Publishing Industry Soundbytes 7-30-04

Posted on July 30, 2004

People

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CIO magazine has appointmented Richard Pastore to the position of Editor, as well as the appointment of Allan Holmes to Washington Bureau Chief. Pastore joined CIO in 1991 as a staff writer. Prior to joining CIO, Pastore was a reporter at Computerworld covering personal computing. As editor, he will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the editorial team as well as the print edition of CIO. He will also continue to occasionally write stories and features on the deployment of information technology.

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Thomson Media, a division of The Thomson Corporation, has announced the appointment of Nicholas Chesla to the position of a managing editor for its flagship daily newspaper, The Bond Buyer. In his new position, Chesla will be responsible for the content of The Bond Buyer daily, its affiliated Web-based products and management of The Bond Buyer's news-gathering resources. He will work with editor-in-chief Amy B. Resnick on the development of new products and provide direction for The Bond Buyer's coverage of public finance. Chesla previously held the position of market editor for The Bond Buyer, where he was responsible for leading the team that writes the paper's market column. Chesla joined The Bond Buyer in 2001 as a market reporter. Prior to joining The Bond Buyer, Chesla worked as an award-winning writer and producer for news and documentaries in New York and Australia.

Tom Freston, Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, Viacom Inc., has named Judy McGrath Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks. McGrath, who will report directly to Freston, was previously MTV Networks Group President, responsible for MTV, MTV2, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central and the recently announced LOGO, set to launch in 2005. Effective immediately, McGrath takes on Freston's previous role, which includes overall responsibility for the networks named above as well as Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike TV, TV Land, Noggin, The N, MTV Networks Digital Suite, MTV Networks International and all of the company's related consumer products and digital businesses, as he moves to his new post at Viacom. Herb Scannell, MTV Networks Group President, will report directly to Judy, along with Bill Roedy, President, MTV Networks International. Freston also announced that Mark Rosenthal, currently President and COO, MTV Networks, has made the decision to leave the company.

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On the heels of Bonnie Hammer assuming leadership over both SCI FI Channel and USA Network, Dave Howe, SCI FI's head of marketing, has been appointed Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Channel. In his new role, Howe will be responsible for SCI FI's day-to-day operations, overseeing Programming, Acquisitions & Scheduling; On- and Off-Air Marketing & Creative; SCIFI.COM; SCI FI Magazine; and Media Relations. He will continue to guide SCI FI's strategic brand direction and report directly to Hammer. Formerly Executive Vice President of Marketing & Brand Strategy for SCI FI Channel, Howe has been with the company since September 2001. Prior to joining SCI FI, Howe spent 15 years at the BBC in London, most recently as Controller of Creative Services.

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Madelyn Hammond has been promoted to Vice President Strategic Marketing for Variety as well as Publisher of VLife. VLife, published six times annually, is Variety's latest publication providing insider news and lifestyle features for the entertainment industry. In her capacity as Publisher for VLife, Hammond is responsible for overseeing advertising sales targeted toward the consumer community as well as all marketing activities associated with the publication. Additionally, Hammond will continue to oversee all aspects of marketing, advertising, publicity, special events and sponsorships for Variety's suite of products: Weekly Variety, Daily Variety, Variety.com in addition to Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News. Hammond will continue to report to Charlie Koones, Executive Vice President and Publisher, The Variety Group.

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. has announced that Thomas C. Siekman, a current director, has been named Chairman of the Board, succeeding Jeffrey W. Ubben, who has chosen to step down as Chairman. Mr. Ubben will remain a director, and ValueAct Capital, the San Francisco-based investment partnership that Mr. Ubben co-founded, remains the Company's second largest shareholder. Arthur C. Martinez, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sears Roebuck & Co., has stepped down from the Board and his position as Lead Director. MSO announced, in addition, that the Lead Director position will be eliminated. The Company further announced that the Board has appointed as a director Charles A. Koppelman, who was proposed by Martha Stewart. Mr. Koppelman currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CAK Entertainment Co., a music and entertainment business.

