news digest


Microsoft cites error in Xbox reporting

Microsoft is downplaying reports that Robbie Bach, head of its Xbox operations, sold more of his stock in the company than previously reported in the months before disclosing a major technical problem with the Xbox 360 console. It was known that Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, had sold $6.2 million in Microsoft shares between May 2-July 5, but a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows he also sold $3 million in shares May 1. A Microsoft spokesman blamed an administrative error for the company failing to report Bach's additional stock sales to the SEC in a timely manner.

Canada's film, TV policy in new hands

TORONTO — Quebec Parliament member Josee Verner on Tuesday traded places with outgoing federal Heritage Minister Bev Oda as part of a Cabinet shuffle. Verner, minister of international cooperation in Ottawa, will move to the heritage post, responsible for Canadian film and TV policy, and Oda will take over his slot. Oda had been under fire for campaign financing irregularities, a situation instigated when she allowed major broadcasters she oversaw to organize a fund-raiser on her behalf last year.

'Today' will loosen up in fourth hour

NEW YORK — When the fourth hour of "Today" goes on the air next month, expect a few surprises, the show's executive producer promised. "I think there will be days when it's a little more talk, it's a little more spontaneous, a little less formatted," executive producer Jim Bell said Tuesday, the same day the network anointed Ann Curry, Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb as co-hosts for the hour, along with appearances by David Gregory, Giada De Laurentiis and Tiki Barber.

Consumers pick Yahoo over Google

In a couple of firsts, Yahoo overtook Google and the entire e-business sector took a hit in terms of consumer satisfaction, according to an annual report released Tuesday. Nuggets from the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index, known as ACSI, include a decline for AOL and a boost for Yahoo gained three points year-over-year, on a scale of zero to 100, in customer satisfaction, scoring 79, while Google dropped three points to 78.

Murphy PR ups Edwards, taps Myers

Indie film publicity firm Murphy PR has promoted longtime publicist Jessica Edwards to vp and added Heter Myers to its staff. Edwards joined John Murphy's company when it began in 2004; Myers arrives from the New York communications firm Sloane and Co.

HBO goes all out for Timberlake

HBO is putting a multiplatform promotional effort behind its Labor Day premiere of Justin Timberlake's upcoming concert show, "FutureSex/ LoveShow." HBO On Demand is offering three music videos from the multiplatinum album along with the option to view the entire concert, set to bow at 9 p.m. Sept. 3. Beginning today a user-generated contest dubbed "Are You the Biggest Justin Fan?" will be featured at