Tony Lovett Steps Down as AVN Publisher and Editor-in-Chief to Pursue Creative Ventures

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—In a joint statement issued today by AVN Founder Paul Fishbein and AVN Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Tony Lovett, it was announced that effective immediately, Lovett will step down from the helm of AVN magazine in order to pursue his own business ventures, including creative consulting services for adult-oriented businesses. Not surprisingly, Lovett’s first client will be AVN Media Network. Though both parties are remaining tight-lipped for now, company officials have confirmed that AVN will collaborate with Lovett on a major media project to be announced later this year and launched in spring 2011.

Fishbein and Lovett, who both began their industry careers in 1983, were upbeat about this new partnership as well as future projects, citing their casual yet productive working relationship—as well as almost 30 years in the business together—as among the reasons AVN and Lovett have made a good fit.

“There’s really no one else in the industry like Tony,” said Paul Fishbein. “He’s worked in almost every facet of the business and has always been ahead of the curve, whether spotting new trends or creating them—which is why AVN is eager to work with him in creating a unique new media venture which we anticipate will have a huge impact on the industry.”

Lovett came to AVN in 2005 after more than 20 years straddling mainstream and adult careers and in the process wearing as many hats—writer, producer, director, editor, composer, copywriter, creative director, and best-selling author among them. His feature articles appeared in Rolling Stone and Playboy, among others, and he co-authored the cult classic L.A. Bizarro, which went to top the L.A. Times non-fiction bestseller list. The new edition of the book, released in fall 2009, also lingered in the L.A. Times’ Top Ten, and garnered the attention of the producers of Showtime’s Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!, who are currently working with the authors to develop a reality-based show.

Aside from a rasher of websites he is developing, Lovett has also begun work on a new book about—what else?—life in the adult milieu. “Look, I got into this industry by accident,” Lovett said, “And I think ending up as the publisher of AVN makes for an ironic final chapter to a tale that began with a pitch to HBO to make a documentary about the porn biz back in 1983. Now it’s time to start writing a new book, both literally and metaphorically speaking.”

Expressing a desire to return to his creative roots in writing and the visual arts, Lovett said the new move will give him a chance to flex those muscles again while still allowing him to work with AVN. “I’ve become accustomed to the hamster-wheel existence of a full-time gig, so it’s not like I will be lounging around eating peeled grapes. I’m a workaholic, so my new business is just a matter of trading one hamster wheel for a newer, shinier one. As long as someone changes the cedar shavings at the bottom of my cage and gives me fresh water whenever I squeal, I’ll be just fine,” Lovett remarked. “Mostly I look forward to changing gears and focusing on this new venture with AVN because it’s been a pet project of mine for quite a few years now—and they’re making it a reality.”

Fishbein concurs. “We need to unleash Tony’s inner creativity again,” he said. “I’m excited about this new deal, which we will announce prior to the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in January.”

AVN Media Network, with offices in Chatsworth, California, began in 1983 when Paul Fishbein published Adult Video News, the first trade magazine for the adult industry, In the ensuing years, the company has grown into a media powerhouse, producing trade shows, multiple publications, and perhaps most famously, the AVN Awards, now seen by millions on Showtime.

Lovett can be reached at (818) 570-1313 or at [email protected].