Publishing Industry Soundbytes 4-23-04

Posted on April 23, 2004

Book Deals | Content Deals | Film and Television
Launches and Redesigns | Miscellaneous
Music Business | People

People

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PennWell Corporation, a business-to-business publisher and organizer of conferences and exhibitions based in Tulsa, has elected Thomas Fowler as Vice President of its Fire Group headquartered in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Fowler, a publishing executive with over 25 years experience, will be responsible for PennWell's Fire Engineering and FireEMS magazines, as well as the company's expanding FDIC Conferences & Exhibitions. Prior to joining PennWell, Fowler served as Vice President/Executive Group Publisher of the Investment Management Group at Thomson Media based in New York with responsibility for several monthly and weekly publications, conferences, and websites for the financial and accounting markets. Before Thomson Media, Fowler was Group Publisher for the Cahners Travel Group and also held the position of President and Publisher of the International Medical News Group at Capital Cities/ABC.

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PennWell Corporation has named business/technology journalist Kevin Fitzgerald to the position of Editor-in-Chief of Solid State Technology magazine and its weekly newsletter, WaferNews, effective April 1. Former Editor-in-Chief Bob Haavind will become Editorial Director and remain fully engaged with all publishing products of the Solid State Technology franchise. Haavind will continue to attend and cover various global semiconductor industry events, as well as manage various special publishing products. Previously Fitzgerald was Editor-in-Chief of Purchasing magazine and CPI Purchasing magazine, both published by Reed-Elsevier, as well as PennWell's Supply Strategy magazine in 2001.

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The Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, west has appointed screenwriter and industry veteran Carl Gottlieb as its new vice president, assuming the slot made vacant by the succession of Daniel Petrie Jr. to the position of president.

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Hart Energy Publishing, formerly Hart Publications, has named Richard A. Eichler President and Chief Executive Officer. Hart Energy Publishing produces information products and analytical services for the energy finance, exploration and production, pipelines and transportation, power generation, refining, processing, and fuels marketing sectors. In serving the global upstream and downstream energy marketplace, the company has offices in Houston and Washington, DC and representatives in Denver, London, Brussels, and Singapore. Prior to joining Hart in 1985, Eichler was employed by Tenneco Oil Company and ARCO Oil and Gas as a Petroleum Landman. Eichler joined Hart Publications in Denver as publisher of Hart's flagship magazine, Oil and Gas Investor and in 1990 was promoted to Executive Vice President.

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Spa Finder Magazine, a spa lifestyle and information publication, has named Susannah M.L. Pask, formerly of Fairchild Publications, as its new publisher. In a related move, the magazine's parent company, Spa Finder Inc., has also named publishing vet Missy Godrey, the former Primedia and Worth publisher, to its board of directors. Pask most recently served as a publisher for Fairchild Publications, where she was the launch publisher of W Jewelry, while helping to revitalize Salon News magazine. Prior to Fairchild, Pask was senior vice president and publisher of Bridal Guide Magazine. P Godfrey, an operating partner with the merchant bank Tri-Artisan LLP, was most recently VP financial advisor for Bernstein Investment Research and Management. Previously, she managed all business operations for Primedia's Cover Concepts, an in-school communications company. She was also group manager of Primedia's Youth Entertainment Group, steering the relaunches of Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and BOP.

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Sync magazine, a Ziff Davis Media publication, has announced the appointments of several journalists and art directors to its editorial team. These professionals join Tony Romando, Editor-in-Chief, in leading the editorial operations of the new men's lifestyle magazine. Sync magazine is a lifestyle publication for men interested in technology. Sync's new editorial team includes:

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CMP Media announced it has named Senior Vice President Bob Evans to Sr. VP and Editorial Director of InformationWeek and TechWeb. In this newly expanded role, Evans will continue to maintain his visionary role on InformationWeek, and take on the responsibility for the editorial strategy and development of TechWeb. Stephanie Stahl has been named InformationWeek's new Editor-in-Chief, having served as Editor of the brand for the past five years.

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Business Traveler has announced John DeCesare as its new Publisher of the U.S. edition. Most recently, Mr. DeCesare was Group Publisher of Northstar Travel Media, where he was responsible for three publications and two web sites in the B2B travel market. Prior to that, John was the Advertising Director at Turnstile Publishing Co., where he launched Golf & Travel magazine. He brings nearly 20 years of publishing experience -- mostly in the travel category -- to Business Traveler.

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Aviation Week Group has appointed Mark Flinn as Vice President, Sales. This newly created position is part of an overall growth initiative to build on its multimedia platforms and broad capabilities covering the global aerospace and defense industry. Mark will be responsible for advertising and content based revenue generation for Aviation Week Group products and services. This includes magazines and newsletters, the internet-based Aviation Week Intelligence Service (AWIN), conferences, information and marketing services, television, and strategic programs.