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Tribune Publishing, a division of Tribune Company, announced that Newsday president and chief operating officer Timothy Knight has been named publisher and chief executive officer of the newspaper effective August 15. Knight will succeed Raymond Jansen, who is retiring. Jansen has served as Newsday publisher since 1994. Knight joined Newsday in February 2003 as executive vice president and general manager. He was named president and chief operating officer of Newsday in July 2004, and took on responsibility for the daily business operations of all non-news departments of the Long Island-based newspaper. Before joining Newsday, Knight served as vice president/strategic marketing, development and finance for the Chicago Tribune. He also was responsible for the newspaper's interactive operations. From 1998 to 2001, he was vice president/strategy and development of Tribune Publishing Company. In that position he oversaw acquisitions, strategic planning and development projects.

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Tribune Publishing, a division of Tribune Company, announced that Digby Solomon Diez, vice president/general manager of Hoy, Chicago, has been named interim publisher of Hoy, and that publishing executive Timothy Kennedy will serve as interim chief operating officer at the newspaper. Both appointments are effective immediately. Solomon succeeds Louis Sito, who has served as publisher of Hoy since 1998 and is retiring. Solomon was named vice president/general manager of Hoy's Chicago edition in August 2003, and has overseen all business aspects of the paper, including advertising sales, production, circulation and finance. He served as director/general manager of the Spanish-language weekly Exito!, published by Chicago Tribune Company prior to Tribune Publishing's introduction of Hoy in Chicago. From November 1999 to June 2003, Solomon also served as general manager of Chicago Tribune Interactive. Solomon has worked in various editorial and business positions at Tribune newspapers in Chicago, South Florida and Virginia over the past 14 years. Tim Kennedy was named vice president/strategy and development for Tribune Publishing in January 2001. Since then he has directed strategic planning for the publishing group and led many business development efforts for Tribune newspapers, including the expansion of Hoy into Chicago and Los Angeles.

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RealNetworks, Inc., a provider of media services and software, announced that two new executives have joined the company. Robert Acker, a founding member of the XM Satellite Radio team, has been named Vice President of the RealPlayer business. Mr. Acker will be directing Real's business around the RealPlayer, including development, distribution and marketing of the RealPlayer. Also, Aref Matin, formerly an executive at Juniper Networks and Siemens, joins RealNetworks in a newly created position, Vice President of Carrier and System Software. Mr. Matin will be responsible for software product development, solution integration services and technical customer support of RealNetworks' systems software solutions for both wireline and wireless networks.

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Loft, a men's lifestyle magazine for hispanics published by Zoom Media Group, has named Alberto Chehebar as its new editor. Co-owner of the boutique women's wear line Soye, Chehebar is an avid art collector and a member of the junior board for the prestigious contemporary art fair, Art Basel Miami. He previously ran the independent record label Pato Records and has been a partner in such successful media ventures as Bela and Dic Entertainment (creators of Inspector Gadget). Loft has also named Celeste Fraser Delgado as the new managing editor of the magazine's US Hispanic edition. Fraser Delgado, formerly of the Miami New Times, is best known for her coverage of the Latin music industry. She will bring her writing style to Loft as both contributor and editor. Founded in 2001, Loft has a circulation of 80,000 in the United States, with an additional circulation of 25,000 copies of special editions in Mexico, 10,000 in Colombia, and 10,000 in Venezuela.

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Veronis Suhler Stevenson, an independent media merchant bank, has appointed Thomas L. Kemp as Managing Director. Mr. Kemp, age 53, joins Veronis Suhler Stevenson from Penton Media, Inc., where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1996. Mr. Kemp began his career at Miller Freeman in San Francisco, where he worked for over twenty years and served as President and Chief Operating Officer.

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Cathy Cavender has been named editor-in-chief of Diversion magazine, it was announced by Richard P. Malloch, president, Hearst Business Media. Cavender, formerly the deputy editor of Hearst's Lifetime magazine, replaces Ed Wetschler, who retired in May. Cavender starts in her new role on July 27. Lifetime will be naming a replacement for Cavender in the coming weeks. Almost 30 years old, Diversion is a monthly travel and lifestyle magazine edited for the physician at leisure. Regular features in the magazine cover topics beyond medicine including travel, food and wine, sports, finance, the arts and more. Diversion is distributed to approximately 200,000 office-based physicians. Cavender has been at Lifetime since it debuted last year. Prior to that, she was the launch editor-in-chief of Rosie magazine. She has also served as editor of TV Guide's Celebrity Dish. In addition, Cavender has held editorial positions at McCall's, Redbook and Mademoiselle.

