Class Acts: New Spring Faculty

An oenophile, a closet jigsaw puzzle addict, a photographer with a one-man show: these are just a few of the outside-the-classroom passions of the leading publishing executives joining the faculty this spring in the Master of Science in Publishing Program at NYU-SCPS. Read on to know more about our new instructors, including the Editor-in-Chief of TV Guide, the Chief Financial Officer of The Huffington Post, leading publishing attorneys from Time Inc. and Penguin Group USA, top marketing executives from Bonnier and Reader’s Digest, digital leaders from Hyperion and Rodale, and a corporate development expert from John Wiley & Sons. We’ve also asked our new faculty about everything from their private lives to their content consumption: the what and the how.

Eric Ashman (Web Financials) is the Chief Financial Officer of The Huffington Post.  Prior to joining The Huffington Post in May 2009, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of  His earlier positions include Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Text 100 Public Relations, a global technology public relations firm, and Audit Supervisor at Kenneth Leventhal & Company (prior to the firm’s merger with Ernst & Young).  Eric received his BBA in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1993.

You’d never guess from his bio that: He loves to head off into the woods with his family for a week of backpacking and camping.

What he’s reading now: “Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup” by Brad Feld & David Cohen

Must-read websites:, his Twitter digital publishing list (,,,,, (venture capitalist Fred Wilson’s Blog)

Favorite e-reader: Kindle on the iPad

Gina S. Anderson (Publishing and Internet Law) is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., where she has been an all-around publishing lawyer to the company’s adult and children’s divisions since 1993.  Previously, she was associated with the New York City law firms of Proskauer Rose and Botein Hays & Sklar.  She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law.  Before attending law school, Gina was Assistant Editor for Social Policy Magazine and Editor for Basic Books, and received a Master’s in Creative Writing/Poetry from City College of N.Y.

You’d never guess from her bio that: She lives in a Victorian white elephant in Brooklyn, known locally as the Clock House due to her husband’s collection of neon clocks from the 1930s-1950s.”

What she’s reading now: “The Letters of Bruce Chatwin”

Must-read websites:,,

Favorite e-reader: “At Penguin, we like them all.”

Debra Birnbaum (Introduction to Magazine Publishing) is Editor-in-Chief of TV Guide Magazine. She is in charge of all print and digital executions for the magazine brand reaching 15 million readers weekly. Her publishing experience includes positions as Executive Editor, Cross-Platform Content Integration, Gemstar-TV Guide; Editor-in-Chief, Life & Style Weekly; Executive Editor, Inside TV; and Features Editor, New York Post. She has also worked for George, Redbook and Us Weekly. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

You’d never guess from her bio that: She’s a closet jigsaw puzzle fan.

What she’s reading now: “Freedom” by James Franzen, “The House at Riverton” by Kate Morton, and “Moonlight Mile” by Dennis Lehane

Must-read websites:,,,, and

Favorite e-reader: She’s equally in love with both her iPad and her Kindle — don’t ask her to choose between them. And she’s completely obsessed with Angry Birds. You can follow her on Twitter at TVGuideMagEIC.

Brenda Oliveri (Magazine Marketing and Branding) is Executive Director of Integrated Marketing at Bonnier.  Prior to this, she served as Executive Director of Creative Services at Vanity Fair.  Her previous positions include Associate Publisher of Marketing & Creative Services at Elle brand, Promotion Director and Creative Services Director with Mademoiselle, and Promotion Copywriter with Vogue.  She received her BA from Regis College.

You’d never guess from her bio that: She’s an avid observer of the contemporary art world and has an obsession with interior design.

What she’s reading now: Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers and “Churchill’s Empire” by Richard Toye

Must-read websites:,,,,,,

Favorite e-reader: “I remain a purist and love the idea of getting lost in the pages of a good old-fashioned book.”

Steve Rago (Capstone Thesis) is Vice President of Corporate Development at John Wiley & Sons, working with the STM and Higher Education businesses on acquisitions and strategic partnerships. He also oversees the Wiley Research Center and conducts customer and market research across the company. Before joining Wiley in 2008, Steve was SVP of strategy and development at Thomson Learning and held similar roles at Thomson Scientific & Healthcare and Thomson Financial. Steve was also a senior editor at The New York Times before moving to the business side where he held circulation, marketing and product development roles. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz.

You’d never guess from his bio that: Photography is a passion; Steve’s work was in a one-person show in New York and his photographs have also been displayed in shows in Westchester County.

What’s he reading now: “Moonlight Mile” by Dennis Lehane and “Cleopatra” by Stacy Schiff

Must-read websites:;;,,,

Favorite e-reader: iPad

Rebecca Sanhueza (Publishing and Internet Law) is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Time Inc., where she supervises a team of five lawyers to provide legal and business affairs services for Time Inc.’s print, digital, broadcast and licensing businesses in connection with its Style and Entertainment and Lifestyle divisions (comprising PEOPLE, INSTYLE, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, REAL SIMPLE, SOUTHERN LIVING, THIS OLD HOUSE, SOUTHERN LIVING, COOKING LIGHT and other brands). Previously she was Associate General Counsel for Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing and a litigation associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.  She is a graduate of Columbia Law School.

You’d never guess from her bio that: She refuses to do the crossword in anything but pen (even though she has yet to fully complete fully complete Thursday or Friday puzzles without assistance).

What she’s reading now: “Tinkers” by Paul Harding and “2010 Best American Short Stories”

Must-read websites:,,, and CNN/

Favorite e-reader: Kindle, though she still receives a print subscription of The New York Times.

Cara Schlanger (Magazine Consumer Marketing and Audience Development) is Vice President Global Marketing and Promotion, Reader’s Digest Association. She oversees the marketing strategies for Reader’s Digest magazines and direct marketing businesses internationally and was on the launch team for Every Day with Rachael Ray. Her extensive prior experience includes senior management positions at ACP Magazines, Sydney, Australia, Time Inc. and The Discovery Channel. Cara holds a BBA in Marketing from the College of William & Mary.

You’d never guess from her bio that: She loves yoga.

What she’s reading now: “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry

Must-read websites: “I have a Facebook addiction.”

Favorite e-reader: iPad

Sasha Smith (Social Media Marketing) has been with Rodale Inc. since 2007 where she began as Executive Director of Corporate Communications before moving to her current position of Executive Director of Creative Services and Digital Product Development at Rodale Inc.  She has also held positions as Vice President of Robinson Lerer & Montgomery and Communications Director for IceStone.  Her magazine experience includes work with Fortune Small Business Magazine and The New Yorker magazine.   She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.

What you’d never guess from her bio:  She holds an advanced degree in wine studies and teaches wine classes for fun.

What she’s reading now: “The Wave” by Susan Casey

Must-read websites:,,, marginal,, and

Favorite e-reader: Kindle

Katherine Tasheff (Introduction to Interactive Media) is Executive Director of Digital Media and Marketing for Hyperion and Voice Books where she is responsible for digital and marketing strategies and the creation of interactive products to integrate publishing and digital media. Her previous positions include Site Director at Meredith Interactive, Online Editor at Condé Nast Publications, and Editorial Producer at Nickelodeon Digital. She is a graduate of Rice University.

You’d never guess from her bio that: She loves photography and carries some sort of camera with her at all times.

What she’s reading now: “Autobiography of Mark Twain,” “Einstein’s Cosmos” by Michio Kaku,  “Thinking in Systems” by Donella Meadows, “The City & the City” by China Mieville, “Don Quixote” by Cervantes

Must-read websites:,,,,,,,,,,

Favorite e-reader: “I have a serious (but very happy and fulfilling) iPad problem.”

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