Publishing Industry Soundbytes 4-2-04

Posted on April 2, 2004

People

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Dave Mevorah, publisher of Gruner + Jahr USA's Child magazine, announced the appointment of Sabine Feldmann as associate publisher for Child magazine. Feldmann previously served as the national fashion director and advertising manager at Cosmopolitan magazine where she oversaw strategic positioning of the magazine to fashion clients. Prior to that, Feldmann spent three years at Gruner + Jahr USA's Fitness magazine. Feldmann began her career at Gruner + Jahr USA where she held the position of corporate account manager, generating corporate sales and marketing programs for key clients and motivating magazine sales teams. She holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and Strategic Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Marketing and International Management from New York University's Stern School of Business.

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Napster, a division of Roxio, announced that it has appointed Michelle Santosuosso as VP of artist and label relations, a new position created to ensure the service maintains its leadership position in music programming. Santosuosso will be responsible for managing and developing Napster's label and artist relationships, overseeing NapsterLive, the service's exclusive in-house recording sessions, and creating new opportunities for artists with Napster. Santosuosso will report to Glenn Kaino, Napster's chief creative officer. Santosuosso has over a decade of experience in the music industry. As VP of crossover music for J Records, she worked directly with Clive Davis and was involved in breaking Alicia Keys. She also spent two years as A&R director for RCA Records and served as crossover music editor for HITS Magazine. Most recently, Santosuosso has been a program director at KHHT-Los Angeles and national director, rhythm music for Clear Channel.

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Longtime publisher Mark W.C. Stodder has been named Vice President, Newspapers, supervising all newspaper operations of Dolan Media Company. The announcement was made by President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan following Stodder's election by the Dolan Media Company board of directors. Stodder, 44, previously was vice president and publisher of Daily Reporter Publishing Company in Milwaukee, which produces The Daily Reporter, the region's largest construction daily paper, and Wisconsin Law Journal, a statewide weekly. He had run the Milwaukee operation since it was acquired by Dolan Media in 1994.

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The Village Voice has announced several o rganizational changes in conjunction with growth initiatives at their website villagevoice.com. The Village Voice has appointed Matt Haber to the newly created editorial position of Managing Editor, Village Voice Online. Haber will work with the online and editorial teams to create new web exclusive features and provide daily coverage of breaking news plus arts and entertainment content and listings. Prior to joining the Village Voice, Haber was co-creator of lowculture.com, a pop culture and politics blog. He previously produced Viacom's rebranded website for The New TNN (now Spike TV), and the official website for The Simpsons for News Digital Media. Kara Walsh has been promoted to the role of Vice President, Village Voice Online, and will oversee the online content, development, web operations, and business management functions. Walsh previously served as Director of Marketing and Business Development for Village Voice Media. Robert Klein has been promoted to Vice President, Integrated Sales. Formerly Director of Strategic Partnerships for Village Voice Media, Klein will continue to work with the national sales team to create multi-platform partnerships and online programs across Village Voice Media properties.

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PC World, a technology business magazine, announced the promotion of Harry McCracken from editor to vice president, editor in chief, effective immediately. In his new post he will direct all editorial, design, and testing for PC World, PCWorld.com, and the PC World Test Center. He is responsible for all content created by the company. McCracken's IDG career spans over a decade. He started at Computer Buyer's World/InfoWorld Direct in 1991 as a Technical/Reviews Editor and joined PC World in 1994 as an Associate Editor, moving to Senior Associate Editor in 1995. He was named Senior Editor in 1999 and in 2000 was promoted to Executive Editor, Features, assuming the role of Editor in 2002.

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CMP Media's Embedded Systems Programming, a technical magazine for engineers involved in designing processor-based electronic systems, named Jim Turley editor-in-chief. Turley is an acknowledged authority on microprocessor chips, semiconductor intellectual property, computers, and silicon technology. He is the author of seven books, including The Essential Guide to Semiconductors. He was a former editor of the Microprocessor Report. Turley takes over for Michael Barr, who leaves the publication after a five-year tenure as editor.

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David J. Pecker, President and CEO of American Media, Inc., announced that Michael A. Browner, Executive Director, Media and Marketing Operations for General Motors, will be joining AMI as a consultant, reporting directly to Mr. Pecker. Mr. Browner will join AMI effective April 1. Mr. Browner comes to AMI following an illustrious 17-year stint with GM. He served in his current position since 1999 and was responsible for directing all media buying and overseeing the media plans for GM's 50+ brands. Mr. Browner most recently served as the Chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) which is the primary source for reporting of newsstand and subscription information for the publishing industry.

