Publishing Industry Soundbytes 7-23-04

Posted on July 23, 2004

People

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CMP Media's VARBusiness, a bi-weekly magazine that covers the business of technology integration, has expanded its editorial staff with the addition of Alexander Wolfe and Cristina McEachern as senior editors. In addition, Marilyn O'Hara has been promoted to editorial research director. In his two decades as a technology editor, Wolfe has tracked the industry for Electronics magazine, Supercomputing Review, Computers in Physics and Mechanical Engineering. Cristina McEachern joins VARBusiness to cover the customer segment. She is charged with talking to CIOs and CTOs who work with solution providers to deploy technology initiatives, developing case studies and covering customer news. McEachern, who previously was a financial writer at JPMorgan Chase, began her career as senior editor of CMP's Wall Street & Technology magazine. Marilyn O'Hara has been promoted to research director from associate director. Prior to joining the editorial research staff, she was a researcher on the Channel Group's sales and marketing staff and helped establish the unit's consulting business. Previously, O'Hara was a researcher at Ziff Davis Media.

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The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) announced that John A. Greco, Jr., who has nearly three decades of marketing and technology leadership at some of the nation's leading companies as well as association management experience, will be the next president and chief executive officer to lead the direct and interactive marketing industry's largest trade association into the future. Greco will take over The DMA's helm on August 16, succeeding H. Robert Wientzen, who will retire following nearly eight years as the Association's chief. The DMA's Executive Search Committee, comprised of seven current and former members of The DMA Board of Directors, was formed in December 2003 to identify a successor for Wientzen, who has served as DMA president and CEO since October 1996. The committee worked with SpencerStuart, which identified more than 150 qualified candidates for the position.

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Terry Neal, chief political correspondent for washingtonpost.com, will join CNN for the remainder of the 2004 election season to contribute to the network's political analysis, the two media companies announced. While continuing in his washingtonpost.com role, Neal will make frequent appearances on CNN Headline News and Newsnight with Aaron Brown, providing insight and analysis on the top political issues. Neal's work for the award-winning washingtonpost.com website includes columns, video and audio reports on elections, Capitol Hill and the White House. He is now focusing on the 2004 presidential race and writes a regular political column called "Talking Points." Neal formerly worked for The Washington Post as a political reporter on the national desk, last working as the lead reporter covering the George W. Bush 2000 presidential campaign. Prior to that assignment, he covered congressional and gubernatorial elections around the country during the 1998 mid-term elections.

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Commonwealth Business Media has announced the appointment of Brendan McCahill to the position of President of the company's PIERS (Port Import Export Reporting Service) information group, Peter Tirschwell to the position of Vice President and Editorial Director, Magazine Division and the appointment of Amy Middlebrook to the position of Vice President/Directory Group. Also as part of the reorganization, Director of Advertising Sales and Marketing Noreen Murray has been promoted to Associate Group Publisher. In her new role, she will continue to be responsible for the advertising sales and marketing strategy of The Journal of Commerce Shipper Group (The Journal of Commerce, Pacific Shipper, Shipping Digest, Florida Shipper and Gulf Shipper) as well as Canadian Sailings and the publications associated with the company's newly acquired Compass North America Seaports Publishing Group. Seaports Publisher George Mihaiu and Canadian Sailings Publisher Joyce Hammock will report to Noreen Murray. Murray will report directly to Peter Tirschwell. A number of other key personnel within the Magazine Division have been promoted as a result of the reorganization. Joseph Bonney has been promoted from Deputy Editor to Editor of The Journal of Commerce. Chris Brooks, News Editor for The Journal of Commerce, has been promoted to the position of Managing Editor for The Journal of Commerce Shipper Group, responsible for production. Stuart Chirls, The Journal of Commerce Online Web Editor, will now serve as Web Editor for all of The Journal of Commerce Shipper Group titles. Marsha Salisbury, Research Editor for The Journal of Commerce will take on the position as Research Editor for all of The Journal of Commerce Shipper Group titles. Joseph Bonney and Stuart Chirls will report directly to Tirschwell, while Chris Brooks and Marsha Salisbury will report to Joseph Bonney. Air Cargo World/Traffic World Publisher Steve Prince, and The Journal of Commerce Conferences Director Renee Jacobs will also report to Tirschwell.

