The British National Union of Journalists has denounced the latest cutbacks at the BBC, which will see 140 jobs eliminated in the news division over the next year. NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet lashed out at BBC director general Mark Thompson, accusing him of engaging in "shabby, behind-closed-doors" dealings with the David Cameron government. "The top quality journalism we expect from the BBC is under severe threat. There will be fewer original news packages and more repeats." Published reports have suggested that the BBC intends to eliminate 500 positions as part of its "Delivering Quality First" strategy. Stanistreet indicate that the union plans to recommend to Thompson's successor that he reverse the cuts. "When times are tough, the money should be used to protect creative content and quality news journalism," she said.

ICAHN ON HIS LIONSGATE DEBACLE "YOU CAN'T WIN 'EM ALL"

Carl Icahn, who dumped nearly all his shares of Lionsgate last August for about $7 per share, only to see it rise to more than double that amount in recent days following the success of Lionsgate's The Hunger Games , has waxed philosophical about his unlucky move, which cost him $345 million. Icahn, who at one point was the studio's largest shareholder, with a 33-percent stake, said during an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, "You can't win 'em all, and I sent those guys an email congratulating them." For nearly two years Icahn had waged a relentless takeover battle, accusing the studio's CO, Jon Feltheimer, and its vice chairman, Michael Burns, of overspending and taking on risky investments in movies instead of safer ones in television. "You know, it's very hard to pick stocks," he said, "but it's impossible I think to pick the right movie, and we just looked at the numbers, and when it was $7, unless Lionsgate had that big hit, there would be problems, I thought, so we took that opportunity. And obviously -- and I congratulated them -- we were wrong." Icahn insisted, however, that his miscue on Lionsgate did not significantly hurt his investment company, pointing out that his portfolio appreciated 35 percent last year and that it would have risen only 2 percent more if he had held on to his Lionsgate shares.

28/03/2012