news digest


Good communication for Discovery's Q4

Discovery Holding said Friday that fourth-quarter revenue grew 8% at its Discovery Communications unit, of which it owns 67%. Discovery Communications' consolidated fourth-quarter revenue grew 8% to $886 million, boosted by a 6% increase in advertising revenue and a 2% increase in distribution revenue. Discovery Holding is in the midst of splitting off its Discovery Communications unit and combining it in a public company one-third-owned by publisher Advance/Newhouse. Discovery Holding also owns Ascent Media Group.

Echo Bridge ups pair to co-presidents

Independent DVD distributor Echo Bridge Home Entertainment has promoted CFO Nathan Hart and head of operations Mike Newcomb to co-presidents. The two replace Tim Clott, the former Paramount Home Video and Lyrick Studios executive who took the helm of Echo Bridge in summer 2005. Clott left to pursue other opportunities.

Scotti, Takats hit SweetSpot

Entertainment marketing veterans Don Scotti and Joe Takats have launched SweetSpot Prods., a full-service marketing agency specializing in consumer and trade campaigns promoting feature films and video games. The Hollywood-based company will focus on producing film trailers, teasers, TV and radio spots, webisodes and new-media marketing. SweetSpot's initial video game clients include Sega and Eidos.

Retirement, NBC News meet up at 'Cafe'

Retirement Living TV, targeted toward viewers ages 55 and older, has renewed and expanded its relationship with NBC News. Specially produced NBC News inserts with a boomer and senior focus, NBC news footage and correspondent cross talk will be seen on RLTV during "Daily Cafe," a live two-hour news and current affairs program. Through the alliance, NBC News will provide special coverage concerning the presidential election and its effects on seniors. Retirement Living, which launched in 2006, is in 29 million homes across North America.

'Treatment' working on additional channels

HBO is adding additional runs of its drama "In Treatment" on two other HBO channels. The half-hour drama, whose 45 episodes are airing five nights a week, centers on therapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne). Each episode shows a session with one of his patients who returns for another session on the same day every week. On Monday, HBO2 began running the first four episodes of that day's patient back-to-back all week. Beginning Sunday, HBO Signature will present the five weeks' worth of episodes consecutively over five nights.

13 mil not ready for digital TV shift

NEW YORK — Nielsen Media Research has estimated that more than 13 million households are ill-prepared for the digital TV conversion that will take place Feb. 18, 2009, when TV broadcasters will shut off their analog signal and broadcast solely on the digital spectrum. That leaves millions of over-the-air viewers with a choice: Buy a digital converter box or face losing TV. Those households include more younger people than older and more black viewers than white or Asian. The demographic hit hardest is Hispanic, who use over-the-air TV more than any other group. Nielsen Media Research is owned by the Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.