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Duncan M. McFarland, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Management Company, LLP, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Gannett Co., Inc., the company announced. McFarland, 60, joined Wellington Management Company after graduating cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in economics in 1965. During his career, he held positions with the firm including vice president, senior vice president and managing partner before becoming CEO in 1994. He retired as chairman and CEO at the end of June 2004. He is a trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation.

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Rebecca Ross Albers has been named editor of the Newspaper Association of America's monthly flagship magazine, Presstime. Albers has worked at Presstime since 1992 serving as staff writer, associate editor, assistant managing editor, and most recently, managing editor. As editor, she will oversee all magazine content, layout and design. Prior to joining the Presstime staff, Albers served as reporter, copy editor and assistant section editor for The Miami Herald. She also was a reporter for The Boca Raton (Fla.) News and The Fremont (Neb.) Tribune. Albers has a master�s degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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The Writers Guild of America, west has announced the appointment of David J. Young as its director of organizing. Young graduated magna cum laude from San Diego University with a BA in economics and has devoted his professional career to the labor movement. He served as assistant director of organization at the Laborers' California Organizing Fund since 1999, where he successfully signed dozens of new construction industry employers to work agreements. Young also served as director of organizing for the Southern California-Nevada Regional Council of Carpenters, where he planned and supervised winning campaigns covering nearly 1,000 workers. Prior to that, Young was supervisor of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters� Southern California Construction Organizing Project, spear-heading a joint organizing project of Teamsters International and Local 952. From 1991 to 1997, Young served as assistant national director of organizing for the Union of Needle Trades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE), where he planned and directed major campaigns resulting in thousands of employees receiving union benefits for the first time.

Digital Publishing

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PowerByHand, a provider of mobile content and solutions, has announced the top ten bestselling ebooks for the month of June from its eReader.com division (formerly Palm Digital Media). The top categories in fiction were Suspense & Thrillers and Science Fiction, while Romance was the fastest-growing category. Among the top selling fiction ebooks, The Da Vinci Code recorded its 14th consecutive month in the top ten. Representing the Suspense & Thrillers category, author Dan Brown also has two other top titles - Angels and Demons and Digital Fortress - which are also print bestsellers. Science Fiction titles were well represented in June with the success of Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children. Rounding out Fiction bestsellers, ebook pioneer Stephen King is no stranger to the eReader.com bestseller list. The Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI, released June 8th, 2004, confirms King's position at the top of the Horror category. In non-fiction, Bill Clinton's opus My Life was released as an eReader title simultaneously with the print edition on June 22, 2004. Shadow Divers, a true-life tale of underwater adventure was another June release.

Content Deals

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iVillage Inc., a women's community online, announced that Hearst Communications, Inc. has entered into an agreement that extends the companies' magazine content license and hosting relationship for an additional three years. This agreement is based on the substantive terms of the previously announced Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the parties in May 2004.Under the terms of the agreement, Hearst will 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.

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PBS has established a strategic alliance with leading publication Homeschooling Parent magazine, in which each issue will highlight lesson plans and curriculum materials on PBS TeacherSource, PBS' website devoted to preK- 12 educators. PBS TeacherSource extends the educational value of PBS' television programming by helping educators learn effective ways to incorporate digital media into instruction. TeacherSource includes more than 4,500 free lesson plans and online activities. Homeschooling Parent is a bi-monthly magazine that focuses on stories of interest to homeschooling families, products that can be used in the home and classroom and ideas that assist parents in teaching their children at home.

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NetWorld Alliance, publisher of KioskMarketplace.com and Kiosks.org and manager of Kiosks.org Association, has announced the acquisition of Voyagi Inc.'s kiosk division, which includes Kiosk magazine, KIOSK.com, and The Kiosk Show, an industry tradeshow. With this acquisition, NetWorld Alliance effectively doubles the size of its global kiosk operations. The first issue of Kiosk magazine published by NetWorld Alliance will be the September/October 2004 issue. The company also will assume responsibility for producing The Kiosk Show, a technology event showcasing all types of kiosks. The next event is October 7-8, in Boston, Mass.

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Journal Sentinel Inc. announced that its flagship Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will launch a weekly tabloid-style publication and companion website this fall, targeted primarily at 25- to 34-year-olds. The free tabloid will be available at a variety of locations throughout the five-county metropolitan Milwaukee area. The focus of the tabloid and Web site content will be entertainment and lifestyle interests of young adults. Diane Bacha, assistant managing editor/new initiatives and readership growth, will be editor and general manager of the tabloid and website. A new, dedicated editorial team will produce the tabloid and website, which have yet to be named. The Journal Sentinel anticipates announcing a name and official launch date some time in August.

