Publishing Industry Soundbytes 6-25-04

Posted on June 25, 2004

People

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Bauer Publishing has announced the appointment of Betsy Fast to the position of Editor-in-Chief of Twist magazine, a celebrity news title for teen girls. Fast, formerly the executive editor at Bauer publication, J-14, replaces Janet Giovanelli, who will now focus solely on J-14 as Editor-in- Chief. Fast will report directly to Lynette Gallagher, Vice President, Teen Division. Fast's first issue as Editor-in-Chief will be September 2004. Fast joined Bauer Publishing in 2002 and has held various editorial management positions at both J-14 and Twist. Before joining Bauer, Fast edited trackers.net, the Oxygen Network's former teen website, where she managed ongoing coverage of entertainment, style, relationships, and health issues. Additionally, Fast has worked on the award-winning relationship-based website, BreakupGirl.net.

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Randy Hano, currently the advertising director of Chicago magazine, has been named publisher of the city monthly. Prior to becoming advertising director for Chicago in April 2000, Hano spent a year as director of retail category and national advertising for the Chicago Sun-Times. From 1991 to 1999, he was the national advertising manager for the Boston Herald. Chicago is the largest city monthly magazine in the nation, with a circulation of more than 186,000. Chicago is operated by Chicagoland Publishing Co., a subsidiary of Chicago Tribune Company.

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Will Swaim has been named publisher of OC Weekly, an alternative newspapers in Southern California and a member of Village Voice Media. The announcement was made by David Schneiderman, Chief Executive Officer of Village Voice Media. Swaim previously served as associate publisher and editor of OC Weekly. He will continue as editor and oversee all business operations for the publication and website. Swaim was raised in Orange County, graduated from the University of Southern California, abandoned his dream of becoming a priest, played in a punk band, went to graduate school and edited several political and business publications. Schneiderman picked Swaim to edit OC Weekly at its inception in 1995, and in 2002 expanded his role to include the position of associate publisher. Swaim holds a Masters Degree in History from UC Irvine (1985) and received a Bachelors Degree from USC, where he studied journalism and theology, graduating summa cum laude in 1982. He lives in Orange County with his wife and children.

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Jack D. Pate, a life-long Scripps newspaper executive with 25 years experience in management, marketing and advertising sales, has been named president and publisher of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press, effective July 1. Pate, 45, is returning to Evansville after serving four years as president and publisher of the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times. He previously was director of sales and marketing at the Courier & Press. Pate succeeds Vince Vawter, who earlier this month was named publisher of special projects at the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel. The Courier & Press, Standard-Times and News Sentinel are owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company.

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Timothy J. Gallagher has been named president and publisher of the Ventura County (Calif.) Star, effective July 1. Gallagher, 48, will be responsible for the newspaper's day-to-day business operations and overall strategic direction. He becomes the Star's president and publisher after serving four years as president and editor. He adds the responsibilities previously held by Patrick J. Birmingham, who was recently named president and publisher of the Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times. Birmingham held the title of executive vice president and general manager at the Star. The Star and the Caller-Times are owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company.

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Knight Ridder has announced that Pam Siddall, general manager of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, will become president and publisher effective Aug. 12. She succeeds John F. Greenman, who is retiring. Siddall joined Knight Ridder in 1997 as chief financial officer at the Ledger-Enquirer. She was named CFO of The Macon Telegraph in 2001 and then vice president and CFO, responsible for circulation, finance and building services. She was named vice president and general manager of the Ledger-Enquirer in December 2003. Prior to joining Knight Ridder, Pam was controller from 1994-1997 with Russell Corporation, Licensed Products Division.

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MSNBC.com, a news website, has appointed Charlie Tillinghast Publisher and General Manager. Tillinghast, a longtime senior MSNBC.com executive, will provide both operational and strategic leadership in his new role. In addition to managing MSNBC.com's day-to-day business operations, Tillinghast will set and direct MSNBC.com's business priorities, manage the company's editorial organization and oversee new technology development. Tillinghast joined the company in 1999 as its Business Development Manager, before becoming Senior Director of Sales & Business Development followed by Vice President of that department. Prior to joining MSNBC.com, Tillinghast held business development and sales positions in the software, semiconductor and health care industries.

