news digest


Judges reject royalty appeal for webcasts

WASHINGTON — A panel of copyright judges on Monday rejected an appeal to redo a recent royalty decision raising the rates paid by broadcast companies, NPR and webcasters for the Internet transmission of music. In its decision, the Copyright Royalty Board said it refused the request to reconsider the controversial March 2 ruling because the offended parties added nothing new to their arguments and that the judges made no error in their decision. "In the absence of an adequate showing of new evidence, the parties' arguments in their respective motions amount to nothing more than a rehash of the arguments that the judges considered in the initial determination," chief copyright judge James Scott Sledge wrote.

Olbermann joins NBC's gridiron gang

NEW YORK — Keith Olbermann is rapidly becoming one of the busiest men on TV. The "Countdown" anchor, recently signed to a multiyear deal to stay with MSNBC, will add another job to his résumé in the fall as co-host of NBC's "Football Night in America." NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said Monday that Olbermann will join co-host Bob Costas and analysts Tiki Barber, Jerome Bettis and Cris Collinsworth in the second year of "Football Night," which precedes the network's "Sunday Night Football" telecasts.

Bravo has Gunn, will post, cast

Bravo on Monday posted the first chapter of Tim Gunn's book "Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality Taste and Style" exclusively on its Web site. Additionally, Bravo on Monday began casting for its new series, "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style." The series has Gunn transforming the fashion-challenged woman into a style maven.

WGA East seeks relief from CBS

WGA East has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against CBS Broadcasting. The complaint filed Friday claims that CBS had "unilaterally changed terms and conditions of employment of employees and by severely limiting all access of union representatives to the employer's facilities." WGAE, whose 500 members at CBS have been working there without a contract since April 1, 2005, is asking for immediate relief.

Opa! Greek fest set for Beverly Hills

The inaugural edition of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, a four-day event celebrating Greek cinema, will kick off June 14 at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills. In addition to screenings and panel discussions, the event will present the first Orpheus Awards to films and filmmakers in the lineup. In addition, actress Olympia Dukakis and journalist Yani Begakis are set to receive the Lifetime Achievement and Honorary Orpheus Awards, respectively.

Comedy Central turns on 'Mic'

Comedy Central isn't pulling any punches with the launch today of "Open Mic Fight," an online competition aiming to foster the nation's next big comic through cross-platform promotion. The contest, which consists of several rounds of stand-up competitions and an interactive component where viewers can cast their votes, will reward the winner with exposure across multiple platforms, including an appearance on a Comedy Central stand-up show, and VOD and mobile outlets. The victor also will receive status as the featured comic on iTunes, talent representation and $10,000 in cash.