Posted on February 13, 2004
| Film and Television
Launches and Redesigns
| Music Business
Gruner + Jahr announced that Daniel B. Brewster Jr., President and CEO of Gruner + Jahr
USA since June 2000, has left the Company.
Effective immediately, Axel Ganz, President of Gruner + Jahr's
International Magazine Division, will oversee activities at
G+J USA along with the senior management team of Gruner + Jahr
USA. A search for a successor to Brewster has begun.
Harcourt, Inc., a K-12 education
company and a part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, announced that it
has hired Raymond Fagan as its Senior Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer. Mr. Fagan will have responsibility for the
financial and accounting functions of all the Harcourt
businesses, worldwide, and will report to Harcourt, Inc.
President and CEO Patrick Tierney. Mr. Fagan's appointment
becomes effective on February 1.
Prior to joining Harcourt, Fagan was with Interpublic Group,
a global marketing communications and marketing services company,
where he served most recently as Executive Vice President and
CFO for the Lowe+Draft Partnership, an advertising and marketing
service group with $1 billion annual revenues. Previously, he
served as Executive Vice President, Finance and CFO for
Thomson Scientific, Reference and Healthcare and for Thomson
Financial, both major operating units of the Thomson Corporation.
Louis Sito, publisher of Hoy and Tribune Publishing vice president/Hispanic media, has
announced that veteran journalist Reynaldo Mena has been
appointed editor in chief of Hoy's Los Angeles edition, which
will debut in March. Publishing executive Juan Arango has been
appointed general manager.
Mena is a native of Mexico and joins Hoy from Excelsior, a
Spanish language weekly published by the Orange County Register,
where he was editor from 1999 to 2003.
Arango, a native of Colombia, has been appointed general
manager for the Los Angeles edition, and will retain his
title and responsibilities as senior vice president/editorial
and operation for Hoy nationally. Arango joined Hoy in January
1999 as editor in chief and was later promoted to vice
president of operations and general manager in 2000.
PennWell Corporation, a
global business-to-business publisher and organizer of
conferences and exhibitions, has elected Mark C. Wilmoth as
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President. An executive
with 21 years financial management experience, Wilmoth will
report to PennWell President and Chief Executive Officer Robert
F. Biolchini at PennWell's corporate offices in Tulsa.
Wilmoth joins PennWell following a four-year career as Senior
Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of
California-based Thales Navigation, S.A., a French-owned Company
that provides Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology for
consumer, commercial and automotive markets.
David J. Pecker, Chairman,
CEO and President of American Media, Inc., has announced that Tom
Rogers has agreed to work with AMI as a senior advisor (on a
non-exclusive basis) for purposes of developing a video strategy
for AMI's many print properties. Mr. Rogers formerly was Chairman
and CEO of Primedia, Inc., and prior to that President of NBC
Cable and Executive Vice President of NBC.
Working with Mr. Pecker, Mr. Rogers will develop strategies for
the AMI magazine titles, such as Star, in all forms of television,
including plans for cable, broadcast, satellite and other
possible forms of video distribution, all focused on the
potential of the American Media brands in the television industry.
Rogers will also work with AMI on developing ideas for a health
television outlet that would utilize the magazines from AMI's
Active Lifestyle Group, including Men's Fitness, Shape, Natural
Health and others.
Christina Norman has been appointed to President, VH1,
it was announced by Judy McGrath, President, MTV Networks Group President. Norman will
continue to be based in New York and report to McGrath.
In her new role Norman will continue to partner with Entertainment
President, Brian Graden, in overseeing the content and business
of VH1 and its digital services including VH1 Classic, Megahits,
VHUno, VH1 Country and VH1 Soul.
Christina joined MTV Networks in 1991 as a Production Manager.
Sync magazine, a Ziff Davis
Media publication, has announced the appointment of Tony Romando
as Editor-in-Chief. Sync is the company's
new men's lifestyle magazine designed to give readers a stylish
ook at how consumers can use digital products in
the context of everyday life. Sync's first issue will debut in
summer 2004 and will publish bimonthly.
Most recently, Romando was Executive Editor of Men's Fitness
where he was responsible for helping to re-launch the magazine.
