news digest


Deadline extended for EMI to accept bid

NEW YORK — Private-equity firm Terra Firma said Thursday that it is extending its deadline for EMI Group investors to accept its £2.65-per-share takeover bid after the first deadline, as expected, passed Wednesday without reaching the necessary level of approval. Terra Firma said that its £2.4 billion ($4.79 billion) offer for the music company has been extended until the Fourth of July. Meanwhile, Warner Music Group shares remained near their 52-week low of $14.08 as investors wait for word on whether the company will launch an eleventh-hour counterbid for EMI. The stock Thursday closed down 1.4% at $14.46.

HBO Voyeur peeks with brand plan

HBO announced the launch of a brand campaign, called the HBO Voyeur Project, that takes a series of interconnected filmed stories within eight apartments of a random urban building and expands them into a multiplatform branded experience that will be featured on, HBO On Demand and HBO Mobile. The campaign was unveiled Thursday, projected on the side of a Manhattan building. The campaign, developed with BBDO, is meant to capture the essence of the HBO brand with the recognition that "sometimes the best stories are the ones we were not meant to see," HBO said. The network is spending an estimated $7 million-$10 million on production and marketing costs for the campaign.

Dow Jones presents case to News Corp.

Dow Jones & Co. CEO Richard Zannino gave News Corp. executives a financial presentation at Dow Jones headquarters Thursday as takeover talks between the parties appear to be entering their final phases, sources said. Meanwhile, to protest a potential takeover by Rupert Murdoch's media giant and the slow pace of labor contract talks, several editorial staffers at Dow Jones' flagship Wall Street Journal did not report to work Thursday morning, their union said.

Styponias named GM at Microsoft unit

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday tapped media industry analyst Katherine Styponias as GM of the company's media and entertainment group. Recognized as an expert in analyzing media industry trends and companies, Styponias will lead the business development team and work with major content suppliers. She joins Microsoft from Prudential Equity Group Llc.

Spina upped to senior vp at MTVN group

Dario Spina has been promoted to senior vp integrated marketing at MTV Networks' Entertainment Group, which includes the Comedy Central, Spike TV and TV Land cable channels and their respective Web sites. In his new role, Spina will assume responsibility for oversight, implementation and execution of multiplatform integrated marketing for all components of the group, including the linear channels' Web sites and sales arms.

Arthouse gets world rights to 'Cool' docu

NEW YORK — Arthouse Films has nabbed worldwide rights to "The Cool School: How Los Angeles Learned to Love Modern Art," a documentary narrated by Jeff Bridges. Morgan Neville's feature includes interviews with Dennis Hopper, Frank Gehry, Dean Stockwell, Roy Lichtenstein and several other artists about Los Angeles' seminal Ferus Gallery and its impact on the post-World War II art world. The docu had its world premiere in competition at the current Los Angeles Film Festival. Arthouse plans a national platform release early next year. The film also will be broadcast as part of PBS' "Independent Lens" series during the 2007-08 season.