Carolyn Reidy, who was named president of the newly formed Simon & Schuster adult trade group in January (News, Feb. 5), has put her stamp on the group by creating two publishing divisions out of what was Pocket Books. As a result of the realignment, Pocket Books will focus its efforts on mass market and trade paperback publishing, while Pocket's hardcover titles will be released under a new imprint tentatively called PB Press. Judith Curr, formerly president and publisher of Pocket Books, will direct PB Press as executive v-p and publisher, and Reidy has hired New American Library president and publisher Louise Burke as executive v-p and publisher of Pocket. Burke will start at S&S July 30.
Reidy said she made the changes "to strengthen both imprints. I'm a firm believer that the more people are able to focus on one thing, the better the results." Since hardcover and paperback publishing demand different skill sets, Reidy said, she felt it was in the best interests of S&S to create autonomous units in which Curr can concentrate on hardcover publishing and Burke on paperback publishing.
The formation of PB Press will make the former Pocket hardcover program stronger by upping its title output and expanding the range of books it publishes, Reidy maintained. Pocket has been publishing about 60 hardcovers annually, and Reidy estimated that the total will increase by about 25%. It will be up to Curr and her staff to determine what new areas PB Press will enter, Reidy said. As part of the restructuring, Washington Square Press will become part of PB Press and will continue to publish in both hardcover and trade paper.
Reidy said she was "very excited" about Burke joining S&S and praised her ability to increase profits while building the careers of authors. Although the mass market segment continues to undergo consolidation, Reidy said, she believes mass market paperbacks are a "viable format," and she's "counting on Louise to find new opportunities for growth." Pocket has been publishing about 200 mass market paperbacks annually, and it will be up to Burke to decide if the program should be expanded or reduced.
The management team at PB Press will include Karen Mender as deputy publisher; Tracy Behar, editorial director; and Emily Bestler, executive editorial director. Rosemary Ahern will lead Washington Square as editorial director. The Pocket team will include Maggie Crawford, editorial director; Kara Welsh, deputy publisher; Scott Shannon, associate publisher, Star Trek; and Liate Stehlik, publishing director.