Romando was also Deputy Editor of FHM, which he
helped launch in the U.S., and Jane magazine, which he also
launched and served as a Senior Editor.
Linda Burbank has been named the new travel problem-solver on USATODAY.com Travel, a website
designed for frequent travelers. Burbank is an experienced consumer travel journalist. She
launched the "Consumer Power" ombudsman's column for the
Consumer Reports Travel Letter, obtaining results for readers
writing in with travel complaints. She is also a contributing
editor to National Geographic Traveler.
Burbank's column will debut in March.
Tom Ascheim has been named
to the newly created position of Executive Vice President,
General Manager, Nickelodeon Digital Television, it was
announced today by Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon
Television. Formerly General Manager of Noggin and The N, Ascheim
will now oversee all four of Nick's premiere digital television
channels, which include Noggin, The N, Nickelodeon Games and
Sports (GAS) and Nicktoons, as well as Nickelodeon Video on
Demand (VOD) offerings. Nick GAS General Manager Mark Offitzer
and Nicktoons General Manager Keith Dawkins will report to Ascheim.
A 13-year veteran of Nickelodeon and Viacom, Ascheim joined
Nickelodeon as its first business development executive in 1990.
Peter Glawatz has been
promoted to vice president, business affairs,
Universal Network Television, it was announced by Neil Strum,
executive vice president, business & legal affairs, to whom
he reports. Glawatz became the primary business affairs negotiator
for the Law & Order franchise series in 2003, including
Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law &
Order: Criminal Intent.
Glawatz joined Universal TV predecessor Studios USA as director
of business affairs in 1999. Prior to that, he was at Columbia
TriStar Television, as director of business affairs from 1994-1999.
Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced that Lyor Cohen will join
the Company as Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music after
the purchase of WMG by the investor group led by Thomas H. Lee
Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr.'s Lexa Partners, Bain Capital and
Providence Equity Partners closes. Cohen has been Chairman and
CEO of Universal Music Group's Island Def Jam Music Group. In
his new position he will be responsible for all aspects of
WMG's recorded music operations in the United States. He will be based in New York City.
Known for developing and guiding the careers of many early pioneers
of rap music, including LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Kurtis
Blow and the Beastie Boys, Cohen is also widely credited with
expanding Island Def Jam beyond its hip-hop roots to include a
wider range of musical genres.
Darrell Denny, president of the Penton Media's IT Media Group, announced the
promotion of Kim Paulsen, publisher of Windows & .NET Magazine
Network, to group publisher of the Penton IT Media's Windows
Group, headquartered in Loveland, Colo. In addition to the
management of the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, Paulsen's
new responsibilities will include oversight of SQL Server Magazine
and Connected Home, as well as partnering with Shirley Brothers
on TCI (Technology Conferences Inc.) events, a business that
produces major technology events, including the Windows &
.NET Magazine Connections conference series.
Paulsen came to Windows & .NET Magazine after six
years at New Hope Natural Media, another unit of Penton Media
located in Boulder, Colo. Her experience includes over 20 years
in the publishing industry.
Torstar Corporation has announced
that John Honderich will step down as Publisher of the Toronto Star
effective May 5, 2004, the date of Torstar's Annual General Meeting.
Mr. Honderich has served as Publisher of the Toronto Star for a
decade, the third longest record of leadership in the newspaper's
110-year history. He was previously Editor for six years and has
worked at the Toronto Star since 1976 when he first joined the
paper as a reporter. Torstar expects to announce the appointment
of the next Publisher of the Toronto Star prior to May 5, 2004.
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. announced the hiring of David Maisel as President and Chief
Operating Officer of Marvel Studios. Mr. Maisel will report
directly to Avi Arad, Chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios.
Marvel Studios' mission is to maximize the financial and creative
success from each entertainment project that is based on Marvel's
vast universe of over 4,700 characters.
Mr. Maisel has over 15 years of diverse entertainment industry
experience. For the past two years, he has headed Endeavor
Agency's Corporate Strategy and Business Development. Mr.
Maisel began his agency career at Creative Artists Agency in
1994, working closely with CAA founder Michael Ovitz to facilitate
deals like Matsushita's sale of MCA Universal to Seagram in 1995.