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American Greetings and Nickelodeon have launched a new collection of communications products for children aged six through 12. Named Nickspressions, the new products feature characters from popular Nickelodeon programs like SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly Oddparents. Products range from a Secret Message Decoder, which contains decoders, mini pens and code cards that let kids give their friends hidden notes only they can read, to Side Burns, which features three recordable mini CDs, labels to give them a "stylin'" look and stickers to personalize them for buddies.

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TEN Magazines, home of an online network of car and truck enthusiasts and publisher of four truck enthusiast magazines, has announced an agreement with DRIVE! Media, publisher of an auto and truck event listings site and magazines, to integrate its event listings across TEN Magazines' network of car and truck enthusiast sites and truck magazines. Under the agreement, TEN Magazine will integrate auto and truck event listings from DRIVE! in a newly created events area across TEN Magazines' network of 17 websites. Also under the agreement, TEN Magazines chapter members will be able to automatically list their chapter events in DRIVE!'s magazines and website.

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Scholastic and the American Bible Society (ABS) have signed an agreement to create Bibles and Bible-related books for children it was announced today. Scholastic and the ABS will cooperate in developing a variety of Bible study and devotional books, Bible storybooks, and age-appropriate Bibles for children. The first title is scheduled for publication in fall 2005.

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McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Grow Network (Grow.net, Inc.), a privately held company that is a leading provider of assessment reporting and customized content for states and large school districts across the country. Grow utilizes proprietary technology to provide customized test reports and instructional materials for students, families, and educators. It currently serves a wide range of states and school districts.

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Bauer Publishing USA's celebrity weekly magazine, In Touch Weekly, has announced its first international expansion with the launch of In Touch Weekly Mexico. The new magazine will cover the American celebrity scene as well as feature stars from the Mexican and Latin American markets. The 80-page publication is available on newsstands today at 18 Pesos or approximately $1.60 USD. Based in Mexico City, In Touch Weekly Mexico is being distributed in approximately 30,000 retail stores and newsstand kiosks across all of Mexico's 32 states. In the U.S., the magazine will be offered at newsstands in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Atlanta.

Penton Media Europe, part of Penton Media, Inc. has acquired four leading customer-focused titles from the independent publisher Wilson Publications. Over the coming months Penton plans substantial development for its newly formed "Business Customer" group. Three of the titles, CRM, Customer Service News and Business and IT Support (BITS), will become part of the Penton Media "Business Customer " portfolio under the responsibility of publishing director Russell Goater. The fourth, Field Service Management, will be merged with Penton's title Service Management and its online exhibition. Wilson Publications' former editorial director, Mark Turner, has joined Penton Media as managing editor of the "Business Customer" group and will be responsible for all editorial content.

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Sports Information and Publishing Corp., announced that it has completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Hall Effect Medical Products Inc. ("Hall"). Hall is the owner of two UK-based companies, which are developing a group of technologically advanced medical diagnostic products for personal and professional use. These products are based on patented breakthrough technology that utilizes the Hall Effect, a principle of physics discovered more than 100 years ago that can now be developed into practical applications as a result of the advancement of semi-conductor and computing technology.

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SAS Publishing, a business unit of SAS, a privately held software company, has announced a cooperative marketing and wholesale distribution agreement with Ingram Book Group, a wholesaler of books. Ingram provides access to more than 15,000 business partners/resellers globally who can offer SAS books in their retail stores. As a result of this agreement, SAS customers will soon be able to purchase SAS books either from their local booksellers or through their local SAS offices.

Launches and Redesigns

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Meximerica Media, a U.S.-based publishing company, has announced that Rumbo de San Antonio, a Spanish-language daily newspaper in San Antonio, will be launched on July 26. Rumbo de San Antonio is Meximerica's first step toward establishing a new network of Spanish-language daily newspapers in Texas, to be followed by subsequent launches in Houston in August, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Austin in September. Rumbo (pronounced room-bo), comes from the Spanish word often associated with the Latin American phrase meaning "heading north" and, by implication, heading to move up in life. Rumbo de San Antonio is a complete full-color, tabloid-size Spanish-language newspaper, primarily aimed at Hispanic men and women between the ages of 21 and 54. The paper has its own staff of reporters covering local and community news of particular interest to its readers, including education, personal finance, and health. Rumbo de San Antonio also offers national, international, sports and entertainment news coverage, with particular emphasis on Mexico and Latin America. Rumbo de San Antonio will cost 25 cents and will be distributed at some 1,500 points-of-sale throughout the city, including supermarkets, convenience stores, stores, restaurants and coin boxes.

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NYTimes.com announced that it has expanded its Really Simple Syndication (RSS) offerings to 27 categories including new feeds such as Most E-mailed Articles, Multimedia and Week in Review. In addition, with this launch, all of the Times's RSS feeds can be downloaded directly from NYTimes.com/rss. RSS, a mechanism for content distribution that provides users with another way to access Times content, also enables weblog publishers to add NYTimes.com links to their blogs. NYTimes.com/rss provides quick access to Times headlines and summaries, which are updated throughout the day and link back to NYTimes.com for the full article.

Film and Television

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A film based on the life of Chris Paciello, a Staten Island street thug who became the king of South Beach nightlife, is slated for production in January 2005 in Miami and New York. The 90-minute feature film, The King of Clubs tells the story of Paciello, who made world headlines when he was arrested in 1999 in connection with the 1993 murder of a Staten Island, NY housewife. Billed by The Village Voice as "the biggest scandal to hit South Beach since the 1997 murder of Gianni Versace." The New York-born Paciello was a well-known fixture of Miami's nightclub and society crowds. In fact, Paciello, who co-owned Liquid, was credited with adding fire to South Beach's rising status as a major international hotspot. Paciello, who partied with superstars like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and supermodel Niki Taylor, was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. The King of Clubs cast considerations are Mario Lopez to play Chris Paciello, Tom Sizemore and John C. McGinley. The film is being executive produced by South Floridian, Paolo Sadri (TMG Films). TMG Films has acquired the rights to Michele McPhee's Mob Over Miami Boston Globe Bestseller. In addition, Michele McPhee has joined the production staff as a technical advisor. Jeff Franklin has joined the project as a co-executive producer. The story spans from Paciello's early life as Christian Ludwigsen on the mean streets in the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island to his recreation as Chris Paciello in Miami. The King of Clubs screenplay is based on three years of extensive research, including actual court transcripts. With financing already secured through an Italian company, filming is set to begin early 2005 and will be shot in some of the original locations in New York and Miami.

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Principal photography began yesterday on The Diary of a Mad Black Woman in Atlanta, Georgia, it was announced by Mike Paseornek, President of Production, Lions Gate Films, the motion picture production and distribution arm of Lions Gate Entertainment, and Tyler Perry. The film has been adapted by writer Tyler Perry from his play of the same name, and Perry will also play a lead role in the film. The Diary of a Mad Black Woman is set in an affluent community and focuses on Helen, a devoted and loving wife who, on the eve of her 20th wedding anniversary, is rudely surprised to find that her husband Charles wants to divorce her in order to be with her best friend. Struggling with this sudden change, Helen is forced to deal with many new and upsetting feelings, sending her into a comedic barrage of confrontations while she struggles with her anger, bitterness, jealousy, denial, revenge, and selfishness. Finally, Helen realizes that if she is to recover from the changes in her life, she must rely upon the strength of her faith, lifelong values and the compassion and forgiveness required to heal the hurt. Thirty-four-year-old playwright, director, producer and actor Tyler Perry is a New Orleans native and has written seven plays which have received rave reviews and have sold out houses across the nation, including his most recent, The Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Woman Thou Art Loosed. The film stars Kimberly Elise (Manchurian Candidate & Woman Thou Art Loosed), Steve Harris (The Practice), Shemar Moore (The Brothers), Tamara Taylor (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge), Tyler Perry and Cicely Tyson. The film is directed by Darren Grant, produced by Ruben Cannon, co-produced by Mike Upton, and to be photographed by David Claessen.

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Marvel Enterprises and Lions Gate's Family Home Entertainment, a division of Lions Gate Entertainment, have announced that the first title to be released through their recent made-for-DVD agreement will be The Avengers. The first installment of the multi-picture home video deal, the animated feature will cast some of Marvel's most popular Super Heroes including Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor. Production on The Avengers home video release -- which will be based on the bestselling Marvel Comics series The Ultimates -- has already commenced. The animated feature will be distributed by Lions Gate Home Entertainment and available in stores in early 2006. Marvel and Lions Gate plan to develop, produce and distribute eight original animated made-for-DVD features based upon the extensive Marvel character library. Marvel is spearheading development and production with Lions Gate handling marketing and distribution. This agreement builds upon the existing theatrical relationship between Lions Gate and Marvel, under which Lions Gate released The Punisher to theatres earlier this year, starring Thomas Jane, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and John Travolta, and is currently developing theatrical film releases for Marvel's Iron Fist and Black Widow characters.

