news digest


Fox Sports, Speed land Formula One

NEW YORK — Fox Sports and Speed Channel said Monday that the networks will carry Formula One racing through 2009. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the agreement includes four races broadcast on Fox Sports and the remainder on Speed Channel, a News Corp. subsidiary. There are 17 races in all, many shown live. Beginning next year, Fox will have live coverage of the U.S. Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix as well as tape of the British Grand Prix and the French Grand Prix. Fox will have its coverage in June and July. Speed Channel will continue with 13 races and will have GP2 Series racing and broadband rights.

Two earn grants as AMPAS' Film Scholars

Jan-Christopher Horak and David Edmund James have been named Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Horak, a visiting professor in the critical studies/archival training program at UCLA, is writing a biography of Saul Bass, noted film poster and title designer. James, a professor at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, is authoring a book about the interaction between rock 'n' roll and cinema in the U.S. and the U.K. The scholars each will receive $25,000 grants from the Academy Foundation. The first half of the grants will be awarded at a luncheon in January, and the second half will be given when they complete their respective projects.

LMNO brings pair of card shows to table

LMNO Prods., producers of TV programming for broadcast, cable and syndication, and Shuffle Up Productions Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of casino gaming supply company Shuffle Master Inc., are expanding their relationship beyond GSN's "Three Card Poker National Championship Tournament" by developing and producing programming based on new and existing Las Vegas-style table games. The first of two shows being developed by the companies is based on Shuffle Master's card game Let It Ride, while the second is a competition show for inventors tentatively titled "The Next Vegas Game."

Krugman back at Columbia

Jay Krugman is returning to Columbia Records as senior vp adult marketing. Krugman, who spent a decade with Columbia from 1986-96, will develop, oversee and execute marketing campaigns for the label's adult contemporary and heritage acts. He will be based in New York and report to Columbia senior vp marketing Barbara Jones. He most recently ran his own independent marketing consultancy.

SPT renews rookie 'Lopez'

Sony Pictures Television has renewed its syndicated rookie "Judge Maria Lopez" for a second season in more than 91% of the country. Station groups renewing the half-hour strip for 2007-08 include CBS Corp., Weigel, Tribune, Clear Channel, Sinclair, Raycom and the CW 100+ Station Group. "Lopez," which debuted Sept. 11, is averaging a 0.9 household rating this season, according to Nielsen Media Research. In its freshman season, it has cleared in 100% of the country. The show, which shoots in New York, is hosted by Judge Maria Lopez, the first female Hispanic judge appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court. She is repped by Rebel Entertainment Partners.

AWP, Edge pact for feature films

American World Pictures is partnering with Jonathan Krane and Beau Rogers' new production, distribution and financing company the Edge to provide equity for its upcoming slate of films. AWP will handle international sales and distribution. The Edge is set to begin production on at least three features next year.