viewers, announced Wednesday a new stand-up comedy series hosted by Tony Rock. The series, titled "The Funny Spot," will feature comedians offering their perspectives of the world as well as glimpses of the action behind the scenes and a regular segment, "On the Spot," where performers answer tough questions from Rock and the audience. The weekly, hourlong series debuts at 10 p.m. EST on Jan. 19.

Semel breathes life back into Windsor

NEW YORK — Yahoo nonexecutive chairman Terry Semel is reviving his former investment firm Windsor Media with the help of departing Yahoo executives, sources confirmed Wednesday. Drew Buckley, who headed Yahoo Originals, and Jeff Karish, head of media strategy, left the online giant at year's end and are joining Semel in a revamped version of Windsor, industry blog first reported. said that Jimmy Yaffe, managing partner of Endeavor Marketing Solutions, also is joining Windsor.

BVP, ABC Daytime taps executive duo

Ann Lewis Roberts has been named head of Buena Vista Prods. and alternative programming and development at SoapNet, while Adam Rockmore has been tapped as senior vp marketing for ABC Daytime and the cable network. The appointments follow the recent restructuring of BVP and the Disney-ABC Television Group's Daytime Division. "The positions were structured to create greater strength and synergy across ABC Daytime, SoapNet and Buena Vista Prods.," said Brian Frons, president of daytime at the Disney-ABC Television Group.