news digest


Disney drops mobile service

NEW YORK — Disney is canceling its Disney Mobile service, but it plans to find a new way to use the programming. The service joins ESPN Mobile as the second Disney-run mobile virtual network operator that has been shuttered in less than a year. Walt Disney Internet Group president Steve Wadsworth blamed tough market conditions for the failure of Disney Mobile, which operated on the Sprint network. Disney plans to explore a new business model and might partner with another major carrier, much like how ESPN changed its mobile strategy. Disney Mobile will be operable until Dec. 31.

Dinsmore upped at NBC

Jayson Dinsmore has been upped to senior vp alternative development at NBC Entertainment. In his new position, Dinsmore will shepherd the network's unscripted development and oversee a team that includes Jenny Ellis, who has been promoted to manager of alternative programming.

Appeals court sends SAG suit to trial

A California court has cleared the way for a wrongful-termination lawsuit against SAG. The lawsuit, brought by former SAG affirmative action executive Patricia Heisser Metoyer, was dismissed in 2004. In a ruling filed Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the judges ruled 2-1 to reverse the summary judgment after finding that Metoyer's case has merit and can go to trial. Metoyer filed the suit in 2001 after she was fired on accusations that she gave more than $30,000 in union funds to friends, business partners and her husband's production company. In her suit, Metoyer, who is black, said her firing was in retaliation for complaints she had made about alleged acts of discrimination within the guild.

Ex-Sony execs mount digital studio Deca

Former Sony Pictures execs Michael Wayne and Chris Kimbell have launched a digital entertainment studio, Deca, with $5 million in funding. Deca expects to announce partnerships later this year with distributors and advertisers in online video and other categories. Investors include the Mayfield Fund, General Catalyst Partners and Atomico Investments.

RealNetworks trusts in Game Trust

RealNetworks said Thursday that it will acquire Game Trust to capitalize on the company's social networking applications. Game Trust, which is based in New York and has offices in Denmark, makes community gaming and commerce applications. Lifetime, a syndication partner of RealNetworks, will use the technology on Terms were not disclosed. RealNetworks expects the deal to close early in the fourth quarter.

Sci Fi beams two shows back

Sci Fi Channel has ordered a third season of its top-rated original series "Eureka" along with a second season of the reality show "Destination Truth." The cable network has ordered 13 new hourlong episodes of "Eureka." The dramedy from Universal Media Studios is set to begin production on Season 3 early next year in Vancouver for a summer premiere. Cast members Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson, Joe Morton, Jordan Hinson and Ed Quinn and executive producers Jaime Paglia and Charlie Craig are returning for the third season.