news digest


Torreal adds 20% of Imagina

MADRID — Spanish investment group Torreal has acquired 20% of Spanish entertainment giant Imagina, the television and film company said Wednesday. The move adds resources to the growing titan, created by last year's merger of two of Spain's most important television production and postproduction groups: Grupo Arbol and Mediapro. Grupo Arbol and Mediapro maintain a 60% stake in the company, with British advertising group WPP holding the remaining 20%. Imagina, which posted 2006 revenue of €600 million ($816.7 million), is Spain's television content leader.

Eastwood has the spirit of independence

Clint Eastwood has been selected as the recipient of Film Independent's Spirit of Independence Award, which will be presented June 28 by Tony Bennett as part of the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival. The Spirit of Independence Award was created to recognize an individual who has remained true to his work and vision, displaying an independent spirit through his work in the independent and studio worlds. Eastwood will discuss his films at the event, during which footage from the upcoming documentary "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends," which Eastwood is exec producing, will screen. The fest runs June 21-July 1.

Paramount shuffles advertising team

Paramount Pictures has upped Josh Greenstein to executive vp creative advertising. Greenstein, who was senior vp creative advertising since 2005, will continue to oversee the development of print and audiovisual advertising materials. Since joining Paramount, Greenstein has managed campaigns for "World Trade Center," "Blades of Glory" and the upcoming "Transformers." He will continue to report to Paramount president of worldwide marketing Gerry Rich. Additionally, Michael Jones will join the studio as senior vp creative advertising. Jones, who will report to Greenstein, comes to Paramount from Aspect Ratio, where he was creative producer.

Spitz climbs ranks at Lionsgate

David Spitz has been promoted to executive vp and general sales manager of theatrical domestic distribution for indie Lionsgate, which is increasing the number of films it releases annually. Lionsgate is distributing about 18-20 films a year, with about 15 of them receiving wide releases. He reports to theatrical films president Tom Ortenberg and theatrical distribution president Steve Rothenberg. Spitz will work with Rothenberg and Ortenberg in selecting release dates and strategic release patterns as well as overseeing national settlements and collections.

Janneman to head ad sales for Current TV

Industry veteran Liz Janneman has been named president of ad sales at Current TV. Janneman, who is based in New York, will oversee the global advertising sales effort for Al Gore's growing cable network. She will report to Current COO Mark Goldman. Janneman most recently held senior executive positions at the Weather Channel and AOL Time Warner, where annual sales revenue jumped to $1 billion during her tenure.

Bravo sets 'Foundation' for series

Bravo has ordered a pilot presentation for "The Beauty Foundation," a potential docudrama series centered on makeup artist Billy Brasfield (known as Billy B. in the fashion industry). Brasfield is said to lead a jet-set lifestyle tending to clients around the globe, charging $5,000 to prepare a celebrity for a photo shoot, but he also spends time trying to rebuild his tiny Mississippi hometown. The project will center on the clash between his "high-gloss makeup-artist lifestyle and the grit of restoration projects." World of Wonder will produce the pilot presentation, with Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey serving as executive producers.
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