news digest


ABC's Roberts diagnosed with breast cancer

NEW YORK — Four weeks after ABC News' "Good Morning America" film critic Joel Siegel died of cancer, co-anchor Robin Roberts said that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Roberts, 46, found a lump in her breast during a self-exam on the night she did a story in a tribute show about Siegel's bout with cancer and how he was an advocate of early screening. Roberts' doctors have set surgery for Friday; the prognosis is good. Roberts made the announcement during Tuesday's "GMA" with co-anchor Diane Sawyer at her side. By midafternoon, she had received 12,000 e-mails.

SNL Kagan: Cable industry in good shape

The cable network industry is much healthier than previously believed, according to a new study from SNL Kagan based on surveys with network executives. According to the study, advertising revenue for the cable networks was up 9% last year. Total revenue was up 12%, and cash flow was up 13%. In addition, cash-flow margins remain healthy, with an industry average of 34% and some networks in the 50%-60% range.

NBC Uni turns on 9 V Cast channels

NEW YORK — NBC Universal will present nine channels on Verizon's V Cast service, showcasing a wide range of content through short video clips, the companies said Tuesday. The channels, available immediately, are news, sports, entertainment, comedy, "Access Hollywood," Telemundo, mun2, Bravo and iVillage. The entertainment channel will feature clips from "Heroes," "Friday Night Lights" and clips dedicated to "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." The comedy channel offers "The Office," "30 Rock" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" clips.

HDNet buys high-def 'Torchwood'

HDNet said Tuesday that it has acquired the high-definition rights to the first 26 episodes of the BBC's hit sci-fi drama series "Torchwood," a spinoff of the long-running British series "Dr. Who." "Torchwood" will air at 7 p.m. Mondays on HDNet starting Sept. 17. HDNet was launched in 2001 by Mark Cuban and GM Philip Garvin.

Versus goes virtual with deer subject

Versus, which claims to be "the Official Network of Whitetail," is launching what it's calling a "first-of-its-kind" virtual online channel dedicated to "anything and everything about America's favorite game, the whitetail deer." It will be available at

AZN honors Chinese Ghost fest with horror

AZN Television, Comcast's channel that targets Asian-American viewers, has acquired several new titles for this month's "Ghost Fest" summer programming stunt, which commemorates the traditional Chinese Ghost Festival holiday. Highlights include "Tales of Terror: The Movie" (Happy Together Film & TV), the series "Dead Men Do Tell Tales" (MATV Ltd.) and anime "Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek" (Central Park Media).