Aletheia Cuts B&N Stake
Aletheia Research and Management, which owned 15.1% of Barnes & Noble stock, reduced its stake to 12.7%. Aletheia now owns 7.67 million shares worth about $108 million; it had paid $149.8 million.
Crown to Pub WikiLeaks Tell-all
Crown acquired world English rights to a tell-all book on the controversial Web site by its former spokesman, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The book, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website, is scheduled for a February 15, 2011, release.
Skyhorse Buys Sports Publishing
Skyhorse Publishing bought the assets of Sports Publishing, which went bankrupt in 2008. The deal will add 700 books to its backlist. Next fall the company will also launch Sky Pony Press, a children's book imprint that plans to release 15–20 titles.
Following a brief but courageous battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, former PW publisher Ron Shank died on December 18 at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He was 60 years old.
Shank spent much of his career at Library Journal and School Library Journal. He was the ad sales director for those magazines for many years, eventually becoming associate publisher, and then publisher and group v-p. He became publisher of PW in 2007. When Media Source Inc. acquired LJ and SLJ last spring, Shank went with the company and also took over as publisher of the Horn Book. He lived in Brentwood, Tenn., but spent much time in New York.
A big booster of libraries, Shank introduced several initiatives recognizing librarians' work, including LJ's annual Movers & Shakers feature, which highlights the work of the unsung heroes in the library community and identifies the profession's future leaders. He spearheaded the SLJ Leadership Summit, the LJ Design Institutes and Directors' Summit, and the Virtual E-book Summit, and, following Hurricane Katrina, worked on restoring a New Orleans library. Fred Ciporen, former group v-p of PW, LJ, and SLJ, told LJ that Shank "played a huge role in the effort that recognized that libraries were not only a place for professional activity but that they constituted an industry and market, and that was transformative and greatly beneficial to libraries." Brian Kenney, the current LJ/SLJ editorial director, also remembered Shank for his commitment to libraries, noting, "He never lost sight of the fact that our publications were a part of something larger."
Shank is survived by his wife, Gwen, and his daughters, Madeleine and Vivian. The family asks that any donations be made to the Ron Shank Family Trust in care of Bank of America.