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Bauer Publishing USA's newest celebrity weekly magazine, Life & Style Weekly, has expanded its management team in preparation for the November 1, 2004 launch. Mark Pasetsky has been promoted to the newly created role of general manager and Lee Rosenbaum, former publisher at Talk Magazine, has been hired as publisher of Life & Style Weekly. In his new role, Pasetsky will assume overall responsibility for the title, including overseeing the direction and growth of the magazine and managing the bottom line. He will report directly to Mr. Boehle. Pasetsky recently served as interim publisher of Life & Style Weekly. Rosenbaum joins Bauer Advertising Sales with a deep background in publishing. He has held management positions at high-profile publications such as Talk, Discover, US and most recently GQ, where he served as associate publisher. Rosenbaum will report to Ian Scott, president and CEO, Bauer Advertising Sales. Scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2004, Life & Style Weekly will celebrate the success stories of celebrities and will spotlight the latest entertainment and lifestyle trends.

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R. Bruce Journey, President and CEO of Technology Review, Inc. and publisher of Technology Review magazine, has announced that Jason Pontin has joined the magazine as Editor-in-Chief. Pontin, 37, spent seven years at the helm of Red Herring where he directed all print and online editorial, growing the magazine to an international business with more than 350,000 readers. Most recently Pontin served as Editor-in-Chief of The Acumen Journal, a monthly publication covering the business, economic, and political implications of discoveries in the life sciences. Pontin succeeds Robert Buderi, who returned to the Editor-at-Large position earlier this spring.

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Chelsea House Publishers, a nonfiction library publisher of curriculum-oriented books for children and young adults and a unit of Haights Cross Communications, Inc., announced that Derek Reicherter has been appointed Senior Vice President and Director. Reicherter will lead Chelsea House marketing and sales to school and public libraries nationwide. He will report directly to Bob Laronga, President and CEO of Sundance/Newbridge and Chelsea House. Prior to this new appointment, Reicherter was acting general manager of Chelsea House. Reicherter has held executive positions in sales and marketing at Bookspan, Inc., the book club division of Bertelsmann/Time Warner; and at Berlitz Publications.

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Penton Media, Inc. has appointed David B. Nussbaum as chief executive officer. Nussbaum, 46, succeeds Thomas L. Kemp, who will be leaving the company after a brief period to effect an orderly transition. The company announced in March that Kemp would be leaving his role later in the year, and that a search for his successor was being initiated. Additionally, Penton's Board named Royce Yudkoff non-executive chairman. Yudkoff, 48, is a co-founder of ABRY Partners, an investment holding company based in Boston, and currently serves as its president and managing partner. Penton announced on June 14, 2004, that the Company's preferred stockholders had appointed Yudkoff a director to replace Daniel C. Budde, who resigned effective June 11. Nussbaum is an executive vice president of Penton Media, Inc. and president of Penton's Technology & Lifestyle Media Division, which represents slightly more than half of the Company's revenues and operating cash flow. Nussbaum's current responsibilities include New Hope Natural Media, Penton Media Europe, the IT Media Group, the Electronics OEM Group, and the Business Technology Group. He served as a director on Penton's Board from May 2000 through April 2003. Nussbaum joined Penton in 1998 after an 18-year career with Miller Freeman, Inc., another global business-to-business media company.

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Fox Filmed Entertainment has appointed Peter Levinsohn to President, Digital Media and Worldwide Pay Television. In this new role, Mr. Levinsohn will be responsible for managing digital media strategy for Fox, including identifying content distribution opportunities; pursuing long-term strategic initiatives with major technology players; and developing opportunities to maximize the value of film and television product in emerging digital platforms. In this capacity he will work closely with the Fox Entertainment Group's (FEG) strategic planning unit as well as senior management of the various FEG business units and will report to Fox Chairmen, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. Mr. Levinsohn will also retain the responsibilities he had in his most recent role as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Pay Television for 20th Century Fox in his promotion to division President, and will continue overseeing strategy and distribution for all licensing activities associated with Fox's feature film and television programming to all pay television, pay-per-view and video-on-demand outlets throughout the world. In addition, Mr. Levinsohn will manage the company's investments in premium movie channels in Australia, Latin America and Brazil. He will continue to report to Mark Kaner, President of 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

