Publishing Industry Soundbytes 5-14-04

Posted on May 14, 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, has appointed Eldon R. Ball as Editor-in-Chief of Offshore magazine effective immediately. Ball has been with Offshore for two years acting as Managing Editor, managing the day-to-day operations of the editorial staff and coordinating coverage of industry technology, news, and trends. Before joining Offshore, Ball held a number of writing, editing, and communications positions with Enron, Lyondell Chemical, Pennzoil, Texas Eastern Corp., and BMC Software. Ball previously served as an associate editor of Offshore, editor of PennWell's Ocean Oil Weekly Report, and editor and associate publisher of Petroleum Management magazine. Ball has a BA degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, announced that its Board of Directors has elected Stephen M. Lacy as a Board member, effective immediately, and elected him President and Chief Operating Officer, effective July 1. In his new role, Lacy, 50, will oversee all of Meredith's business operations, including magazine and book publishing, integrated marketing, interactive media and broadcast television. He will continue to report to Meredith Chairman and CEO William T. Kerr, allowing Kerr to focus more time on long-term strategy and succession planning. The Board also elected John H. Griffin, Jr. to succeed Lacy as Meredith Publishing Group President. Griffin, 43, currently serves as Meredith Magazine Group President, a position he has held since June 2003. Lacy joined Meredith in February 1998 as VP/Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to President of the Meredith Integrated and Interactive Marketing Group in March 2000. He was promoted again to Meredith Publishing Group President in November 2000.

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New York Magazine editor-in-chief Adam Moss has announced that he has hired Amy Goldwasser as features editor and Emily Nussbaum as culture editor. Goldwasser, an editor and writer who has worked for New York Magazine in both capacities, will develop and oversee the magazine's service features. As a freelance editor, Goldwasser served as acting editor of I.D. magazine, executive editor of Seventeen, and held editorial positions at InStyle, Allure, Men's Journal and Modern Bride. Goldwasser has written for publications including the New York Times and Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Conde Nast Traveler. Nussbaum, a regular contributor to Slate and the New York Times, will oversee the magazine's cultural coverage. In addition to her work for Slate and the Times, Nussbaum was senior editor, then editor in chief at Nerve and was a feature writer at Lingua Franca. Nussbaum started at New York Magazine on Monday, May 10 and Goldwasser will begin on Tuesday, June 1st.

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The Chicago Tribune has named Bill Daley chief food and wine reporter for the newspaper, filling the position vacated by the Tribune's esteemed veteran food and wine expert William Rice, who spent nearly 20 years at the newspaper before retiring in December 2003. Daley's writing has already begun to appear in the paper and his new wine column will bow in the June 16 Good Eating section. In tackling the food and wine beat, Daley will cover chefs and food personalities, cooking techniques and trends. Daley spent 13 years at the Hartford Courant, most recently as restaurant reviewer, as well as food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Chicago Tribune Magazine columnist Leah Eskin will debut as the magazine's food columnist May 9. Her weekly column will be called "Home on the Range." It takes a personal approach to food writing, covering such topics as cooking for a new mom, the illicit pleasures of the midnight snack, and how (not) to host a disastrous dinner party. The column will also peek inside some of the city's most alluring kitchens, offering insight into mastering the art of the cupcake and other life lessons. Recipes included. Eskin joined the Tribune in 2000. She has previously worked as a writer and restaurant critic at the Chicago Reader, contributing editor to Chicago magazine, and freelance features writer. Her articles also have appeared in Saveur, Garden Design and Elle. In 2001, she launched the Chicago Tribune Magazine's quirky and personal style column titled "Sum of the Parts."

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As part of a continuing effort to provide industry-leading services and strategic support to its newspapers, The McClatchy Company has announced three management changes at Nando Media, the company's interactive media operation. Christian A. Hendricks, Vice President of Interactive Media for McClatchy, will assume the additional role of President for Nando Media. Fraser Van Asch, Vice President of Customer Service, will be promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager, overseeing Nando's day-to-day operations. Brian Kirlik, Vice President of Product Development, will be promoted to Vice President of Product Development and Customer Service. Nando Media provides software, technology and strategic resources for McClatchy's Internet operations. The changes will be effective Monday, May 17, 2004. Hendricks, 41, joined McClatchy in 1992 as Marketing Manager for The Fresno Bee, and was subsequently promoted to Marketing Director in 1993. He later moved to McClatchy's corporate office as Manager of Technology, and then was named President and Publisher of Nando in 1996. He returned to corporate in 1999 as Vice President of Interactive Media. Van Asch, 43, was hired by The News & Observer Publishing Company in 1983, and has served in a variety of capacities, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Kirlik, 40, was hired in 2001 to open McClatchy's Nando Canada LLC. He moved to Nando Media in 2003 to oversee product development and technology.

