news digest


L.A. mayor to biz: 'Get deals done'

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday urged SAG, AFTRA and IATSE and the studio reps to get to the bargaining table "immediately" to avoid another work stoppage. Villaraigosa said he met with union reps and studio execs during the past week. He said the WGA strike cost the city's economy $2.5 billion and caused personal hardship. "I urge all involved to get deals done expeditiously," he said. In a response, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said it always has welcomed early talks. The comments came on the first day of SAG and AFTRA's two days of meetings to hammer out proposals to take to their national board for approval.

Clear Channel buyout in limbo

NEW YORK — The planned $19 billion buyout of radio giant Clear Channel Communications was in limbo again late Monday, with the Wall Street Journal saying that talks between the private-equity buyers and financing banks were near collapse. The deal was scheduled to close before a deadline this week, but the sides have failed to resolve differences about the terms of the financing arrangement that was struck last year.

Adlabs makes U.S. foray

MUMBAI, India — Adlabs Films has finalized the acquisition of 240 screens across 28 U.S. cities, executives said Tuesday on the sidelines of the FICCI Frames media conference. "We have acquired these screens that largely have the potential to cater to South Asian and other audiences in the U.S.," Adlabs Films COO digital cinema Patrick von Sychowski said. "Some of these screens were acquired from the likes of Regal and Landmark, among others." While financial details were not given, Mumbai-based Adlabs — which operates more than 100 screens in India — has partnered with Knoxville, Tenn.-based Phoenix Theatres for its expansion.

AOL TV in widget business

NEW YORK — AOL TV launched a widget Monday for its daily TV's Top 5 feature, allowing users to embed a clip on their personal Web pages with a link back to the portal. Tuesday's widget featured a short clip of Britney Spears' guest appearance from Monday's "How I Met Your Mother" on CBS. During and after the clip, which runs with no ad, there are options to click back to AOL TV to see the four other clips from the night, which will be monetized.

CineMedia, H'wood Theaters in content deal

National CineMedia has entered a network affiliate agreement with Hollywood Theaters for the presentation of content through its NCM Fathom division. Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, Hollywood Theaters locations in 15 states will present NCM's digitally distributed preshow program, FirstLook; offer in-theater corporate meetings and event services through NCM's CineMeetings; and present NCM Fathom live and prerecorded in-theater entertainment events.

'Kong' docu to play for G4

G4 has secured exclusive cable rights to Picturehouse's 2007 documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" from New Line Television. The docu, which revolves around two men in their quest to achieve the world's highest score on the arcade classic "Donkey Kong," will make its world network television premiere June 1. The network also will be the first to offer the film via VOD.