Little, Brown and Co. has confirmed that its remaining Boston-based editorial and production departments will move to New York City, where the rest of the AOL Time Warner Book Group's editorial, production, sales and marketing departments are located.
During the first half of the year, both the children's book division and Bulfinch Press will relocate, according to president and COO Maureen Egen, "to give more support to all of our books. What we're trying to do is to get the editorial department closer to advertising and sales. We've offered everybody the opportunity to come to New York."
Although this marks the end of Boston's editorial influence over Little, Brown, which was founded 165 years ago, most back-end functions will remain in Boston, including fulfillment, customer service, finance and copyediting. In addition, telephone sales will make the reverse move, from New York to Boston, to join the rest of the customer-service department. Egen stressed, "There's still a huge commitment to Boston. Hundreds of people are there, more than in New York."
David Ford, who was hired in October to succeed John Keller as v-p and publisher of children's books at Little, Brown, told PW, "The timing of the move is unrelated to John's upcoming retirement and to my joining the company. There is no doubt that we as a group and the authors on our list will benefit from our closer day-to-day contact with our fellow workers. I am excited at the opportunities it will offer us."
He declined to elaborate on future plans for the children's book division, beyond affirming that it will grow after the move. "It would be premature for me to go into specifics," said Ford, "but I can assure you that the number and scope of the books we publish will increase in time."
Bulfinch Press's future seems shakier in the wake of Egen's announcement that publisher Carol Leslie is leaving. No replacement has yet been named to head the art and photography house best known for its Ansel Adams titles. It is also unknown how many employees in either Bulfinch or children's books will accept AOL TWBG's relocation offer.