Music Business

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Universal Music Publishing Group has signed superstar artist, songwriter Mariah Carey to an exclusive, worldwide publishing deal. The deal will bring her catalog of hits into UMPG including such songs as Whenever You Call, Honey, Dream Lover, Always Be My Baby, and Heartbreaker. Since she began her career, Mariah has become the bestselling female performer of all time, with 15 #1 singles and two Grammy Awards. Along the way she became the only artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s, and, with Heartbreaker, she pushed ahead of the Beatles as the artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. Mariah has garnered many accolades throughout her career including 2 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, Billboard's "Artist of the Decade" Award and the World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium" to name a few. Mariah has commenced work on her next studio LP for Island/Def Jam under the auspices of L.A Reid and the management of Benny Medina at Handprint Entertainment.

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Infinity Music Corp. has begun trading as a public company. Although new as a public company, subsidiaries of the company have been in operation since 1977. Infinity was formed through a series of mergers between companies in different areas of entertainment, including record labels, a recording studio, concert management and a broadcast production company. Infinity Music has five subsidiaries that act as the company's "building blocks":

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RealNetworks, Inc., a creator of digital media services and software, announced that it added 100,000 subscribers to its premium digital music services in the second quarter (ending June 30, 2004). RealNetworks now claims more than 550,000 paying subscribers for its premium digital music services, which include RadioPass, a commercial free Internet radio service, and Rhapsody, an on-demand music service.

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Apple has introduced the new iPod, the fourth generation of the portable digital music player. The new iPod is available in a 20GB model for $299 and a 40GB model for $399. All iPods work with Apple's iTunes on either a Mac or Windows computer and access to the iTunes Music Store.

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JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation, reported that digital music sales will more than double compared to last year, reaching more than $270 million in 2004, and will grow rapidly to $1.7 billion in 2009, totaling 12% of consumer music spending. While digital music will return the U.S. music industry to growth after four years of steeply declining sales, digital music still will not replace CDs or bring music sales back to its 1999 peak. Over time, revenues for digital subscription services will outpace those of digital download, which will remain a market for potential buyers to sample music before purchasing the actual CD in the near-term. Meanwhile, U.S. shipments of MP3 players will grow over 50% in 2004 to well over 5 million, and will continue to grow almost 50% per year for the next several years.

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Ultimate Verticality recently launched their second vertical search engine, called StarsOnTheNet.com. After three years of experience with its predecessor ElvisFind.com, StarsOnTheNet.com was launched, allowing fans and visitors to skip irrelevant websites by searching within the Britney Spears portal - or one of the many more artists that have their own portal on StarsOnTheNet.com. Webmasters can submit their site, resulting in a placement in the Top 25 or traffic toplist and be informed about visitor votes and reviews.

Book Deals and News

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HarperCollins Publishers has announced the publication of State of Fear, the latest novel by author Michael Crichton. The one-day laydown is December 7, 2004. This is Crichton's first novel since The New York Times #1 bestseller Prey, which was released in November 2002. State of Fear will be published in hardcover, audio, large print and ebook formats simultaneously around the world in the English language. The announced first printing is 2 million copies.

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In July 2004, Jay Allen hosted the first Blogging for Books competition on his blog, The Zero Boss, with guest author Andrea Buchanan. The competition received 25 entrants. Allen, however, never believed he would find enough authors willing to participate for the rest of the year. A week later, the competition was booked until February 2005. In Blogging for Books other blog writers author a post on a topic chosen by Allen, who then whittles the submissions down to the seven best entries. That month's guest author picks the winning post, and the winner receives a signed copy of one of that author�s books.

Miscellaneous

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The Washington Post Company announced that its free commuter newspaper, Express, plans to increase its daily distribution from 150,000 to 175,000 copies. The announcement comes as the publication nears its first anniversary on August 4. The increase is the second such boost in print run since Express launched in August 2003 with an initial distribution of 125,000. Express has an average weekday readership of 229,000 adults.