Publishing Industry Soundbytes 4-18-03

Posted on April 18, 2003

Content Deals | Digital Publishing | People
Launches and Redesigns | Miscellaneous

People

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Primedia Inc. announced that Thomas S. Rogers has decided to resign as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. This decision was made mutually by Mr. Rogers and the Board of Directors based on differences regarding the future direction of the Company.

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Steven P. Gosset, a veteran reporter, editor, and producer, has joined PR Newswire's Feature News Service department as editorial services manager. Based in New York, Gosset will provide counsel to PR Newswire's feature news clients, oversee the further development of the service and conduct client workshops and staff training, according to Fred Ferguson, director of the Feature News Service. For the past seven years, Gosset worked as an editor and reporter at CBS Radio Network.

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Jillaina Wachendorf, senior vice president of marketing for Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz Encore), announced the appointment of veteran journalist Thomas (Tom) P. Southwick to the post of vice president, corporate communications. Reporting to Wachendorf, Southwick replaces Paul Jacobson who left Starz Encore in January to take the position of deputy communications director for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). Southwick, 54, worked as a journalist in Massachusetts and Washington before serving for three years as press secretary to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). From 1981-1988 Southwick worked for cable industry trade newspaper Multichannel News, first as managing editor and later as editor. In 1988 he founded, with the backing of Paul Kagan Associates, the weekly Cable World Magazine, where he served as publisher and columnist. In 1994 Cable World was purchased by Cowles Business Media where Southwick was named vice president of new business development. He is the author of Distant Signals: How Cable Changed the World of Telecommunications, a history of the first 50 years of the cable industry.

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Ziff Davis Media Inc. announced the promotion of Sloan Seymour to Senior Vice President, Enterprise Group, which includes eWEEK, Baseline and CIO Insight magazines. Seymour, who joined the company in June 1986, will continue as Publisher of Baseline magazine. He will report directly to Robert F. Callahan, Chairman and CEO of Ziff Davis Media. As Senior Vice President of the Enterprise Group, Seymour will be responsible for developing integrated marketing initiatives -- print advertising, custom media, research and face-to-face events -- that help our customers meet their marketing objectives.

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Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI) announced that Caroline Little has been named president and chief operating officer of the company. Little, who has served as COO for the last three years, will now oversee all of the company's business operations, including advertising sales, Jobs, Cars and Real Estate and other transaction services. Little joined WPNI in 1997 as general counsel. In 1998 she was promoted to vice president, administration and general counsel. She became senior vice president of business affairs and general counsel in 1999, and chief operating officer in April 2000. Prior to joining WPNI, Little was deputy general counsel at U.S. News & World Report, The Atlantic Monthly and Fast Company. The company also announced that Mary Moslander will assume the new role of vice president, strategy and product development. Moslander previously served as the vice president and general manager, Jobs, Cars and Real Estate.

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Thomas R. Norton, vice president of operations at the York (Pa.) Newspaper Co., has been named managing director of NAA-Ifra Technical Solutions LLC, a new joint operation between the Newspaper Association of America and Ifra, a German-based international association of newspaper and media publishing technology. Norton and his team will be responsible for developing training programs, consulting services, research projects and seminars on cutting-edge issues and technologies in newspaper publishing.

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Carolyn Bekkedahl, Executive Vice President of American Media, Inc. and Publishing Director of the Weider Active Lifestyle Group, has named Randy Frank Leeds as the new publisher of Natural Health magazine. Ms. Leeds had been with Fitness magazine since 1996, most recently as Associate Publisher. Prior to Fitness, she had managed her own company, Frank Marketing Inc., and worked extensively in the cable TV industry.

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Colin Ungaro, President of the Reed Business Information (RBI) New Product Information Division, has announced the appointment of Sabrina Crow as Vice President/Publishing Director of the division's manufacturing publications. Reed Business Information is a provider of business-to-business publications and a member of Reed Elsevier Group plc. As Vice President/Publishing Director, Crow will play a strategic role in leading the Morris Plains-based manufacturing publications, which include Chemical Equipment, Pharmaceutical Processing and Production Technology News, to more prominent positions within the markets they serve. Crow will report to Ungaro. Previously, Crow served as CEO of Freedom Magazines International and publisher of Latin Trade magazine.

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NewsStand Inc., a digital distributor for print media publishers, announced that Michele Chaboudy has joined the executive team as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to NewsStand, Ms. Chaboudy spent more than 18 years in various marketing and product management positions in consumer and business-to-business companies. She most recently served as Vice President of Marketing for Zinio Systems, where she developed the company's early corporate and product marketing.

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Holt, Rinehart and Winston -- a publisher of textbooks and educational materials for grades six through 12 -- announced that Don Lankiewicz has been named to the position of senior vice president and publisher. Lankiewicz joins Holt from Harcourt School Publishers, a sister company under the Harcourt Education umbrella, where he was vice president for social studies editorial. Before joining Harcourt in 1986, he worked for Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company (now Glencoe). He started his education career as a high school social studies teacher. Mr. Lankiewicz has worked on a variety of well-respected social studies and health programs for Harcourt and Merrill.

