news digest


Discovery, Freeman click for digital gig

NEW YORK — Discovery Communications said Wednesday that it named former AOL executive Joshua Freeman executive vp digital media. Freeman will oversee the growth of Discovery across all digital global platforms. He reports to Bruce Campbell, president of digital media and business development. Freeman most recently was senior vp operations and planning at AOL's products division. The appointment is one in a string of recent restructurings at Discovery's top level.

Film festivals a world apart …

The 18th annual Dinard Festival of British Film will open with Ken Loach's "It's a Free World … ," organizers said Wednesday. Pascal Thomas' Gallic title "L'heure zero" will close the festival, which runs Oct. 4-7 in Dinard, a beach resort town in the French province of Brittany. … Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," about French Elle editor in chief Jean-Dominique Bauby, will kick off the eighth annual Woodstock Film Festival, set for Oct. 10-14. Closing the New York arts colony's fiercely independent festival will be Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," the Bob Dylan biopic starring Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. … Kirsten Sheridan's "August Rush" will serve as the opening-night film at the 16th annual Heartland Film Festival, which runs Oct. 18-26 in Indianapolis. Marc Forster's "The Kite Runner" will close the fest. … The second annual Malibu Celebration of Film kicks off Sept. 28 with Michael Schroeder's "Man in the Chair," starring Christopher Plummer and Robert Wagner. The festival will screen retrospective films including Orson Welles' last major film, "F for Fake," and the silent Mary Pickford classic "Heart O' the Hills." An outdoor screening of the Rob Stewart-directed documentary "Sharkwater" is the closer.

'Entourage' finale screens for 2.2 million

The boys of HBO's "Entourage" might have ended the show's fourth season doing business in Cannes, but in terms of viewers, the comedy series finished the season exactly where it began. Sunday night's finale averaged 2.2 million total viewers at 10 p.m., the same measure for the comedy series' fourth-season bow June 17.

More entries in the TV history logs

The Paley Center for Media has announced its "Media as Lens" fall events in Los Angeles and New York. Manhattan programs will honor Mary Tyler Moore, Glenn Close, Angela Lansbury and Kyra Sedgwick. A tribute to Ethel Merman also is planned. Los Angeles has organized sessions featuring the cast and writers of "Two and a Half Men," "ER," "Robot Chicken," "Hell's Kitchen," "Scrubs" and "Mad Men" as well as a tribute to Latino media with Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz.

Coming soon to a theater in Vietnam

Two new multiplexes with 30 screens, beer bars and coffee cafes are opening this month in Ho Chi Minh City as Vietnam expands its market for U.S. films. The theaters, the MegaStar Cinema Hung Voung Plaza 8 and the MegaStar Cineplex Saigon Plaza 6 in Bien Hoa, will open Sept. 12 and Sept. 13, respectively, with a premiere at Voung Plaza 8 of Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum" as well as a one-day Bourne Festival.