Posted on May 21, 2004
National Lampoon, Inc. has announced changes to its
board of directors (the "Board"), with the addition of Ron Berger and Richard Irvine.
Ron Berger replaces Bruce Vann who passed away on February 18, 2004, and Richard
Irvine replaces Jim Fellows, who has resigned from the board.
Both Vann and Fellows had served on the board since the founding of the original
company (J2 Communications) in 1986.
LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a developer of
technology based learning products, has hired Dr. Suzanne Barchers as vice president,
editor-in-chief of content, to its staff of educational experts. Dr. Barchers is
responsible for ensuring that all content for LeapFrog's award-winning consumer
platforms and LeapFrog SchoolHouse's classroom curriculum supports LeapFrog's
proprietary educational scope and sequence guidelines, as well as national and state
educational standards. Prior to joining LeapFrog full-time, Dr. Barchers developed
curriculum and materials for the LeapFrog SchoolHouse, including 23 decodable books,
such as Leap Hops, Pops, and Mops
and I Spy in the Sky
Dr. Barchers has also served as managing editor for Weekly Reader
, a periodical
that serves more than seven million elementary schoolchildren in 50,000 schools
across America. In addition, she has written several books for both educators and students,
including two college textbooks and 18 teacher resource books.
Ziff Davis Media Inc. has announced the promotion of
Karl Elken to National Associate Publisher of eWeek. He was previously West Coast
Associate Publisher. In his new position, Mr. Elken will develop the publication's
integrated marketing and sales strategy as well as manage the entire sales force. He
will be based in New York City and will continue to report to Chris Dobbrow, Publisher
. Mr. Elken, who has been with eWeek since 2001, has helped grow the
developing integrated marketing programs that span print, custom publishing and online
events. Mr. Elken has over 17 years of sales, marketing and circulation experience, with
over 12 years in b-to-b and high-technology media companies. He has held senior-level
positions within Ziff Davis Media, most recently serving as West Coast Publisher for
and CIO Insight
magazines and prior to that PC Magazine
He has also held senior level sales
positions at high-tech media companies including CMP Media. Mr. Elken began his
career as a sales representative with Lehman Brothers in New York.
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, a division of
Kaplan, Inc., announced that Jon Williams has joined the division as Chief Technology
Officer (CTO), a newly created position. In this new role, Williams will provide
strategic guidance and leadership on overall technology matters impacting the unit.
Williams' responsibilities will include the management of product technology, business
systems and web development. As such, he will oversee the various teams responsible
for all of the division's critical technologies.
Williams brings over twenty years of relevant experience to Kaplan. Most recently,
he was the CTO and Senior Vice President of Grey Healthcare. Prior to that, Williams
served as a consultant and technology architect for clients including AOL Time Warner,
Scholastic, Oxygen Media, and ATG.
Bob Osher has been named Chief Operating Officer
of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group, it was announced by Amy Pascal, Chairman
of the Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
Osher, who began working at the studio's Culver City-based, most recently served
as Co-President of Production for Miramax Films. Among his other duties, he will
oversee business affairs and physical production for the studio.
Osher will report to Pascal and will work along side Co-Presidents of Production
Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, who will continue to supervise Columbia's feature
film slate. Tolmach and Belgrad report to Pascal.
Osher joins Columbia after serving as Co-President of Production for Miramax Films,
where he was co-head of the production department, and ran the legal, business affairs
and physical production divisions. In 2002, he was also placed in charge of Miramax
Television and was also co-head of the company's DVD, home video and domestic
television sales divisions.
Most recently, he oversaw the production of Shall We Dance
, starring Richard Gere
and Jennifer Lopez, Underclassmen
, starring Nick Cannon, and he served as executive
producer of Anthony Minghella's civil war drama Cold Mountain
Nicole Kidman and Jude Law.
Kim Paulsen, group publisher of the
Penton IT Media's Windows Group, announced the
appointment of Karen Forster as group editorial director for the Windows Group,
headquartered in Loveland, Colo. Forster will be responsible for managing the
editorial direction and strategy for print, Web, and email newsletters for Windows &
.NET Magazine, SQL Server Magazine
, and Connected Home Media
Forster worked with the start-up company, Duke Communications, from 1988-2002, helping
it become the editorial leader in its field. In addition to launching SQL Server
in 1999, she served as editor-in-chief of both SQL Server Magazine
Windows NT/2000 Magazine
(which became Windows & .NET Magazine
During her two years at Microsoft, Forster served as director of Windows Server
user assistance. One of her major responsibilities at Windows & .NET Magazine will
be to write a monthly column, "Microsoft Connection," which will provide a place
for discussion on timely IT issues between readers, Forster and Microsoft experts.
Forster will also continue building and establishing relationships within the
MWW Group, a public relations firm,
announced that Seattle-based The Silver Company has merged into MWW's Seattle office.
