news digest


Lumina adds diversity as Salt

LONDON — Movie sales, production and finance banner Lumina Films is changing its name to the Salt Co. and repositioning itself to concentrate on a more diverse slate of projects. Formerly known for its activities with Latin American projects, Lumina's new look and name aims to "better reflect the full range of services that the company is able to offer the international filmmaking community."

Slow ad sales might keep FIM shy of $1 bil

NEW YORK — Amid reports that it will not reach its $1 billion revenue target for the current fiscal year, Fox Interactive Media is restructuring its executive ranks and launching a new ad network. As part of the realignment, the News Corp. division's chief revenue officer, Michael Barrett, will leave the company. News that FIM, which houses MySpace, would not reach its target amid recent signs that MySpace's ability to draw ad dollars has underperformed expectations was first reported last week.

News Corp. gets more of Premiere

COLOGNE, Germany — News Corp. has strengthened its hold on leading German pay TV group Premiere, boosting its stake from 19.9% to 22.7%. Based on Premiere's current share price, the deal cost News Corp. about €44 million ($70 million) for the extra 2.8%. The deal makes it even more likely that Murdoch will push for a seat on Premiere's supervisory board at the company's annual shareholder meeting in the summer in Munich.

Keener, Logo in biz for drama

Gay network here! has signed a development deal with Elizabeth Keener (Showtime's "The L Word") for a new hourlong drama series, described as a cross between "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Twin Peaks." Keener will star in and have a hand in developing the show, which will center on a lesbian FBI agent (Keener) sent on an extended undercover assignment in a mysterious small town. Keener's character juggles personal demons with the demands of her investigation and soon finds herself increasingly enmeshed in the lives of the town's inhabitants.

AZN will go dark Wednesday

AZN Television is shutting down at noon Wednesday. In January, parent company Comcast decided to pull the plug on the English-language network targeting Asian-Americans because it couldn't make the channel work financially after having trouble gaining advertisers and distribution. AZN management thanked viewers for their support, adding that "AZN has paved the way for Asian-American television and wishes other media outlets success in creating compelling programming and fostering Asian-American talent."

'Hollywood' goes to the races

"Access Hollywood" will become "Access Louisville" for a short time with a half-hour expansion of NBC Sports' Kentucky Derby coverage May 3. The Derby coverage will span 21/2 hours for the first time in NBC's history, beginning at 4 p.m. EDT with a special "Access at the Derby" hosted by Billy Bush. Bush and NBC's racing team will do a special red-carpet treatment for the Derby. Stars will be interviewed by Bush at Churchill Downs.