World Briefs

GERMANY

Kirch Group attorney Joachim Theye will resign as chairman of the board at Germany’s No. 2 commercial web SAT1 March 31.

Kirch Group managing director Jan Mojto, currently a SAT1 board member, will take Theye’s place as chairman. Klaus Piette, managing director of Kirch’s Taurus Film, will join the network’s board of directors.

Theye, 57, told German weekly Focus that he also expects to leave his position as board member at pay TV web Premiere in the near future, but will continue to work for the Kirch Group as a legal advisor.

ITALY

For the first time since it started airing in 1984, the popular TV series “Octopus” — aired by pubcaster RAI — was beaten by an Italian film on Silvio Berlusconi’s flagship TV channel, Canale5.

Monday, the fourth and final part of “Octopus 9” — broadcast by RAI Channel 1 during primetime — had 8.5 million viewers and a 30% share, while Carlo Verdone’s “Viaggi di Nozze” (“Honeymoon”) had 8.7 million viewers and a 33% share on Canale5.

SOUTH AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South African Broadcasting Corp. chief executive Zwelakhe Sisulu will step down from his post when his contract expires in September.

Sisulu, son of veteran political activist Walter Sisulu (President Nelson Mandela’s right hand man during the anti apartheid struggle), will join black empowerment group New Africa Investments Limited (NAIL). Sisulu will join the group as chair of its media, communications and information technology division.

Sisulu, 47, has been chief exec of the SABC since South Africa’s democratic elections in 1994.

He is credited with streamlining the unwieldy pubcasting bureaucracy set up by the previous apartheid government and, after overseeing the shedding of 1,400 jobs, bringing the corporation back to profitability.

AUSTRALIA

SYDNEY — Major Aussie distrib Beyond Films has acquired global rights to “Radiance,” a low-budget effort that’s considered a likely prospect for selection at Cannes.

Pic, which was unable to accept an invitation to screen at Sundance due to production delays, tells the story of three sisters who reluctantly reunite at their mother’s funeral and unravel their complicated and fractured past.

Adapted by Louis Nowra (“Map of the Human Heart”) from his play of the same name, “Radiance” is the feature debut for helmer Rachel Perkins and stars theater thesps Rachel Maza, Deborah Mailman and Trisha Morton-Thomas.

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