Reacting to a variety of internal and external pressures, several major publishing entities have realigned and remade themselves in the last week. In the most dramatic news, Crown created a new layer at the executive level, while Robert Gottlieb and Ellen Levine combined forces in the hope of bringing literary and multimedia expertise under the same roof. In a smaller move, HarperCollins brought HarperInformation and Harper San Francisco under the same leadership.
At Crown Publishing, a desire to provide more direct business oversight for its three lines led to the promotion of three editorial directors to publisher. Steve Ross has been named senior v-p and publisher of Crown/Three Rivers/Prima Lifestyle; Lauren Shakely has been appointed to a similar post at Clarkson Potter; and Shaye Areheart has been named v-p and publisher of Harmony Books. All will report directly to group president and publisher Jenny Frost. Because of the change, the person under Frost who had been overseeing all three imprints, longtime associate publisher Andy Martin, was let go. No editorial directors will be named to replace the three newly promoted publishers.
The move is the next phase of a process that began in February, when Chip Gibson left Crown to head the Random House children's group, and Frost was put in charge of Crown and added the publisher's Information group and Fodor's to a portfolio that also includes Random Audio and Diversified Group. Her wide area of oversight created what insiders said was a need for a publisher at each imprint. "These promotions and position eliminations are the essence of an overall realignment of the senior publishing leadership," said RH spokesperson Stuart Applebaum.
Along with the moves, Linda Loewenthal, who had been executive director, editorial, at Harmony and Three Rivers, was relieved of her duties. Applebaum said her departure will not affect Harmony's publishing program, noting that Areheart's background "encompasses the serious fiction and nonfiction that Harmony is known for." Crown also announced that Philip Patrick, who had been associate publisher of Three Rivers, will become director of marketing for the Crown Group.
An almost opposite desire—to widen areas of oversight—helped motivate a stunning merger in the agent world of Robert Gottlieb's Trident Group and the Ellen Levine Agency. When Gottlieb broke away from William Morris two years ago to form Trident, his new company was touted as a shop that could offer clients paths into not just the literary world but such areas as movies and television. Now Gottlieb is adding to his bailiwick by linking up with Levine, whose dossier of big-name literary clients will give Gottlieb a wider range. Russell Banks and Garrison Keillor are among those on her list. For Levine, the advantages are evident—clients gain access to new contacts in Hollywood and television. As part of the deal, Diana Finch will become an agent and associate managing director of foreign rights for Trident.
Gottlieb said the combination reminds him of "when Lynn Nesbit and Mort Janklow got together," referring to a merger of perceived opposites that went on to become one of the most powerful agencies in the business. The agencies will move into the same office space over the next few months.
Finally, at HarperCollins, Stephen Hanselman, publisher and editorial director of Harper San Francisco, has been promoted to senior v-p and publisher of a new general books division that combines Harper San Francisco and HarperInformation. (HarperInformation comprises HarperBusiness, HarperResource and Access Travel Guides.)
By giving Hanselman oversight of HarperInformation, the company fills a role that has been open since Adrian Zackheim left HC for Penguin Putnam last summer. A spokesperson for HC said the shifts reflect a change in the management structure of the imprints and will have no effect on their publishing operations. Hanselman will be based in New York.