news digest


'Transformers' bulks up for Imax release

TORONTO — Imax Corp. will screen a supersized version of "Transformers" beginning Sept. 21, ahead of the fall DVD release for the DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures action film, the giant-screen exhibitor said Tuesday. Toronto-based Imax said it will work with director Michael Bay in digitally remastering "Transformers," which has generated $310 million in domestic boxoffice since its July 3 bow in conventional theaters.

ESPNU widens reach, changes anchor

ESPN announced a reorganization of its production department Tuesday as one of its tier channels, ESPNU, reached a subscriber-boosting distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable. ESPNU will be placed on all of TWC's systems by month's end, doubling its distribution to about 20 million homes in digital basic. ESPNU also named Lowell Galindo, a former ESPN intern and sports reporter in Florida and Washington, to replace Mike Hall as primary on-air anchor. Hall left the company. In a major staffing move, parent company ESPN has reorganized its production arm under executive vp Norby Williamson and created a new enterprise reporting unit under vp studio production Craig Lazarus. Also on Tuesday — just in time for the Rugby World Cup — ESPN said it has acquired, a 10-year-old Web site for rugby fans.

Parnell upped to vp at SPT

Chris Parnell has been promoted to vp development at Sony Pictures Television. He will work with senior vp Sharon Hall, who heads the studio's drama department, and vp Jason Clodfelter on developing new drama series. Last season, SPT's drama team developed five projects that were picked up to series. Parnell's first executive position at SPT was manager of creative affairs.

BBC beefs up U.S. newscast with exec hires

NEW YORK — BBC's first U.S.-based hourlong newscast announced more hirings Tuesday, including a key "Charlie Rose" producer. Iva Zoric will become senior producer for the as-yet-unnamed broadcast, which will air nightly on BBC America and BBC World News Channel. Zoric will be in charge of the newscast's interviews and panel discussions. Also named Tuesday were Bob Sharpe as lead director and Brian Gottlieb and Kathryn Farrell as producers.

Dick Clark taps Fahn as senior vp

Dick Clark Prods., which recently was snapped up from Mosaic Media Group by RedZone Capital and Six Flags Inc., has appointed Terry Fahn senior vp communications. He will be based at the company's new facilities in Santa Monica and report to CEO Terry Bateman.

ChoicesUK collapses as vid biz slows

LONDON — In a further indication of the declining fortunes of home entertainment retailers in Britain, Alternative Investment Market-listed ChoicesUK, which owns the U.K.'s No. 2 rental chain, said Tuesday that it plans to go into administration. An administrator, understood to be PricewaterhouseCoopers, is set to be formally appointed today.