Early Briefing: Discovery's Criminal Intent

Here's some of the local business stories in Tuesday's paper:

* Discovery Communications abandoned plans to sell or seek an equity partner for its Discovery Times channel and will rebrand it as Investigation Discovery, focusing on crime and forensics programming. To program the new channel, the Silver Spring media company plans to draw on hundreds of hours of crime shows in its library, such as "The FBI Files" and "Most Evil," the company said. Discovery is also in talks with CBS, to acquire episodes of "48 Hours," and NBC Universal, to acquire episodes of "Dateline NBC." Discovery plans to produce 200 hours of original programming next year, said John Ford, chief executive of the channel. See story.

* CNN talk show star Larry King is suing his insurance broker over deals to sell his policies to investors. The investors pay the premiums and become the beneficiaries, but King argues his adviser did not fully disclose all the ramifications of what he was doing. His case has become a cautionary tale in what insurance regulators say is a quietly but rapidly booming trend among wealthy Americans: selling one's life insurance to strangers. See story.

* The Washington Post Co's Kaplan division plans to buy a majority stake in a Chinese business that prepares students to enter British universities. Kaplan has been a minority owner in ACE of Shanghai since April. The company also plans to provide training in finance in a partnership with the Southwest University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, in western China. See press release.

By Dan Beyers  |  November 27, 2007; 7:01 AM ET
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