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Napster, a division of Roxio, announced that Alan Cohen will join the company in the newly established position of Chief Marketing Officer. Cohen will report directly to Chris Gorog, Chairman and CEO of Napster and Roxio and will work closely with Glenn Kaino, Napster's Chief Creative Officer responsible for programming and design, who also reports to Gorog. As a 20-year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry, Cohen has worked on a range of leading consumer brands, including Michelob, BP, Jim Beam and uBid. Cohen has a B.S. in Accounting from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Indiana University Graduate School of Business. He currently resides in Chicago, but will be re-locating to Los Angeles, Napster's headquarters, with his wife and two children.

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Card Player magazine has announced the debut of Card Player Europe, a new magazine directed specifically at poker fans in the U.K., Scandinavia, and the European continent. Combining the best articles from the magazine's U.S. edition with additional content customized for European readers, Card Player Europe will offer local tournament news, European player and venue profiles, and advertising that uniquely addresses the needs and interests of European audiences. Card Player Europe also named Jesse May as European Bureau Chief. May was the host and lead commentator of the UK television hit, "Late Night Poker", through all its six seasons on the air.

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YooMedia plc, the interactive media group, has announced the appointment of Margaret McDonagh as chairwoman of iPublic, the company's public sector division. Waheed Alli (Lord Alli of Norbury) is also to join the iPublic board as a non-executive director. Ms McDonagh is former general secretary of the Labour Party and a former general manager of Express Newspapers. Lord Alli co-founded Planet 24, the leading independent television production company, and was subsequently managing director of Carlton TV Productions and a main board director of Carlton Communications plc. He is chairman of Chorion, a leading owner and manager of entertainment brands.

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Bauer Publishing USA's celebrity weekly magazine, In Touch Weekly, has announced the appointment of Robert Davidowitz as publisher. Davidowitz was formerly the group publisher of Rodale's Sports Group. The appointment of Davidowitz comes on the heels of In Touch Weekly surging to an estimated 750,000 average weekly circulation for the first half of 2004, up from 423,000 compared to the same period in 2003. This marks a 77 percent increase from the first half of 2003. Davidowitz joins Bauer Advertising Sales with more than 15 years of experience in publishing. Previously, Davidowitz served as group publisher for Primedia's American Baby Group, where he was responsible for sales and operations of 18 properties representing $80 million in revenue.

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Bauer Publishing USA has announced the promotion of Neil Goldstein to the newly created position of publisher for its teen division of titles which includes J-14, TWIST and M. Goldstein formerly held the title of associate publisher for this group. In his new role, Goldstein will manage the group's day-to-day operations with a focus on developing multi-platform marketing programs and integrated sales opportunities for advertisers across the division's titles. Goldstein will report directly to Ian Scott, CEO of Bauer Advertising Sales. Prior to joining Bauer in 2003, Goldstein held the position of national advertising director at Premiere Magazine, a Hachette Filipacchi publication.

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CXO Media Inc., a publishing company that caters to corporate officers' information needs, has named the publisher and sales leadership team for CMO magazine, a new magazine for chief marketing officers (CMOs). CXO Media President and CEO Walter Manninen made the announcement following a lengthy search. An industry veteran with 25 years in publication management for business-to-business and consumer magazines, Twombly joins CMO from Advanstar Communications' Sensors magazine, where as Group Publisher, he oversaw brand repositioning; strategic planning, and product integration. His career includes executive positions at Natural Health, New Age Journal, Body & Soul and Datamation magazines.

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Agency.com Ltd., an interactive marketing and technology agency, announced that Don Scales, President and COO, has been named President and CEO, responsible for all aspects of worldwide operations for the company. Scales has been with Agency.com since February 2001. Co-founder Chan Suh, currently Chairman and CEO of Agency.com, will remain active in his role as Chairman of the nearly 10-year- old interactive shop.

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The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. has named Barbara Newton as President of Reiman Publications, publisher of Taste of Home and other leading food and country lifestyle publications. Newton is a prominent magazine and book industry executive who helped develop a stable of successful publications at Rodale, Inc. Eric W. Schrier, President of Reader's Digest North America and Global Editor-in-Chief, made the announcement. Newton's appointment is effective on July 26. She succeeds J. Russell Denson, who in May was named President and CEO of Gruner + Jahr USA. Newton has advised Reiman during the past two years as a consultant.

