news digest


Clancy playing Ubisoft's game

SAN DIEGO — Paris-based game publisher Ubisoft has inked a deal with Tom Clancy to acquire all intellectual property rights to the best-selling author's name for use in games and ancillary products, including related books and movies. The deal will enable Ubisoft to better manage its Clancy-based properties across new entertainment platforms. Ubisoft has had success with such titles as "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon," and a paperback based on its upcoming game, "Tom Clancy's EndWar," has been on the New York Times Paperback Mass Market Fiction best-seller list for several weeks.

Newspersons ratify AFTRA contract

AFTRA members working as news anchors, correspondents and reporters at ABC and CBS have ratified the so-called newspersons contracts with the networks. Terms weren't disclosed, but AFTRA president Roberta Reardon said the "agreements are a big step forward for broadcast journalists as they improve wages and benefits." The two-year agreements take effect May 16.

SPC to bow English 'Persepolis'

NEW YORK — Sony Pictures Classics said it will release the English-language version of "Persepolis" on April 11 on 100 screens nationwide. This version of the animated film features the voices of Chiara Mastroianni, Sean Penn, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Iggy Pop and Amethyste Frezignac. It was recorded under the direction of helmers Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud while the French-language version of the film was being completed.

NBC Uni to shed two TV stations

NEW YORK — NBC Universal is putting two TV stations, WTMJ Miami and WVIT Hartford, Conn., on the block. The move comes amid major changes in the TV stations business and the shedding of smaller markets by such big-media companies as Fox and CBS. In an e-mail to stations group employees Wednesday, NBC Local Media president John Wallace said the company was focusing on its stations in the top 10 markets and its digital business.

Tribune combines Miami operations

NEW YORK — Tribune said Wednesday that it will combine the broadcast and newspaper operations of its Miami local media properties. WSFL TV, the company's CW affiliate, will move into existing space at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's offices in Fort Lauderdale "to create a media powerhouse," the company said. Under the same roof, the Sun-Sentinel will serve as the content engine for WSFL's on-air and online programming. With the consolidation, Howard Greenberg — president and publisher of the Sun-Sentinel and interim publisher of the Orlando Sentinel — also will take on responsibilities as GM of WSFL. He replaces Rich Engberg.

Saturn's career nod to Halmis

Television producers Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. will received the Life Career Award at the 34th annual Saturn Awards, set for June 24 in Universal City. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, which hands out the awards, also will honor Matt Reeves ("Cloverfield") with its Filmmakers ShowCase Award and Fred Barton ("Forbidden Planet") with its Service Award.