Digital Publishing

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Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country? achieved the number one ranking on a list of "Most Borrowed Ebooks" issued by OverDrive, an ebook company serving a network of U.S. public libraries. The "Most Borrowed Ebooks" statistics are from checkout information of tens of thousands of titles for the first half 2004. Bestselling author James Patterson has two ebooks on the list, The Big Bad Wolf and 3rd Degree. Other titles include The Lovely Bones, Left Behind and others from HarperCollins, Time Warner, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley and Sons, Tyndale House and RosettaBooks:
  1. Dude, Where's My Country? -- Michael Moore
  2. The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People -- David Niven
  3. The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook -- Michael R. Eades, et al
  4. The Big Bad Wolf -- James Patterson
  5. How Would You Move Mount Fuji: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle -- William Poundstone
  6. 3rd Degree -- James Patterson
  7. The Lovely Bones -- Alice Sebold
  8. 101 Best Tech Resumes -- Jay Block
  9. Left Behind - Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
  10. 1984 -- George Orwell
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PDF eBooks, read using popular Adobe Reader software, are the overwhelming format of choice for patrons and students while MobiPocket Reader is gaining ground among PDA and Smartphone users. The statistics were culled from usage reports from a network of libraries including Cleveland Public Library (OH), King County Library System (WA), Denver Public Library (CO), San Jose Public Library (CA) and over 300 public libraries offering popular ebook titles to their patrons.

Content Deals

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JAKKS Pacific, Inc. announced that the company has expanded its worldwide licensing agreements with Marvel Enterprises, Inc. to produce multiple additional TV Games products. In addition to top Marvel properties that include Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Blade, Daredevil and Ghost Rider, the expanded agreement now includes the high-profile properties The Fantastic Four and Iron Man. The TV Games product is a plug and play gaming system that contains multiple games in one single controller. These new TV Games products are expected to launch in 2005, with a suggested retail price of approximately $20.00.

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Lee Enterprises, Incorporated, and Gazette Communications, Inc., announced plans for Lee to acquire Iowa Farmer Today, a weekly agricultural publication distributed to 73,500 qualified farm households throughout Iowa and bordering counties of adjacent states. Mary Junck, chairman and chief executive officer of Lee Enterprises, said Iowa Farmer Today will become part of Lee Agri-Media, a network of six agricultural newspapers and affiliates serving more than 350,000 farms in 11 states from Idaho to Wisconsin. losing is targeted for early July. Iowa Farmer Today posted revenue of $4.6 million in the 12 months ended March 31, 2004. Brian Kroshus, group publisher of Lee Agri-Media, said the Iowa Farmer Today staff of about 30 employees will be moved to separate headquarters in Cedar Rapids and that a transition program will be developed to assure continuation of quality printing and timely delivery.

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Harvard Business School Press and The Commercial Press, the oldest publishing house in China, announced that they are forming an exclusive partnership to publish HBS Press books in the Chinese language. Under this agreement, The Commercial Press will translate and publish up to 150 HBS Press titles over the next three years. The two publishers will jointly create a special advisory board of Chinese-English experts in management and business to oversee the translation process. The agreement also includes the creation of a training program whereby each house will learn about editing, production, marketing, publicity, and distribution in the other's market. Staff from The Commercial Press will visit the U.S. to learn the specifics of publishing in America, and staff from HBS Press will visit China to learn about the intricacies of publishing in the Chinese market.

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Digital Chocolate, Inc., a developer of software for mobile phones founded by software gaming pioneer Trip Hawkins, announced it has acquired Sumea, a European developer and publisher of high-quality games for mobile phones. Digital Chocolate applications will be available through U.S. wireless carriers later this summer. Digital Chocolate develops and publishes innovative applications for mobile phones, including games, lifestyle and social networking applications. The company's CEO and founder, Trip Hawkins, has a notable history in gaming software, having founded and built the seminal games company Electronic Arts. Founded in December 2003, Digital Chocolate is backed by Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, as well as individual investors, including Bob Pittman, former COO of AOL/Time Warner and founder of MTV.

