"I sometimes refer to this book as my midlife crisis," joked former NY Times Hollywood reporter Sharon Waxman at the party last week celebrating the publication of Loot, her globe-spanning report on the struggle between museums and national governments over just who has the right to keep and display historical artifacts like the Elgin Marbles or Turkey's Lydian Horde. Instead of buying a sports car, she explained, she went to eight different countries to research her subject, including two separate trips to Paris ("abandoning my children for the summer," she quipped). Once she had a hold of the story, she couldn't let it go: "When there's something I want to figure out," she said, "I'll go figure it out."
As we discovered later in the evening, Waxman has been laying the groundwork for a new career as a digital media entrepreneur even while she was honing her classical scholarship skills. Over the summer, she completed a $500K round of seed funding for The Wrap News, "a news and information network covering the entertainment and media industries" that will also draw upon social networking tools to build a community where readers and reporters can intereact in real time. The site is scheduled to launch in just two months; in the meantime, Waxman is still active at her own blog.