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NEWSFLASH: Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, is leaving the company to start up a new venture in partnership with Barry Diller’s media and Internet company, IAC. The news was announced by IAC and Mr. Silverman Monday morning. At the same time, NBC announced that Jeff Gaspin, who has headed NBCU’s cable operations, will also assume Mr. Silverman’s role.
News Corp Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller told a conference that videogames are the “missing piece of the equation” for companies like media conglomerates. While News Corp operates games through its MySpace property, Miller noted that the social network, which has been losing ground over the past year, may look very different a year from now. Miller’s also reiterated CEO Rupert Murdoch’s plan to reinvent MySpace as an entertainment destination.
Apple and the four major recorded music companies are working together to stimulate digital sales. The plan is to bundle digital albums with interactive liner notes, exclusive downloads and other incentives. While similar packages have been available for quite some time, Apple hopes that if Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI coordinate efforts, sales of digital downloads will skyrocket.
Apple Insider is reporting that an Apple Tablet will be available early next year. Sources say that Steve Jobs has been “been overseeing the project from his home, office and hospital beds, has finally achieved that much-sought aura of satisfaction.” While no details are known, many believe the device will act like a large iPod touch and may be Apple’s response to the netbook craze.
AOL dismantled its Platform-A advertising property, as well as MediaGlow and People Networks. CEO Tim Armstrong noted that the divisions will live on as AOL Advertising, AOL Media, while Peoples Network, which included Bebo, AIM and ICQ, will no longer exist.
G-Force, a family comedy about Guinea Pigs who save the world, edged out Harry Potter: The Half Blood Prince at the box office this weekend. The Disney film grossed approximately $32.3 million. While it did not take top billing domestically, the latest Harry Potter film earned an estimated $84.4 million internationally, bringing its total worldwide earning $627.1 million.