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Cory Shields has joined J. Walter Thompson as Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, effective August 2. Shields, 48, joins from NBC Universal, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Media Relations. Shields, who succeeds Owen Dougherty in a more expanded role, will be responsible for J. Walter Thompson's overall corporate communications strategy including marketing and managing the agency's brand; identifying and telling its many stories; overseeing media relations and internal communications; and directing philanthropic activities. He will work closely with CEO Bob Jeffrey and will provide strategic communications counsel to JWT's Worldwide Executive Committee.

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Light Reading has announced the appointment of Evan Koblentz as Senior Editor of the Next-Gen Data Center Forum (NDCF). Evan will cover data center infrastructure technology for NDCF -- including blades, clustering, grids, interconnects, etc. Previously he was a senior writer at eWeek where he covered storage, databases, and hosting. He also was a technology editor at TMC Labs, the review arm of TMC, a telecommunications magazine publisher, where he supported such publications as CTI, Customer Interactions Solutions, and Internet Telephony. Launched in March 2004 as a user group and news resource designed specifically for IT managers who are responsible for data centers, more than 6,000 users have registered for membership in the forum in its first five months of operation. In his spare time, Evan roots for the Yankees, drives too fast, and edits the Computer Collector Email Newsletter, a newsletter for vintage computer fans.

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MGM Music, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has named veteran music industry executive Julia Michels as senior vice president of music, announced Anita Camarata, the unit's executive vice president. Michels most recently was vice president of soundtracks for the major record company EMI. In that position, she oversaw soundtracks for all the EMI family of labels, including Capitol, Virgin and Blue Note. Soundtrack credits include Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and The Simple Life. Previously, she spent four years as vice president of creative affairs for Twentieth Century Fox Music, overseeing music for such feature films as Daredevil, Down with Love, Unfaithful, Like Mike and The Banger Sisters. She was previously director of soundtracks for Capitol Records, was a music editor, co-owner of an independent record label and an agent for film composers. She received a bachelor's of science degree from Indiana University in 1988.

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Richard D. Beckman has been named President of the Conde Nast Media Group, a newly established division of the Advance Magazine Group, it was announced by Charles H. Townsend, Chief Operating Officer of AMG. Mr. Beckman was also named Executive Vice President of AMG. The Conde Nast Media Group supports corporate sales and large-scale integrated marketing for twenty-eight consumer magazine titles across the Advance Magazine Group, as well as for CondeNet and Parade Publications. Mr. Beckman has been Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Conde Nast Publications since January, 2002. During the course of his eighteen-year career at the company, Mr. Beckman has been Publisher of three Conde Nast titles and was named Conde Nast Publisher of the Year twice. He was Vice President and Publisher of Vogue from 1998 until early 2002; from 1996 to 1998, he was Publisher of GQ; and from 1994 to 1996, he was Publisher of Conde Nast Traveler. During his tenure, all three of these magazines were named to AdWeek's Hot List. He began his career at The New Yorker in 1986.

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Newspaper industry veteran Kirk A. Davis, 43, former president and publisher of Community Newspaper Company (CNC) has been named CEO and president of Enterprise NewsMedia LLC, and publisher of The Patriot Ledger, the company announced. Davis will assume the positions on August 16th. In addition to The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Enterprise also owns The Enterprise in Brockton and MPG Newspapers in Plymouth. James F. Plugh, the current publisher of The Patriot Ledger and CEO of Enterprise will move up to become Vice Chairman of the company in order to devote more time to potential acquisitions. Plugh will also continue to serve on the Board of Directors. When he was president and publisher of CNC, Davis was responsible of 113 daily and weekly newspapers, specialty publications and the new media group.

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VNU Business Publications veteran Andy Cohen has been named editor-in-chief of Incentive magazine, Group Publisher Jackie Augustine announced. Cohen previously was editorial director of Sales & Marketing Management, another VNU publication where he worked for nearly 11 years. Cohen is an award-winning writer and editor who has been honored five times by the American Business Media for excellence in journalism. At Incentive, Cohen will help oversee coverage and events revolving around Incentive's 100th anniversary celebration, which kicked off in June and will continue through June 2005.Cohen will work closely with Augustine, who is also publisher of Potentials and Sales & Marketing Management magazines; and Melinda Ligos, group editorial director of Incentive, Potentials, and Sales & Marketing Management.