He later joined The Walt Disney Company, as Director of Corporate
Development and Strategic Planning. Following his time at Disney,
Mr. Maisel was named President of Livent, Inc., a publicly traded
live theatrical production company, where he successfully piloted
the company's restructuring and sale to SFX Entertainment, now
part of Clear Channel. Mr. Maisel is a graduate of Harvard
RealNetworks, Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire
Seattle-based GameHouse, Inc. a top developer, publisher and
distributor of downloadable PC games, in a cash and stock
transaction valued at approximately $35.6 million. The acquisition
bringes together RealArcade, a downloadable games distribution platform and GameHouse,
a developer and publisher of downloadable games.
STATS, Inc., a sports information provider, and SI.com announced that SI.com will use STATS, Inc.'s industry in-game scoring and box scores across multiple sports.
By expanding its existing relationship with STATS, Inc. to include in-game coverage SI.com
will receive up to the minute updates for MLB, NHL and NFL as
well as contests involving the big six conferences and AP Top 25
for NCAA football and NCAA men's basketball. STATS, Inc. will
also furnish full in-progress and complete post-match results
for the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour and
SEGA of America, Inc.
announced that Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment have awarded it the license to publish a console
game based on the Cartoon Network series Samurai Jack.
The videogame developed by Amaze Entertainment, named Samurai
Jack: The Shadow of Aku, will be available on Microsoft
Xbox, PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, and
Nintendo GameCube in March 2004. Samurai Jack is the an
Emmy-winning action cartoon from Genndy Tartakovsky,
the creator of Dexter's Laboratory and the director of the
popular new animated epic micro series, Star Wars: Clone Wars.
IDT Entertainment and Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC have announced IDT Entertainment's
acquisition of a five per cent (5%) equity interest in Archie
Comics Entertainment, LLC. The agreement provides IDT the rights
to co-develop and co-produce select animated properties based
upon Archie Comics Entertainment characters. IDT Entertainment is
a subsidiary of IDT Corporation a multinational
carrier, telephone and technology company. Archie Comics
Entertainment LLC is the entertainment and licensing arm of
Archie Comic Publications Inc. The Archie Comics Entertainment
character properties include: Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Betty
and their Riverdale friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie
and the Pussycats, Katy Keene, Cheryl Blossom, as well as super
hero properties from the Mighty Crusaders library.
Launches and Redesigns
Dr. Dobb's Journal magazine has recently launched a new e-newsletter written for
software developers. "Programmer's Bookshelf Newsletter," which
is an online companion to the magazine's long-running "Programmer's
Bookshelf" column, will include reviews of the most important
computer books, updates on recent releases, recommendations from
DDJ's resident experts, and excerpts from new and important books
that belong on every programmer's bookshelf.
CMP Media's TechWeb Network has launched IT Utility Pipeline, a
website devoted to helping IT executives and
practitioners make decisions and optimize their investments in
products and services that facilitate utility computing and
on-demand computing. Part of the TechWeb Network's new Pipeline
series of topical sites, IT Utility Pipeline covers products and
services that allow organizations to buy, consume and plan their
IT strategy with computing and infrastructure resources delivered
as pay per usage processing and as highly scalable hosted services.
The website also covers many hardware and software elements that
are used in delivering computing power and resources in a
utility-like model. Specifically, IT Utility Pipeline's editorial
will focus on utility and on-demand computing, grid computing,
utility services and enterprise software and hardware.
After five years as a weekly must-read print magazine for public relations professionals and
students alike, PRWeek announced today the launch of its first daily online edition. The retooled website will now offer PR pros timely information about the
fast-paced world of corporate communications, public affairs,
media relations and other critical topics in public relations.
PRWeek.com will now provide daily updates, original online
content and online polls, interviews and Q&As with leading
figures in the PR industry. The site will also
continue to host the full contents of the weekly print publication,
as well as a fully searchable archive of editorials, news,
features, and industry research and special reports from the
past five years, many of which are available for download in PDF
format. Eric Arnold, a former section editor for the print issue,
has been named editor of PRWeek.com and will be responsible for
coordinating editorial content for the site.
