news digest


EC, Germany to battle over network law

BRUSSELS — Germany faces almost certain legal action at the European Union's highest court after the European Commission stepped up its action against a German law that protects Deutsche Telekom's fiber-optic network from rivals. Deutsche Telekom is building a €3 billion ($4 billion) ultrafast broadband network offering services like Internet TV, but the German government has offered the company a "regulatory holiday" that allows it to deny rivals access to the network.

Digital-cinema screens top 4,000

After a rush last week to complete technical installations to enable 3-D screenings for the Walt Disney Co.'s "Meet the Robinsons," the number of theaters equipped with digital-cinema screens worldwide has passed the 4,000 mark. With the bulk of these being domestic installations, it also means that about 10% of the screens in the U.S. are now digital, according to Texas Instruments, the developer of the DLP Cinema chip.

Katzenberg DWA's $1 man

DreamWorks Animation paid CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg $1 in total compensation in 2006 after he waived a stock grant that was to have been valued at $5 million, according to a regulatory filing. He waived his stock award in 2006 and for the next two years to accommodate the salary and equity compensation of the company's president and CFO, Lew Coleman, who was hired in 2005. The studio paid Coleman total compensation of $7.08 million in 2006. COO Ann Daly received total compensation of $3.74 million in 2006, according to the filing.

Ward, Pritchard upped at Griffin Group

Merv Griffin, chairman and founder of the Griffin Group of Cos., has promoted executive vp Ron Ward to the newly created position of vice chairman and upped vp and general counsel Robert Pritchard to president. In his new role as vice chairman, Ward will continue to work with Griffin in establishing the strategy and focus of all the companies, whose activities range from the production of TV programming and theatrical films to horse racing, residential real estate and hotels. As vp and general counsel at the Griffin Group, Pritchard has handled all business and legal affairs for the umbrella operation.

Bomb injures actors, crew on Afghan set

PARIS — Six actors and crew members working on Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf's latest project, "Two Legged Horse," were injured last week when a bomb exploded on the film's set in Afghanistan. Although no group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack, the bomber — disguised as an extra — was caught on camera after precipitating the explosion when Makhmalbaf called "Sound, camera, action," according to France's Wild Bunch, which is co-producing the film.

Genii sets honors for 51st awards

The Southern California Chapter of the American Women in Radio and Television is set to honor actress Doris Roberts; Initiative Media executive vp and director of local broadcast Sue Johenning; KIIS-FM on-air personality Ellen K; Andrea Stoltzman, vp sales at KCBS Los Angeles; and KFI-AM programming director Robin Bertolucci at its annual Genii Awards in Los Angeles. In addition, CBS Television City technical manager Cristy Trembly will be honored as outstanding chapter member. The 51st annual Genii Awards will take place June 13 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.