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Hunt Promoted At NewStar
Trudi M. Rosenblum &Jim Milliot -- 3/13/00

John Hunt, who joined NewStar Media in mid-1999 following the acquisition of his company, Audio Literature (News, June 21, 1999), by NewStar, has been named president and CEO of the company's publishing and Internet services group. Hunt succeeds Peter Engels, who resigned from NewStar after a one-year stint. Hunt will report directly to NewStar chairman Terry Elkes. In addition, Lisa Hunt has been promoted to executive v-p of marketing and operations.

John Hunt told PW that the NewStar board wants to change the direction of the company "to bring it back into the focus of more traditional trade publishing." The company has made initiatives in new markets that it will not give up on, but he noted that "the traditional publishing side of the operations was a bit unfocused." While NewStar plans to cut the number of audio titles it releases this year, compared to 1999, John Hunt insisted that NewStar "is not going to become a mom-and-pop operation."

The future shape of NewStar, however, could change this year; the company announced that it is continuing its discussions with a number of groups concerning possible investments in the company or the sale of certain of its business segments.

Although NewStar has not released results for all of 1999, sales for the first nine months of the year were down 50% to $6.9 million, mainly due to a decline in revenues from its film unit. Net loss in the period was $5.9 million, compared to $1.8 million in the first nine months of 1998.

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