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Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has announced the appointment of Philip W. O'Neil as President of North America, effective immediately. Mr. O'Neil will oversee the company's North American operations, including marketing, sales, finance and general staff and report to VU Games CEO, Bruce Hack. Prior to his promotion, Mr. O'Neil served as VU Games' EVP, Sales and Marketing, North America. In his new role, Mr. O'Neil will focus on improving the company's strong #2 share of the North American PC games industry while continuing to accelerate its growth in the console market. Prior to joining VU Games in 2000, Mr. O'Neil served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for River Ranch Fresh Foods. From 1994-1997, Mr. O'Neil was Vice President of Sales, North America, for Fresh Express Farms, Inc. He also has held sales, marketing and business development positions with Vintners International, Pepsi Cola USA and the Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery.

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Addison-Wesley Professional and Prentice Hall PTR announced that Don O'Hagan has been named Editor-in-Chief of the group. In this role, O'Hagan will lead the Upper Saddle River, N.J., and Boston-based editorial teams. His primary responsibilities will include determining better ways to serve current customers and developing strategies for publishing in new and exciting technology markets. O'Hagan most recently served as Senior Vice President, Technology Investment, Pearson Technology, reporting to Pearson's CIO. Prior to joining Prentice Hall in 1998, he was a Director and Area Sales Vice President with ITT Corporation.

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Bill Peterson, a veteran broadcast television executive with 30 years of news and station management experience, has been named senior vice president of The E. W. Scripps Company's broadcast television station group, effective immediately. As senior vice president/television, Peterson has strategic and operating oversight responsibilities for the company's broadcast network affiliated stations. Scripps operates broadcast affiliated television stations in nine U.S. markets. Peterson succeeds John Lansing, who earlier this year was named executive vice president of the company's Scripps Networks operating division. Peterson, 60, joined the Scripps corporate management team in January as vice president of station operations. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of WPTV-TV, the Scripps-owned NBC affiliated television station in West Palm Beach, Fla. Peterson's career in broadcast television began in 1964 as a news photographer at WSPD-TV (now WTVG-TV) in Toledo, Ohio. In 1973 he was named news director at WSPD and then went on to serve in the same capacity for television stations in Cleveland, San Diego, Miami and Los Angeles.

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Knight Ridder has named Maureen Saltzer, vice president of the Pacific Region for Freedom Community Newspapers, as president and publisher of The (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) Tribune, effective June 14. She succeeds Par Ridder, who is now publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Saltzer has been in her current position since December 2002. Prior to that, she was president of Freedom Eastern North Carolina Communications from 2000 to 2002; publisher of Freedom's Fort Pierce (Fla.) Tribune/Port St. Lucie Tribune from 1996 to 2000; publisher of Freedom's Victorville, Calif., Daily Press and Desert Dispatch from 1990 to 1996. From 1986 to 1990, she was general manager of The Valley Times, which is now part of Knight Ridder's Contra Costa Newspapers.

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MGM Studios, a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., has named Steven T. Shikiya as senior vice president of marketing and distribution, announced MGM Chief Financial Officer Dan Taylor. Shikiya will oversee all finance, planning and operational support for the domestic theatrical marketing and distribution groups for MGM Studios and United Artists, MGM's specialty film label. Shikiya will report to Taylor, Distribution President Erik Lomis and Marketing President Peter Adee. Shikiya takes over a large portion of the former duties of Danny Rosett, who recently was named president of United Artists, MGM's specialty studio division. Shikiya has been with MGM for three years, serving most recently as vice president, finance and corporate development under Taylor. Before coming to MGM, he held various management and strategic planning positions with Launch Media, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Co. and Arthur Andersen. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