Bob Silver, president and founder of The Silver Company, will join MWW as
senior vice president and general manager of its
Seattle office. MWW also announced that its Seattle office, formerly known locally as
MWW/Savitt, has been renamed MWW Group. With background as an award-winning journalist,
Silver spent 13 years as an editor and reporter for some of the nation's leading
newspapers, including the Seattle Times, St. Petersburg Times
, and the Niagara Gazette
. His assignments covered the news spectrum, from the Love Canal environmental disaster
in 1978 to the Summer Olympic Games in 1984.
LifeWay Christian Resources is moving aggressively to provide its library of Bible resources in electronic form to make preaching, teaching and learning the Bible easier for consumers. A recent agreement between LifeWay and WORDsearch Corp LLC enables LifeWay to create new electronic products that combine the strength of LifeWay's Bible,
book and literature publishing content with WORDsearch's Bible-software
technology. The new business relationship gives LifeWay rights to both the
Navigator software as well as the Internet technology that powers the
bible.lifeway.com area on LifeWay's website, lifeway.com. Potential LifeWay content that could be integrated through the new agreement
include Bible studies, thousands of ministry and Christian-living articles, as
well as books and other resources.
iVillage Inc., an Internet resource for women, announced that Hearst Communications, Inc. has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with iVillage to amend and extend for an additional three years the companies' magazine content license and hosting agreement. Under the proposed terms of the extension, Hearst would pay to iVillage approximately
$12.5 million over three years for hosting and production services related to the
following Hearst magazine websites, all of which will continue to be incorporated
into The iVillage Network: Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Redbook,
House Beautiful, Marie Claire
and Town & Country
The term of the deal is three years.
The Washington Post Company announced
that it had acquired El Tiempo Latino
, a leading Spanish-language weekly newspaper in
the greater Washington area. The seller is Farragut Media Group, Inc., whose principal
owner is Armando Chapelli, Jr., formerly of Bethesda, MD.
El Tiempo Latino
was founded by Chapelli in 1991. It is published on Friday of each
week and has ABC-audited free circulation of 34,000.
After the sale the publication will remain an independent newspaper,
operated by its current management and editorial team -- Alberto Avendano, Kristen
Shepherd, and Zulema Tijero. For several years The Washington Post
has had an informal
content-sharing relationship with El Tiempo Latino
that has included the publication
of relevant Post
articles in translation in El Tiempo Latino
Commonwealth Business Media, Inc. has announced
the acquisition of Compass North America, Inc., publisher of the Seaports of the Americas
AAPA (American Association of Port Authorities) Annual Directory, the tri-annual AAPA
Seaports Magazine, Georgia Ports Authority Guide & Directory, The Port Everglades Guide
& Directory and the annual AAPA Annual Convention & Exhibition (AAPA Pocketguide).
Compass President and Publisher George Mihaiu will continue his tenure as publisher
in Commonwealth's Miramar, Florida office. The above-mentioned titles will become part
of The Journal of Commerce Shipper Group, which currently includes The Journal of
Commerce, Pacific Shipper, Shipping Digest, Florida Shipper
and Gulf Shipper
Blockbuster Inc., a global
provider of in-home movie and game entertainment, announced that it has acquired
the assets of American Satellite and Video, Inc., the owner and operator of
Rhino Video Games, a Southeast-based regional games retail chain specializing in buying,
selling and trading video games. Blockbuster's
acquisition further strengthens the company's position in the growing console games
and games trading market. Rhino Video Games currently operates 40 game only retail
stores in the Southeastern United States, including Florida, Alabama, Tennessee,
Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Information Today, Inc. (ITI) has announced the
acquisition of the publishing assets of Faulkner Technical Reports, Inc., a diverse
line of information products known as Faulkner Information Services.
Faulkner Information Services provides Web-based information in
the fields of information technology, communications, and security. Its flagship
service is called the Faulkner Advisory on Computer and Communications Technologies
(FACCTS), which is a continuously updated and searchable library of hundreds of
research reports written for IT and communications managers, users, and suppliers.
The Faulkner Information Services management team will continue to run the new ITI
subsidiary at its present location in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Marty Murphy, the
former Faulkner president and principle shareholder, has left to pursue other
interests but retains a strong interest in the success of the company.
Launches and Redesigns
Developer Shed, Inc., a provider of developer
resources, has launched Scripts.com, a
scripting resource for developers and programmers. Scripts.com joins Developer Shed's
other websites, including Dev Shed, ASP Free, Dev Articles, Dev Hardware and SEO Chat.
Scripts.com is updated daily in real time to eliminate duplicate entries, bad links
and inaccurate descriptions. New resources are added daily.
Scripts.com contains listings for over 8,300 scripts in 11 categories.
Features of Scripts.com include a search engine, a list of the most viewed scripts
and the highest rated scripts organized by category. Users can rate scripts, email
them to a friend and read and write reviews. Registration is free.