Launches and Redesigns

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Los Angeles-area teenagers who want to learn more about drugs and/or alcohol can log on to a new website at BubbleMonkey.com. BubbleMonkey.com provides information on alcohol and other drugs as well as referrals to local programs where teens and their families can get help. In English, the site is Bubblemonkey.com is the English language version of the site, and a companion Spanish version is available at Changobomba.com. The sites offer self-assessment quizzes, the option to ask questions and get answers from experts and information on nearby substance abuse programs.

Film and Television

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Cinequest, a motion picture institute in Northern California, has announced Cinequest Insider, an online entertainment and informative show about film. This second phase of Cinequest Online, an online film distribution and promotional service for films, Cinequest Insider will be delivered to subscribers twice a month. The online show features interviews with film insiders and Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award guests, including the likes of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; a behind-the-scenes look at the film festival world, and content on the digital technologies key to successful filmmaking. Cinequest Online is offered as a free, subscription-based service.

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Onex Corporation has announced that it and Oaktree Capital Management, LLC, its partner in Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation and Grupo Cinemex ("Loews"), have reached an agreement to sell the business to a corporation formed by Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Spectrum Equity Investors for C$2.0 billion. Onex and Oaktree will retain the Loews interest in Cineplex Galaxy, which operates the Loews theatre business in Canada as well as Galaxy Entertainment. Loews is the third largest movie theater chain in the global motion picture exhibition industry, with over 200 theaters and 2,200 screens worldwide. The assets being acquired include Loews' operations in the U.S., Grupo Cinemex, and its 50% interests in Megabox Cineplex of Korea and Yelmo Cineplex of Spain. Onex' share of the cash proceeds is expected to be approximately C$775 million. In addition, Onex will continue to own units of Cineplex Galaxy.

Music Business

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Loudeye Corp., a provider of business-to-business digital media solutions, announced that it has acquired privately held On Demand Distribution Ltd (OD2), the largest digital music provider in Europe. The combined company now serves more than 200 customers in 15 countries.

Book Deals and News

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The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President Frances Roscello has selected Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. (BTSB) as the recipient of the AASL Crystal Apple Award. The award is given at the discretion of the AASL president to an individual or group who has had significant impact on school libraries and students. In her recommendation, Roscello specifically cited Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc.'s scholarship program for first-time attendees at the AASL National Conference. BTSB also funded the design and production of AASL's "Principal's Manual for your School Library Media Program," which was published and distributed to 84,000 U.S. elementary and middle school principals in 2000. In addition, BTSB funded a forum on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and the School Library Media Profession, held by AASL in 2002.

Miscellaneous

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In Touch Weekly, a celebrity news magazine, has announced its first half numbers for 2004. The magazine has surged to an estimated 750,000 average weekly circulation, up from 423,000 compared to the same period in 2003. This marks a 77 percent increase from the first half of 2003.

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Newsstand Inc. has secured $7.2 million in a round of funding led by Adams Capital that includes Noro-Moseley Partners, SSM Ventures, The New York Times Company and others. NewsStand's digital delivery solution makes it possible for subscribers to download via the Internet an entire publication in traditional print format that can be read offline or online on their computer.

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Billboard, a music, video and digital entertainment information provider, has announced the launch of the first annual Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference & Awards. Billboard has created this event in partnership with Digital Media Wire, a digital industry news organization and events company. The Awards show will take place on November 5, 2004 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, as part of the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference, being held November 4-5 in Los Angeles. The Awards will include 30 market-leading categories honoring innovation, entrepreneurship, digital gaming, music, film, television and video in digital entertainment. Judges are comprised of an elite group of industry executives and leaders hand picked from the digital entertainment industry, representing the creative community, major entertainment companies, academic institutions and the media. The deadline for entries for the 2004 Awards is September 15. Submissions will be accepted online and will be judged on creative and business criteria. Finalists will be recognized in a fall issue of Billboard magazine and the winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Los Angeles on the evening of November 5.