Icahn taps Biondi for Time Warner bid

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Carl Icahn enlisted Frank Biondi, the former CEO of Universal Studios and Viacom, to lead the effort to take over the Time Warner board. Should Mr. Icahn's slate succeed, Mr. Biondi agreed to serve as Time Warner's chairman-CEO, posts now filled by Richard D. Parsons. Mr. Icahn has already hired investment bank Lazard to help develop a plan to break Time Warner into several smaller companies and start a large share-buyback program. Mr. Parsons has defended Time Warner's performance, most recently in discussing its fourth-quarter results last week, when he said the company would not make "flavor-of-the-day" changes "simply because we are impatient with the market's pacing." AdAge.com QwikFIND aar35z

Hanks joins CAA marketing group

Creative Artists Agency has recruited product-placement vet Tera Hanks to join its marketing group. Ms. Hanks joins the Hollywood talent agency months after leaving Embassy Row, the production and branded-entertainment outfit she co-founded with TV producer Michael Davies ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire") and film producer Chris Moore (the "American Pie" films) last year. She served as president of entertainment marketing firm Davie-Brown Entertainment before that. To read more, see Madison + Vine on AdAge.com.

South Beach products plump up Kraft's results

The stellar sales of South Beach Diet products was the bright spot of Kraft Foods' fourth-quarter earnings announcement last week, as the food company announced plans for further layoffs and product discontinuations. The diet line, largely expected to fail following the demise of the low-carb trend, has instead flourished, with sales reaching $170 million in the first 10 months. Kraft said it will cut roughly 8,000 positions by 2008 and discontinue 10% of its product portfolio in an attempt to grow revenue. AdAge.com QwikFIND aar36h

`Relish' finds no buyers for editorial placement

Relish Magazine made its debut with circulation above 6.8 million but no product placement in its editorial pages. The monthly newspaper supplement made waves last summer when its publishers said it would sell brand mentions within its recipes and editors' recommended kitchen and home products, a practice the American Society of Magazine Editors says undermines readers' trust. The Publishing Group of America, which created Relish and owns American Profile magazine, said starting the magazine came first and securing product-placement deals would come later. AdAge.com QwikFIND aar36k

Trend analyst Julian quits Fallon for McCann

Trend analyst and fashion commentator Tom Julian has jumped from Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, to Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson North America. Mr. Julian, 43, was Fallon's trend analyst for 11 years and before that was fashion director and menswear industry spokesman for the Men's Fashion Association for eight years. His post as senior VP-strategic director of trends is a newly created position at McCann. He will both continue to serve as fashion commentator for the Academy Awards' interactive site and to write his retail-industry columns on fashionwiredaily.com.

Dish Network, Lifetime kiss and make up

After some of the most publicly contentious carriage negotiations in recent history, Lifetime is back on EchoStar's Dish Network after a month of banishment. And despite EchoStar's earlier assertion that it had eliminated carriage of the Lifetime Movie Network for good, the digital movie channel is also back on. As part of its public campaign to get the satellite operator to reinstate carriage, Lifetime ran two full-page ads in The New York Times, the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News-those last two are EchoStar's hometown papers-criticizing the satellite operator for dropping the network. In the month that Lifetime was dark, EchoStar came to a carriage agreement with female-targeted network Oxygen that catapulted its distribution from 56 million homes to almost 65 million homes. AdAge.com QwikFIND aar36s

FYI...

The Federal Trade Commission approved the buyout of Adelphia by cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable on Jan. 31. The deal is worth an estimated $17.6 billion. AdAge.com QwikFIND aar36q ... Y&R Advertising named Rick Eiserman, 33, to head its Irvine, Calif., office. He had been CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands' BrandBuzz. AdAge.com QwikFIND aar36j ... Time Inc. fired 66 people, 26 from editorial and 40 from the business side, in the latest round of cuts aimed at reducing costs and freeing resources for areas like Web development. AdAge.com QwikFIND aar35y

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