news digest


Cox finalizes swap deal with Discovery

Privately held cable operator Cox Communications Inc. has completed the swap of its 25% stake in Discovery Communications for Travel Media Inc., owner of Travel Channel and, and about $1.3 billion in cash. Travel Media's ownership of Antenna Audio initially was part of the deal but later was excluded by mutual agreement, the two companies said Monday. The deal means that two-thirds of Discovery Communications is now owned by Discovery Holding Co., with the remaining third still in the hands of Advance/Newhouse Communications.

Murdoch reaches out to Dow

Rupert Murdoch has offered the Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones & Co. a seat on the News Corp. board if it agrees to a $5 billion takeover proposal, a spokesman confirmed Monday. Murdoch also promised to retain current management and establish an editorial board to oversee the news pages of Dow Jones' flagship the Wall Street Journal, which posted his letter Monday on its Web site. Murdoch also said he would welcome a meeting with the family.

Veoh home for Scannell's Next channels

NEW YORK — Next New Networks, Herb Scannell's new Internet video company, is launching seven niche channels on Web TV application Veoh Networks, the companies said Monday. Included will be the new Indy Mogul Channel, which will be dedicated to DIY filmmakers and film enthusiasts. Car channels VOD Cars and Fast Lane Daily also will be presented, along with cartoon network Channel Frederator, comic book channel Pulp Secret, DIY fashion site ThreadBanger and news channel Veracifier, all of which were announced in March. Scannell is a former MTV Networks vice chairman and the CEO of Next New Networks.

Fear grows for missing TV Azteca pair

MEXICO CITY — A TV Azteca reporter and a camera operator have been missing since last week, fueling speculation that they might have become the latest victims in an outbreak of attacks against Mexican media personnel. Reporter Gamaliel Lopez and cameraman Gerardo Paredes, employees of broadcast network TV Azteca Noreste in the northern city of Monterrey, disappeared after they had finished a news report Thursday and have not been heard from since, a network spokesman said Monday. Some fear they have been kidnapped, as drug-related violence claims a growing numbers of victims along the U.S.-Mexico border. Reporters Without Borders recently ranked Mexico second behind Iraq as the most dangerous nation in the world for media professionals.

MySpace adds more brands to video effort

MySpace is set to announce today that it will add content from National Geographic, the New York Times and Reuters to its video section in the coming months. As part of its "branded channels" effort, the content will accompany video from the Daily Reel, Expert Village, Flow and Fox's IGN Entertainment among other lifestyle-oriented outlets on the social networking site.

'Roses' set to open N.Y. Italy spotlight

The seventh annual Spotlight on New Italian Cinema kicks off June 6 at the Walter Reade Theater in New York with "Desert Roses," a comedy by Mario Monicelli starring Michele Placido, Alessandro Haber and Giorgio Pasotti. Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center along with FilmItalia and MiBAC, the program, Italy at Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, will wrap June 14 with the thriller "Dark Sea," from director Roberta Torre.