news digest


List of names long for Valenti funeral

WASHINGTON — Jack Valenti's funeral today at St. Matthew's Cathedral reflects the mixture of his life, a heady cocktail of politics and show business laced with a shot of the common man and family friends. Sprinkled among the famous like actor Kirk Douglas, a lector, are family friend and Houston businessman Theodore Dinerstein, also a lector, and Valenti's long-term drivers Humam Abdul-Malik and Tobar Woolbright, who are among the pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers number in the dozens and include California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and director Steven Spielberg, News Corp. honcho Peter Chernin, Disney boss Robert Iger and producer Steven Bochco and nearly a quorum call of lawmakers, including House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Valenti, a decorated World War II veteran, will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in a later ceremony.

GameTap adds free games, store to site

NEW YORK — Turner Broadcasting's GameTap is set to announce today a free ad-supported gaming section on its Web site and a digital storefront that will offer day-and-date video game releases, all starting May 31. The first game offered on the expanded site will be Eidos' "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary." Previously, only subscribers could play games on GameTap, at a cost of $9.99 per month.

Nielsen set to buy rest of BuzzMetrics

The Nielsen Co. said Monday that it has agreed to acquire the remaining 42% stake in BuzzMetrics, which tracks and analyzes online consumer-generated media, that it doesn't already own. The companies didn't disclose financial details, but the transaction is expected to be completed by month's end. Nielsen, the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, has been a BuzzMetrics investor since January 2005 and took a majority stake in February 2006.

'300' number up with five MTV noms

The feature film "300" leads the pack of nominees for the 2007 MTV Movie Awards with five mentions, followed by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" with four noms. Both will vie for best movie honors with "Blades of Glory," "Borat" and "Little Miss Sunshine" at the awards, set for June 3 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City. In addition, "300" received noms for stars Gerard Butler (best performance), Lena Headey (breakthrough performance) and Rodrigo Santoro (best villain) and also was cited for best fight. The other mentions for "Pirates" came in the categories of best performance for Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley and best villain for Bill Nighy.

Kodak lenser contest ready for 8th edition

The Kodak Filmschool Competition has launched its eighth annual cinematography contest. The finalists will be judged by cinematographer Peter James ("Driving Miss Daisy"). The competition is open to students in Latin American and Asian Pacific countries as well as the U.S. and Canada. The grand prize includes a trip to the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France, where the winning entries will be screened.

TV Guide will network with a new name

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said Monday that its TV Guide Channel is getting rebranded under the new moniker TV Guide Network starting June 4. The move is intended to reflect the channel's ongoing efforts to move away from being primarily a utility service focusing on scrolling TV listings to becoming a "more fully developed television guidance and entertainment network." TV Guide produces, markets and distributes more than 14 hours a week of new and original content.