Perseus Books Group is phasing out its Vanguard Press imprint and is making some management changes at its Running Press imprint to focus more on areas of strength.

Perseus launched Vanguard in 2007 offering no or low advances in exchange for a higher royalty and a commitment to more marketing dollars. Although the imprint has had 17 New York Times bestsellers, Perseus president David Steinberger said that given the investment needs in other area of the company such as Constellation and Argo Navis it doesn’t have the resources to build a Vanguard backlist that would sustain the imprint in the longterm. As a result Vanguard publisher Roger Cooper will step down from that role after helping to publish nine Vanguard titles this fall. Cooper will than serve as a consultant through 2012 and the remaining Vanguard titles will be moved other Persues imprints. Since its launch, Vanguard has published a total of 133 titles.

At Running Press, Jennifer Kasius has been named editorial director of Running Press (adult) list, reporting directly to publisher Chris Navratil. Current editorial director Greg Jones will be leaving the company. Kasius has acquired or edited some of Running’s most successful titles including Skinny Bitch and Fabulicious and Fabulicious: Fast & Fit. Under her direction, the adult list will foucs more on lifestyle, cooking and humor books, Steinberger said.

To support Kasius, Kristen Wiewora has been prmoted from editor to senior editor and Jordana Tusman from associate editor to editor. Perseus has also added a new editorial assistant position.

In the art department, Frances Soo Ping Chow has been named design director for all of Running Press; current director Bill Jones will be transitioning to a part-time role as a senior designer on special projects. in his memo, Steinberger cited Chow as playing “a key role in shaping the visual direction of the most successful Children’s books at Running Press such as the bestselling line of Peanuts titles and the hugely successful Doodles program as well as New York Times bestselling titles such as Cathy’s Book and Kathie Lee Gifford’s Party Animals.“

Running Press’ Minis division will continue under associate editorial director, Jennifer Leczkowski who will report to Navratil. At Running Press Kids the focus will be the fast growing categories of activity books, picture books, licensed programs such as Peanuts and John Deere, and YA/Middle grade fiction. Navratil will directly oversee the team, led by RP Kid’s editors Lisa Cheng and Marlo Scrimizzi, Steinberger said.