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MarketWatch.com, Inc., a provider of financial news and information, announced that it has named Douglas Appleton as the company's General Counsel. As General Counsel, Appleton is responsible for MarketWatch.com legal affairs, including contract negotiation, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, corporate governance and securities compliance. Prior to joining MarketWatch.com in March 2003, Appleton was the Associate General Counsel at Handspring, Inc., a manufacturer of handheld computer and wireless communicator products, and as General Counsel for SecuGen Corporation, a privately held technology company that manufactures and develops fingerprint biometric devices.

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Veteran sales executive Gabrielle Richard has been named Business Wire's Washington DC Regional Manager, it was announced by Cathy Baron Tamraz, president of the company.

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Reed Business Information (RBI),a provider of business-to-business information and a member of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, has announced the appointment of Stephen Moylan as Vice President and Publishing Director for EDN. Moylan comes to RBI from magazine publisher, Ziff Davis, where as Executive Vice President, he was responsible for corporate sales, marketing, research and the Enterprise Group of publications.

Digital Publishing

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Rediff.com, an online provider of news, information, communication, entertainment and shopping services for Indians, announced the launch of 'Rediff Blogs' a service that allows a user to publish their thoughts and ideas directly on the web.

Content Deals

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Advanced Relational Technology Inc., (ART), the parent of Chief Architect, and Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, have entered into a licensing agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the consumer and design editorial expertise of Better Homes and Gardens and the home software developed under the ART Chief Architect brand will collaborate to create a consumer software series for home design and architecture. The product series will launch early this summer under the name Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer 6.0, and will present an array of architectural design features to help homeowners create a vision of their dream home.

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Publishers Group West (PGW), the contract book distribution arm of Advanced Marketing Services, Inc. and a distributor for independent publishers, has announced the addition of five new publishers for whom PGW will manage distribution beginning in the Fall of 2003. The new publishers include Chrysalis Children's Books, a book division of Chrysalis Books and part of the British multimedia company Chrysalis Group; Sanctuary Publishing Limited, part of the Sanctuary Group plc in England, which includes both recording and music publishing; Inner Ocean Publishing; Squaresville Productions; and Income Dynamics. In addition, three PGW publishers have recently added to their publishing programs as well. Avalon Publishing Group in New York welcomed an exciting new literary publishing division, Shoemaker and Hoard. New York Review Books launched Classic Children's Books and Soft Skull Press will introduce their new children's imprint Red Rattle at BookExpo America.

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IGN Entertainment -- home to IGN.com, the web's largest information and entertainment destination for video gamers -- announced that it has acquired VE3D, a preeminent online site for up-to-the minute gaming news. IGN's acquisition of the VE3D website from BA Ventures, LLC, enhances IGN's reach among fans of PC games. VE3D offers in-depth coverage of action and strategy PC games, which complements the in-depth coverage of massively multiplayer online role-playing PC games (MMORPGs) provided by IGN's Vault Network.

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Trans Media Exchange, Inc. (TMX), a provider of online media content and information management technology, has announced a partnership agreement to distribute Cherry Lane's music content through TMX's global network of extranet sites.

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R.R. Bowker, a publisher of bibliographic information, and Global eXchange Services, Inc. (GXS) announced that they have put in place a new multi-year partnership agreement to develop and operate the next generation of Pubnet, the publishing industry's core electronic commerce service. GXS will provide the underlying application infrastructure and communications network for Pubnet, with GXS and Bowker working together to enhance Pubnet to incorporate rapid response, order and fulfillment visibility, and expansion to general merchandise transactions. Pubnet users exchange over 2 million transactions each year, with one-stop access for the more than 2,500 booksellers worldwide ordering over 1 million titles directly from more than 100 publishers and wholesalers, representing more than 4,000 imprints. R.R. Bowker, which previously held a 25 percent stake in Pubnet, recently acquired the remaining 75 percent of the electronic commerce service.

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Heritage Partners, Inc. announced its investment in Enterprise NewsMedia LLC, which owns The Patriot Ledger and The Brockton Enterprise, two dominant suburban daily newspapers south of Boston. Headquartered in Quincy, Mass., Enterprise was founded in 1996 to acquire and manage a collection of community newspapers. Besides The Patriot Ledger and The Brockton Enterprise, Enterprise NewsMedia owns MPG Newspapers, a holding company for nine award winning weekly newspapers.

