news digest


CanWest makes an Alliance

TORONTO — Canada's TV regulator on Thursday approved a $2.3 billion takeover of broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications by rival CanWest Global Communications and equity partner Goldman Sachs & Co. The CRTC approval has implications for future control of Canadian media companies by foreign players as the U.S. investment bank will virtually finance the Alliance Atlantis takeover deal.

Zell's Tribune officially goes private

Tribune went private Thursday, and its shares ceased trading after Sam Zell and his team of investors successfully closed their $8.2 billion purchase. Zell became chairman of the board and CEO of the company, named two new executives and five new board members. Observers expect the company to sell off the Chicago Cubs baseball team and Wrigley Field next year, leaving Tribune with 23 television stations and slew of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

NATAS takes on ATAS again

The New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has appealed part of a recent arbitration panel ruling that found in favor of the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. NATAS said Thursday that it has filed a petition to "vacate an award" of the American Arbitration Assn., which recently barred NATAS from "awarding any new Emmys which infringe on the genres reserved to ATAS." The arbitrators also ruled that each academy can award Emmys for broadband content only in the genres under their jurisdiction, which allows NATAS to honor broadband sports and news programs, among others.

GoFish hooks Moloshok

NEW YORK — Web video network GoFish said Thursday that it has appointed HBO executive Jim Moloshok to executive chairman. Moloshok was president of digital initiatives at the Time Warner-owned HBO and was senior vp entertainment and content relationships for Yahoo before that.

RomaCinemaFest sets earlier date

ROME — The third installment of the RomaCinemaFest will begin Oct. 2, more than two weeks earlier than the 2007 edition's opening date. When the Rome festival was launched in 2006, Venice officials complained that the dates of the two events were too close together. Rome agreed to push its start date back five days in 2007. But the 2008 Rome dates, Oct. 2-12, eliminate those five days and 11 more besides. That likely means Rome's start will be closer than ever to the close of the Venice event.

Fox 'Dresses' up film promotion

NEW YORK — Fox is introducing what it calls the first-ever "live standees" to promote "27 Dresses" — 27 models at 27 specially selected theaters nationwide — who will be wearing bridesmaid dresses adorned with the film's title and credits. The promotion will take place Dec. 27, when Fox will hold sneak previews of the movie at selected theaters ahead of its Jan. 11 opening.