By Motoko Rich writing in The New York Times overnight:
Daniel Menaker is to be the host of “Titlepage,” an online show.
The show, to be called “Titlepage,” will feature a round-table discussion between Mr. Menaker, 66, a former fiction editor at The New Yorker, and a group of four authors. The first episode will be streamed online at titlepage.tv on March 3. The idea is to take advantage of the fact that it’s much easier to post video online than to get a show on television.
“Titlepage” will combine elements of “Apostrophes,” a popular French literary program; “The Charlie Rose Show” on public television; and “Dinner for Five,” in which a group of actors discussed their craft, on the Independent Film Channel.
The show is the brainchild of Odile Isralson and Lina Matta, documentary filmmakers. “It’s not really a brilliant idea in the sense that I grew up with it,” Ms. Isralson, 46, said. “I’m originally from Belgium and I grew up watching ‘Apostrophes.’ I moved to New York in 1983 and always wondered why it didn’t exist.”
Ms. Isralson and Ms. Matta, who is now head of programming for an English-language television channel in Dubai, approached Mr. Menaker last summer with the offer to be the host and to act as editorial producer.
Mr. Menaker said the idea appealed to him immediately because he had always been frustrated that he didn’t have enough opportunities, either as a publisher or an author, to speak directly to readers.
“We’re hoping to let people listen in on the kind of conversation they might like to have themselves if there were a group of three or four people in a room,” said Mr. Menaker, who is married to Katherine Bouton, deputy editor of The New York Times Magazine, and has written a book of humor with Charles McGrath, a writer at large at The Times.
The first episode will feature Richard Price, who wrote “Clockers” and the coming “Lush Life”; Susan Choi, author of “A Person of Interest”; and Charles Bock, whose debut novel, “Beautiful Children,” went on sale last week.
The second, which is to be posted online two weeks after the premiere episode, is to feature all first-time authors: Sloane Crosley and Julie Klam, memoirists, and Ceridwen Dovey and Keith Gessen, novelists.
Ms. Isralson said that initially the program would be financed by private backers, but that it was seeking corporate sponsorship, though probably not, Mr. Menaker said, from publishers, so that the content could be kept independent.