news digest


Black is Nick's host of choice

Jack Black has signed on to again host Nickelodeon's 21st annual Kids' Choice Awards, set to air live from 8-9:30 p.m. EST March 29 (tape-delayed on the West Coast) from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Westwood. He previously hosted the awards show in 2006. Meanwhile, "Shrek the Third" tops the list of KCA nominations with four. A complete list of nominees can be found at

SAG calls emergency meeting

NEW YORK — SAG's top two officials have called for a special national board meeting Saturday to address its deteriorating relationship with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Alan Rosenberg and Doug Allen called for the meeting Tuesday. The central issue of the meeting will be Phase One, the joint bargaining agreement the unions have had since 1981. Under Phase One, SAG and AFTRA have negotiated with producers and advertisers for their most lucrative contracts, which cover television, film and commercials. However, Phase One appears to be all but over, following a tumultuous seven-month period in which the Hollywood branch of SAG forced a change in the voting process for contract talks. In turn, AFTRA declared that the guild had broken the unions' long-standing agreement and said it could begin negotiations on its own.

Petersen pacts with Senator for miniseries

BERLIN — Director Wolfgang Petersen and Berlin-based film group Senator Entertainment have set up a joint venture to produce English- language television miniseries. The first production under the three-year agreement will be a documentary series on the Cold War that already is in development. Petersen's shingle, Radiant Prods., will serve as the leading producer on the project.

CBS in the Loopt with GPS service

NEW YORK — CBS Corp. and social-mapping service Loopt said Wednesday that they will launch a location-based mobile ad service, an agreement that the companies say is the first of its kind. The initiative will serve ads to users of CBS Mobile's sports and news WAP sites based on their location using GPS technology. The ads could, for example, direct a user of one of the mobile sites to a specific pizza shop that they are walking by. The service, which will launch in the second quarter, will be restricted to users of carriers that have deals with Loopt.

Sundin joins Universal Music fold

LONDON — Veteran Sony BMG Nordic executive Per Sundin has changed camps, sources said. Sundin is joining Universal Music as managing director of its Swedish company. Sources said Sundin will report to Vico Antippas, president of Nordic, central and eastern Europe, at Universal Music Group International.

Anchor Bay taps Prend for sr. vp duties

Gordon Prend has been named senior vp worldwide marketing at Anchor Bay Entertainment, the home video arm of Starz Media. Prend will be based at the company's Burbank headquarters and report to Anchor Bay Entertainment president Bill Clark. Most recently, Prend was senior vp at First Look Home Entertainment as well as a strategic consultant for several major home entertainment companies.