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June 27, 2007

Memorial Set for Critic Andy Jones


Service and Reception this Saturday for Veteran Journalist and Online News Pioneer


Anderson Jones

Long Beach, CA — The family of Anderson Jones, a veteran entertainment journalist, film critic and television commentator who passed away on Thursday, June 21, has announced a memorial service in his honor.

The ceremony will be held this Saturday, June 30, at 1:00 p.m., at Good News Church of God-Christ, located at 1833 Harbor Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90810. The phone number is (562) 437-9237.

Jones—who worked for numerous print, television and online outlets, and was a regular contributor to the Television Academy’s emmy® magazine—experienced a heart attack while attending a screening of the film A Mighty Heart at the Arclight in Hollywood. Emergency medical personnel were summoned, but could not revive him. He was 38 years old.

Solid Newsman Beyond the Bright Personality

An ebullient, hyper-gregarious man who laughed loudly and often, Jones, who favored bright colors (his favorite: orange) in his wardrobe and, on occasion, in his hair, was an unforgettable presence on the Los Angeles entertainment media scene for more than a decade.

Behind his outsize personality and eye-catching wardrobe, Jones was a talented writer with substantial journalistic credentials, and he drew upon a solid news background in his coverage of entertainment for such publications as USA Today, TV Guide, Interview, The Advocate, Genre, Out, Lavender and many others, in addition to his work for emmy.

His quick wit and mischievous persona, combined with an encyclopedic knowledge of movies, television and popular culture, served Jones well during his many television appearances. Among them, commentary on E!, CNN and CNN Headline News, and regular spots on the FX series The New Movie Show with Chris Gore and John Ridley’s Movie Club, which aired on AMC.

Jones began his career as a feature writer and critic at the Detroit Free Press, followed by the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered entertainment and fashion. He also worked as associate producer and writer for Inquirer News Tonight, an hour-long news broadcast in partnership with the Philadelphia Inquirer, in addition to stints with WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, WCBS News and CNN's Washington, D.C., bureau.

Online Journalism Pioneer to
On-Screen Commentator

In the mid-1990s he co-founded Turner Network Television’s online movie magazine, roughcut.com, and served as editor-in-chief for four years.

He joined E! Online, the internet arm of E! Entertainment Television, prior to the site’s relaunch in 1999. There he wrote a regular column, “Movie Scoop,” an in-depth look at the film scene, and became a fixture on the junket circuit.

Through his connection to E!, he began appearing on television, and provided expert commentary on the network’s televised coverage of the Primetime Emmys, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as various E! specials and episode’s of the cable network’s documentary series True Hollywood Story.

Following his departure from E! three years ago, he continued to work as a freelance writer and broadcast commentator.

The son of a Marine Corps officer, Jones grew up in various cities throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Okinawa, Japan. He earned a degree in journalism at Ohio University, where he won awards for his writing and founded a popular campus magazine.

In addition to his journalism, he was author of the book Men Together. In a 2001 interview with Herb Kane, Jones spoke at length about his background and his philosophy as a critic.

Jones Helped Online News Outlets Gain
Legitimacy Before the 24/7 Cycle

Among his professional achievements, Jones was especially proud of his pioneering contribution to raising awareness of, and gaining legitimacy for, online outlets among the public relations representatives for major film studios and other media organizations.

Long before the 24/7 news cycle and the emergence of the blogosphere, Jones was fighting for recognition of online journalism. His tireless, often stubborn, advocacy helped pave the way for many websites thriving today.

Several online tributes to Jones have been posted since his death. Two that capture him especially well are an A.V. Club entry by his former John Ridley’s Movie Club colleague Nathan Rabin, and a CHUD.com column by Mark Wheaton.

In addition to his mother and brother, Jones is survived by his father, Anderson Jones, stepmother Rita and younger sister Angela.

A reception will follow this Saturday’s memorial, and the Jones family has stated that all are welcome to attend.

Cards and flowers may be sent to Jones’ mother, Anna, and younger brother, Arnold, who was with him at the time of his death:

Mrs. Anna Jones and Arnold L. Jones
1471 E. Fairfield Ct.
Ontario, CA 91761

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