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Primedia Inc., a targeted media company, has announced the promotion of Steven Aster, 47, to President of Consumer Marketing for the company's Enthusiast Media Group. In this newly created position, Mr. Aster will be responsible for marketing products related to the company's special interest magazines directly to consumers by using the company's extensive database. He will report to President & CEO Kelly Conlin. TMr. Aster joined Primedia in 2000 as an Executive Vice President of Primedia's consumer magazine group. Prior to joining Primedia, Mr. Aster was Senior Vice President of Global Operations for Disney Publishing Worldwide and was responsible for circulation strategies, magazine rate base levels and book programs for global products. He has also held marketing and circulation positions at The New York Times, Scholastic, Inc., and The Times Mirror Magazines, Inc.

Digital Publishing

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PowerByHand, a provider of mobile content and solutions, and palmOne, Inc. have launched the palmOne eBook store, with content provided by PowerByHand's eReader.com, an electronic bookstore. palmOne currently provides its customers with access to PowerByHand's eReader (formerly Palm Reader) in the box with most palmOne devices. Visitors to the new ebook store can choose from more than 13,000 popular ebook titles in more than 40 categories, including bestsellers and new releases.

Content Deals

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Linda Fears, editor in chief of Gruner + Jahr USA's YM magazine, has unveiled a relaunch that focuses on the magazine's new editorial mission of targeting a 19-year-old mind-set to attract a more sophisticated teen audience. The new positioning premiers with the August 2004 back-to-school issue (on newsstands today). Fear's relaunch components include:
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MLS, Inc. announced today that it has acquired Lifting & Transportation International magazine, a resource for North American Crane Professionals. This acquisition provides MLS, Inc. with an additional marketplace to expand its position in the Heavy Equipment and Trucking classified publications.

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SDI Media Group Inc., a provider of translation, subtitling and dubbing services to the entertainment industry, announced that it has been purchased by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC. The Modern Times Group, a Stockholm exchange-traded media company, sold the company for $60 million. SDI Media provides localization services for theatrical, DVD, broadcast and interactive game clients including major Hollywood studios, international and regional broadcasters, and video game publishers. CEO Barry Perlstein will continue to lead the company while expanding the management team to include entertainment industry veteran Jeffrey Marcketta, who has been named President and COO.

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American Lawyer Media, Inc. (ALM), a legal journalism and information company, publisher of The Recorder and operator of the Cal Law website, announced GC California, a new magazine for chief legal officers and in-house attorneys throughout the state. GC California joins GC Mid-Atlantic, GC New York, GC New England, GC South and In-House Texas, introduced by ALM over the past year. GC California's first issue, featuring a cover profile of Iris Brest, general counsel of high-profile biotech start-up StemCells Inc., will be distributed in early September and will reach an audience of more than 8,000 selected corporate counsel, top corporate executives and corporate attorneys in California. The four-color magazine, to be published quarterly, will focus on topics of interest to California's corporate counsel, providing expert coverage of legal and departmental management trends and issues, as well as cases and decisions that impact companies and profiles of leading GCs and corporate legal departments. The premiere issue will include excerpts from a roundtable discussion by in-house counsel on working effectively with outside law firms.

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Regal CineMedia Corporation ("RCM"), the media subsidiary of Regal Entertainment Group, the largest theatre operator in the world, and 360 Youth, the youth media and marketing unit of Alloy, Inc., have entered into a joint venture to establish a multi-faceted, targeted marketing channel throughout REG's theatre circuit. The announcement was made by Cliff Marks, President, Marketing and Sales, Regal CineMedia, and Matt Diamond, CEO and Co-founder of Alloy, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Alloy's 360 Youth will deploy custom interactive kiosks, restroom media panels, and backlit poster cases in REG theatres, comprising Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres nationwide, with a rollout beginning immediately during the summer movie season. The custom-built interactive kiosks with electronic 42" plasma screens connected to the RCM Digital Content Network ("DCN") and 150 backlit advertising panels will initially be deployed in 50 theatre lobbies in the top-25 DMAs. An additional 550 backlit advertising panels in 150 theatres and more than 2,600 restroom panels in 545 theatres, round out this new national media network.

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Weblog software company Six Apart, developers of Movable Type and TypePad, announced that it has expanded its management team. Six Apart has added three executives: Barak Berkowitz, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman; Andrew Anker, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Loic Le Meur, Executive Vice president and General Manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Six Apart also acquired Ublog, the provider of one of Europe's leading blogging tools and hosting services. Already deployed in France and Spain, SixApart's TypePad service will be launched in Germany next week, and in the UK by this fall.

