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Global Showbiz Briefs: UK To Charge Ex-Newspaper Staffers In Bribery Scandal; Yahoo Taps Dawn Airey For SVP Post; More

By | Tuesday August 20, 2013 @ 10:00pm PDT

Ex-Daily Mirror, Sun Staffers Among 9 Charged In Bribery Scandal
Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said today that nine people would be charged in relation to allegations of illegal payments to public officials. Among them are former Daily Mirror journalist Greig Box-Turnbull, and ex-Sun staffers Graham Dudman, John Troup and Vince Soodin. Box-Turnbull is being called up on two charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office with regard to alleged payments to prison officers for information. The prison officers also are being charged as co-conspirators. Dudman is alleged to have requested the authorization of payments to one or more police officers and to have authorized payments to public officials in his capacity as Sun managing editor. Troup is charged as a co-conspirator. Soodin will be charged with conspiring with a police officer to commit misconduct in public office. The remaining defendants are a police officer and a hospital employee. All will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 5. The new charges come a few days after the revelation that Scotland Yard is actively investigating Sun owner News International (now News UK) for possible criminal violations related to the phone-hacking scandal and allegations of illegal payments. News UK is the British press arm of News Corp.

Dawn Airey Tapped As Yahoo’s SVP Europe, Middle East And Africa
Yahoo has appointed UK television veteran Dawn Airey as SVP Europe, Middle East and Africa. Beginning November 1, Christophe Parcot, who has served as Yahoo’s interim lead of EMEA, will take on a new role focused on expanding the web giant’s business in the region. Airey joins Yahoo from RTL Group. She has also held high-level executive positions at Five, ITV, BSkyB and Channel4. Read More »

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Five Rejoins Internet TV Project Canvas

By | Tuesday August 24, 2010 @ 4:08am PDT

As predicted, the UK private broadcaster has rejoined the TV service, which will convert your television set into an on-demand portal. BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva plan to launch their joint consumer product in 2011. Dawn Airey, who has just exited Five as CEO, was recently appointed non-executive director of Lovefilm, the UK’s version of Netflix. No surprises that Lovefilm wants to join Canvas too.

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Five Promises ‘Astounding’ Acquisitions

That’s what CEO Dawn Airey told senior managers at a group meeting this morning. Richard Desmond, Five’s new owner, told Sky News that he’s planning to invest £50-100 million ($77-155 million) in Five’s schedule. He can afford it. The Sunday Times Rich List has estimated his personal fortune to be just under £1 billion.

But before Hollywood executives start popping the California champagne, they should know Desmond plans to renegotiate some of Five’s studio deals. This is because many of Five’s current studio deals are loss-making. It has to pay out every time it screens a movie, rarely making enough ad revenue back to cover the cost.

Desmond has underlined his desire to keep US shows such as CSI though as well as Australian soap Home and Away. Indeed, he doesn’t have an option with Home and Away. Five is tied into a lifetime deal for the soap.

Other programming ideas mooted include reviving BBC pop chart show Top of the Pops and taking Big Brother over from Channel 4, splitting revenue with Endemol. Desmond’s papers have a strong relationship with the reality show. Forget Afghanistan or the economic crisis: the front page of tabloid Daily Star always splashes with what’s going on inside the Big Brother house.

Airey told senior managers this morning that Desmond’s team from his company Northern & Shell are going to spend several weeks getting to know the business before making any decisions about the channel’s future direction.

However, Airey … Read More »

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ITV Studios Brass Bartlett & Blumenfield Exit

By | Wednesday July 7, 2010 @ 7:37am PDT

ITV_logo_51289867Not unexpected given that he’s been feeling out jobs back home in America for quite some time. Lee Bartlett, who has run ITV’s production arm for the last two years, will step down next month. He was widely believed to be living on borrowed time after Kevin Lygo was appointed managing director of ITV Studios. Bartlett was being moved sideways. Lygo joins the broadcaster on August 2. Remy Blumenfield, who was Bartlett’s choice as director of global formats, is also leaving. Blumenfield has not come up with any widely-exported formats, while ITV Studios’ share of network output has fallen to 43% during his tenure.

ITV Studios has hired Disney executive Maria Kyriacou to run Global Entertainment, its distribution and sales operation. Kyriacou was senior vice-president of digital media distribution EMEA at Disney. She joins ITV in September. Bartlett was poached from Fox in March 2008 to become ITV Studios chief operating officer. He was promoted to managing director after Dawn Airey left to run Five the next month.

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