news digest


EU nations won't back libel limits

BRUSSELS — European Union governments have thrown out plans to restrict "libel shopping," the practice of suing broadcasters and journalists in countries with the harshest laws. EU government officials said Wednesday that they are unable to back proposals drafted by the European Parliament that would have ensured broadcasters and journalists accused of libel could be sued only in the country of their media's main audience. The decision comes after four years of EU negotiations on civil liability aimed at simplifying cross-border litigation cases that involve multiple courts. The parliament plans ran into heavy fire amid fears that new rules could affect free speech and make libel shopping easier.

'Evan' sneak post-'Office'

NBC Universal will give an exclusive first look at Universal Pictures' upcoming "Evan Almighty" tonight on NBC, MSNBC, Sci Fi Channel, Bravo, USA, Universal HD, CNBC, Mun2, Chiller and Sleuth after the season finale of "The Office." Following the on-air premiere, a six-minute extended preview of the film starring Steve Carell will be available exclusively at The site also will launch a microsite showcasing the comedy of Carell from "Evan," "Office," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Saturday Night Live."

Nguyen upped to sr. vp at Warners Int'l

Jack Nguyen has been upped to senior vp operations at Warner Bros. Pictures International, where he will report to executive vp operations and finance Angelina Speare. "Jack has wide-ranging experience with our operations throughout the world and has helped build our growing business in the area of Asian local production and distribution," Speare said. Nguyen has been with Warner Bros. International since 1990.

TW's Braves sale to Liberty final

NEW YORK — Home-run king Hank Aaron will take on an increased role with the Atlanta Braves after the team's sale Wednesday from Time Warner Inc. to Liberty Media Corp. The deal, which Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said values the franchise at $450 million, was unanimously approved by baseball owners at a special meeting called Wednesday night to beat a midnight change in tax laws. The companies were set to transfer the team later in the evening. Time Warner and Liberty agreed to the sale in February.

JTMG licenses NBC Uni slate

NBC Universal Television Distribution has named Joy Tashjian Marketing Group Llc. the exclusive consumer products agency to represent select television properties from NBC, USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, Bravo and CNBC, including "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," "30 Rock," "Monk," "Top Chef," "Top Design," "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" and "Mad Money." The appointment expands upon JTMG's long-term licensing association with NBC.

Tromel getting creative for Loonland

MUNICH — Damien Tromel has been tapped as the new head of creative affairs and development for Munich-based kids television producer TV-Loonland, the company said Wednesday. A company spokesman said that the position has effectively been vacant for two years while Loonland has concentrated on buying and distributing such products as the animated series "Transformers" and "My Little Pony."
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