Signs Armistead Maupin to First of Its Kind Web Audio Serial

By Salon Staff
Published August 29, 2000 10:22PM (EDT)

Audio Broadcast of Maupin's Latest Book 'The Night Listener' Will Proceed Hard Cover Release (Nasdaq: SALN) announced today that bestselling author Armistead Maupin's new novel, "The Night Listener," will be the first book ever broadcast in its entirety as a spoken-word serial on the Web prior to its publication in hardcover. Beginning Sept. 5, a new installment will be released each weeknight (Monday through Friday) at 8 p.m. in streaming-audio format at The novel will be read by Maupin, and the broadcast will run through Friday, Sept. 29. A downloadable digital audio book version of the "The Night Listener" will be available on upon release of the hard cover and audio editions by HarperCollins.

"I'm ecstatic that Armistead chose to launch 'The Night Listener' as an audio serial on Salon," said David Talbot, founder and editor in chief of "He's a master of the serial form -- I remember how he burst into public view in the '70s with his 'Tales of the City' serial in the San Francisco Chronicle. It makes perfect sense that he would use our San Francisco-based company to update the concept for the 21st century."

The narrator of "The Night Listener" is a late-night radio storyteller whose phone friendship with a young fan entangles him in a mystery that compels him to reexamine his own life. "'The Night Listener' is all about the power of voices, so the intimacy of Internet radio combined with the literary origins of Salon struck me as an ideal match for the material," said Maupin's business partner, Terry Anderson of Literary Bent LLC. "Armistead loves the thought of telling bedtime stories to the world, so Salon's millions of monthly users, and our long history with Salon, made it easily our first choice for allowing him to do just that." Salon published an essay by Maupin in its inaugural issue in November 1995.

Armistead Maupin has amassed a worldwide following with his six bestselling "Tales of the City" novels. The first two of the tales were adapted as a pair of widely acclaimed television miniseries; the third, "Further Tales of the City," is currently in production. The author's recording of his 1992 novel, "Maybe the Moon," was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 10 best audiobooks of the year. As a librettist he collaborated in 1999 with composer Jake Heggie on "Anna Madrigal Remembers" for mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and Chanticleer, the classical choral ensemble. His 21-city nationwide speaking tour begins on Oct. 2, 2000.

HarperCollins will publish "The Night Listener" in hardcover on Oct. 1, 2000. HarperAudio will simultaneously release the unabridged audio version, "The Night Listener: A Spoken Word Serial," on compact disc and cassette. The audio features an original score by Jon Herbst.

Hardcover: 0-06-019944-X, $26.00
Audio CD: 9 hours/9 CDs, 0-694-52421-2, $49.95
Audio cassette: 9 hours/7 cassettes, 0-694-52114-2, $34.95

About ( ), founded in 1995, is an Internet media company that produces a network of 11 award-winning, original content sites, maintains Salon Shop, an e-commerce gateway, and hosts two communities -- Table Talk and the Well. In May 2000, Salon acquired, the pioneering Web site offering quality spoken-word and audio literature recordings in MP3 and Real Audio formats. offers hundreds of recordings of short stories, novel excerpts, poems, essays, interviews and more -- all free to the consumer. currently has relationships with more than 450 advertisers, including industry leaders such as IBM, Lexus, Microsoft, AskJeeves, EDS, Virgin Megastore Online and Intel. In December 1999, announced a content and equity agreement with Rainbow Media Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corp. and NBC. Strategic distribution partners include Lycos, AltaVista, Reuters, and CNET, as well as wireless innovators AvantGo and Rocket eBooks. content is also syndicated to print publications through United Features Syndicate.

The site had 2.5 million unique visitors in June 2000. Additional background material and a complete tour schedule are available at:


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