news digest


Wal-Mart slashes HD DVD player price

Forget Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when retailers entice holiday shoppers with extreme price discounts. Wal-Mart, a Black Friday pioneer, has gotten a three-week jump-start on the tradition by offering Toshiba's HD-A2 HD DVD player for $98.87. The special pricing is only available at retail stores and valid through the close of business Saturday, according to a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.

Imus set for N.Y. return

Don Imus will return to the airwaves Dec. 3 on New York's WABC-AM, nine months after the cantankerous shock jock's career seemed doomed over unflattering remarks about the Rutgers women's college basketball team. Station owner Citadel Broadcasting made the announcement Thursday, confirming long-rumored reports that Imus was returning to morning drive time in the same city where he was banished in April.

HPA honors to 'Knee,' '300'

"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (best TV editing), "300" (best feature film color grading) and Honda's "Free Yourself" (best composting in a commercial) were among the winners announced Thursday night at the second annual HPA Awards, held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Presented by the Hollywood Post Alliance, the HPA Awards are aimed at promoting awareness of and excellence in the postproduction process.

Bay, Wistrom set for MPSE honors

Director Michael Bay will be presented with the Golden Reel Filmmaker Award at February's 55th Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards. The MPSE also will honor Bill Wistrom, whose credits include the "Star Trek" TV series, "Falcon Crest" and "Bonanza," with its Golden Reel Career Achievement Award.

'Spiderwick,' Imax go day-and-date

Continuing its association with Paramount, Imax said Thursday that Mark Waters' fantasy film "The Spiderwick Chronicles" will be released simultaneously in Imax theaters and on conventional screens Feb. 15. It will be the fourth Paramount film heading to Imax, which will present the studio's "Beowulf" when it opens Nov. 16.

MySpace joins OpenSocial

NEW YORK — News Corp.'s MySpace has joined Google's OpenSocial platform, a project designed to rival Facebook's open source strategy, the companies said Thursday. OpenSocial, which was set to go live Thursday, will allow other social networks and developers to create software applications for use on a variety of destinations. Social network Bebo, the No. 1 site in the U.K., also joined the OpenSocial alliance Thursday.

Kwak has new operations at Def Jam

Karen Kwak has been promoted to executive vp A&R operations at Island Def Jam Music Group. She had been senior vp since 2004. New York-based Kwak will continue to supervise all operational duties of the Island Def Jam A&R department, which includes the administration of all A&R-related affairs for IDJ and its affiliated labels.