Staff -- 7/31/00
Peterson Moves to S&S; Virden Moves Up at RH
Guideposts Completes Purchase Of Ideals Publications
Diggs Succeeds Woodruff At One World | Abrams Favorite To Buy ST&C
Nelson Weathers Difficult Fiscal 2000 | Revenues Rise, Earnings Dip at IDG Books
Caribbean Book Publishers Organize | Inner Traditions Acquires Bear & Company
Strong Gains for McGraw-Hill Cos.' Education Group | Futech Files For Chapter 11
May Bookstore Sales Soar | Sobel to Head Times Books
Peterson Moves to S&S; Virden Moves Up at RH
After a lengthy search to find a permanent president for its children's publishing division, following the move of Rick Richter from that post to president of the sales and distribution group (News, Dec. 6), Simon & Schuster has named Kristina Peterson president of the division, beginning August 14. Peterson, who will report to S&S president Jack Romanos, will become a member of S&S's executive committee.
|Peterson: Joins S&S|
In making the move to S&S, Peterson is leaving her position as president of the Random House Children's Media Group, a post she was appointed to in October 1998.
Although the RH children's group is larger than that of S&S, Peterson told PW she "couldn't resist the opportunity to work in a vibrant and exciting environment" that has been created by the existing S&S team. "I'm going to take a healthy business and see if we can grow it some more," she said.
One of those team members, Alan Smagler, who had been acting president of the children's group, has been named senior v-p of marketing and sales.
Peterson's appointment is the second high-profile personnel move made by S&S in two weeks. In the previous week, Bill Shinker was named publisher of the Free Press.
Changes at RH
Random House moved immediately to replace Peterson by appointing Craig Virden president and publisher of the recently reorganized Random House Children's Book Group. Virden had been publisher of the RH Children's Media Group, but RH has changed the name of that unit following the sale of its video properties to Sony.
As part of the restructuring, Beverly Horowitz was named v-p and publisher of a new editorial group that includes Bantam, Doubleday, Dell/Delacorte, Knopf and Crown Books for Young Readers. Kate Klimo was named v-p and publisher of a newly formed editorial group that consists of the Random House, Sesame Workshop, LucasBooks and Disney Books for Young Readers imprints. Horowitz and Klimo will both report to Virden. Simon Boughton, v-p and publishing director of the Knopf and Crown imprints, will continue in his position and will report to Horowitz.
--Jim Milliot and Diane Roback
Guideposts Completes Purchase Of Ideals PublicationsGuideposts has acquired Ideals Publications Inc. for an undisclosed price. In addition to publishing Ideals magazine, the company publishes gift books, children's books, cookbooks and greeting cards.
Under the deal, which was completed earlier this month, Ideals has become a division of Guideposts, and it will remain based in Nashville, Tenn. Marty Flanagan, v-p, finance and retail sales for Ideals, has been named director of the operation. Simon Waterlow, Ideals' president, will serve as a consultant to Guideposts for one year. Waterlow and Flanagan led a management buyout of Ideals from Egmont in 1992. The company has about 30 employees.
Ideals book imprints include the children's imprint Candy Cane Press and Ideals Press, which focuses on books about American history and heritage. The company publishes between 40 and 45 books annually, including 25 titles in its Candy Cane line. Launched in 1997, Candy Cane "has done very well, especially with holiday-related titles," Flanagan told PW.
Dave Teitler, chief financial officer for Guideposts, said Ideals "fit nicely" with Guideposts, especially in distribution, where Ideals' presence in mass market retail outlets complements Guideposts' strength in direct marketing. Ideals uses a commissioned rep force to sell its titles and outsources its warehousing functions.
Diggs Succeeds Woodruff At One World
Cheryl Woodruff, founding editor of Ballantine Book's multicultural imprint One World, has resigned from the company as part of Ballantine's ongoing restructuring of its editorial department. Woodruff, who had been v-p and associate publisher of One World, will be replaced by Anita Diggs, who has been named senior editor of the imprint. Diggs is expected to broaden the One World program, although a Ballantine spokesperson said the number of titles published annually under the imprint is likely to remain at about 10.
|Diggs: Will be senior editor|
Diggs most recently served as acquiring editor at Warner Books and will report to Maureen O'Neal, v-p and editorial director of Ballantine, when she joins the company August 1. In addition to overseeing One World, Diggs will also acquire fiction and nonfiction books for Ballantine's overall lists. A member of Black Women in Publishing, Diggs has also authored several nonfiction books, including Staying Married: A Guide for African American Couples, which was a Blackboard Bestseller.
Ballantine has been making changes in its editorial staff since Greg Tobin resigned as editor-in-chief earlier this year. Instead of replacing Tobin, Ballantine president and publisher Gina Centrello gave greater responsibility to both O'Neal and Peter Borland.
