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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - August 8, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 30 (download PDF version)

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Hearst Magazines is closing women’s lifestyle titles She and Cosmopolitan Bride to concentrate on its newly acquired Elle and Red.


Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CEO of the U.K. operation, sent an email to staffers saying the company is “taking this decisive action now to strengthen our overall portfolio, focusing our investment on our stronger titles and digital expansion.”

Management “looked long and hard at all options” before it opted for the shutdown.

Hearst picked up Elle and Red in its $650M purchase of Hachette Filipacchi magazine division in March.


Nancy Cook, senior editor and writer at Fast Company, is moving to the National Journal on Aug. 22 as chief budget and tax reporter.

Ron Fournier, editor-in-chief of National Journal Group, said Cook’s “smarts, experience and business acumen will be a huge benefit” for readers wanting to stay ahead of the “absolutely critical action on the federal budget and taxes.”

Prior to Fast Company, Cook covered business and economics at Newsweek. She also worked at National Public Radio and the Standard-Times in New Bedford, Mass.


Kathryn Kranhold, a New York-based director for Brunswick Group, has been tapped to fill the vacated senior VP, corporate communications, slot at The Walt Disney Company.


Jonathan Friedland left the post in January for the VP, global corporate comms., slot at Netflix.

Kranhold, like Friedland, is a former Wall Street Journal staffer. She covered finance, advertising and energy, among other sectors, during a 12-year

term at the paper. She later moved on to Sard Verbinnen & Company.

She takes the reins for Disney’s communications, including corporate reputation, executive comms., financial and legal reporting to executive VP/comms., Zenia Mucha.


Twitter has received an $800M cash infusion from an investment group led by Russia’s DST Global. The Mercury News calls the transaction the “largest capital investment in history.”

Twitter released a statement from DST founder Yuri Milner in which he called the microblogging site “one of the few companies that has truly changed the world.”

Milner added: “Twitter’s astonishing growth is a testament to how important it is becoming to more people every day, and why we couldn't pass up the change to be a bigger part of its future.”

The investment values Twitter, which has estimated annual revenues in the $200M range, at $8B.

DST invested $400M in Facebook two years ago.


David Lyle has been named CEO of National Geographic Channels U.S. in charge of programming for the venture between Fox Cable Networks and the National Geographic Society. He had handled west coast development.

Based in Washington, D.C., Lyle is responsible for NGC, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo. He has been with Fox since `05, previously as president of Fox Look, which specializes in international licensing and production, and Fox Reality, handler of unscripted shows.

Prior to Fox, Lyle was with production companies including Freemantle Media, Pearson TV and Australia's Nine Network. At Freemantle, he launched "American Idol."

Tim Kelly, president of the National Geo Society, says Lyle will be “focused on delivering compelling popular programming that reflects, enhances and delivers on the substance of the National Geographic brand and mission.”


PBS’ “Nightly Business Report” has opened a Houston bureau under a deal with HoustonPBS and KUHF Houston Public Radio.

The partnership is NBP’s first bureau in Texas.

“We are excited to expand into Texas and provide our viewers with up close reports on the most important business news stories of the day in Houston, one of the country's leading economic and social centers,” said Mykalai Kontilai, chairman and CEO of NBR Worldwide, which owns the program.

NBR said the Houston bureau will cover both breaking news and feature stories on topics like oil, energy, and healthcare.

HoustonPBS counts 2.2 million viewers a week and airs more than 24,000 hours of programming a year.

Patricia Torres-Burd, executive director of content at HoustonPBS, said Houston is a city that “leads in business and economic news on a local, national and international level.”

Starz Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Productions have forged a multi-year deal to develop, produce, and distribute television series.

The series, one-hour dramas, will air on Liberty Media-owned Starz’s television networks in the U.S. and Canada.

BBC Worldwide will distribute the series internationally.

The programs in development have not yet been announced. “Torchwood: Miracle Day” is the first scripted series produced by BBC currently on STARZ.

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