week in review digest


Channel 4 boss warns of ad shift

LONDON — Channel 4 CEO Andy Duncan on Wednesday warned that broadcasters face "deep structural" changes in the advertising market after revealing that Google's U.K. ad revenue will exceed that of Channel 4 for the first time ever this year (HR 11/2). In an interview with the Financial Times, Duncan revealed that the pubcaster will report advertising revenue of about £800 million ($1.5 billion) in 2006, compared with £900 million ($1.7 billion) in U.K. revenue expected by Google. "People need to wake up and realize that this is not just a cyclical issue," Duncan told the newspaper.

For Barker, retirement seems right

Daytime TV icon Bob Barker is retiring after half a century on television and 35 years as the host of CBS' "The Price Is Right" (HR 11/1). Barker, who turns 83 next month, said Tuesday that he will hang up his microphone in June when his current deal on the long-running CBS game show is up. "We knew this day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier," CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said. "Bob Barker is ... an entertainment icon and one of the most beloved television personalities of our time." "Price" will continue after Barker's retirement, a CBS spokesman said, declining further details. The network's sendoff to Barker will be punctuated by a May primetime special.

5 stars for Williams' 'Diamond'

Lindsay Lohan, Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn, David Strathairn and Ann-Margret are attached to bring a long-forgotten Tennessee Williams screenplay, "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," to the big screen (HR 11/6). The screenplay centers on Fisher Willow (Lohan), the disliked 1920s Memphis debutante daughter of a plantation owner with a distaste for narrow-minded people and a penchant for shocking and insulting those around her. Burstyn is attached to play Fisher's mother. Brad Michael Gilbert's Constellation Entertainment is producing the film.

BBC News staffers OK 12-hour strike

LONDON — BBC News production teams have voted for strike action after being told that they will have to work more shifts, unions said this past week (HR 11/2). More than 95% of staffers polled voted in favor of a 12-hour strike over the issue of changes to working hours that will result in compulsory additional shifts after shift lengths are shortened from 12 hours to 8 to 10 hours. Overall, the amount of hours worked is not being changed, meaning staff will have to work extra shifts to compensate. The strike plans thus far do not include journalists.

Weinsteins collaborate with 'Enemy'

The Weinstein Co. has acquired North American rights to Kevin Macdonald's documentary "My Enemy's Enemy," about Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie (HR 11/6). "Enemy" chronicles several unsettling twists in Barbie's life, from his history as a Nazi torturer to his recruitment by the U.S. government for work as a counterintelligence officer to the 1987 trial for his World War II atrocities. "This is a version of history where, in contrast to what we were all told, fascist ideology prevailed," Macdonald said. The helmer won the 2000 docu Oscar for "One Day in September."