news digest


'Simple Life' is simply over

"The Simple Life" is coming to an end on E! Entertainment Television. The reality series, starring tabloid fixtures Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, debuted in 2003 on Fox, where it ran for three seasons before moving to E! last year. E! confirmed Monday that the fifth-season finale — airing at 10 p.m. Sunday — will be its series finale. "Simple Life" is down 20% from the previous season, averaging 843,000 total viewers through eight episodes this year compared with 1.1 million for Season 4's 10 episodes.

Messick tapped as exec vp at AEG

Andrew Messick has been named executive vp marketing and international at AEG. He also will join the organization's executive committee, chaired by company president and CEO Timothy Leiweke. Messick, who was senior vp international at the NBA, will be responsible for managing several of AEG's specific business units, overseeing marketing, advertising, public relations, merchandising and creative services for company-owned or -operated venues and entities worldwide. His duties also will include the direction of business operations for most of AEG's sports franchises, sports properties, events and tournaments.

GOP YouTube debate date still in limbo

NEW YORK — The CNN-YouTube debate featuring the Republican candidates for president might be delayed after at least two candidates have said that they won't be able to make it to Florida on Sept. 17. Only three — Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson — have committed to the event. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have said they can't make the date for the debate, reserved for the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Fox marketing pioneer is its senior vp pick

Studio marketing and licensing industry veteran Michael Peikoff has been promoted to the position of senior vp licensing and merchandising at 20th Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising. Peikoff, who was a member of the original marketing team that helped launch Fox Broadcasting with hits like "The Simpsons," also has worked at Sony Pictures and Warner Bros.

Corto film fest honors Burton, Bothun

Tim Burton and PricewaterhouseCoopers principal Deborah Bothun have been honored with the Cruz de Plata Award of Distinction at the Expresion en Corto Film Festival. Mexico's top film fest feted Burton for his long career as a director and animator. Bothun was feted for her 15 years in the international entertainment and media industries as well as her mentorship of women.

Fuel, Speed mix it up for motocross

Sports-themed networks Fuel TV and Speed have teamed on a new one-hour programming block devoted to the world of freestyle motocross. The block, titled "Fuel TV's Moto Mix," will feature new original Fuel TV motocross series "The Great Ride Open"; the best of "Firsthand" episodes featuring top motocross riders; Insane Cinema's moto favorites; Travis Pastrana's "Nitro Circus"; and high-profile motocross events like "Red Bull X-Fighters." The block will debut on Speed at 1 a.m. EDT/10 p.m. PDT on Sept. 1, running for 11 weeks, while Fuel will premiere the block at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT on Oct. 3 for a 26-week run.