news digest


Rosenberg chastises Sweeney

SAG president Alan Rosenberg has rejected AFTRA’s take on what happened during an AFL-CIO executive council meeting Friday. While AFTRA says federation president John Sweeney would issue a direct charter to AFTRA once details are hashed out, Rosenberg says that is “simply inaccurate” and “misleading.” There are significant issues still to be decided, Rosenberg said Sunday.

Travolta gets HFF support

John Travolta will be honored as Hollywood Supporting Actor of the Year at the 11th annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony on Oct. 22 at the Beverly Hilton. Fest executive director Carlos de Abreu said Travolta's performance as the hefty and all-heart Edna Turnblad in Adam Shankman's "Hairspray" stood out this year and deserved recognition.

Mandel leaves ICM to build talent firm

Longtime ICM agent Barbara Mandel is leaving the agency to form her own management company, Artist Talent Management. Mandel's clients will continue to be represented by ICM. Commending Mandel on the job she has done since joining the agency in 1998, ICM chairman and CEO Jeffrey Berg said the agency looks forward to having a continuing relationship with her.

'Diana' docu has Ofcom's support

LONDON — U.K. media regulator Ofcom has determined that there is no need to act on complaints regarding Channel 4's broadcast of the documentary "Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel." The broadcast, which was opposed by representatives of Clarence House and Princes William and Harry, showed still photographs of the princess receiving medical attention at the crash site in Paris before she died 10 years ago. Ofcom ruled that the program dealt with issues that "were clearly a matter of public interest" and did not breach Channel 4's broadcast code.

Hey! Nielsen up and blogging

The Nielsen Co. said Monday that it has opened its new social networking Web site called Hey! Nielsen ( to the public. The site, which gives lovers of pop culture a place to sound off about TV shows, music and movies, has been tested internally within the Nielsen Co. for the past few months. Nielsen, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, also plans to launch a Spanish-language version of the site, Oye! Nielsen, in January. Initially, Nielsen expects the site will be able to provide demographic information, comments and scores for specific entertainment properties that could be used as a complement to Nielsen's traditional research services, including TV ratings, SoundScan (music), Nielsen EDI (boxoffice information) and other services.

DreamWorks Ani brings Freston on board

DreamWorks Animation said Monday that Tom Freston has been named to its board of directors. Freston was ousted as president and CEO of Viacom 13 months ago and replaced by Philippe Dauman.