news digest


Korduner top lawyer at DGA

David Korduner has been promoted to general counsel of the DGA. He succeeds Robert Giolito, who has resigned to head the new Los Angeles office of labor entertainment law firm Spivak, Lipton, Watanabe, Spivak, Moss & Orfan. Korduner was associate counsel of the DGA from 1995-2001 before moving on to become senior counsel labor relations at ABC and Touchstone TV, and later senior counsel legal affairs at Disney/ABC Cable Networks. He rejoined the DGA as associate general counsel in 2005.

EFM '07 already breaking records

COLOGNE, Germany — The European Film Market, the industry event that runs alongside the Berlin International Film Festival, hit another high-water mark in terms of attendance and films scheduled to screen, breaking the record it set last year. A total of 259 companies from 46 countries will screen 702 films at this year's EFM, which runs Feb. 8-16. Market organizers said Tuesday that 878 buyers have registered, up from 761 last year. Also, organizers said that this year's Berlinale Camera awards will go to Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros; Italian documentary director Gianni Mina; and the publishers of German cinema magazine KINO German Film, Dorothea Moritz and Ron Holloway.

British MPs don't like Sky-ITV deal

Members of parliament in the U.K. on Tuesday called on Trade Secretary Alistair Darling to block British Sky Broadcasting's acquisition of a 17.9% stake in commercial broadcaster ITV. The deal, which is being reviewed by media regulator Ofcom, took the media industry by surprise in November. Sky's stealth raid is widely thought to have derailed Virgin NTL's merger talks with ITV. "There are concerns on all sides of parliament that BSkyB, as the largest shareholder in ITV, would have real conflicts of interest concerning sports rights, the ITV news contract and the development of Freeview and Freesat," the parliamentary motion said.

NBC Uni TV promotes Stein

Lauren Stein has been upped to vp drama programming at NBC Universal Television Studio. Previously director of drama programming, Stein has developed series including "Las Vegas" and the midseason entries "The Black Donnellys" and "Raines" for NBC Uni TV. She reports to Laura Lancaster, senior vp drama programming. Stein has been working at NBC since January 2002.

Spain exhibs against quotas

MADRID — Spain's exhibitors on Tuesday demanded immediate changes to what it called the nation's "unconstitutional" obligatory screen quota for domestic cinema, which it blames in part for a steep dip in 2006 boxoffice figures. According to the FECE, which represents more than 90% of the country's exhibitors, the Culture Ministry has ignored the sector's pleas to eliminate the quota and instead plans to intensify it under a proposed new Cinema Law.

DirecTV pacts to buy Latin America unit

Satellite TV firm DirecTV Group said Tuesday that it will take full control of DirecTV Latin America and resolve all outstanding legal disputes with a $325 million cash payment to Darlene Investments. Under the transaction, DirecTV will take over Darlene's 14.1% stake. The company has about 4 million customers in Latin American countries.