news digest


MOM's biggest 'Cheerleader' for CMT

Sixty stay-at-home moms in 21 markets hit the streets Monday for a two-week campaign to promote the CMT reality series "I Want to Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again." Organized by the New Jersey-based marketing company Miles of Marketing, the campaign combines mobile advertising with word-of-mouth awareness. MOM street teams will advertise the CMT show on their cars and minivans, distribute fliers and premiums and blog about the series on relevant Web sites. The series stars Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders trainer Jay Johnson, who, with wife Lin, attempts to whip 10 women back into high school cheerleading shape as they compete for $50,000.

Reitman's YouTube attachment

NEW YORK — Google's YouTube will hold a short-film contest that will be judged in part by director Jason Reitman. The Hewlett-Packard-sponsored competition, dubbed Project Direct, starts Sunday and will be accepting entries until Nov. 9. The videos must be two to seven minutes in length and feature a character facing "a situation above his or her maturity level," among other guidelines. Reitman will help narrow the submissions down to 20 videos. The YouTube community will vote on a winner, to be revealed Dec. 5. The top prize is nine days at an international film festival and a $5,000 debit card.

Springer at Overture as senior vp sales

Overture Films has appointed Rob Springer as senior vp sales operations. Springer will oversee boxoffice research, reporting and analysis. He will implement and run operations of Overture's new theatrical distribution system, reporting to executive vp distribution Kyle Davies. Springer was vp operations at Rentrak International, where he developed the international boxoffice reporting system.

Winning team has mission for 'Reboot'

The creative team of writer Jeff Campbell, producer Shea Wageman, artist Shaun Martens and designer Kelly Schmidt was chosen to develop a Web comic book property for Zeros 2 Heroes and Rainmaker Animation's "Reboot" franchise. Rainmaker partnered with comics and genre site Zeros 2 Heroes to create an online contest where fans selected a plot line they wanted to see develop. The winning concept's story centers on the idea of a self-aware program called Gnosis that uses the power of the supercomputer to conquer and enslave the Net.

Joost offers beta service to all

NEW YORK — Internet TV service Joost opened its beta mode to the public Monday. With the release of its 1.0 beta version, Joost now can be downloaded by anyone with a compatible Mac or PC, whereas before an invitation was needed to access the service. Joost, founded by the creators of Skype, launched in expanded beta mode in May.

VH1 veteran makes exit

Fred Graver, VH1's former programming chief and creator of its series "Best Week Ever," is leaving the network. A VH1 spokesperson confirmed the news that Graver has "left to pursue other opportunities." Graver joined VH1 in 1999 to launch its Web site.