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Elisabeth Murdoch earns seat on News Corp board

February 25th, 2011

Rupert Murdoch bought his daughter Elisabeth’s television production company Shine – makers of MasterChef and Merlin – for £415m on Monday, paving the way for her to take a place on the board of his News Corp media empire.

The deal had been widely anticipated and will enable Ms Murdoch to internationally expand the company she founded in 2001. Shine, which also makes The Tudors, has grown into one of the production powerhouses of the British television sector. As well as making their own television programmes, they also own a handful of other production companies within the UK, including Kudos Film & Television, Princess Productions and Dragonfly.

In 2009 The Shine Group reported revenues of £258m, with projected revenues of £400m in 2010.

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Posted in: International - Film & TV news

Three BBC World Service language broadcasts end

February 25th, 2011

Three of the BBC language services are going off air later, as a result of cuts to the World Service budget.

The BBC Serbian and Latin American services end more than 70 years of broadcasting on radio, but the Latin American service continues online.

The Portuguese for Africa service, which is widely listened to in Angola and Mozambique, has also been closed.

The BBC Yugoslav service began in 1939 at the start of World War II. Later it split into Serbian and Croatian.

The Croatian service was closed in 2005 and BBC managers say Serbia now has reliable media, diminishing the need for the BBC’s service.

BBC Spanish broadcasts began in 1938, in an effort to counter Nazi propaganda, but faced their greatest challenge during the UK war against Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

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Posted in: WizzyLeaks

Pinewood Shepperton to open Dominican Republic studios

February 23rd, 2011

Pinewood Shepperton is opening film studios in the Dominican Republic to serve Latin America, it has announced.

The company, best known for its association with the James Bond films, will build a 35-acre site comprising 5,000 sq m of sound stage space and 15,000 sq m of production facilities.

It will also include an eight-acre water effects facility with a 75 sq m exterior water tank.

Construction will begin immediately and is expected to open early next year.

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Posted in: WizzyLeaks

Production Wizard re-launch at The Production Show

February 21st, 2011

Last week was a successful one for Production Wizard as we met with the industry in Earls Court, London for Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) and The Production Show.

The show offers everyone involved in the creation of film, commercials, music videos and television the chance to take a fresh look at this exciting world. With our branding and marketing around the re-launch (click here to read about us in Broadcast magazine, 11.02.2011), it was a perfect time for us to meet users and media professionals to discuss the website and answer any questions.

Apart from having the snazziest stand in the entire hall, we also debuted our new video that explains exactly how Production Wizard can help both bookers and suppliers to manage their contacts and create new networks within the television and film industry.

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Posted in: The Weekly Wizard

Sir Ian McKellen set for Chichester return

February 18th, 2011

Actor Sir Ian McKellen is to appear at the Chichester Festival Theatre later this year in a Naples-set comedy.

According to his official website, the 71-year-old star last appeared at the West Sussex venue in 1965.

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Posted in: WizzyLeaks

Film-maker Moore sues Weinsteins

February 9th, 2011

Film-maker Michael Moore takes legal action against Hollywood producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, claiming he is owed millions in profits for 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

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Posted in: WizzyLeaks