news digest


Senate OKs 2nd term for FCC's Martin

WASHINGTON — The Senate without dissent has given the thumbs up to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, reconfirming him for a full term at the helm of the agency. "I look forward to working with the administration and Congress, as well as with my fellow commissioners and the incredibly able staff at the FCC, to ensure that all Americans share in the benefits and opportunities offered by the best communications system in the world," Martin said. Martin's reconfirmation late Thursday was expected, but there had been speculation among telecommunications industry executives that Democrats might hold it up in order to extract some concessions.

'Laguna' fans flood after finale saw a surge in Internet traffic Wednesday after the season finale of "Laguna Beach." The Web site's "Laguna Beach: Live After Party" generated 512,000 streams and reached 179,000 unique users in only 20 minutes.

Dogan Yayin on ProSieben bidding list

COLOGNE, Germany — Turkish media giant Dogan Yayin is on the shortlist of bidders for Haim Saban's German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1. A successful takeover by the firm could mark a comeback by failed ProSieben suitor Axel Springer, which Thursday signed a deal to buy 25% of Dogan Yayin broadcasting subsidiary Dogan TV for €375 million ($480 million). Dogan Yayin has moved on to the second round of bidding for ProSieben, according to a report Friday in the Financial Times Deutschland. Sources said other bidders include investment consortium KKR/ Permira and Apax/Goldman Sachs.

Reiner leaving post at WGAW

Grace Reiner, assistant executive director at the WGA West and a 20-year guild veteran, is leaving effective Dec. 1 to pursue an unspecified "new career opportunity." A participant in the past four rounds of guild contract negotiations, Reiner has served as the WGAW's "resident expert" on the guild's Minimum Basic Agreement with producers, officials said, adding that she will be "deeply missed."

Register inks with Cartoon Net

Veteran animation executive Sam Register has signed a first-look deal with Cartoon Network to develop programming. The deal encompasses both kids' and adult programming that could end up on Cartoon Network or sister channel Adult Swim. Register most recently was senior vp development at Cartoon Network, where he was responsible for overseeing the development and production of such original animated programming as series "Ben 10" and "My Gym Partner Is a Monkey."

Kino picks up film, TV rights to 'Pit'

Kino International has picked up U.S. theatrical and television rights to Juan Carlos Rulfo's Mexican feature "Into the Pit," the winner of the jury prize for world cinema documentary at January's Sundance Film Festival. "Pit" follows the dangerous lives of workers as they build a section of a freeway in Mexico City. Kino is planning a platform release for the film beginning in January in Los Angeles and New York.