news digest


Video game homes up 18% in 2 years

The number of U.S. households with video game systems reached 45.7 million during 2006, which represents an 18% increase in the past two years, Nielsen Media Research reported. "The video game console has become a major player in the battle for the living room," said Jeff Herrmann, vp of Nielsen wireless and interactive services. The company's "State of the Console" report also finds that more than 148 million people had access to at least one console system in their home, including two-thirds of males 18-34.

Swartz tribute in works

Plans are under way for a tribute to Charles Swartz during the upcoming Digital Cinema Summit at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters Convention, set for April 14-19 in Las Vegas. Swartz, who died Feb. 10, was director and CEO of the Entertainment Technology Center, an organized research unit at USC within the School of Cinema-Television. He led ETC-USC from February 2002 until his retirement last year. Under his watch, ETC-USC's Digital Cinema Lab became Hollywood's de facto digital-cinema forum, hosting and supporting the Digital Cinema Initiatives work toward establishing d-cinema specifications.

Murano distribution chief at Oxygen

Oxygen has promoted Mary Murano to president of distribution from her previous post as executive vp affiliate sales. In addition to overseeing all cable distribution, Murano will add digital distribution, including wireless and broadband, to her responsibilities. "Mary has been the No. 1 driving force behind our extraordinary growth over the past seven years," Oxygen president and COO Lisa Gersh said. "She has been here since the birth of the network in 2000, and her comprehensive understanding of the Oxygen brand and extensive knowledge of the cable industry have been an invaluable asset to our success."

Silberman upped to vp at A&E Network

Dan Silberman has been promoted to vp publicity at A&E Network. In his new role, he will be responsible for devising and executing A&E's corporate and trade communication, overseeing all program-based consumer press efforts and spearheading a comprehensive external communication strategy for A&E Networks' Biography Channel. Silberman, who was senior director of publicity, joined A&E in May after most recently serving as director of press and publicity at Bravo.

'Mine' theirs: N.A. rights to Film Movement

Indie day-and-date distributor Film Movement has acquired all North American rights to Klaus Haro's Finnish drama "Mother of Mine." The film, Finland's 2006 Oscar submission for best foreign-language film, centers on a young boy sent by his mother to live with a foster family in Sweden during World War II. Film Movement will release "Mine" in theaters and as part of its DVD-of-the-month club. The deal was negotiated by Film Movement president Adley Gartenstein with Sanne Arlo of Nordisk Film Sales.

SXSW gets 'Daily Reel' at film fest

The South by Southwest Film Festival will present "The Daily Reel Online Shorts," a program of online videos curated by producer Jamie Patricof's short film Web site the Daily Reel. The program, the festival's first showcase of online videos, will be screened March 12 at Austin's Dobie Theater.
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