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Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has appointed Mark J. Halacy to Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources. Effective immediately, Mr. Halacy will oversee the company's global HR operations across North America, Europe and Asia and will report directly to CEO Bruce Hack. Most recently, Mr. Halacy served as Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources Development at Vivendi Universal's corporate headquarters. During his tenure at Vivendi Universal, Mr. Halacy led HR development strategies on a global basis, including the design and implementation of the global HR function following the mergers of Seagram, Universal Studios Group and Vivendi. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, North American Human Resources at Universal Music Group and Vice President, Human Resources Development at Universal Studios Group.

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Scholastic, a children's and education publishing and media company has appointed Mary Mitchell to Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing for Scholastic Education. Ms. Mitchell was most recently a Senior Partner and Client Services Director for OgilvyOne advertising agency in New York, where she was responsible for global clients such as Cisco, SAP, Kimberly Clark and Unilever. In this newly created position, Ms. Mitchell will report to Margery Mayer, President Scholastic Education. In her new role at Scholastic Education, Ms. Mitchell will build strategic marketing initiatives and customer loyalty programs using Scholastic's ecommerce, the company's sales force, telesales, direct mail and catalog marketing, as well as leveraging internal and external business channels to reach educators.

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Orlando Sentinel Communications CEO and President Kathleen M. Waltz has appointed Charlotte H. Hall to the position of vice president and editor of the Orlando Sentinel. Hall is currently vice president for planning of Newsday, one of the nation's largest daily newspapers, serving Long Island and New York City. She assumes her new position immediately. Both the Orlando Sentinel and Newsday are Tribune Company newspapers. Hall now oversees the Sentinel's entire newsroom, which, in addition to newsgathering for the newspaper, provides content for OrlandoSentinel.com, the weekly, bilingual El Sentinel and its companion website, elSentinel.com, and several English- and Spanish-language television and radio partnerships. Waltz simultaneously announced that Jane E. Healy, the Sentinel's editorial page editor, is now a Vice President and reports directly to her. Healy previously reported to the editor. The newspaper's editorial board staff will continue to report to Healy.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. has promoted attorney Michael Moore to Vice President-Intellectual Property Group, announced Jay Rakow, MGM senior executive vice president and general counsel. MGM hired Moore in 1995 to conduct copyright research on MGM's film library. Shortly thereafter, Moore joined the Intellectual Property Group and in November, 1998 was put in charge of the group. As head of the Intellectual Property Group, Moore is responsible for protecting MGM's intellectual property assets and also represents MGM on several Motion Picture Association of America committees, including the Copyright Experts Working Group, the Law Committee, the Copyright Term Extension Working Group and the Digital Cinema Working Group.

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American Lawyer Media's law.com, a legal news and information network, has appointed Jennifer Collins as content director. In her new position, Collins will oversee publication of the law.com website and its related products, with direct responsibility for all editorial operations, and will spearhead development of new products and services. She will be based in San Francisco and report to Stacey Artandi, vice president, online publishing for ALM. Collins, 33, joins Law.com from GroceryWorks, the online service of Safeway.com and Vons.com, where she has served as director of content and business development since 2003. Previously, she served as a product manager and as executive producer of community for CNET's ZDNet. Her online experience also includes work as executive producer for Third Voice, a start-up company, and Disney Interactive/Infoseek. She is a graduate of Hampshire College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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The New York Times announced that Frank Bruni, Rome bureau chief, has been named restaurant critic, and Eric Asimov, a columnist on food and wine for the Dining In, Dining Out section, has been named chief wine critic. Mr. Asimov will continue to write the $25 and Under column until a new columnist is named, and he will oversee the Wine Panel. Frank Prial will continue to write Wine Talk for the Dining section. The new positions are effective June 1; Mr. Bruni's first review will appear on June 9. Mr. Bruni, 39, became a correspondent in the Rome bureau of The New York Times in 2002. He had been a reporter in the Washington bureau from 1998 until 2002. Mr. Bruni joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1995. Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Bruni worked for The Detroit Free Press from 1990 until 1995 where he held a variety of positions, including movie critic. During this period, he spent three months covering the Persian Gulf War and was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for his portrait of a convicted child molester, "Twisted Love." Eric Asimov, 46, has written the $25 and Under restaurant reviews for The Times since the column's inception in 1992. He has also reviewed takeout food in his To Go column and since 1999, has reviewed wines and spirits as the Tastings columnist and host of the Wine Panel. He appears on WQXR-FM each weekday morning. Previously he was a columnist in the Style department after having served as editor of Styles of The Times from 1994 to 1995. Prior to that, he was editor of The Living Section from 1991 to 1994. Mr. Asimov was deputy editor of The Living Section from March 1989 to January 1991. Before that time, he was an assistant to the National Edition editor. He has also served as a copy editor on the national desk, a position he held upon joining The Times in September 1984.