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Harcourt, Inc., a K-12 education company and a part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, announced that it has appointed Christopher Jones as President and CEO of Harcourt Education International, the company's UK-based educational publishing unit. He will replace current President and CEO John Philbin, who is retiring. Mr. Jones will be based in Oxford, England and will report to Harcourt, Inc. President and CEO Patrick Tierney. Jones joins Harcourt from LexisNexis Group, where since 2001 he has served as Senior Vice President, LexisNexis Risk Management Group.

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Ken DePaola has been appointed Senior Vice President of Advertising and Doug Thomas has been named Vice President of Advertising Sales for Chicago Tribune. The promotions were announced by Scott Smith, the Tribune's President and Publisher. DePaola joined Chicago Tribune in 2001 as Vice President of Advertising, with overall advertiser sales and marketing responsibility for Chicago Tribune and its related businesses. Before joining the Tribune, DePaola held a variety of Chicago sales and management positions including associate publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and President and Publisher of Midwest Suburban Publishing. Thomas joined Chicago Tribune in 1999 as director of the newspaper's major retail category. His responsibilities recently were expanded to include oversight of Chicago-area national accounts, cross media and preprints. Previously Thomas was employed by Time Inc. as the Midwest advertising director for People magazine.

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A.B. Cruz III, an attorney in the media and entertainment field who has been managing business and legal affairs for Viacom Inc.'s BET television network, has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president and general counsel for The E. W. Scripps Company. His appointment is effective March 29. As the company's first general counsel, Cruz will be responsible for coordinating and developing the company's legal function across all of its operating divisions and media enterprises. Cruz will report directly to Scripps President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth W. Lowe.

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MGM Pictures, a division of MGM Studios Inc., has promoted Bruce Markoe to executive vice president, feature post production, announced Andy Davis, the studio's executive vice president of physical production, to whom Markoe reports. Markoe oversees all aspects of budgeting, post production and the use of more economical new technologies for feature production and post production for MGM Pictures and United Artists, MGM's specialty film subsidiary. Markoe joined MGM in 1992, working as post production supervisor on Son of the Pink Panther. In 1993, he was named vice president, feature post production, and promoted in 2000 to senior vice president, feature post production.

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R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced that John R. Paloian has been named Group President, Publishing & Retail Services, effective immediately. Mr. Paloian, 45, will have responsibility for the Company's magazine, catalog, retail advertising insert and directory businesses. He will report to Mark A. Angelson, Chief Executive Officer of RR Donnelley. A widely recognized leader in the print industry, Mr. Paloian is returning to RR Donnelley after six years at Quebecor World Inc., where he was most recently Co-Chief Operating Officer. He served previously as President of Quebecor World's Magazine/Catalog business. Mr. Paloian began his career at RR Donnelley in 1986, where he held roles of increasing responsibility over his 11-year tenure, most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Magazine Publishing Services.

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The New York Times announced that Sam Tanenhaus, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, has been named editor, Book Review. He replaces Charles McGrath who will return to writing for the newspaper. Mr. Tanenhaus's position is effective April 12. Mr. Tanenhaus, 48, has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1999. Previously he was an assistant editor for the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times since 1997. The New York Times also announced that Alex Ward, editor of special sections at The Times, has been named editorial director, book development. Mr. Ward's position is effective March 26. Mr. Ward replaces Susan Chira, who was named foreign editor for The Times in January. He will report jointly to the newsroom and the business side. Mr. Ward became the editor of the special sections desk at The New York Times in January 1997 after having served as deputy editor for the culture desk since January 1991. Previously, he served as articles editor of The New York Times Magazine since January 1989 and story editor of the Magazine since 1985.

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Seybold Seminars, Publications & Consulting has consolidated its editorial and conference content group in San Francisco, adding Cynthia Wood, director of content for Seybold Reports, and Charles Lenatti, managing editor of The Seybold Report to its management team. To reinforce the company's focus on content, the Seybold Seminars Content Board has been formed to guide editorial and conference development. Wood brings 24 years of publishing experience at CMP Media, IDG News Service, Time Inc. and Ziff-Davis Media Inc. to Seybold Seminars. In her role as content director, she will direct both editorial and conference content teams. Lenatti, who has been a reporter and editor at MacWEEK, UpSide and Business 2.0, will be the lead editor on all Seybold Reports publications, including its biweekly flagship, The Seybold Report.