Online Travel Selection is a new interactive travel magazine designed exclusively
for those looking for great prices to great places and "must-see"
travel deals when planning a vacation. The site features a Consumer
News Center with a variety of travel articles, as well as travel
advertisements from various travel vendors in one central location
on the internet and convenient links directly to these vendors'
websites. onlinetravelsection.com is published by Vickie Hopkins, a 15-year
seasoned travel professional.
Denise Austin, fitness authority and member of the President's Council on Physical
Fitness, has announced the launch of her new online site, DeniseAustin.com. Working with online publisher, Agora Media, Inc., the new site will promote Denise's sensible,
realistic and enthusiastic approach to fitness and eating.
Tribune Publishing announced that it will introduce Hoy in Los Angeles in March, providing daily news and features of interest in Spanish to the nearly 8
million Hispanics in the Los Angeles area. Hoy debuted in New
York in November 1998 and became the No. 1 Spanish- language
newspaper in the NY DMA in March 2001; Hoy's Chicago edition was
launched in September 2003. Nationwide, Hoy is the fastest growing
Spanish-language daily newspaper. Hoy will provide local
news and features-including coverage of important issues impacting
many Hispanic communities throughout the Los Angeles area. Hoy
will devote pages each day to news from Mexico, Puerto Rico,
Central and South America and the Caribbean. Each Friday, readers
can follow the latest trends in music, food, movies and local
events in Vida Hoy, a weekend supplement highlighting Hispanic
theglobe.com, has expanded
its magazine holding, the veteran Computer Games Magazine, to
include a new pop culture magazine within its covers to be led
by Eric Moro, former executive editor of Cinescape Magazine.
Now Playing will offer both the computer game enthusiast and
the casual gamer a look inside the expansive world of pop culture
entertainment with behind the scenes features, exclusive
previews and reviews. Now Playing will cover stories about
movies, television, console games, music, DVD, comics, anime
and "grownup" toys like PDAs, MP3 players and collectibles.
Consumers will get a first look at the new title through a 16-page
insert in Computer Games Magazine's April issue.
Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions to the enterprise,
announced the availability of Wide Open Magazine, a technical
magazine focused on a professional and non-professional audiences
interested in open source and how to use it. Each magazine issue
will feature the latest version of the Fedora project for
subscribers to have access to current Linux technologies under
development. Content will include technical how-to articles, news
on certified applications and hardware, and pieces covering a
range of current open source topics. Each issue will include 3 CDs and 96+ pages
Journal Register Company announced that on March 3, 2004, its flagship New Haven
Register> will launch Play, a new, free weekly publication aimed
at readers 18 to 34 years old. The full-color tabloid will primarily cover a range of lifestyle
topics, including entertainment and nightlife, cultural issues, recreation, careers, health and relationships. Initial distribution will be 25,000, and Play will be distributed
free at over 500 locations throughout New Haven and its surrounding areas.
Film and Television
Columbia Pictures' thriller Secret Window starring Johnny Depp has been moved up six weeks to March 12, 2004, it was announced by Jeff Blake, Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution. Columbia Pictures plans to kick-off its media campaign to launch Secret Window with a Super-Bowl TV spot on Sunday, February 1. Secret Window, based on a novella by Steven King, was originally set to debut on April 23. Directed and written by David Koepp, Secret Window focuses on a writer Mort Rainey
(Depp) who is in the midst of a painful divorce. He is stalked by
a psychotic stranger (John Turturro) who claims that Rainey stole
his story and demands restitution. Secret Window also stars
Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton and Charles S. Dutton. Gavin Polone
is producer of the film.
USA Network has ordered production for Dean Koontz's Frankenstein
it was announced by Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice
president, series and longform. Pre-production has commenced
on the two-hour pilot for an event series. Frankenstein is
written and executive produced by international bestselling
author Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas, The Face, Sole Survivor) who
has sold nearly three hundred million
books over the course of his career.
Six time Academy(R) Award nominee Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New
York, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver), will executive
produce along with Tony Krantz's Flame Television (24, Sports
Night, Wonderland, Felicity). Marcus Nispel will direct the
project. Nispel's re-make of the cult classic, The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre was a number-one box office hit. He will soon direct
the upcoming feature film Need starring Diane Lane.