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Veteran film executive Danny Rosett has been named president of the United Artists division of MGM Studios Inc., announced Chris McGurk, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer vice chairman and chief operating officer. United Artists, which turns 85 this year, is MGM's specialty film unit. Rosett's promotion and new duties also will bring a realignment of MGM's international theatrical distribution unit, putting it under David Bishop, president of MGM's Home Entertainment Group. The unit is headed by Ian Sutherland, who remains senior vice president, international theatrical distribution. Sutherland will report to Bishop. Rosett has held multiple positions and roles with MGM and United Artists since joining the corporate finance group in 1994. His most recent position was as executive vice president of marketing and distribution for MGM Studios, a position that included overseeing worldwide business operations for UA. He also was the UA production executive in charge on the horror hits Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2, as well as the upcoming teen comedy Saved! and the Cole Porter musical biography De-Lovely.

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Viacom has announced the appointment of David A. Sutphen to the post of Vice President, Government Affairs and Legislative Counsel. Mr. Sutphen, who joins Viacom today, will oversee the development and advocacy of the Company's public policy positions on matters before Congress and the Administration, with particular emphasis on intellectual property and Judiciary Committee issues. Mr. Sutphen will be based in Viacom's Washington, D.C. office, reporting to Carol Melton, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. Mr. Sutphen joins Viacom from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in Washington D.C., where he served as Senior Vice President, Government and Industry Relations, Legislative Counsel, since July 2002. His duties included advocacy for the recorded music industry before Congress and the Federal Government on copyright, first amendment, and technology-related issues. He also advised record label executives on legislative and regulatory matters pending before Congress, the executive branch, the FTC, and FCC. Prior to joining the RIAA, Mr. Sutphen served as General Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In previous years, he worked as the Chief of Staff and Counsel for Congressman Harold Ford, and as an associate at Covington & Burling in the Communications Practice Group in Washington, D.C. He began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Timothy K. Lewis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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American Lawyer Media (ALM), a legal journalism and information company, has announced the promotion of George M. Dillehay to the position of senior vice president. He will continue to serve as publisher of the New York Law Journal and report to ALM president and CEO William Pollak. Dillehay, 59, was named publisher of the New York Law Journal in 1999 and added management responsibility for The National Law Journal and ALM's Law Journal Newsletter Group in 2003. He had previously served as a consultant to the company, since its inception. Dillehay's industry experience includes executive positions with The Village Voice, The New York Review of Books, and its English literary magazine, Granta. He held the position of Managing Director at the investment banking and publishing consulting firm, The Jordan Group, Inc. and was the founding publisher of Channels magazine. Additionally, he held the position of Vice President/Group Publisher at the Children's Television Workshop, publishers of Sesame Street magazine. Mr. Dillehay established his own consulting practice in 1991 where his clients included Inc. Magazine, New Jersey Monthly, Bill Communications; The Nation; and Mother Jones. Mr. Dillehay currently serves on the board of directors for String Letter Publishing, publishers of Acoustic Guitar and Strings magazines.

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Teresa Tritch, a writer and editor who specializes in tax, finance and economics, has joined The New York Times Editorial Board. Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page, announced the appointment, which is effective immediately. From 2001 to 2003, Ms. Tritch, 45, served as a contributing editor at the Gallup Management Journal. Also in 2003, she served as a contributing editor at the Stanford Social Innovation Review, a quarterly magazine that covers the non-profit sector. Ms. Tritch co-edited the book America at War: The Battle for Iraq in Words, Pictures and Video (2003), a joint project of CBS and Simon & Schuster. Previously Ms. Tritch was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia from 2000 to 2001. From 1988 to 2000, Ms. Tritch served in various roles at Money magazine. In 1993, she was appointed Money's first Washington, D.C. bureau chief, a post she held until early 1997. Ms. Tritch returned to New York in 1997 when she became a senior editor, a position she held until 2000.

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Starbucks Coffee Company announced that Kenneth T. (Ken) Lombard, president, Johnson Development Corporation/Magic Johnson Theatres and co-Managing Partner of the Canyon Johnson Urban Fund, has accepted the position of senior vice president and president, Starbucks Entertainment, effective May 24, 2004. In this newly created role, Lombard will lead the vision and strategy for Starbucks enhanced involvement in music and entertainment. Lombard will report to Jim Donald, president, North America. Lombard served as President of Johnson Development Corporation (JDC) since its inception in 1992.

