With this week’s announcement of a new round of layoffs at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Books for Young Readers division lost several longtime employees in both the Boston and New York City offices. Among them were senior executive editor Jeannette Larson, who had been with Harcourt and then HMH, following the merger, for close to 30 years, and Donna McCarthy, executive director of children’s book production, who had worked at the company for 37 years. Others among those let go had been with the company for more than a decade, like marketing and publicity v-p Linda Magram.
The following is a list of the children’s editors, creative staff, and marketing and publicity staff who lost their jobs as part of a corporate overhaul to cut 8–10% of the entire HMH workforce: Elizabeth Bennett, executive editor, manager of the franchise publishing program; Amy Carlisle, managing editor; Carol Chu, art director of franchising and paperbacks; Christine Kettner, creative director; Jeannette Larson, senior executive editor; Donna McCarthy, executive director of children’s book production; Linda Magram, v-p, marketing and publicity; Margie Markarian, editor, children’s paperbacks; Julia Richardson, editorial director, paperbacks; Sheila Smallwood, v-p, creative director, who managed the children’s design departments in Boston and New York City; and Julie Tibbott, senior editor.
With the layoffs, HMH has essentially dismantled its paperback program for the children's division. In its place, according to a company spokesperson, HMH has created a structure for editors to oversee the entire publication process of their books, from hardcover acquisition through to paperback publication.
“At HMH BFYR we're positioning ourselves to build on our tremendous legacy and successes and invest in new opportunities," Cat Onder, senior v-p and publisher of HMH Books for Young Readers, said in a statement. "Our moving forward strategy is to empower editors to oversee all editions of their books for a more focused and streamlined publishing process.”
The layoffs also affected editors and marketing, licensing, and publicity staff in the adult trade, culinary, and reference divisions. Cuts were anticipated this week in the educational publishing group. An initial round of layoffs began in March.