Principal photography is scheduled to begin in April in Los
Angeles. The project was packaged by Endeavor, who represent
Dean Koontz, Martin Scorsese and Marcus Nispel.
Fox Searchlight Pictures and Miramax Films have aligned with one another to create a
Sundance joint acquisitions agreement for the
worldwide distribution rights to Garden State, the directorial
debut feature from Zach Braff (television's Scrubs), who also
wrote the screenplay and stars in the film along with Natalie
Portman, Peter Sarsgaard and a strong ensemble cast.
The film is produced by
Camelot Pictures' partners Gary Gilbert and Dan Halsted, along
with Pamela Abdy and Rich Klubeck. The film was executive produced
by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. The announcement
was made today by Fox Searchlight Pictures president Peter Rice and
Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.
Garden State, which premiered in competition at the Sundance Film
Festival, stars Braff, Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Jean Smart,
Method Man, Ian Holm and Rob Leibman. The film is a romantic
comedy about a guy who returns to his hometown for the first time
in ten years to attend the funeral of his clinically depressed
mother, a journey of self-discovery that reconnects him with
the world he left behind and gives him a chance to find love
in an unexpected place.
Pixar has elected to conclude its discussions to extend a long-term partnership with
The Walt Disney Company following the delivery of two more
animated features, The Incredibles expected in 2004 and Cars
expected in 2005. Tom Staggs, Disney senior executive vice
president and chief financial officer, said Disney management
could not accept Pixar's final offer because it would have cost
Disney hundreds of millions of dollars it is already entitled
to under the existing agreement, while not providing sufficient
incremental returns on new collaborations to justify the changes
to the existing deal. In addition to Pixar's delivery of two
more feature films, under the current agreement, Disney maintains
the rights to develop and produce sequels to all films created
through this partnership. Disney said it also owns the entire
Disney/Pixar film library, which includes Toy Story, Toy
Story 2, A Bug's Life, Monster's Inc., and Finding Nemo,
in addition to the two pictures yet to be completed.
Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide rights for the comedy Napoleon Dynamite,
which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film marks the directorial debut of Jared Hess, a 24-year-old Utah resident who wrote the film with his 23-year-old wife Jerusha Hess, an
undergraduate student at Brigham Young University.
From the rural town of Preston, Idaho comes Napoleon Dynamite.,
With a tight red 'fro, some sweet moon boots, and illegal
government ninja moves, he is a new kind of hero. Napoleon's
family consists of fragile brother Kip, who's seeking his
soulmate in online chat rooms; Uncle Rico, who is stuck in his
"glory" days of high school football; and Grandma, who enjoys
going out to the dunes on her quad-runner.
Napoleon spends his days drawing magical beasts, working on
his computer hacking skills to impress the chicks, and
begrudgingly feeding his grandma's pet llama, "Tina." When his
friend Pedro decides to run for class president, they must rely
on their knowledge of cows, pinatas, and a surprise special
talent if they are to defeat the stuck-up Summer Wheatley.
Napoleon Dynamite was produced by Jeremy Coon, Sean Covel and
Chris Wyatt and executive produced by Jeremy Coon and Jory Weitz.
The film was shot by Munn Powell, cut by Jeremy Coon and
production designed by Cory Lorenzen. The cast consists of Jon
Heder, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez, Aaron Ruell, Tina Majorino,
Haylie Duff, Diedrich Bader.
Index, a multi-national leading content provider based in Japan launched
their "Raijin" project to cultivate the mobile music industry
in alliance with Solstice Music. Solstice has a solid foothold
in the electronic music scene and will collaborate with Index
Music Publishing and Haiku SAS, aiming to create a new business
model that incorporates CDs and ringtones. The first CD scheduled
for release, a compilation called V.A/Raijin, is due to debut in
the spring of 2004. Compiled by French DJ Xavier Morel and
produced by Solstice Music, a wide-range of artists are
represented. CD distributors have yet to be decided.
Index is Japan's leading wireless content provider, serving
every major carrier, including NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Vodafone K.K.