After months of contentiousness, Miramax and the Walt Disney Co. reportedly have reached an agreement that will see the TriBeCa movie studio's book unit be absorbed into Disney publishing arm Hyperion.
Sources had previously said that both backlist and immediate frontlist would move to Hyperion, but new reports indicate that the distant frontlist—books slated beyond September—will be handled by the house as well. Children's books will become part of Disney Publishing Worldwide.
The move comes as Miramax Books editor-in-chief Jonathan Burnham replaces Susan Weinberg as publisher of the HarperCollins imprint. Until several weeks ago, insiders thought Hyperion and Miramax cofounders Bob and Harvey Weinstein might work out a split for some of the books, which had become what some described as an orphan in the battle over tonier assets like film libraries. But it became clear that plan wouldn't be realized when Burnham took the Harper job, which signaled that the Weinsteins were unlikely to start a new publishing company soon. Hyperion and Disney are reportedly seeking ways to find positions for the roughly six to 10 employees still at Miramax Books.
The Burnham move was surprising, coming just two days after Weinberg was relieved of her duties. It gives the high-profile Burnham authority over an imprint larger and more established than the one he previously oversaw, though it also puts him in a more hierarchical situation; he will report to Harper Morrow publisher Michael Morrison, who in turn reports to Harper CEO Jane Friedman.
There remains no word on whether Burnham will be taking any of his Miramax Books authors with him. Hyperion could seek to buy out contracts of authors who don't fit into the list. Neither Hyperion nor Miramax would comment.