news digest


Nokia's new services target Apple

DENVER — Nokia on Wednesday launched its much-anticipated digital music service, a move designed to expand the company's mobile entertainment footprint and turn the heat on Apple's iTunes and iPhone. The service works on both music-specialized mobile phones and PCs. Users can browse and buy tracks over the air, receive music recommendations and transfer songs from their PC to the phone. Music purchased from the service will be protected in the Windows Media Audio format. The Nokia Music Store is limited to the European market for now and will expand to Asia later this year. No plans were disclosed for a U.S. rollout.

Lake's docu a labor of love for Netflix, NL

NEW YORK — Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment and New Line Home Entertainment have acquired North American rights to producer Ricki Lake's childbirth documentary "The Business of Being Born." Red Envelope is planning a theatrical run in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco at the end of October, hiring International Film Circuit to promote and distribute. The film will debut on Netflix before year's end, followed by a 2008 New Line DVD release. After her 36-hour delivery of her first child in 1997, Lake enlisted director Abby Epstein to chronicle the lives of several expectant mothers.

TBS picks Katz to oversee Peachtree TV

Turner executive Jonathan Katz has added oversight of Peachtree TV, TBS' new local broadcast platform in Atlanta, to his duties. Katz is taking on an expanded role as Turner Entertainment Group senior vp and GM of program planning, acquisitions and Peachtree TV. Set to launch Oct. 1, Peachtree will have a "hyper-local sensibility," featuring movies in primetime and sitcoms targeted to Atlanta in daytime. It also will carry 45 Atlanta Braves baseball games.

'Crosswords' fills in the top 50 markets

Program Partners and Merv Griffin Entertainment said Wednesday that the upcoming syndicated game show "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" has been cleared in all of the top 50 markets, bringing its reach to more than 92% of the U.S. Set to premiere in national syndication Sept. 10, the weekly half-hour game show strip has added five new markets, including Louisville, Ky.; Albuquerque; Green Bay, Wis.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Palm Springs, Calif.

CMT rallies around new 'Cheerleader'

CMT is giving 10 women a chance to regain their youth in a new makeover series titled "I Want to Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again." The eight-episode series, set to premiere in October, is in production in Los Angeles. It features Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders trainer Jay Johnson as he works to whip 10 former high school cheerleaders into shape as they compete for a $50,000 prize.