Digital Publishing

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A new digital library launched recently by San Jose Public Library is giving Silicon Valley residents access to popular ebooks directly from their home or office; in fact, anywhere that Internet access is available. OverDrive, Inc., a vendor of eBook solutions for libraries, supplied the technology for the new service. The site features bestselling ebooks from popular authors and leading publishers such as HarperCollins, Time Warner, McGraw-Hill, Zondervan, Scholastic, and John Wiley and Sons. The collection features titles available in Adobe PDF format that can be downloaded and read using free Adobe Reader software available from the site.

Content Deals

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The Times (UK) and Japan's The Yomiuri Shimbun, the world's largest-selling newspaper, announced a significant publishing partnership. Starting on Sunday April 4th 2004, The Daily Yomiuri, an English-language newspaper published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, will carry a weekly supplement, in the English language, of Times editorial, offering Yomiuri readers a weekly view from Europe. The supplement will be branded The Times and will carry The Times masthead.

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The Sheridan Group announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the business of The Dingley Press of Lisbon, Maine. The transaction, which is subject to obtaining financing and other customary conditions, is expected to be completed in April. The Dingley Press is a printer of specialty catalogs with net sales of approximately $90 million in 2003. Under the terms of the agreement, Dingley's business will be acquired by a wholly owned subsidiary of The Sheridan Group and continue to operate as The Dingley Press. Christopher A. Pierce, currently President and majority shareholder of The Dingley Press, will continue as its President and Chief Operating Officer. The Sheridan Group is a leading specialty printer offering a full range of printing and value-added support services to the journal, catalog, magazine, book, and article reprint markets.

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Source Interlink Companies, a direct-to-retail magazine fulfillment distribution company, announced it has signed an agreement with Marvel Comics, to distribute comic titles to specialty markets across North America via Interlink. Source Interlink will distribute comic titles including Ultimate Spider-Man, The Uncanny X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Captain America, and others. Source Interlink is the nation's largest distributor to major bookstore chains and independent retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, B. Dalton Booksellers and Waldenbooks, distributing more than 4,000 titles to approximately 8,000 retail stores throughout North America.

Launches and Redesigns

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AgeWise is a new four-color magazine created exclusively for Michigan seniors. It claims to offer readers a local perspective with the sophistication of a national publication, and promises to dispel the myths of aging. Articles and stories for future issues are now being solicited from Michigan writers. Departments include: Profiles of Achievers and Interesting People, Nature, Sports, Travel, Fiction and Nonfiction, Inspiration, Poetry, Reviews of Books by Michigan Authors, Imprints (contributions to Michigan by various ethnic groups), Kids Speaking (humorous quips and stories about -- and by -- children) ... and more.

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The Nitro Entertainment Empire has announced the launch of a full service talent search engine and directory for artists and companies. NitroTalent.com's search engine allows artists of all kinds to put their portfolio at the fingertips of talent seekers in their field. Artists are contacted directly from their portfolio using NitroTalent.com's private email system. Artists may display whatever they would like in their portfolios, including audio and video clips, pictures, resumes, work samples, media files etc. Unique NitroTalent ID numbers serve as an electronic business card. Clients can use their ID number on all work credit so that no matter where their names appear, employers know how to find out more about them online. Scouts plug in the ID number, and a full portfolio appears. NitroTalent.com has 16 searchable sections including: Acting and Modeling, Alternative Therapy, Dance, Fashion Design, Film and Video, Gourmet, Import and Automotive, Make Up and Styling, Music and Entertainment, Photography, Sports and Recreation, Video Game Design, Visual Design, and Writing.

Film and Television

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MTV Films and Maverick Films have acquired the film rights to Twilight, a novel set for publication from Little, Brown in September, 2005. The film will be released through Paramount Pictures, partner of MTV Films under the Viacom umbrella. The joint venture is a first for MTV Films and Maverick Films, a Los Angeles-based production house founded by Madonna and Guy Oseary, who will team to produce the teenage vampire love story written by Phoenix-based author Stephenie Meyer. Set in a high school, Twilight is the story of Bella, who falls in love with a vampire, leading a rival vampire clan to pursue the couple and forcing her to decide if she, too, wishes to become one of the undead. Heather Parry, Vice President of MTV Films/News and Susan Lewis, Vice President, Development of MTV Films will oversee the project on behalf of MTV Films. Greg Mooridian an in-house producer and prexy Mark Morgan will oversee on behalf of Maverick Films. The film rights were brokered by Kassie Evashevski, literary manager at Brillstein-Grey on behalf of Jodi Reamer of Writers House, Larry Shire and Robert Strent of Grubman Indursky & Schindler, P.C. on behalf of Maverick Films.

