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London Evening Standard, media column [London Evening Standard]
[February 20, 2013]

London Evening Standard, media column [London Evening Standard]

(Evening Standard (London, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 20--An editorial merger between the print operations of The Times and Sunday Times is not on the cards yet -- because Rupert Murdoch needs the independent directors and the Government to approve a change to the terms of his 1981 takeover deal -- but there's nothing to stop digital integration. The Times has just turned its iPad app into a seven-day-a-week operation, with the standalone Sunday Times version being dropped from next weekend. In a blog posting, The Times explains there are good reasons -- not least the expense of producing editions for three different app platforms, Apple, Android and Amazon. In a sign of how fast technology is changing, The Times warns Apple's iPad1 device, launched only in 2010, is becoming a problem because of its weak processing power.

Screenwriter Andrew Davies is in demand. He's already writing the script for the second series of ITV's drama Mr Selfridge and now the BBC is getting him to pen a six-part remake of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Some see the commissioning of the Tolstoy adaptation -- and the decision to drop noirish Fifties drama The Hour after two series -- as signs that the BBC will be going more classical and highbrow under new director-general Tony Hall.

Has Channel 4's Paralympics coverage helped the broadcaster to get its public-service mojo back Maybe that's going too far. But chief creative officer Jay Hunt is throwing a party next month at C4's HQ to celebrate winning the rights to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio as well as recent shows such as documentary series The Undateables. Arguably C4 is doing a better job in covering disability issues than the BBC.

Phone giant EE's new 4G super-fast mobile internet service hasn't got off to a flying start, as it has disclosed no numbers and revenue growth has slowed. But the company is keen to trumpet the fact that more than 1000 corporate customers have signed up. EE even names a handful of those 4G business customers, which include ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi. That's hardly big news. Saatchi & Saatchi does EE's advertising.

TV INDIES TELL CAMERON TO BANG THE DRUM FOR BRITISH PRODUCTION: John McVay, head of Pact -- which represents independent TV production companies -- scored a hit with Culture Secretary Maria Miller at a Royal Television Society event last week. On the eve of David Cameron's trip to India, McVay pointed out, that for all the Government's "bigging up" of the creative sector as an engine for growth and jobs, indie TV producers were not included on official trade missions, though football was. He said that he was about to lead an independent group to Rio de Janeiro, to attend a big media sales event there, without any official backing. Miller agreed it did indeed seem wrong, and promised to raise it with the PM. Given his background as a former corporate affairs spinner for Carlton TV, it is surprising that Cameron even needs to be told.

Sign of the times: at London Fashion Week, the media accreditation area in Somerset House had a separate "registration desk" for bloggers. And it was just as prominent as the desks reserved for press and photographers -- and busier too.

___ (c)2013 London Evening Standard Visit the London Evening Standard at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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