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Wayne Saroyan is the Editor & Publisher of JazzWest.com. A working jazz critic for more than 15 years, he's written countless articles about the Bay Area and national jazz scenes. E-mail Wayne at wayne@jazzwest.com.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm

JazzTimes Rises from the Dead

JazzTimes magazine, which temporarily suspended publication in June, is back in business again under new ownership by Madavoy Media, a publishing and trade-show group based in Boston.

Madavoy acquired the jazz magazine on July 10, and announced that it will resume publishing the magazine and its companion website, www.jazztimes.com, immediately.

"We are honored to have the opportunity to expand our portfolio with this remarkable and respected publication," says Jeffrey C. Wolk, chairman and CEO of Madavor Media in a July 14 press release announcing the sale. "Because of our experience and industry partnerships, we are well-positioned to serve jazz enthusiasts and to build on the impressive business started by [publisher] Ira Sabin."

JazzTimes was founded by Sabin in 1970 as a newsletter-type publication called Radio Free Jazz. In 1980, the magazine's name was changed to JazzTimes, and in recent years claimed a circulation of 100,000, higher than leading competitor DownBeat.

"As an established, quality-directed, enthusiast consumer media company, we feel that Madavor Media is the perfect choice as the new steward of the JazzTimes brand," says JazzTimes publisher and CEO Glenn Sabin. "Madavor Media is a successful, growing publisher with the resources and efficiencies that will enable our 39-year-old franchise to provide expanded services to our dedicated readers and advertising clients alike."

"In each issue of JazzTimes, we will continue to deliver the news and information that readers and advertisers expect from the world's leading jazz publication," says Madavor Media's VP/Group Publisher Susan Fitzgerald. "With our experience in circulation, distribution, production, and promotion, Madavor plans to take the JazzTimes brand to new heights."

Current Editor-in-Chief Lee Mergner and Managing Editor Evan Haga will remain with the publication to maintain continuity and connection within the jazz community.

"For Evan and I, this is a great opportunity to reinvent the magazine in the face of so many interesting challenges," says Mergner.

The next issue will feature a cover story on saxophonist Joe Lovano, as well as a piece by investigative reporter Marc Hopkins on the effect of the current economic climate on jazz festivals. The first issue bearing the real imprint of Madavor will be the September issue, which spotlights jazz guitar including stories on John Scofield, Nels Cline and George Benson.

Let's hope they also pay their writers and photographers, who've been without paydays for several months.

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Added Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm
Reader from the South writes:

JazzTines is our permanent way to be up to date with the Jazz world here, in the Southern part of America, so I hope that this news turns true as soon as possible.

Added Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm
RandyC writes:

Efficiencies? WTF are efficiencies? Is this just more corporate double-speak, or ar these people committed to preserving and sustaining a great jazz magazine? My fingers are crossed... hope for the best, but plan for the worst!

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