news digest


Roth a showman

Warner Bros. Television president Peter Roth will be honored by the ICG Publicists as the 2008 Television Showman of the Year, officials said Monday. Roth will be feted Feb. 5 at the group's 45th annual Publicists Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton.

Sabin joins team at TLC

New TLC president and GM Angela Shapiro-Mathes is bringing another member of her executive team at Fox TV Studios to the cable network. Edward Sabin has joined TLC as COO. In the newly created position, he will oversee the cable network's overall business strategy, working with ad sales, finance, business/legal affairs, affiliate sales and international. He also will be responsible for TLC's digital and business development and will report to Shapiro-Mathes.

SoapNet in Disney movie deal

Disney-owned cable channel SoapNet has acquired 12 movies from Disney-ABC Domestic TV to air at 10 p.m. Sundays beginning Dec. 2. The package includes six Walt Disney Studios theatricals — "Full Frontal," "Deception," "Kiss of Fire," "Tangled," "My Boyfriend's Back" and "A Pyromaniac's Love Story" — as well as six telefilms, including "Dangerous Indiscretion," "Deadly Sins" and "Double Cross," which are making their basic cable premieres. SoapNet also will run a marathon of the six-episode Season 1 and the Season 2 premiere of ABC's drama "October Road" on Saturday, following the series' Thursday bow on ABC.

D-entertainment honors get Greenlight

NEW YORK — The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival is teaming with new-media producer and distributor ON Networks to launch the Greenlight Awards. The honors will seek the best digital entertainment series, and one winner chosen by celebrity judges will receive $10,000 and a distribution deal from ON. Submissions will be reviewed from December-Feb. 15, with the winner announced at a ceremony held during March's SXSW.

Smith anchors cable's top salary

NEW YORK — Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith has re-upped with the network. Financial terms of the deal weren't announced, but reports said the multiyear deal would put his salary at about $7 million a year, which would be more than anyone else on cable news. It also would put Smith, who has been with FNC since the beginning, in the salary range of network stars. Katie Couric is probably the highest-paid anchor in television with an average salary of $15 million a year.

A Cause for issue-oriented theater

NEW YORK — Just in time for the holiday season, the new Manhattan-based theater company Cause Celebre is launching with a star-filled lineup of issue-oriented plays to benefit charities. Each month, a new production will be staged, with proceeds going to a cause related to the play.