Film and Television
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSO) announced
that Martha Stewart Living Television
, the Emmy-award winning daily syndicated service
show distributed by King World Productions, will be placed on hiatus for Season 12, the
2004-2005 broadcast season. The company will continue production of Martha Stewart Living
Television programming for the remainder of Season 11, which is distributed by King World
through September 2004 to approximately 52 percent of U.S. local television markets. In
addition, the company will continue production of Petkeeping with Marc Morrone
company will also accelerate its development of special and new programming, such as
. Consistent with this announcement, the company will also adjust
staffing levels within the Television business segment. The company will take a
restructuring charge of up to $2 million in the second quarter of 2004.
British Movietonews, a London based newsreel
archive and television documentary production company, has launched a new free website
for the general public. Movietone-portraits.com features
312 one-minute portraits of famous people to include show business personalities as
well as many politicians, artists and scientists.
There are also portraits of places and lifestyles that were captured for posterity on
35mm black and white film. The site works with either Windows Media
Player or Quicktime. The viewer has a choice of either broadband or 56K modem.
The collection was originally produced for the international television market
utilising the worldwide newsreel assets of British Movietonews. The company has
been in business since 1929 and is the only newsreel company still operating today
under its original ownership.
The project was originally inspired by books of classic black and white photographs
that captured an era and a way of life.
Principal photography began May 17 on location
in Santorini, Greece, for Alcon Entertainment's coming-of-age adventure
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
, based on Ann Brashares' bestselling novel
about a special 16th summer in the lives of four lifelong friends.
Directed by Emmy Award-nominated Ken Kwapis (Malcolm in the Middle
), from a
screenplay by Delia Ephron (You've Got Mail
) and Elizabeth Chandler
(What a Girl Wants
), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Alexis Bledel, Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrara and Blake Lively as four 16-year-old
best friends who are separated for the first time.
On a last shopping trip together, the girls find a pair of thrift-shop jeans that
fits each of them perfectly and they decide to use these "magic" pants as a way of
keeping in touch over the months ahead, each girl wearing the jeans for a week to see
what luck they bring her before sending them on to the next. Though miles apart, the
four friends still experience life, love and loss together in a summer they'll never
forget. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
also stars Nancy Travis, Bradley
Whitford and Jenna Boyd and will be produced by Debra Martin Chase
(The Princess Diaries
), Denise Di Novi (A Walk to Remember, Catwoman
Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove (Chasing Liberty
). Alison Greenspan,
Leslie Morgenstein and Kira Davis serve as executive producers, with
Christine Sacani, Steven P. Wegner and Melissa Wiechmann as co-producers.
After wrapping in Greece, production on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
will continue in and around Vancouver and Mexico.
Set for a 2005 release, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros.
Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Napster UK, Ltd., a subsidiary of Roxio, Inc., has
announced that the Napster 2.0 legal online music service is now live
in UK. UK residents can now download the new Napster 2.0 music service for
free. Napster allows subscribers to listen legally on demand to more than 500,000
CD quality tracks - which will grow to over 700,000 tracks in the next 30 days as the
company completes loading its catalogue. For those who just want to buy songs
to burn to CD or transfer to portable players, Napster Light offers free 30-second
samples of the entire Napster UK catalogue and the opportunity to buy singles or albums.
The official UK launch of Napster 2.0 follows completion of
agreements in the UK with all five major record companies - BMG, EMI, Sony Music
Entertainment, Universal Music International, and Warner Music International -
as well as independent labels body AIM.
Book Deals and News
Alibris, Inc. announced that its auction-based
IPO did not produce prices attractive to the company and that it would rely on
recently acquired private capital to achieve profitability.
Alibris CEO Marty Manley indicated that a private financing completed in conjunction
with the IPO enables the company to continue its rapid growth.
"We are gratified by the many investors who endorsed our business model, management,
and approach to the used book, movie, and music market. However, we did not find
attractive the prices offered by the public market," said Manley in announcing the
withdrawal of the financing. The company does not expect to seek additional financing.
After three days of almost nonstop
reporting last week at the 10th annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3),
GameSpot, a property of CNET Networks, Inc., has announced
the winners of its 8th annual "Best of E3" Awards.
2.9 million gamers visited GameSpot during E3.
GameSpot editors posted approximately 1,300 movies, 12,000 screen shots, and 1,000
reports during E3. GameSpot also served more than 1 million on-demand video streams
a day during the show and covered about 650 different products -- roughly 98 percent
of all games shown at E3.
"Due to the exceptional efforts and experience of our entire product team, no other
games information source matched the quality, depth, and breadth of GameSpot's E3
coverage -- online or offline," commented Ankarino Lara, director of GameSpot. "Our
editors are just as passionate about the games of E3 as our users, and our coverage
reflects that passion. The winners of our E3 awards represent the most promising and
innovative new games our industry has to offer."
Best of E3 Winners
- Best Game of the Show: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3
(Ubisoft - PC)
- Best PC Game: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3
- Best Xbox Game: MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf
- Best PS2 Game: God of War (Sony Computer
Entertainment of America)
- Best GameCube Game: Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
- Best Game Boy Advance Game: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
- Best N-Gage Game: Pathway to Glory (Nokia)
- Best Mobile Game: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3