news digest


FHE ups trio in revamp of worldwide ops

LONDON — 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment announced Tuesday a restructuring of its international operations that will give company veteran Gary Ferguson an expanded role as senior vp emerging markets. Ferguson, who was senior vp Europe, will be responsible for developing a viable business in China and Russia and for identifying expansion opportunities in Brazil. He also will supervise Fox's worldwide licensee operation and play a key part in the division's anti-piracy agenda. Additionally, FHE said U.K. managing director Steven Leighton has been promoted to the newly created role of senior vp Northern Europe, and former Warner Home Video executive Marc Caux will join FHE as senior vp Southern Europe.

Nat'l Lampoon suits up for 'Beach Party'

National Lampoon has acquired theatrical and home video rights to International Danger Alliance's postapocalyptic comedy "Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell." The film, which premiered at last year's Los Angeles Film Festival, is set 20 years in the future after the fall of the U.S. It was written by and stars Kevin Wheatley, who also co-directed with Jonny Gillette. The film will be released in the fall through National Lampoon Releasing and will be distributed to home video in first-quarter 2008 through National Lampoon Home Entertainment.

Eller goes global at Col TriStar

Zachary Eller has been named vp global promotions at the Columbia TriStar Marketing Group. In his new role, he will oversee all international promotions for the studio, including negotiating and executing all international partnerships overseeing the local- market promotional campaigns at Sony's 75-plus international offices.

Game on for Lifetime with RealNets deal

Lifetime is capitalizing on the growing number of women engaging in casual gaming with the upcoming launch of a series of online games targeting the female sensibility, the network said Tuesday. Through a partnership with digital entertainment company RealNetworks, the network will launch "Lifetime Presents" on July 25 on It also will be featured on casual game destination RealArcade.

'Cars' speeds to three wins at vid awards

LAS VEGAS — Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment's "Cars" won three Home Entertainment Awards on Tuesday, while Genius Products' "Clerks II" and Warner Home Video's "The Departed" also received multiple awards. The awards are part of the Entertainment Merchants Assn.'s Home Media Expo 2007, which runs through Thursday at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino. A complete list of winners can be found at

NBC Uni fare phoned in via Alltel pact

NEW YORK — NBC Universal will make its on-demand content available to Alltel Wireless subscribers, the companies said Tuesday. All of NBC Uni's shortform video channels — including NBC News, Access Hollywood, Telemundo, Bravo and USA — will be available, as well as full episodes of "Friday Night Lights" and originals from the network's Dotcomedy property. Subscribers also will have access to NBC Uni's mobile network.