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Ferraro Named to Succeed Koster at Penguin Putnam
Jim Milliot -- 12/1/97
Penguin Putnam Inc. president Phyllis Grann continues to make refinements in the company's executive team. Last week, Penguin Putnam announced that Clare Ferraro has been named president of the Dutton and Plume imprints, succeeding Elaine Koster, who is resigning as president of Dutton, Plume and Signet, effective December 5. Ferraro moves to PPI from Random House, where she was senior VP and publisher of the Ballantine Publishing Group.Ferraro, who was at Ballantine for nearly 19 years, told PW she is "very excited to become president of a distinguished imprint." Ferraro said she is looking forward to working with Grann and to becoming part of the team that is building Penguin Putnam into a major force in trade publishing. Ferraro will report to Grann.
Ferraro said she feels "sadness about leaving a place that has been my home for 19 years. There are a lot of wonderful people here and great authors." Among the authors she has worked with are Lorenzo Carcaterra, William Diehl and Adele Puhn. Ferraro had also recently acquired hard/soft rights for John Irving's next book. Ferraro is the third major executive to leave Random House in the last month. In addition to Harry Evans, Jane Friedman left the company in October to become president of HarperCollins (PWNews, Nov. 3).

Ballantine moved immediately to replace Ferraro as Ballantine publisher, naming Judith M. Curr, senior VP and editor-in-chief to the spot. Ballantine Group president Linda Grey said the promotion of Curr, who joined the company in summer 1996 from Transworld, Australia, was "a well earned one."

The departure of Koster from Penguin comes after a 25-year association with the company, during which time she helped launch the career of Stephen King. There has been speculation throughout the industry about Koster's place at PPI following King's move to Scribner. Koster said she is leaving the company "for a variety of reasons. It is time to make a fresh start." Koster said that she intends to remain in publishing and will announce her plans next year.

In succeeding Koster, Ferraro is not taking over responsibility for the Signet/NAL mass market paperback line. Those duties will now fall to David Shanks, chief operating officer of PPI and president of the Putnam Berkley division. Since the acquisition of Putnam by Penguin, the Signet and Berkley editorial teams have remained separate, although they now share a combined sales force.
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