Launches and Redesigns

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FierceMarkets has launched a newsletter for the wireless developer community. The publication, called FierceDeveloper, combines the latest developer news with technical insights, tips, special downloads, and expert commentary. FierceDeveloper is designed for wireless developers, software architects, and mobile strategists.

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Xplor International, an electronic document systems association, has announced the launch of E-DocNews, an industry newsletter. The bi-weekly publication will begin distribution via email on August 3, 2004 and will target document communications professionals in the electronic document systems industry. E-DocNews plans to cover the entire lifecycle of the document from creation to production, distribution, and storage/retrieval topics. Paul LeTourneur, EDP, who has been active in the electronic document industry for over 30 years in varying technical and management rolls, will head E-DocNews. He is currently chief consultant at Capricorn Consultants DDS, serving clients in the direct marketing and service bureau industries. Since the mid 1970s, he has held management positions as vice president of data processing, vice president of technology, Chief Operating Officer, and division manager as well as position in sales and marketing.

Film and Television

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CEI Entertainment, Inc. announced it has secured the screenplay rights from writer/producer Christina MacEachern of her story titled, "Ann Bonnie and Mary Reed" based on the true-life experiences of the only female pirate team of the late 1600's. This epic story spans ten-years and covers three continents. The parable sets sail in Ireland with Mary Reed's beginning and continues to England for Ann Bonnie's; as well as, explores such far away exotic places as the Indian Ocean. But the legend of these beautiful buccaneers' is secured as the pirate femmes of the new world while swashbuckling the high seas from the South Carolina coast to the perilous Jamaican waters. CEI Entertainment, Inc. is an independent motion picture and television production company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona with offices in Atlanta, GA and Omaha, NE.

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Fox Networks Group President and CEO Anthony Vinciquerra have announced the creation of a new cable and satellite network, Fox Reality Channel. The new network is scheduled to debut in first quarter 2005. Fox Reality Channel's planned program line-up will consist of several long and short-form original series, as well as unscripted series. Fox Reality Channel will likewise utilize original and more immediate off-network content from Fox-owned studios, as well as from outside suppliers. Fox Reality Channel will provide a steady diet of contestant commentary, pre- and post-show interviews, auditions, out-takes and behind-the-scenes clips, among its many other features. It will also provide complementary Fox Reality Channel-branded video on demand and interactive opportunities to coincide with the core network's availability in early 2005.

Music Business

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Blue Moon Group announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase Florida Studios and all its related assets. Located in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida and situated on more than 22 acres, the 160,000 square foot studio is home to one of the largest soundstages available on the East Coast. Jeffrey Katz has been appointed CEO of Blue Moon Entertainment. Blue Moon Group is a holding company with subsidiaries providing services to the music, entertainment and film industries. Blue Moon Group has recently signed a music distribution deal with Brody/Sony Red.

Book Deals and News

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The winner of the John W. Campbell Award for best science fiction novel of 2003 is Omega by Jack McDevitt. The winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction in 2003 is "The Empress of Mars" by Kage Baker. The juried award results were announced July 9 at the University of Kansas.

Miscellaneous

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Activision, Inc. announced that the company's North American Publishing unit has shipped more than two million units of its Spider-Man 2 video game timed to the theatrical release of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Columbia Pictures Spider-Man 2. The game, which is currently available at retail stores, lets players experience what it's like to be the world's most celebrated Super Hero as they web sling from buildings, dive from rooftops to the streets and scale the heights of Manhattan, a living breathing city complete with pedestrians, traffic, trains and helicopters. Gamers can re-live the film's storyline or embark on exclusive game missions as they perform heroic deeds, protect citizens from random crimes, and face off against the nefarious Doc Ock and other Marvel super-villains.

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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced it will establish three NEA Arts Journalism Institutes that will focus on improving arts criticism in classical music, opera, theater and dance. The institutes will be designed for journalists who cover the arts for print and broadcast outlets located outside the country's largest media markets, where professional development opportunities are limited. Institutes for dance critics will be hosted by the American Dance Festival at Duke University; for classical music and opera critics at Columbia University; and theater critics at the University of Southern California.