Content Deals

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Ziff Davis Media has announced the signing of a multi-year strategic agreement with the Reader's Digest Association Far East. As part of the partnership, Reader's Digest Global Advertising Limited in Tokyo (Readers Digest) will have exclusive rights to sell all of Ziff Davis Media's properties including print, online and events to technology and non-technology companies in Japan. The sales team of Reader's Digest Global Advertising will sell print advertising in all of Ziff Davis' 10 U.S.-based publications as well the Company's foreign editions.

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Gannett Co., Inc., Knight Ridder, Inc. and Tribune Company announced that they have jointly acquired CrossMedia Services, Inc., a provider of Web-based marketing solutions for national and local retailers. Through its SmartCircular and SmartCatalog services, CrossMedia Services transforms traditionally print-based retail promotions (such as sales circulars, catalogs, run-of-press ads, direct mail, etc.) into search-based interactive formats. Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune are partners in other joint ventures to provide consumers access to online classified products such as CareerBuilder.com, Cars.com and Apartments.com.

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Broad Street Community Newspapers announced it has acquired the assets of Star Publications, a weekly newspaper company based in Philadelphia. BSCN is a subsidiary of Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Star publishes seven weekly titles in Philadelphia: The Art Museum Home News, The Girard Home News, The Port Richmond Star, The Fishtown Star, The Bridesburg Star, The Three Star, and The North Star. The circulation of BSCN's weekly community newspapers is now 1,000,000. The Northeast Times and Star publications are carrier-delivered in the city of Philadelphia to approximately 180,000 households. Trend is mailed in four Pennsylvania counties (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware) and three New Jersey counties (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester) to approximately 820,000 households. BSCN also publishes CareerBuilder Employment Weekly, a free jobs publication distributed through convenience stores and freestanding racks.

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Pulitzer Newspapers, Inc., a subsidiary of Pulitzer Inc. and the parent of Pantagraph Publishing Co. (PPC), publisher of The Pantagraph, has announced the purchase of The HomeFinder, two monthly real estate magazines in Bloomington, IL, from Mark and Kimberly Lehmann, who conducted their operations under the name of K.P. Publications. The HomeFinder serves both McLean and Livingston counties with separate publications that are distributed throughout the communities. Total monthly circulation for the two publications is 16,000. The two magazines will continue to be published as separate publications with their own mission and identity. Kimberly and Mark Lehmann have published the McLean County edition for almost 10 years and the Livingston County edition for seven years. The Lehmanns will continue to work with the publications through a transitional period. In addition to The Pantagraph, PPC's operations include seven other weekly newspapers, a monthly business publication, a community shopping guide, a quarterly home and lifestyle magazine, and a news-based website.

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The Home Depot, a home improvement retailer, has announced the launch of the This Old House Video Library, a new online channel available through homedepot.com that features instructional advice on home-related projects delivered via streaming videos. This video tutorial offering is part of an expanded multi-platform marketing partnership between Home Depot and This Old House, a multi-media home enthusiast brand. The partnership includes a three-year category exclusive commitment for the Emmy award-winning public television show This Old House and the Emmy nominated Ask This Old House, as well as commitments in print and the Internet.

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MFORMA Group Inc., a publisher of wireless entertainment, has signed a multi-year agreement with Atari Interactive, a publisher of interactive entertainment. The companies have agreed that MFORMA shall create wireless versions of several classic Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers board and card games, which Atari licenses from Hasbro, Inc., and distribute them to wireless operators worldwide. Titles included in the agreement are versions of Milton Bradley board games: Connect Four, Chess, Checkers, Dominoes, Parcheesi, Pente and Backgammon and Parker Brothers card games: Cribbage, Free Parking, Gin Rummy, Hearts, RACKO and ROOK.

Launches and Redesigns

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Where International, publishers of the Where Magazine network of visitor publications and products, announced plans to launch versions of their upscale, in-room hotel publication, The Essential, in Boston, Paris, Phoenix/Scottsdale and Seattle in 2004. First published in Vancouver in 1987, the success of The Essential has led to expansions into other major markets including London, Washington DC and New York in 1999, 2001 and 2003, respectively. In these four new markets, The Essential will offer readers snapshots and editorial features exploring the best arts, culture and shopping each of these exciting cities has to offer. Where International, publishers of Where Magazine and The Essential, is owned and operated by Miller Publishing Group, LLC, with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA.

