Rob Black's Media Stock Report

by: Rob Black
CryptoLogic (NASDAQ:CRYP) announced that that its award-winning poker software will launch the first Playboy-branded Internet poker site, targeting markets around the world, excluding the US. Under an exclusive three-year licensing contract between CRYP's wholly-owned subsidiary, WagerLogic Limited, and Oceania Caribe Licensing, CRYP will be the sole software product used for the Playboy Internet poker site. The companies already have a similar exclusive arrangement announced on May 10 to launch a new Playboy casino site. The agreement comprises a complete turnkey solution including customer support services, e-cash management and marketing support.

Live Nation (NYSE:LYV), the world's largest concert-promotion company by revenue, is acquiring a majority stake in Musictoday, which runs fan clubs, Web sites, online stores and other services for hundreds of acts, including the Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney and Eminem.

Three billionaires hoping to buy the Los Angeles Times expressed their interest in this month to the paper's owner, Tribune (TRB). Philanthropist Eli Broad, music and movie mogul David Geffen and former supermarket magnate Ron Burkle would like to buy the newspaper. The newspaper was not for sale--at least for now.

CNN (NYSE:TWX) is embracing citizen journalism and snatching a page out of YouTube's book by letting users upload video and audio clips to CNN Exchange. The trend began with text via blogs and the next stage in citizen journalim appears to involve lenses and viewfinders.

A federal judge rejected a request for an injunction against the McClatchy (NYSE:MNI) sale of three San Francisco Bay-area papers it acquired when it bought Knight Ridder this year.

The French constitutional council has declared major aspects of the so-called iPod law unconstitutional. Although the ruling could still require companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to make music sold online to be compatible with other hand-held devices, it said that the companies could not be forced to do so without receiving compensation.

AOL (TWX), in its latest attempt to resurrect its online fortunes, will start an Internet video portal featuring user-generated content as well as free and paid content. It will also have 45 video-on-demand "channels" including MTV, Nickelodeon and A&E.