Viacom to Purchase DreamWorks
Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures agreed to buy DreamWorks SKG for $1.6 billion in cash and debt. Paramount beat out General Electric Co.?s NBC Universal with an 11th hour bid. The deal includes a worldwide distribution agreement with DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks will join Paramount as part of a new Viacom when Chairman Sumner Redstone splits his company next month. The film studios will be part of business run by CEO Tom Freston that holds Viacom?s MTV cable-television unit.
Electronic Arts Buys Jamdat
Console video game publisher Electronic Arts purchased mobile phone games maker Jamdat Mobile for $680 million. EA has been focusing on converting many of its titles to mobile versions over the last two years. The company said it planned to publish more than 50 games with Jamdat in the first 12 months following the completion of the acquisition.
K?NEX Makes Management Changes
Norman Walker will step down after eight years as CEO and president of K?NEX at the end of the month. He will continue with the company in a consultancy role. In other executive moves, Joel Glickman, co-founder and inventor of K?NEX, will return to his previous role as CEO while also maintaining his current position as chairman of the board. Michael Araten, who has been acting as a consultant, will be president and COO, responsible for all daily operations.
SEGA to Support Beijing Olympics
SEGA Corporation signed a worldwide partnership with International Sports Multimedia, exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee, to become the publisher of the Official Video Game of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. This agreement will allow SEGA to publish console, PC/Macintosh, arcade, and handheld games worldwide. In addition, SEGA will publish mobile phone games in Asian markets.
Shoe Sales to Benefit Children?s Charity
Converse debuted a limited-edition children?s Chuck Taylor All Star shoe at Kids Foot Locker featuring licensed artwork by real kids from Save the Children?s library of children?s art. The retailer, along with Converse, will each donate $1 for every pair sold to support Save the Children?s educational initiatives around the world. Retailing for $30 to $35 depending on size, the shoes also will be carried at Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Footaction, and Champs Sports.
Pet Alien to Land on Book Shelves
Taffy Entertainment signed an exclusive deal with Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group and a division of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., to produce a line of books based on Pet Alien, which airs on Cartoon Network. Due on shelves in spring 2007, the books will include chapter books, comic-style books, activity books, joke books, and coloring books.
Burger King to Have a Very Furby Holiday
Furby will help Burger King ring in the holidays as the feature QSR promotion through January 12. The Hasbro Properties Group promotion will feature mini Furby toys with a unique design that includes different body colors, patterns, hair colors, and their own carrying case. The QSR promotion is supported online at http://www.bk.com/furby, which includes details on the mini Furby toys.
VIZ Media Publication Sets Publishing Milestone
The largest issue ever of Shonen Jump magazine hit bookstores and newsstands last week and included a ?Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon Yu-Gi-Oh!? trading card, courtesy of Upper Deck Entertainment and Konami. The 392-page January issue contained the latest chapters of regularly featured serials such as Naruto and One Piece, as well as a lengthy 55-page sneak peek at Gin Tama, a new sci-fi series by Hideaki Sorachi currently being serialized in Japan?s Weekly Shonen Jump. Gin Tama depicts the humorous adventures of a wacky samurai, his unfortunate sidekick, and an indestructible teenage girl. They are all ?freelancers? who search for work to pay the monthly rent, though the bill usually remains unpaid by the end of the story.
Children?s Author Lends Vision to Apparel Line
ACT III Licensing inked World Apparel Group as an apparel licensee for children?s book author Karen Katz. The Karen Katz?Just for Baby licensing program takes elements from Katz?s babies, patterns, elements, and color palette from her books, ?Where Is Baby?s Belly Button,? ?Counting Kisses,? and ?Toes, Ears & Nose,? among others. World Apparel Group is planning onesies and toddler tops and bottoms with coordinating jackets and sweaters for sizes 0-3 months through 4T. Licenses are being sought for crib and toddler bedding, room d
Viacom to Purchase DreamWorks