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Revolving Door Newsletter: 10.02.09

Nat Geo, TV Guide Oust Publishers; Alpha Media Names Interim CEO

October 2, 2009
Word on the street is that Comcast wants to purchase 51 percent of NBC Universal from General Electric and Vivendi. The move, if successful, would create a massive television conglomerate that would include USA, Bravo, CNBC, and MSNBC. Comcast is already the biggest owner of cable systems in the country. Forbes' Evan Hessel posits that the merger would allow Comcast to control a wide range of exclusive content, necessary for it to compete as viewers migrate to the wealth of video content on the Web...

Cancellation rates for newspaper subscriptions dropped from 54.5 percent in 2000 to 31.8 percent last year. That's good news for the struggling industry, especially given the fact that the average cost of seven-day delivery jumped from $3.37 in 2006 to $3.66 a year later. Could we be reaching a point where only those who really want a newspaper continue to subscribe?... The New York Times will continue its expansion into local markets, launching editions in Chicago and other cities. This comes weeks after the news leaked that the company will launch a San Francisco-tailored version of the Gray Lady... The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post agree to end their joint syndication service that boasts more than 600 clients around the world. The Post, however, turns around and inks a deal with Bloomberg News... MSNBC contributor Ana Marie Cox, wife of fired CQ/Roll Call senior editor Chris Lehmann, launches a Twitter campaign to help Lehmann and other staffers find new jobs. She only encouraged her more than 1 million followers to unfollow @CQPolitics after learning that senior editor Brian Nutting was let go for asking for a rationale of the cuts from parent company The Economist Group...

Paul Miller will lead Alpha Media Group as interim chief executive officer. He fills in for Stephen Duggan, who resigned abruptly last month... National Geographic Society pushes publisher Steve Giannetti out the door, blaming the state of the advertising market for the move. Dawn Drew also departs after more than 10 years with the company... Pete Haeffner, publisher of TV Guide since 2005, is out, along with four other staffers. OpenGate Capital, which purchased the franchise for a dollar early this year, is attempting to cut costs... Reader's Digest Association's Lara Bashoff steps down as president of the company's interactive division...

First Round Capital opens an office in New York, adding Union Square Ventures veteran Charlie O'Donnell as an entrepreneur-in-residence... Rob Rasmussen, former executive creative director of innovation at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, is searching for a new job... On the Scene Productions lets go all of its employees and looks like it's heading into bankruptcy... And there are changes at HarperCollins, the Los Angeles Times, and more...

October 2, 2009: Scott Hocker has been named editor, San Francisco edition at Tasting Table. He had been senior editor at San Francisco. (BayNewser)
October 2, 2009: Paul Miller has been named interim chief executive officer at Alpha Media Group. He had been executive chairman at Freedom Group. (WWD)
October 2, 2009: Dave Armon has been named vice chairman at dna13. He had been former president at PRNewswire. (PRNewser)
October 2, 2009: Dannia Hakki has been named founder at MoKi Media. (FBDC)
October 2, 2009: Sherry Moeller has been named founder at MoKi Media. She had been former editor-in-chief at Capitol File. (FBDC)
October 2, 2009: Eugene Fuller has been named copywriter at Mother New York. He had been senior copywriter at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. (AgencySpy)
October 2, 2009: Julianne Pepitone has been named associate Web producer and staff reporter at She had been freelance associate Web producer and contributing writer there. (mb)
October 1, 2009: Philippe Paget has been named global chief executive officer at He had been vice president of marketing there. (mb)
October 1, 2009: Michelle Blackley has been named senior publicist at Storey Publishing. (Publishers Lunch)
October 1, 2009: Andrea Walker has been named associate editor at Reagan Arthur Books/Little Brown. She had been books associate at The New Yorker. (Publishers Lunch)
October 1, 2009: Charlie Redmayne has been named chief digital officer at HarperCollins. He had been group digital officer at Harper UK. (Publishers Lunch)
October 1, 2009: Nuria Cabuti has been named chief executive officer at Random House Mondadori. She had been publisher and editorial director, Children's and Paperback divisions, there. (Publishers Lunch)
September 30, 2009: Curt Detweiler has been named executive vice president and executive creative director at McCann North America. He had been partner and executive creative director at Ground Zero. (AgencySpy)
September 30, 2009: Lisa Fung has been named online arts and entertainment editor at Los Angeles Times. She had been arts editor there. (release)
September 30, 2009: Zach Toback has been named vice president of news operations at NBC News. He had been executive director of production and operations for Good Morning America at ABC News. (TVNewser)
September 30, 2009: Kristen Elias Rowley has been named humanities editor at University of Nebraska Press. (Publishers Lunch)
September 30, 2009: Anne Miller has been named director of subsidiary rights at The McVeigh Agency. She had been at Harper Children's. (Publishers Lunch)
September 30, 2009: Dillen Phelps has been named creative assistant at AppsSavvy. He had been content coordinator/customer service at (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Yael Zeman has been named account manager at AppsSavvy. She had been account executive at National Cable Communications. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Jerome Brissett has been named senior traffic manager at AppsSavvy. He had been at ASmallWorld Holdings. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Michael Vos has been named West Coast sales director at AppsSavvy. He had been senior account executive at Specific Media. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Jeff Skaggs has been named West Coast sales director at AppsSavvy. He had been account executive at Collective Media. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Lauren Jaramillo has been named West Coast sales director at AppsSavvy. She had been Northwest account manager at CraveOnline. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Rob Holiber has been named East Coast sales director at AppsSavvy. He had been senior online account executive at New York Daily News. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Alex Maghen has been named chief technology officer at MySpace. He had been chief technology officer at MySpace Music. (WebNewser)
September 30, 2009: Nicole Romanik has been named vice president of business development at BBE. She had been vice president and director of national broadcast at Initiative. (release)
September 29, 2009: Helen Lee has been named director of trade marketing at NBC Universal/iVillage. She had been director of integrated marketing at MySpace. (mb)
September 29, 2009: Josh Babyar has been named chief operating officer at Relevant Media Group. He had been executive publisher there. (mb)
September 29, 2009: Samara Aberman Thery has been named director of communications for The School for Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. She had been media reporter at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. (mb)
September 29, 2009: Rebecca Gardner has been named rights director at Gernert Company. She had been vice president and director of subsidiary rights at Random House. (Publishers Lunch)
September 29, 2009: Deborah Fine has been named president and chief executive officer at Direct Brands. She had been president at iVillage. (Publishers Lunch)

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