news digest


Corbis eyes profit with microstock Corbis, the stock footage company founded by Bill Gates in 1989, will introduce a microstock business whereby amateur photographers may profit for as little as a dollar at a time. Gary Shenk, who will be promoted from Corbis president to CEO on July 1, replacing Steve Davis, said Tuesday that he intends to introduce the microstock business this quarter. While the focus is on photographs, Shenk would not rule out amateur video of the sort that YouTube has made so popular. Photos, of which Corbis has 100 million, are its primary business. Shenk also said that his No. 1 priority is to make Corbis profitable for the first time since its founding 18 years ago.

Court TV won't hear 'Crier'

Court TV has pulled the plug on "Catherine Crier Live." "As part of Court TV's rebranding strategy, we have decided not to renew the 'Catherine Crier Live' show," the network said Tuesday. "The 5-6 p.m. hour is slated to feature the type of real-life stories that have given our primetime lineup such strong ratings momentum." Crier also is leaving her post as executive editor, legal news specials, at Court TV. "Crier," which debuted in February 2001, will have its last telecast April 27. The network will fill the slot with repeats of "Psychic Detectives," at least for the short term. Court TV's rebrand, which includes a new name for the network, is set to launch Jan. 1.

Film Movement goes ClickStar route

Day-and-date DVD/theatrical distributor Film Movement will release 25 of its indie catalog titles through online sales and rentals from broadband distributor ClickStar. The library includes award-winning docus and foreign films from the festival circuit, including "The Party's Over," "Anytown, USA," "Witnesses" and "The Man of the Year."

MTV reuniting 'Real World Vegas'

MTV and Bunim-Murray Prods. are reuniting a "Real World" cast to document what happens when they live together again in their former home. The cable network and producers Bunim-Murray Prods. said Tuesday that they're going into production this month on their first-ever reunion series for the "Real World" franchise. "Reunited: The Real World" will reunite the original cast of "The Real World: Las Vegas" in their former home — the "Real World" suite at the Palms Casino Resort — to see what has happened in the five years since the seven cast members lived together and to document what happens when they reunite. The show is set to premiere on MTV later this spring.

'Friday' has good day as NBC orders scripts

NBC's "Friday Night Lights" is shining brighter. A day before the freshman series' season finale tonight, the network ordered six additional scripts of the critically praised but low-rated series. While this is short of the early second-season order NBC recently bestowed on another acclaimed but ratings-challenged freshman series, the comedy "30 Rock," the additional script order strengthens "Friday's" chances for a return next season.

Maddox upped to exec vp slot atop CNN Int'l

NEW YORK — Tony Maddox has been named as CNN International's new executive vp and managing director, the company said Tuesday. Maddox replaces Chris Cramer, who resigned this year after 12 years. Maddox will report to CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton. His new role will give him responsibility for five CNN English channels, CNN en Espanol, International and joint ventures with other networks plus worldwide newsgathering operations. He will work out of the network's Atlanta headquarters, where he has managed the international news desk and supervised CNN's worldwide bureaus.