Six months after Cleis Press was acquired by Start Publishing, Brenda Knight, publisher of Cleis and founder/publisher of Viva Editions, has left the company. In a note announcing her departure, Knight cited “irreconcilable differences of vision with the new ownership.” In his statement, Start president Jarred Weisfeld said: “We are extremely disappointed that Ms. Knight has chosen to resign by letter without notice or warning.”
Start’s purchase of Cleis last November followed several other acquisitions by Start as part of its plan to build a large e-book publishing business. At the time of the Cleis purchase, Weisfeld said he still planned to do print editions of Cleis titles, while also ramping up the publisher's digital output.
In his statement last night, Weisfeld said he still anticipated this year to be "our strongest year to date on both the print and digital sides.” He added that Cleis Press "will continue to operate as before, and plans to release a great deal of exciting material in 2015 and beyond.”
Along with Knight, two other members of the Cleis Press staff also resigned, effective immediately. Knight, who has a noncompete agreement with Start, said she has opened an “author-centered marketing consultancy.” Among her first clients are members of the band Blink 182.
Knight can be contacted at Brenda.Knight@gmail.com.