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Lifetime Television has acquired the exclusive cable television syndication rights to the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Frasier from Paramount Domestic Television beginning in March 2006, it was announced by Lynn Picard, Executive Vice President/General Manager, Lifetime Television. Frasier joins Lifetime's comedy lineup which includes Will & Grace (premiering in September 2005), The Golden Girls, The Nanny, Laverne & Shirley and Designing Women.

Music Business

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Apple announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded over 50 million songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store, not including songs redeemed from the currently-running Pepsi iTunes promotion. The 50 millionth song, purchased last Thursday afternoon, was The Path of Thorns by Sarah McLachlan. iTunes users are now downloading 2.5 million songs per week, which is an annual run rate of 130 million songs per year. The iTunes Music Store offers Windows and Mac users an online music catalog of over 500,000 songs with 99 cents-per-song pricing.

Book Deals and News

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Kevin J. Anderson and his writing partner, Brian Herbert, have been awarded what is rumored to be the largest advance on a single science fiction contract for the next series of Dune novels, which bests their last advance, also a rumored record-breaker. The deal includes the two-volume "grand climax" to the Dune chronicles, based directly on the "Dune 7" outline written by creator Frank Herbert, as well as The Road to Dune, a compendium of never-before-published chapters from Dune and Dune Messiah, plus original stories and a short novel written by Anderson and Brian Herbert. Frank Herbert's classic Dune is the bestselling science fiction novel of all time. When Herbert died in 1986, he left his Dune Chronicles uncompleted -- in fact, the last published novel, Chapterhouse Dune, ends on a cliffhanger. Before he died, he placed his last outline in a safe deposit box. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson will now be completing the story that fans have waited 18 years to read.

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R.R. Bowker, a provider of bibliographic information in North America, has introduced its new BIP Alert Service, a tool that automatically sends email messages to individual users any time a book is released which meets the criteria of previously saved search settings. Subscribers to booksinprint.com and globalbooksinprint.com have the option of registering to use BIP Alert for no additional charge. Subscribers can save a variety of search criteria -- including keyword in title, author, price, vendor, subject, and thirty other search criteria -- and then the BIP Alert Service saves their individual criteria in its database. An email alert is automatically sent to inform them that new titles have been added and how they can access more information about their availability.

Miscellaneous

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The Board of Directors of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. announced that Martha Stewart has resigned effective immediately as a Director and Chief Creative Officer of the company, and will assume the position of Founding Editorial Director. These actions follow the recent verdict against Ms. Stewart in a personal legal matter unrelated to the company and its businesses. In her new role, Ms. Stewart will continue to provide creative inspiration for new product design and development; author two pending books; undertake contributing editor and television assignments; help continue to build public profiles for MSO's talented core content experts; and provide input on the continuing evolution of MSO and its brand and brand labels and on strategic issues. She will report to the company's CEO, Sharon Patrick.

In commenting on her new role, Ms. Stewart said: "I am taking this action today because it is in the best interests of MSO and because I think it's the right thing to do. I am heartsick about my personal legal situation -- and deeply sorry for the pain and difficulties it has caused our employees. I can never thank my MSO colleagues enough for their spirit, resiliency and dedication. I look forward to continuing to collaborate on a wide range of creative ideas with the amazing, talented and hard-working people at this very special company. I also thank our readers, viewers, customers, partners and advertisers for their steadfastness and loyalty."

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Timothy S. Durham, Chairman and CEO of Obsidian Enterprises, Inc., has invested in Indy Men's Magazine. Indy Men's Magazine entered the Indianapolis market in 2002 and focuses on matters of interest to upscale, educated and active individuals whether bachelor or married-with-kids. Its editorial runs the gamut, covering business, sports, entertainment, fitness, parenting, travel, gadgets, nightlife and more. Monthly features include recipes from the "Bachelor Chef," a collection of real stories about real guys doing interesting work in "Men at Work," the lowdown on "What Women Want" and perspectives on kid-raising dilemmas from the front lines in "The Dad Files." Indy Men's Magazine is a free monthly publication with a circulation of 50,000 that is available in high-traffic destinations such as Galyan's, Marsh, Blockbuster, Union Planters and over 300 area restaurants and businesses across central Indiana. Yearly subscriptions are also available.