Launches and Redesigns

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Activision, Inc., a developer, publisher and distributor of video games and other interactive entertainment products, announced that it has launched a completely new and updated website at activision.com. The site has been redesigned to most effectively integrate the communications needs of Activision's customers, business partners and associates. The site offers information on Activision's upcoming games, as well as information about the company. In addition to viewing featured game branded webpages, visitors can sign up to receive news and special offers via email. Players can also sample new demo releases, listen to CD quality game audio clips, view video clips and game trailers and obtain information on the latest Activision game promotions.

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Books24x7, a subsidiary of SkillSoft PLC and the developer of online Referenceware for IT and business professionals, has announced FinancePro, a new offering targeted to corporate financial professionals. FinancePro is a collection of more than 100 unabridged financial titles from 12 leading publishers such as John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, MIT Press, and AMACOM.

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Newsblotter.com has officially began operations by providing breaking news stories and investigative journalism. Newsblotter.com is operated and wholly owned by Spectra Corporation based in Las Vegas, NV. The navigation of Newsblotter.com is based on news from geographic regions and interest areas. The Newsblotter.com staff researches articles and news events from around the world and posts them on the Newsblotter.com website.

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eNature.com, a nature resource, has announced the launch of the Online Sibley Guide to Birds. SibleyGuidetoBirds.com presents birding information combined with interactive tools to help bird-watchers. eNature.com licensed the bestselling content of The Sibley Guide to Birds and the follow-up book, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. They then added interactive tools to help birders identify and learn about birds, and document their birding experiences. The fee-based website has an annual subscription fee of $29.95.

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On Thursday, April 17, the Los Angeles Times introduced Home, a new weekly section that captures the experience of home life in Southern California. King, who joined The Times in March, is a veteran journalist with expertise in home coverage. Most recently she was senior articles editor for Architectural Digest, where she oversaw the magazine's editorial department. She also served as senior editor and writer for Town & Country and was a freelance writer for Harper's Bazaar and Good Housekeeping.

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The New York Times has unveiled a national education program, called The New York Times Knowledge Network, which will unite all of The Times's innovative education efforts nationwide. The New York Times Knowledge Network is a resource to help parents and educators enhance student learning at all education levels, particularly in the areas of analytical reading, critical thinking, problem-solving, vocabulary and writing. To promote The New York Times Knowledge Network program, The Times is launching a national branding campaign with the tagline "Inspiring Thought." In addition to the image campaign, The Times will also feature new direct marketing creative designed to increase summer subscriptions at select college campuses.

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NetNews Tracker is a bot that searches newsgroups twice each day for the phrases that you choose, then delivers new hits to you via email. Each hit includes an excerpt and link to the full posting. NetNews Tracker was created by technology writer Kevin Savetz as a personal research tool. When colleagues showed an interest in it, Kevin added a Web interface and made it available to the public. Savetz has contributed to more than 100 publications and websites in the past decade. NetNews Tracker can used to monitor thousands of newsgroups for postings that mention a name, company, URL, or any other topic of interest.

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The relaxation website Self-Guided.com is now offering ten "inner tips" for coping with the stress of war and terrorism. These inner tips � drawn from the books and recordings of Joel Levey and Michelle Levey, leading authors and stress experts � involve specific ways people can manage their own responses to these events, and thus lower their own levels of stress and anxiety. Joel Levey and Michelle Levey are the authors of Living in Balance (Conari Press, 1999), Simple Meditation and Relaxation (Conari Press, 1998), and The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration & Meditation (Wisdom Publications, revised edition 2003).

Miscellaneous

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Paula Wiseman Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, announced plans to publish a picture book by identical twin National Football League stars Tiki and Ronde Barber. By My Brother's Side, scheduled for publication in fall 2004, will tell the Barbers' story of growing up together as close brothers who always supported and encouraged each other, no matter how steep the obstacles. An illustrator for the project will be named later. The agreement was negotiated by Paula Wiseman, Editorial Director for Paula Wiseman Books, and Mark Lepselter at Maxximum Marketing on behalf of Tiki and Ronde Barber.

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Actress Faith Ford, recipient of five Emmy Award nominations and two consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations for her ten-year portrayal of reporter "Corky Sherwood" on the CBS series Murphy Brown, is at work on her first cookbook, Cooking with Faith, to be published by Scribner in May of 2004. Richard Abate at International Creative Management Negotiated the agreement, which is for North American rights, with Beth Wareham, Director of Lifestyle Publishing at Scribner.

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The new Christian Science Monitor archive provide access to Pulitzer-winning coverage of world events in ProQuest Historical Newspapers. ProQuest Historical Newspapers is created and distributed by ProQuest Information and Learning, a unit of ProQuest Company. The full run of the Monitor from 1908 to 1990 in ProQuest Historical Newspapers offers access to this newspaper's unique perspective. The database includes each page from every issue in PDF files. More than 800,000 pages of articles comprise the newly digitized archive and ProQuest will add a year of coverage every year.

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Game Informer announced growth in its guaranteed rate base of over 17% from 850,000 to 1,000,000 paid readers for the July - December 2003 period.