news digest


Fox News ups Magee

NEW YORK — Fox News Channel said Monday that it has promoted Kevin Magee to executive vp. Magee, who had been named senior vp last year, has had oversight of Fox News Radio. He will continue those duties but also will be responsible for Fox Television Stations' morning show that will launch next year with Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick. He also was named executive in charge of the proposed Fox Business Channe. Magee also is chairman of the Fox News Programming Council, which coordinates Fox TV and radio. He joined Fox News in 2001 as vp programming after four years as executive producer of business news at CNBC.

Female filmmakers receive grants

The Women in Film and General Motors Alliance awarded seven female filmmakers with their annual Acceleration Grants for Emerging Filmmakers. A WIF committee comprising filmmakers and industry executives made the selection of up-and-coming directors. The grant provides recipients with a broad-based understanding of the business of filmmaking through WIF's five-day mentoring program, set for Wednesday through Nov. 6 in Santa Monica. The winners are: Sriyanond Bartone, Margaret Brown, Shelly Niro, Pamela K. Johnson, Sandra Pfeifer, Marie Francoise Theodore and Sue Vicory.

Rock Hall picks nominees for 2007

Nominees for 2007 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, announced Monday, include R&B acts Joe Tex and Chic, rap pioneers Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, British invasion act the Dave Clark Five, girl group the Ronettes, punk priestess Patti Smith, Detroit proto-punks the Stooges, metal unit Van Halen and Georgia alt-rockers R.E.M. Five inductees selected by more than 500 voters will be announced in January.

'Martha' picked up for third season

"The Martha Stewart Show" has been renewed for a third season on several station groups, including the NBC O&Os in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution said Monday that the hourlong strip, now in its second year in syndication, also has been sold to stations from Gannett, Belo, Fisher, Scripps and other groups for the 2007-08 season. The announcement follows the news that co-executive producer Rob Dauber has exited the show, which averaged a 1.4 household rating for the week ending Oct. 15, according to the most recent Nielsen data available.

Perlman, Hu join 'Samurai' voice cast

Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu are joining Samuel L. Jackson in the voice cast for Spike TV's "Afro Samurai." The five-part animated series, which premieres Jan. 4, is based on a graphic novel by Takashi Okazaki and centers on a black samurai's (Jackson) hunt for the gunman who murdered his father. Perlman will voice the gunman, while Hu will voice a friend from the samurai's past. "Afro Samurai" is produced by Japanese studio Gonzo in association/partnership with GHK K.K. and Funimation.

'Dogs' has its day at Heartland fest

"Shooting Dogs," directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by David Wolstencroft, received the $100,000 Grand Prize for best dramatic feature at the 15th annual Heartland Film Festival, which recently concluded in Indianapolis. The inaugural $25,000 Award for best documentary feature went to "The Hip Hop Project" producer-director Matt Ruskin and Diana "Princess" Lemon, who appears in the film. Producer Hilary Glaholt received the $10,000 Vision Award for best short film for "Shade" from writer-director Kimberly Williams-Paisley.