news digest


Scout making Sundance docu

Sundance Channel said Tuesday that it has hired Scout Prods. to create and produce a 13-part documentary series tentatively titled "Change Agents" that will feature "the innovators and innovations on the cutting edge of the environmental revolution." The series will anchor "Sundance Channel Green," a weekly primetime destination focusing on environmental topics that is scheduled to launch early next year. David Metzler and Michael Williams will executive produce for Scout.

Five given diversity honors

The 14th annual Diversity Awards, presented by the Multicultural Motion Picture Assn., will honor director Michael Mann, actresses Maria Bello and Bai Ling and actors Michael Pena and Nick Cannon. The organization will confer the awards Nov. 19 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.

Euro filmers win aid package

BRUSSELS — The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a seven-year aid package for European filmmakers that it said could reap 20 times its €671 million ($842 million) cost. The parliament, the European Union's elected assembly, said in a report that every euro ($1.30) granted to the media aid program in the past has generated €5.80 ($7.30) in follow-up investment, €2.80 ($3.50) in education, €7.20 ($9) in distribution and €4.20 ($5.30) in development. "Previous media programs have made major contributions to Europe's audiovisual sector and have delivered good value in doing so," the report said after MEPs adopted the budget for the 2007-13 program.

CW gains Honolulu outlet

The CW said Tuesday that it has signed a long-term affiliation agreement with Montecito Broadcast Group Llc. for KHON-DT, the digital station of the company's Fox Honolulu affiliate. All of the CW's regularly scheduled programs will premiere Monday on KHON-DT.

ITN barred from embeds

LONDON — Independent Television News, Britain's leading commercial news broadcaster, is embroiled in a damaging spat with the military that has seen the Ministry of Defense withdraw embedding privileges from ITN reporters. The unprecedented penalty came after the ministry complained to ITN about its reports on the treatment of wounded soldiers. ITN, which supplies all the flagship news broadcasts and other news services to ITV and Channel 4, will be forbidden to attach its reporters to British troops in such conflict zones as Iraq and Afghanistan until the dispute is resolved. A spokesman said ITN is "in talks" to resolve the issue.