Abrams Favorite To Buy ST&CUnless a higher bid is received at a hearing set for today, July 31, Harry Abrams is in position to acquire the assets of U.S. Media Holdings, the parent company of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Smithmark Publishers and Golden Turtle Press, which filed for bankruptcy this spring (News, Apr. 24). Abrams has agreed to buy the assets for between $5.8 million and $6.2 million, with the final price subject to adjustments. Parties interested in placing a competing bid for the properties had until last Thursday, July 27, to submit an offer. At press time, sources said it was possible that additional bids would be submitted.
If Abrams seals the deal, it would give its parent company, the France-based Groupe Latingy, a larger share of the American illustrated book market. Latingy acquired Abrams in 1997.
Nelson Weathers Difficult Fiscal 2000A 3.4% sales increase to $174 million in its publishing operations was offset by a 5.9% decline in gift sales to $87.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000, Thomas Nelson reported in its 10-k filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Operating profit on the publishing side rose 7.4% to $20.2 million, while operating earnings in the gift unit plunged 76% to $414,000. Earlier this year, Nelson reported total revenues of $261.8 million and operating income of $20.7 million (News, May 29).
In his letter to stockholders in the company's 2000 annual report, Nelson chairman Sam Moore acknowledged that the last fiscal year was "a tough one" for the publisher. Results in the gift operation were hurt by a longer than expected restructuring, and while sales in the book unit rose, heavy returns of book tie-ins to the Prince of Egypt movie kept sales gains in check. International sales fell to $19 million in fiscal 2000 from $22.9 million in fiscal 1999, while sales of backlist titles slipped to $66 million from $70 million.
Moore noted that Bible sales were solid last year, accounting for 27% ($70.5 million) of total company sales, and two of Nelson's newer units, Tommy Nelson and J. Countryman Press, had strong gains in the year as well. Although Tommy Nelson showed improvement in fiscal 2000, Moore said the children's operation is positioned to reduce inventory, introduce new brands and create a strong Internet presence for children. Its major launch for the year is the multiproduct Little Dogs on the Prairie line.
Moore is also counting on the three acquisitions Nelson made in the last year to boost revenues. Those purchases included the candle maker Ceres for $6.2 million, Rutledge Hill Press for $4.5 million, and a 70% stake in New Life Treatment Centers for $15.4 million.
Revenues Rise, Earnings Dip at IDG BooksRevenues rose 33%, to $55.2 million, in the third quarter ended June 30, 2000, at IDG Books, although net income fell to $2.5 million from $2.6 million. While IDG Books' consumer book group posted strong gains in the quarter, revenues in the company's technology book unit fell 9% due to sluggish sales of the Microsoft Windows and Office titles.
During the quarter, IDG Books completed several alliance agreements designed to leverage its content. In addition to its digital conversion deal with iUniverse (Computer Books, July 3), it reached an agreement with Travelocity.com to integrate content from IDG's Frommer's books onto its site. Also in the quarter, more than 20 of IDG Books' titles were released as e-books in the Microsoft Reader format.
For the first nine months of the year, net income rose 1.9% to $10.5 million on a 40.3% increase in revenues to $167.4 million.
The University of Denver Publishing Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month with a dinner that honored six graduates who have moved on to positions within the industry. Pictured (l. to r.) are Andrew Le Count, features editor, B&N.com; Tari Warwick, v-p, production, Perseus Books; Reid Hester, editor, Mayfield Publishing; Publishing Institute director Elizabeth Geiser; Meg Ruley, literary agent, Jane Rotrosen Literary Agency; Patrick Allen, senior editor, Hill Street Press; and author Jeanne Martinent. More than 2,400 students have graduated from the Institute since it was launched in 1976.
Caribbean Book Publishers OrganizeWith funding from the Ford Foundation, a dozen book publishers of the greater Caribbean region gathered in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on June 27 to create the Caribbean Publishers Network, or CAPNET. Newly appointed president Ian Randle, of Ian Randle Publishers in Kingston, Jamaica, told PW he hopes this will "help to kick life into the moribund publishing industry in the Caribbean. We have been inspired by the relative success of APNET, the African Publishers Network, which since its formation in 1992 has succeeded in linking publishers in 27 countries across all the language areas of the African continent."
The Caribbean is dominated by Spanish-speaking populations within the three major islands of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Both English and French populations, though smaller, have good readership numbers, especially the English-speaking islands, according to Randle. The same three major islands already have book fairs, primarily in Spanish. And Randle reports there is a small but excellent French exposition in Guadeloupe. Guadalajara Book Fair codirector Margarita Sierra was on hand at the meeting as well.
