APTN producer/cameraman Kerem Lawton has been killed during recent fighting in Macedonia. Lawton was 30.
Warner Bros. Domestic Television will not attend NATPE next year, but they will be in Vegas. WB will be holding court at the Venetian Hotel instead of being on the convention floor.
NHK has instituted the NHK President’s Prize at BANFF2001. The new annual award will be offered to the best example of high definition programming and will carry a value of CND$25,000. NHK and Discovery Digital Networks are also initiating an HD pitching session, with development funds going to the winner. For information check: www.banf2001.com/conference/pitching.html
Docland’s, Ireland’s newest doc fest, has sent out a call for submissions. Details can be found at: www.doclands.ie
National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute will soon coproduce and distribute large-format films. The partner’s first effort is tentatively titled Celebration of Flight.
Disney plans to cut 4,000 of its 120,000 full-time staff.
CBS is going back for a second installment of Big Brother, with some changes to the original Endemol format which will it hopes will prop up ratings. Instead of one cast member being voted off by phone poll voting each week, the cast will vote a single cast member off themselves.
Turner’s TNT Network recently considered placing heart monitors on the wives of NASCAR drivers during races in order to up the tension of the broadcast. It dropped the idea when it was badly received during a news conference.
Amsterdam’s Off the Fence and Granada International in the U.K. have agreed to coproduce more than 100 hours in the next two years.
Discovery Europe and Italy’s Mediatrade have agreed to coproduce seven films, to be broadcast on Discovery in Europe and Mediaset’s channels in Italy.
TechTV and Que Publishing (part of the Pearson Technology Group) have agreed to develop and publish a series of technology-related instructional books and videos.
The BBC/Discovery/TV Asahi coproduction (with ProSieben and France 3) Walking With Dinosaurs recently won a Peabody.
National Geographic TV’s crittercam just celebrated its 15th birthday.
In the U.S., Animal Planet will hit the radio airwaves on April 21 with a nationally syndicated program: Animal Planet Radio.