news digest


Panel weighs in on ATAS-NATAS spat

Arbitrators made an interim ruling Monday in regard to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' dispute with the National Academy of Tele-vision Arts & Sciences over the creation of Emmy Awards that recognize digital content. ATAS had requested an injunction against NATAS asking to put a stop to any plans for awards or academies in the digital area. The arbitrators ruled that neither Los Angeles-based ATAS nor New York-based NATAS can make any new announcements regarding the formation of either until arbitration is decided pending a formal hearing in October. In other news, ATAS has pushed back by a week voting on the Primetime Emmys. The schedule for mailing screeners has been moved to the week of Aug. 6 for the Creative Arts Emmy nominees, while the schedule for mailing screeners for the awards shown during the televised Emmy ceremony has moved to the week of Aug. 13. The push accommodates a recent change in the Emmy voting rules that now permits at-home judging by blue-ribbon panel members who are voting on comedy and drama series actors and actresses, which led to the Emmy nominations announcement coming July 19, a week later this year than usual.

'Black Irish' is good to go Anywhere

NEW YORK — New indie distributor Anywhere Road has acquired all domestic rights to its sophomore release, "Black Irish," starring Michael Angarano, Brendan Gleeson and Melissa Leo. Writer-director Brad Gann's feature debut follows the trials of an Irish-American family in South Boston. Anywhere Road will release the film Sept. 28 in New York and Boston, followed by a national rollout through the fall.

Facebook IPO talk boosted by job listing

In a sign that Facebook might be considering an initial public offering, technology blog Valleywag said Monday that the social networking site has started advertising a job opening for a "stock administration manager." The requirements include a "minimum four years stock administration experience in an international public company" and knowledge of regulations relating to stock plans and insider trading, according to the blog.

Starcom inks by-the-minute Bravo ad deal

NEW YORK — After a wide-ranging deal forged earlier in upfront negotiations with Discovery Communications, media buyer Starcom USA said Monday that it has reached a minute-by-minute agreement for ad inventory on Bravo. It is the first time that NBC Universal has agreed to a deal that uses minute-by-minute commercial data to determine ratings guarantees. Financial terms weren't available.

MLB drafts Cook to pitch postseason

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball said Monday said that actor- comedian Dane Cook will headline its professional and user-generated content campaign titled "There's Only One October." The campaign to promote MLB's postseason kicks off today, the day of the All-Star Game, with a Web site ( that will solicit user-generated content talking about fans' favorite postseason baseball moments and include archived clips from playoff and World Series games.

Film group gets technical with grant

Thanks to a two-year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Los Angeles-based Film Independent is establishing a Sloan Producers Grant as part of the organization's Producers Lab. The first recipient, to be selected in the fall, will receive admission to the 2007 lab, a $25,000 development grant and support from Film Independent. The foundation's goal is to encourage new scripts and films about science and technology.