news digest


Veoh brands celebrity site via Us Weekly

Us Weekly magazine has partnered with Veoh Networks on a new branded entertainment channel covering all things celebrity. The channel will launch next month on online video hub Veoh, which counts former Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner as a board member; Eisner brokered the deal with Us Weekly parent company Wenner Media. The channel will feature short- and longform video content and will include footage from the red carpet and celebrity parties, Us Weekly events and news and feature stories by the magazine's writers.

WGAE to fete Lee for service

Gail Lee, secretary-treasurer of the WGA East, has been selected to receive the WGAE's Richard B. Jablow Award for service to the guild, to be bestowed Feb. 11 at the WGAE's annual gala in New York. The award, created in 1978 to honor a WGAE founder, is given annually to recognize "devoted service." Lee, a writer-producer at CBS News in New York, is serving her fourth term in her current guild office. She also serves on the CBS-WGA negotiating committee and the guild's awards committee.

Kasell exits top post at Hamptons fest

Hamptons International Film Festival executive director Denise Kasell is departing after nine years, the festival said Monday. Kasell joined the fest in its fifth year and was responsible for hiring current artistic director Rajendra Roy in 2002, instituting honorary and advisory boards and establishing the Conflict and Resolution film program for the yearly event, which traditionally is held in mid-October. Active recruitment for a replacement is under way.

Netflix trims $1 off price of rental plan

Netflix cut the price for its lowest-priced online DVD rental plan by $1 per month to $4.99 in response to "an ever-evolving and competitive market," a company spokesman said Monday. The entry-level plan allows subscribers to rent one DVD at a time with a limit of two DVDs per month. Prices for the company's most popular three-at-a-time plan remained unchanged at $17.99 per month. The price cut comes two months after rival Blockbuster introduced its Total Access plan, which allows subscribers to its online program to swap DVDs in its stores.

Court rules for Gemstar in Yuen case

Gemstar-TV Guide said it received a favorable ruling in its arbitration related to the termination of former chairman and CEO Henry Yuen. The company was awarded about $93.6 million in addition to the reimbursement of its attorneys fees and interest after arbitrators ruled that Yuen was not entitled to any portion of the about $30.9 million set aside by the company as restricted cash for payment to him in connection with his removal.

Andrews to run Ascent ops

Richard Andrews has been named senior vp and chief operating officer of media services at Santa Monica-based Ascent Media Group. Andrews, who most recently was president of Technicolor Creative Services, will oversee day-to-day operations at such AMG facilities as Digital Media Data Center, Blink Digital, Cinetech, Ascent Media Wardour Street, Stream and Visiontext, which provide digital media services in the U.S. and abroad.