"The council of CAPNET hopes to convince these organizers to pool their efforts into one major Caribbean Book Fair starting in 2002, hopefully on one of the English-speaking islands," said Randle. Certainly, few international visitors would grouse about such a location.
For start-up funding, Randle has a number of interested parties, including UNESCO, the Prince Claus Fund in the Netherlands and the British Department of International Development, in addition to the Ford Foundation.
For more details, contact the secretariat at email@example.com.
Inner Traditions Acquires Bear & CompanyRochester, Vt.-based Inner Traditions, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, last month acquired Bear & Company, a small publisher known for its New Age list and located in Santa Fe, N.Mex. ITI president and publisher Ehud C. Sperling told PW, "We're very happy about the acquisition, which is effective immediately. Bear & Company has really great titles, and we'll repackage them and continue to keep them in print." Noting that this acquisition was clearly meant to be, Sperling pointed out that Matthew Fox, author of ITI's A Spirituality Named Compassion and Passion for Creation, originally founded Bear.
Bear's most recent owners, Gerald C. Clow and Barbara Hand Clow, will continue to consult with the company, which will move to Vermont later this summer as an imprint of ITI. The company's warehouse operations are also being transferred to Vermont. Due to the impending sale, the Clows decided not to publish a fall 2000 list. The first ITI list with the Bear imprint will be launched with six titles in the spring. "We'll be taking the bear out of hibernation," Sperling quipped.
Over the course of its 20-year history, Bear has published a number of well-known books, including Jamie Sams and David Carson's Medicine Cards (630,000 copies sold) and Barbara Marciniak's Bringers of the Dawn (260,000 copies sold). With the addition of the Bear books, ITI will have a backlist of just under 1,000 titles. Sperling hopes to see ITI's backlist jump again later this year through additional acquisitions. He confirmed, "We're now looking at purchasing a couple of other publishing houses."
Strong Gains for McGraw-Hill Cos.' Education GroupDriven by strong growth in its elhi businesses, McGraw-Hill Cos.' education group revenues increased 21.7% to $451.6 million and operating profits jumped 30.5% to $53.8 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2000. Within its elhi operations, MHC reported solid gains in its school division, its supplementary publisher SRA/McGraw-Hill and Glenc , its secondary school publisher.
The higher education group had a modest gain in sales in the quarter, but its seasonal loss rose due to higher sales and marketing costs. In the professional book group, declines in its computer, scientific, technical and medical businesses resulted in an operating loss, while the international publishing division saw improved results in Latin America and Asia markets offset by declines in Canada and Europe.
For the first six months, revenues in the group increased 19.0% to $690.3 million and had an operating profit of $17.0 million compared to a loss of $2.6 million in the first half of 1999.
Futech Files For Chapter 11Vincent G tt's efforts to fashion Janex International into a multiple-media children's publishing company (News, June 26) became more unlikely following the late June bankruptcy filing by Futech Interactive. Futech, also controlled by G tt, was to be one of the main building blocks in G tt's new company. Futech's Chapter 11 petition was filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona.
According to the filing, Penguin Putnam is by far Futech's largest creditor, owed $1.8 million. Other publishers among the company's top 20 creditors are Golden Books, owed $342,637; Millbrook Press, owed $329,906; Soundprints, due $242,380; Bantam Doubleday Dell, owed $168,734; Time Warner, out $164,649 and Random House, owed $144,756. Publishers Group West is owed $217,590, while Chase Manhattan Bank is due $593,918.
Little information about the future of Janex was available last week, as calls to G tt and his attorney Michael Carmel were not returned. Calls to the Waukesha, Wis., offices continued to be met by a recording that the office was closed temporarily. According to the court docket, a creditors meetings is set for August 1 in Ph nix.
May Bookstore Sales SoarRetail bookstore sales posted their largest gain in recent memory in May with sales up 17.1% to $1.12 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales for the entire retail sector were up 9.8%. The strong May performance pushed sales for the first five months of 2000 up 7.6% to $5.72 billion. Sales for all of retail rose 10.6%.
Sobel to Head Times BooksHenry Holt moved quickly to name a new head for Times Books, which it is relaunching in cooperation with the New York Times (News, July 17). David Sobel, who joined Holt in 1994 and most recently served as executive editor, has been named editorial director of Times Books, effective August 1. Sobel will report to Holt president and publisher John Sterling, who called Sobel "ideally qualified for this position. He has deep editorial experience in the categories that Times Books will be focusing on."
Correction: The July 24 news story on the Scholastic integration of Grolier contained two errors. J Tessitore continues to be president of Grolier Publishing and is working on integration strategies with Hugh Roome, Scholastic's executive v-p. Barry Jones continues as Grolier president of International working on integration with Dave Walsh, Scholastic's senior v-p, International.
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