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UPDATE: Industry Mourns Thorward Loss

31 Oct, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Industry veteran and Movie Monitor publisher Rich Thorward died in his sleep Oct. 28 at his home in New Jersey, a family member reported. He was 52 years old. The cause of death has not yet been determined, according to his sister Karen Hayes.

Publication of the Movie Monitor buying guide is not expected to continue, Hayes said.Thorward was active in the home video industry for 20 years, first as an owner of video stores and later as a consultant and buying guide editor. He often appeared as a speaker on panels at industry conferences, including one last month at the East Coast Video Show advising retailers how to balance DVD and VHS inventory.

“The home video industry has lost one of its most stalwart analysts and commentators,” said Bo Andersen, president of the Video Software Dealers Association, in a statement. “Rich Thorward was committed to the industry, to VSDA and particularly to independent retailers. VSDA will miss the passion and insights he brought to our chapters, our committees, and numerous seminars and conferences. Personally, I will miss his energy and his wit. His passing leaves a huge void in our video family.”

“I knew Rich for nearly 20 years, and he was a great friend,” added Mark Fisher, VP of membership for the VSDA. “He was an analytic visionary for this industry. He helped shape the industry, and he helped in the success of the businesses of many of his friends and peers.”

Thorward was known and appreciated overseas as well, said Michael Senker, U.K.-based retailer and chairman of the region's Entertainment Retailers Software Association. “I was e-mailed today about the death of Rich. … It made me very sad,” he said. “He was a good man and an industry stalwart.”

Cards and flowers may be sent to: 60 Island View Way, Sea Bright, N.J. 07760.

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