Saturday, August 30, 1997

8/30/97: KnightRidder, ReedElsevier, John Wiley, Pearson, Thomson, SimonShuster,

Petersen Publishing Opens Trading With Strong Day
Knight Ridder sells Dialog:
Reed Travel Launches Probe Into Circulation Overstatements
JOHN WILEY & SONS INC.: Announcing Wiley InterScience
Pearson Appoints Peter Jovanovich to Head Addison Wesley Longman
Anthea Disney named Chairman and CEO of News America Publishing Group
Simon & Schuster
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Recent News:
Petersen Publishing Opens Trading With Strong Day:
(Folio: First Day) In its first day of trading as a public company, Petersen Publishing Co.'s stock
closed Thursday at $20.25 per share after opening at $17.50 and hitting a high of $20.625 on the
New York Stock Exchange.

The opening price was barely half the original filing price floated by Claeys Bahrenburg and his fellow investors, who purchased the Los Angeles-based consumer magazine publisher last year for $400 million-plus (Bahrenburg was a former president of Hearst Magazines.) Registration papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission underline the 78-title publisher's reliance on its three top publications: For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1996, the 1-million circulation Motor Trend, 1.8-million circulation Teen and 800,000-circulation Hot Rod, brought in $32.5 million, $25.8 million and $19.3 million respectively -- combining for 50.1% of Petersen's operating "contribution."

Knight Ridder sells Dialog:
(Media Daily) Knight-Ridder has agreed to sell its database unit, Knight-Ridder Information Inc. (KRII), to London business information publisher M.A.I.D. for $420 million. The sale, expected to be completed in November, would create the world's largest online information service.

KRII's final price tag turned out to be 15% lower than the $500M the unit had been expected to go for (MD, 8/25/97). "This is a business we did not want to lose, but in light of our recent acquisition of four newspapers from the Walt Disney Co., the sale is necessary," said Tony Ridder, chairman and CEO of Knight-Ridder Inc. The Disney newspaper deals had reportedly cost the company a total of $1.65 billion.

Reed Travel Launches Probe Into Circulation Overstatements:
(Folio: First Day) Reed Travel Group company announced that it had detected "irregularities" in RTG circulation statements -- overstatements to advertisers -- dating back to 1991 for its hotel and airline directories, and that this discovery has moved the company to begin "a full investigation."

LONDON (AP-Dow Jones)--Reed Elsevier PLC has appointed Freshfields to lead the team investigating the irregularities at Reed Travel Group. The company had said it discovered irregularities in circulation statements at its Reed Travel Group unit that affect some 500 million GBP ($800MM) in advertising revenues between 1991 and 1996. The Anglo/Dutch publishing company said it will make an unspecified charge against 1997 earnings to meet the cost of compensating advertisers in the affected Reed Travel Group publications.

It will also make a 'substantial' write down of intangible asset values at Reed Travel group.

ONline/New Media News:

JOHN WILEY & SONS INC.: Announcing Wiley InterScience:
(Wall Street Journal) New York, N.Y., September 9, 1997. Charles R. Ellis, President and Chief Executive Officer of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JW.A and JW.B), the global publishing company, today announced the launch of Wiley InterScience, a service which will provide access to nearly all of the company's more than 400 scientific, technical, medical, and professional journals over the World Wide Web. Searchable contents listings, abstracts, and informative Web sites for the majority of Wiley's journal program, together with open access to the full-text electronic files of 50 journals, are scheduled to go online October 1 in the pilot phase of this initiative. Other journals will have full-text presentation phased in through 1997 and 1998. The company will continue to publish its journals in print as well, and is embarking on this electronic publishing initiative to augment its strengths in scientific, technical, and medical publishing.

Wiley has been collaborating with Zuno, a Mitsubishi Electric Company based in London and Boston, which developed the innovative software application Wiley has used to create Wiley InterScience. Zuno Digital Publisher (ZDP) is a component-based software system for organizing, managing, and publishing information and journals over the Web and gives publishers tools to create new and dynamic electronic products and services for their customers. ZDP is customizable, meaning Wiley has developed its own "look and feel" for the service and has implemented numerous business models for different types of customers and content.

Executive Changes:

Pearson Appoints Peter Jovanovich to Head Addison Wesley Longman:
Pearson plc, today announced the appointment of Peter Jovanovich as chairman and chief executive of Addison Wesley Longman, Pearson' s educational publishing business. He will succeed J. Larry Jones, who is stepping down from the post after 30 years with the company.

Since 1995, Mr. Jovanovich, 48, has been president of McGraw-Hill's Educational and Professional Publishing Group, which comprises all of the company's book publishing worldwide. Under his leadership the company has grown rapidly to become the largest school and college publisher in the world, with a 29% increase in operating profit in the second quarter of 1997.

Anthea Disney named Chairman and CEO of News America Publishing Group
New York, N.Y. -- September 23, 1997 News Corporation has formed a new U.S. publishing entity called News America Publishing Group that will combine HarperCollins Publishers and the Companys U.S. magazine and on-line publishing divisions and has promoted Anthea Disney as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, it was announced today by Rupert Murdoch, News Corporations Chairman & Chief Executive, and Peter Chernin, President & Chief Operating Officer.

Disney will oversee the Companys U.S. print and on-line publishing operations, including HarperCollins; TV Guide, the countrys highest circulation weekly magazine; the opinion-leading highly influential political magazine The Weekly Standard; the electronic publishing business including TV Guide Entertainment Network; and new business development in all of these areas.

THOMSON Corp. (Toronto) -- Richard Harrington, 50 years old, was named president and chief executive officer of this publishing and travel-services concern, three months ahead of schedule. Mr. Harrington was expected to assume the new positions Jan. 1, but the appointments were pushed ahead because of Mr. Harrington's success in the temporary position of chief operating officer, a job created in July specifically to groom him for the positions of president and chief executive. The job of chief operating officer no longer exists. Mr. Harrington, who has held several executive positions with Thomson since 1982, succeeds Michael Brown, 62, who becomes deputy chairman at Thomson. Mr. Brown will hold this new position jointly with John Tory, 67, through the end of December, when Mr. Tory will step down. Mr. Tory will remain on Thomson's board after Dec. 31.

Did You Know....

Simon & Schuster is the world's largest English-language, educational and computer book publisher, distributing products to more than 150 countries through an international 25,000-title catalogue handled by sales offices and subsidiaries in 43 countries. Simon & Schuster has international operations in Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa and Latin America.

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a digital 'License plate number' for intellectual material proposed by the Association of American Publishers. Use of this identifying number will help users track down who owns an item and access whatever further information the owner (publisher) would like to provide. Customers can them purchase the requested information on-line. The DOI consists of three parts:
1. Two part identifying number identifying the publisher and the document
2. An automated directory composed of a computer system that will accurately link an object, be it a book, picture, etc to whomever owns it
3. The databases maintained by the publisher that provide further information (meta data) for the user.
The goal is to create a global internet based system in which publishers and other owners of copyright(s) will regularly tag their peices of intellectual property with DOIs in the way that publishers now use ISBN numbers. The AAP will be presenting their recommendations on the proposed adoption of the DOI standard at the Frankfurt Book Fair in late October. Simon & Schuster among others are expected to trial these recommendations.

End of Newsletter.

No comments: