Bonnier Buys Weldon Owen
Swedish publishing giant Bonnier Publishing has acquired the San Francisco— based packager and educational publisher Weldon Owen. Financial terms were not disclosed. The executive team, including founder and CEO John Weldon, as well as 80 employees in the U.S. and at its Australia and New Zealand subsidiaries, will remain with the company. Weldon Owen reported revenues of $40 million in 2005.
S&G Lands Orman
Cindy Spiegel and Julie Grau have a name for their new Random House publishing division: Spiegel & Grau. "Naming a house after its (female) founders feels both old-fashioned and radical," said the two in a statement, adding that the name also "reflects our personal commitment to stand behind our books." Their first book will be Suze Orman's Women + Money, coming in March 2007. Gretchen Koss, formerly with Viking, has been named director of publicity, reporting to Alison Rich, who was named executive director of publicity for Doubleday and S&G.
Colbert Inks Book Deal
In the wake of his own successful Comedy Central show, Daily Show alumnus Stephen Colbert has been signed to write an as yet untitled comedy book by Warner Books for a reported seven figures. The book will be published in September 2007. Colbert, who was a contributor to The Daily Show's mega-bestseller America (the Book), also from Warner, will reportedly write the book himself.
Smagler Joining Scholastic
Alan Smagler, who was named publisher of Houghton Mifflin's children's group last July, is leaving that post to join Scholastic as v-p of trade sales. Smagler is replacing Gray Peterson, who will remain at Scholastic in a senior sales spot. At Scholastic, Smagler will be teamed with Andrea Pinkney, whom he succeeded at HM, as well as former S&S colleagues Suzanne Murphy and Tracy van Stratten.
Newcomb Joins Cambium Learning
Former Simon & Schuster chairman and CEO Jonathan Newcomb has returned to publishing as president and CEO of Cambium Learning. Newcomb, who headed S&S from 1994 to 2001, most recently was with two investment banking firms—Leeds Equity Partners and Coady Diemar Partners. Cambium, founded by former Houghton Mifflin chairman Nader Darehshori, publishes a range of instructional materials for the k—12 market, primarily for disadvantaged students. Darehshori remains Cambium chairman.
AAA Headed Back to NBN
The American Automobile Association is moving its distribution back to National Book Network after nearly eight years with Simon & Schuster. The switch is effective August 1. Bill Wood, director of publishing product development at AAA, said the association was moving back to its former distributor because AAA believes it will be able to work more closely with NBN to position its line in the retail market.
New 'Olivia' From S&S
Simon & Schuster's Atheneum Books for Young Readers will publish Ian Falconer's next Olivia book, Olivia's Christmas, in October 2007, with a 500,000-copy first printing. A book entitled Olivia Does Christmas was due out from Atheneum in 2005; that book was postponed and became Olivia Forms a Band, which will be released in June. The new Christmas title is a new deal.
The Christopher Winners
NFL star Ronde Barber, right, accepts a Christopher Award for his children's book Game Day from Christophers president Dennis Heaney at the 57th annual Christopher Awards ceremony in New York. Illustrator Barry Root (left) and co-author Robert Burleigh also accepted. The S&S book was one of five children's books and five books for adults to receive a Christopher Award this year, from among 815 titles submitted for consideration.