news digest


Oxygen ups Cavanagh

Mary Jeanne Cavanagh has been promoted to executive vp advertising sales at Oxygen. In her new role, she will oversee all aspects of the company's advertising sales department, including regional sales, direct response and the company's integrated sales efforts. Cavanagh joined Oxygen in 2002, most recently serving as senior vp national ad sales, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the sales department overseeing the East Coast team.

History rolls with bow of 'Truckers'

The History Channel scored Sunday with the premiere of "Ice Road Truckers" at 10 p.m. According to Nielsen Media Research, the telecast averaged 3.4 million total viewers, the most for an original program on the network. Meanwhile, Lifetime's new drama series "Army Wives" got a bump in its third week. It averaged 3.8 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Sunday, up from its June 3 premiere (3.5 million) and second episode (3.3 million).

ESPN adding video games to Web site has launched a video game section to further embrace the gaming culture of male sports fans. ESPN Arcade, created in collaboration with leading casual game and advergame developer Skyworks, offers more than 40 free casual games that range from such sports titles as "Ice Hockey" and "Slam Dunk" to "Spades" and "Sudoku." The new section will be fully advertising-supported.

Fox unit earns license for Walden films

Walden Media is teaming with 20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising as its worldwide licensing agent for Walden films. The pact covers future properties for both Walden and sister company Bristol Bay Prods., both divisions of Anschutz Film Group. Under the deal, Fox Licensing will develop licensed merchandise and retail programs for such upcoming Walden films as "The Dark Is Rising," "Nim's Island," "City of Ember" and "Tortoise and Hippo."

Townley tapped COO at Carat Ent.

Carat Entertainment, the branded entertainment division of Carat USA, and MY Entertainment Co., the production arm of Carat Entertainment, have tapped Joseph Townley as their first COO in a move the firms said is "in response to the recent growth of both companies' core business activities." Townley will report to Carat Entertainment managing director and MY Entertainment president Michael Yudin.

SPT fare gets cut to size via MySpace site

MySpace today launched the Minisode Network, an online destination at that features repurposed segments from television shows from the Sony Pictures Television library. Each featured minisode will be three to five minutes in length, with current featured segments from such series as "The Partridge Family" and "Starsky & Hutch." More than 500 minisodes will be available by year's end.

Marvel boosts merch profile with hires

Marvel Entertainment has appointed Joann McLaughlin to the newly created position of executive vp merchandising and hired Susan Fields as vp merchandising, saying that the moves reflect the company's goals of expanding the focus of its licensing operations to product merchandising and design "in an effort to position the company and its licensees for growth across all categories at retail."