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O, The Oprah Magazine, a co-venture between Hearst Magazines and Harpo Print, LLC, has debuted its first special issue titled O at Home, an Oprah-inspired publication that re-thinks the classic shelter magazine formula by helping readers create a home that reflects their personal style. O at Home will be overseen by O, The Oprah Magazine Founder and Editorial Director Oprah Winfrey, Editor-in-Chief Amy Gross, and VP/Publisher Jill Seelig. O at Home is the first special issue of O, The Oprah Magazine since O debuted in April 2000. This newsstand-only magazine will be published twice in 2004, in May and October. There will be features on decorating, makeovers, quality products, collecting, entertaining, organizing, home finance, and more.

Film and Television

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Revolution Studios, following up on the success of its comic book action adventure film Hellboy, has committed to making Hellboy II, announced Revolution Studios partner Todd Garner. Hellboy writer and director Guillermo del Toro and producers Lawrence Gordon, Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment and Lloyd Levin are all returning for the new film. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola will develop the new story with del Toro. Hellboy, which was released on April 2nd, 2004, debuted at number one at the box office with an impressive $23.2 million and is on track to surpass $60 million domestically. Hellboy also debuted in first place in all five international markets Where it has already opened. The film will roll out in Europe beginning with France in August. Hellboy was based on Mike Mignola's popular Dark Horse Entertainment series of the same name and starred Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt and Jeffrey Tambor. Patrick Palmer served as executive producer and Mike Mignola served as co-executive producer. Revolution Studios was formed by Joe Roth in May 2000 to independently produce and finance films in partnership with Sony Pictures, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment Group.

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Movies.com, a website for movie fans, is running its First Annual Movie Site Awards. Beginning May 7th, movie fans have the opportunity to nominate their favorite movie Web sites devoted to individual movies, actors, directors and/or screenwriters, including official movie sites developed by a studio or distributor and individually operated fan sites. To qualify for an award nomination, the site must involve a movie, actor, director or screenwriter that was associated with a theatrical release in the last six months of 2003 or any time in 2004. Nominations must be submitted at www.movies.com/siteawards and received by July 7, 2004. All nominations will be reviewed by Movies.com editors and finalists will be announced on July 14, 2004. Site fans can post on the Movie Site Awards message boards to provide their perspective on sites and add their support for nominees. Two awards will be granted in each category -- Audience Pick and Editors' Pick. Voting begins July 14, 2004. The Editors' Pick will be chosen by Movies.com editorial staff. Editors' Pick criteria include depth and breadth of information offered, factual accuracy, demonstrated ability to engage fans, overall design and ease of use. Winners will be announced on Sept. 22, 2004, and will be featured on Movies.com.

Music Business

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Sony Connect Inc. has announced the domestic launch of its new Connect online music store. Connect.com has licensed more than 500,000 tracks from all major and many independent music labels, as well as exclusive content from such artists as Avril Lavigne, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snow Patrol, and Toby Lightman. The store will not employ a subscription model; rather, it will offer content ala carte-style, with singles starting at 99 cents, and entire albums starting at $9.99. Users may play the Connect downloads an unlimited number of times on up to three personal computers that are registered with the Connect store, including the personal computer on which the Connect Downloads are originally downloaded. In general, users may then transfer the licensed Connect Downloads an unlimited number of times onto portable music devices and media that are compatible with the store. In addition, users may "burn" up to ten CDs (five in ATRAC format and five in Redbook format).

Book Deals and News

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Cisco Press has announced the launch of the First-Step series, a new addition to the Cisco Press line of networking technology titles. Debuting with six titles in 2004, the new series explains core networking topics to readers with little or no previous experience in networking. Cisco Press, a partnership between Cisco Systems and Pearson Education, is the official publisher of Cisco networking technology and Cisco certification self-study materials for networking students and professionals.

Miscellaneous

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The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents has created the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. The new college is the 10th at Texas Tech University. The new college, formerly the School of Mass Communications, moves out from under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences to assume full college status. The College of Mass Communications offers bachelor-of-arts degrees in advertising, journalism, public relations, telecommunications and photocommunications. A master-of-arts degree in mass communications also is offered. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will vote in July on the new college's proposal for a doctoral degree in mass communications. School of Mass Communications administrators and faculty began the application process to become a college in 2002. Once the university approved the application, the next step was approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating board and the creation of a doctoral program.