Among other items: Brad Grey, executive producer of "The Sopranos," has emerged as the leading candidate to head of Viacom's Paramount Pictures; Advanced Micro Devices is unveiling a chip that allows people to download digital TV programs from a set-top box to a portable media player; and the man who brought the Yugo and Subaru...

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NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines, which has been restructuring to avoid a bankruptcy filing, next week is expected to slash fares and remove restrictive rules such as Saturday-night stays, Time magazine reported yesterday.

The Atlanta-based airline will halve ticket-change fees to $50 from $100 and slash fares on everything from first class to last-minute tickets, Time reported.

Delta is also overhauling its entire schedule, hoping to limit future flight disruptions and delays. The airline will add 81 flights and seven new destinations from Atlanta but will spread all the flights out more over the day, Time said.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black declined comment.

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“Sopranos” producer in lead for Paramount

NEW YORK — Brad Grey, executive producer of “The Sopranos” and chairman of a top Hollywood talent-management firm, has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Sherry Lansing as head of Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times said yesterday.

Viacom Co-President Tom Freston is in advanced negotiations with Grey, but talks are at a delicate stage, the papers said.

While sticking points remain, a deal could be announced as early as next week, The Journal said.

Grey, 47, was expected to meet with Viacom executives today.

Paramount has been hit with management woes and a prolonged box-office slump, the Times report said, adding that its “tightfisted financial approach and cautious strategy” has alienated stars, producers and agents.

Lansing announced in November she would retire as chairman and chief executive of the film studio when her contract expires at the end of this year.

Advanced Micro Devices chip would download TV shows without PC

Advanced Micro Devices is unveiling a chip that allows people to download digital TV programs from a set-top box to a portable media player, without using a personal computer.

The Alchemy chip, to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, translates various file types into high-definition video, removing the need for a PC.

The strategy opposes Intel’s plan to pack the features into PCs that consumers would put in living rooms to replace digital-video recorders, cable and satellite set-top television boxes and electronics.


Man linked with Yugo to import Chinese cars

DETROIT — The man who brought the Yugo and Subaru to this country has a new project — selling low-cost Chinese-made cars in the United States.

Chery Automobile, owned by the Chinese government, has signed a deal with Visionary Vehicles of New York to sell Chery’s cars in U.S., Visionary CEO Malcolm Bricklin said yesterday.

It’s the first deal to import Chinese-made vehicles designed for the U.S. market. Visionary is investing $200 million.

The companies aim to sell 250,000 vehicles in five models in 2007, with the goal of selling 1 million vehicles in eight to 10 models by 2012, said Visionary’s chief of staff, Paul Lambert.

Lambert said the goal is to sell the vehicles well below the price of models now available while matching Japanese quality.

The wide world of Internet touring

NEW YORK — A new study finds that 45 percent of adult American online users have used features to take virtual tours.

And while the young tend to dominate most online activities, older users are more likely to participate in virtual tours, whose destinations include museums, colleges, real estate and parks.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 52 percent of those ages 40-49 have participated, compared with 37 percent of those ages 18-27.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Reuters and The Associated Press