Content Deals

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Thomson Higher Education, a provider of teaching materials for higher education and part of The Thomson Corporation, has announced the acquisition of all criminal justice titles from Copperhouse Publishing Company. Copperhouse's 44 paperback titles will be added to Thomson Higher Education's market-leading criminal justice list, published under the Thomson Wadsworth imprint, and many will become part of its highly acclaimed Advantage Series. The acquisition is effective immediately. Copperhouse was represented in the transaction by the mergers and acquisitions advisory firm Whitestone Communications, Inc., New York, N.Y.

Launches and Redesigns

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Where San Francisco, a magazine for visitors, has announced the launch of its new, interactive website created for San Francisco visitors.Designed to increase travel resources for visitors, wheresf.com is a supplement to Where San Francisco. The new website is an additional tool visitors can refer to when arranging their trips to San Francisco. Wheresf.com delivers the monthly content of the magazine plus expanded restaurant listings, a detailed calendar of events, entertainment guides, and daily weather updates, all at the click of a mouse.

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AARP and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) have announced the official launch of VoicesofCivilRights.org, an online home to an extensive archive of compelling firsthand accounts of America's struggle for civil rights. The site features a searchable archive and electronic story submission form, as well as interactive and multimedia content, feature articles, essays, interviews with past and present civil rights leaders, and special reports on contemporary civil rights issues. Related materials are also available on LCCR's website at civilrights.org.

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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.

Film and Television

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SCI FI Channel announced it has partnered with DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg for a second miniseries (the first was the Emmy Award-winning Steven Spielberg Presents TAKEN) entitled Nine Lives, and has signed deals in recent months with Martin Scorsese, Bryan Singer, Dean Devlin, Joel Silver and Gale Anne Hurd, among others. Oscar-caliber actors such as Timothy Hutton, Randy Quaid and Isabella Rossellini lead the casts of SCI FI's upcoming 2004 miniseries, while other stars have signed on for future epics. Following is a list of projects that lead SCI FI's development slate:
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On the heels of MTV's new hit series, Pimp My Ride, MTV Films Executive Vice President, David Gale, has announced that the network's film division has bought a pitch that takes place in the world of custom car shops. The pitch was acquired by Paramount on behalf of MTV Films. Andre Harrell and Michael Rapaport will produce with MTV Films. Kim Watson and Alonzo Brown (Honey) are writing the script. A central component of the film will be hip hop music, which will be heavily infused and integrated throughout the project. Very much an ensemble, the movie will also feature cameos by popular artists. Rapaport currently stars in David E. Kelley's critically acclaimed television drama Boston Public. Formerly of the rap duo Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Harrell served as producer on Honey and Strictly Business. Brown and Watson wrote the Universal film Honey, starring Jessica Alba. Spearheading the project for MTV Films will be Susan Lewis and Loretha Jones. Endeavor represented the writers and Andre Harrell in the deal. UTA and Management 360 repped Michael Rapaport. MTV Films is currently wrapping production on Coach Carter starring Samuel L. Jackson and produced with Tollin-Robbins. MTV Films also begins production this summer in Berlin on Aeon Flux starring Charlize Theron and produced with Gale Ann Hurd and Lakeshore and on The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler and produced with Happy Madison.

Book Deals and News

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The Millbrook Press, Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Roaring Brook Press imprint. The proposed purchaser is Holtzbrinck Publishers, a group of companies that includes Henry Holt and Company, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and St. Martin's Press. As a chapter 11 debtor in bankruptcy, The Millbrook Press must obtain approval of the proposed sale from a bankruptcy court. In addition, other companies that may wish to purchase Roaring Brook will be given an opportunity to participate in an auction. If no other potential purchaser emerges at auction and the agreement with Holtzbrinck is approved, the company anticipates that the sale will be made final in late April. It is Holtzbrinck's intention to establish Roaring Brook as a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers and to retain Roaring Brook's existing publishing, editorial and marketing staff and organization. As such, Roaring Brook will continue to operate from offices in Connecticut. Roaring Brook management will report to the President and Publisher of Henry Holt and Company, and the division will be closely affiliated with Holt. For production, sales, distribution, and other support services, Roaring Brook will draw on the resources of Henry Holt in particular and Holtzbrinck more generally.

Miscellaneous

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The number of catalogs available online has grown markedly over the past year from 3,733, in 2003 to 6,147 in 2004. In addition, the overall number of catalogs is growing, with 1,540 new catalogs listed in the 2004 edition of the National Directory of Catalogs, which was released today. Published by Oxbridge Communications, the 2004 edition of the National Directory of Catalogs contains 10,643 North American business and consumer mail order catalogs. There are 9,961 print catalogs listed, including 5,499 that are also available online, and 648 online-only catalogs.