news digest


WMA loss at U.K. top is PFD's gain

LONDON — WMA U.K. chief Caroline Michel has jumped ship to become CEO of rival British agency PFD. One of the U.K.'s most established and largest talent agencies, PFD lists among its clients Keira Knightley, Richard Curtis, Kate Winslet, Mike Leigh and Alan Bennett. The agency's parent company, CSS Stellar, made the appointment public Wednesday, with Michel's hire attributed to the efforts of CSS executive chairman David Buchler. He described Michel's exit from WMA as "entirely amicable."

Discovery gets Sony America's merger man

Discovery Communications has tapped Sony Corp. of America executive James Rosenstock as senior vp business development and strategy. He will lead the team that evaluates and executes acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships and other growth opportunities and will play an integral role in overall strategic planning, boosting efforts to enhance profitability and shareholder value. Rosenstock was vp of the corporate development and mergers and acquisitions group at SCA.

Checkouts for Blockbuster CFO and COO

Movie-rental company Blockbuster said Wednesday that CFO Larry Zine will retire by month's end. He will be replaced by Thomas Casey, who was managing director for Deutsche Bank Securities. This week, COO Nick Shepherd also said he was leaving Blockbuster at month's end, Keith Morrow was named chief information officer and David Podeschi was made senior vp merchandising, distribution and logistics.

NBC Uni folks asked to fight N.Y. piracy

NEW YORK — NBC Universal wants to enlist its own employees in the citywide fight against film and TV piracy. On Wednesday, the company launched an awareness campaign among its New York-based employees centering on what they can do to help snuff out piracy. The campaign, which featured posters from the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and a package of Junior Mints with a similar wrapper, urged them to call 1-800-NO-COPYS to report sales of illegal DVDs. Piracy costs major movie studios up to $6 billion in annual revenue and the state and city at least $50 million a year in lost city and state taxes.

Borger onboard CNN as sr. political analyst

NEW YORK — CNN said Wednesday that Gloria Borger has joined the network as a senior political analyst. Borger, who until recently worked at CBS News, will start next week and discuss political topics for a number of CNN shows, including the one being developed for Campbell Brown at 8 p.m. weeknights.

Ovation makes plans to be original

Ovation TV, which focuses on programming related to art and personal creativity, announced Wednesday its first original series since relaunching in April. "Art & the City," a cultural tourism series hosted by Travel + Leisure magazine's David Keeps, is a half-hour series set to premiere with back-to-back episodes at 8-9 p.m. Oct. 7 before moving to its regular slot at 8 p.m. Wednesdays starting Oct. 10. The first two episodes will explore the cultural highlights of Chicago and Paris, respectively.