For Vivendi Universal SA, when it rains, it pours. Just two weeks after chief executive Jean-Marie Messier ousted Pierre Lescure, the president of France's Canal Plus television company—an event that caused demonstrations in the streets of Paris and paroxysms of nationalistic fervor among France's 18 presidential candidates—a complicated stock deal got vastly more complicated, resulting in a $250 million payment due to A&M Records founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.
Last week's online poll indicates that many Stereophile readers have an ongoing affinity for the retro design style of older audio gear. Several respondents say they find the warm glow of tubes and backlit displays seductively attractive in a darkened room, while others pine for the days of analog dials and softly lit meters with gently bouncing needles.
National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) president C. Michael Greene has abruptly resigned in the wake of sexual harassment allegations by female executives at the nonprofit organization, which produces the annual Grammy Music Awards show.
Record companies are having a tough time making new friends these days as they toy with ways to restrict consumer use and distribution of their products. Amid sliding sales, mediocre new releases, high prices, and failed attempts at implementing restricted-use CD technology, the big labels clearly need some advice on getting back on track.
In addition to fostering the exchange of audio files, peer-to-peer websites may be sharing the problems of increased legal liabilities and bandwidth drains for businesses which allow employees to access file-sharing sites from corporate networks.
It is with regret that we belatedly note the passing of Joanna Nickrenz, one of the most respected American producers of classical recordings, on February 9. Within the small world of those who passionately care about the sound of recorded music, Ms. Nickrenz, along with her partner Marc J. Aubort, was a legend. Many audiophiles—including Stereophile's editors—considered the names Nickrenz and Aubort on a project a guarantee of natural, dynamic, accurate sound.
By several common measures, the American economy appears to be emerging from its first recession in a decade. On Friday, April 26, the US Commerce Department reported economic growth of 5.8% (annual rate) for the first quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), generally considered the broadest indicator of the economy's health, was the strongest since the final quarter of 1999. The 5.8% rate is especially encouraging in view of the 1.7% rate during the fourth quarter of 2001. The US Labor Department also reported a decline in first-time applications for unemployment benefits during the last week of April.
Jonathan Scull says he likes "stories with happy endings." Will his time spent with the Conrad-Johnson Premier 16LS preamplifier leave a smile on his face or a frown? J-10 comments, "As always, after a period of time, I began tweaking until I got the sound just so, then whipped out the laptop and . . . " filed this report.
XM Radio held a press conference in New York City Thursday, April 18. The event was heralded with great secrecy—attendees were enticed with promises of "major news," but no one leaked details beforehand, and the press arrived expecting something juicy indeed.