In a move that will significantly reduce Prima's West Coast presence, the Crown Publishing Group is closing down the Prima Lifestyles imprint and will move the Prima Forum imprint to New York.
Crown will stop publishing the Prima Lifestyle line by June 1. All of the imprint's spring 2003 frontlist will be released, but Crown is evaluating what titles it will publish for summer and fall. As Prima Lifestyles backlist titles are reprinted, they will be released under the Three Rivers imprint. As a result of the downsizing, 20 Prima Lifestyle positions are being eliminated including that of publishing director, which had been held by Alice Feinstein. Prima released 74 titles under its Lifestyles imprint in 2002.
The Prima Forum imprint, which publishes a small list of conservative, current event titles, will continue from Crown's offices. Nine titles were released under the imprint last year, and a limited number of titles will be published in 2003.
With the restructuring, all that remains of Prima's Roseville, Calif., office is the Prima Games imprint. No changes are planned for that line, which publishes about 140 titles per year and has 40 employees. Random House acquired Prima, which once had 140 employees, in spring 2001. It integrated its corporate and sales personnel into its own operations shortly after completing the deal and sold the computer book unit to 22nd Century Inc. in August 2001.
Jenny Frost, president and publisher of Crown, said the decision to focus on Prima's game line was made "as part of an ongoing strategic assessment of Crown's long-term publishing priorities in an increasingly challenging retail marketplace for books."