news digest


March bow seen for TWC common stock

NEW YORK — Shares of Time Warner Cable will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange as early as March 1, the company said Tuesday, as Adelphia Communications confirmed that its long-delayed bankruptcy plan finally has come into effect. The news comes a day after the Adelphia plan took its final big hurdle and at a time when Wall Street observers have become more bullish on cable stocks after several years of competitive concerns. TWC, the second-largest U.S. cable operator, said Tuesday that it has become a public company, with its Class A common stock to be listed on the NYSE under ticker symbol "TWC" in the coming weeks. The shares have been trading on a "when-issued" basis this year under the symbol "TWCAV." TW will retain an 84% stake in TWC.

Tribune decision expected by end of Q1

Tribune Co. said Tuesday that it has completed its review of possible asset sales and will announce a decision by quarter's end. "The review process has been rigorous and will continue to move forward with the assistance of our outside financial and legal advisers," said William Osborn, the media group's lead independent director and chairman of a strategic-review committee. Among the suitors for the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune assets are Los Angeles-based billionaires David Geffen, Eli Broad and Ron Burkle.

Participant adds Sexton

Adrian Sexton has joined Participant Prods. as executive vp in charge of digital to oversee the company's expansion into global media, the production of new programs and digital distribution. He also will lead new digital initiative partnerships and strategic acquisitions. He will report to Participant CEO Jim Berk. Sexton's immediate duties will include the initiation of online campaigns for Participant's upcoming films. He comes to Participant from TAG Strategic, a digital media and entertainment agency he co-founded with Ted Cohen.

BSkyB movie channels get brand redo

BARCELONA, Spain — British Sky Broadcasting is rebranding its 10-channel premium movie portfolio as a series of genre-based channels beginning April 4, Sky Networks deputy managing director Sophie Turner Laing said Tuesday in London. The move, which reflects customer demand, will see Sky rename its channels Sky Movies 1 to 10 as genre-oriented movie channels across comedy, drama, family, action/thriller, indie, classic, horror/sci-fi and modern greats. Sky Movies offers about 450 films per week, of which about 20 are pay TV premieres.

Work starts on 'Pioneers' docu for PBS

PBS and Boettcher Trinklein Prods. have gone into production on "Pioneers of Television," a four-part documentary series featuring the talents that launched TV and left their imprint on sitcoms, late-night, variety and game shows in the early days of the medium. The one-hour specials, set to debut in winter/spring 2008, will feature new interviews with nearly 100 entertainers, including Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Separately, it was announced Tuesday that the PBS Kids preschool destination has been greenlighted for a second season.

Reveille pacts with Akimbo for VOD service

Independent production and distribution company Reveille has partnered with Internet VOD service Akimbo to allow consumers to digitally download their TV series. Akimbo subscribers will be able to download several shows originally produced for network television, including "Adrenaline X," "House Wars" and "Meet Mr. Mom." Reveille, founded by Ben Silverman, is the company behind NBC's "The Office" and ABC's "Ugly Betty."