The Shoah Foundation has reached its goal of 50,000 taped testimonies from Holocaust eyewitnesses. The 117,000 hours of video are currently being logged into a visual and keyword search index, which will take four years to complete.
Discovery is pumping life into an old BBC format. Mastermind, a quiz show which ran for a quarter of a century on the Beeb, will make an appearance on the cablecaster’s fall sked under the name Discovery Mastermind.
Pearson Television has been rebranded FremantleMedia. The name change comes as a result of the company’s merger with CLT-UFA last year, a move which meant it was no longer a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson PLC.
Atom Films is back online at http://www.atomfilms.com. The online site for independent short films has been brought back to life by AtomShockwave, the new company spawned by the merger between Atom and Shockwave.
Elgourmet.com will soon be carried on Mexico’s DTH satellite service, Sky Mexico. The cooking channel, which is produced by Argentina’s Pramer, already reaches 4.8 million subscribers in 11 South American countries.
The first terrestrial digital signal in Canada was broadcast on August 13, in the form of a test of the ‘Global News Explorer’.
Over 10,000 negatives, slides and transparencies, covering the life’s work of photographer Phil Stern has been donated to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library. The collection records Hollywood culture and craft from the ’40s to the ’80s.
Valhalla Motion Pictures has added a TV division that will produce original drama and factual programming for the small screen.
Australia’s Southern Star Endemol PTY (a joint venture between the Australian distributor and the Dutch format producer) has agreed to a second series of Big Brother and spin-off Celebrity Big Brother for Network 10.
Sony Electronics has confirmed it will offer early retirement to 900 of its 24,000-employee work force in an effort to streamline costs in the face of global electronics slowdown. The employees being offered the package are all at least 52 years of age, and have been with Sony for a minimum of seven years.
The Einstein Group (parent company of both the Einstein Channel and Einstein Entertainment) has signed a US$1.4 million investment deal with Take 3 TV Partnerships. The Take 3 TV funds will be used for programming and other ventures over four years.
Tessa Jowell, the secretary of state for culture in the U.K., was forced to cancel last Saturday’s speech on the future of the BBC digital channels due to the death of a close family friend. The speech is likely to come September 13 instead, at the Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge.