This week, Publishers Weekly is announcing two new additions to its editorial staff. In the reviews department, Harmony Difo has been hired as a nonfiction reviews editor. In the news department, Zoe Christen Jones has been hired in to fill a newly created writer-at-large position, reporting industry news and writing a new magazine column on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the book business. Both Difo and Jones will begin in their positions effective September 8.
Difo has previously worked at Penguin Books and Random House, as well as at Thornton Tomasetti and the Rubell Family Collection. She joins PW from Hearst Television in New York City, where she's been since 2015.
"Harmony brings a lot of great experience to the team," said PW executive editor Jonathan Segura, who oversees the reviews department. "Her background in publishing and media sets her up perfectly to excel here, and to move PW's review mission forward."
Difo replaces Mark Rotella, who left PW in July to become director of the Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America at Montclair State University. Rotella was with PW for nearly two decades. He was hired in 1998 as a reviews editor, and left PW for several years after the publication of his first book, Stolen Figs (FSG, 2004). He returned to the reviews department in 2006 as a senior editor, and among other projects edited PW's Cooking the Books newsletter, was a cohost for several years on the PW Radio podcast, and wrote and published a second book, Amore: The Story of Italian American Song (FSG, 2011).
"Mark was a huge and bright presence at PW," Segura said. "If he had a jersey, we'd retire its number. Everyone here wishes him all the best."
Jones is a New York City–based journalist covering breaking news, digital culture, and entertainment. She has been published in such publications as Digital Trends, Forbes, MEL Magazine, Vox, Vulture, among others. She will report to PW news editor John Maher.
"Diversity in publishing isn’t just important—it’s absolutely necessary to achieve the most equitable industry for all," Jones said. "While inclusion has been a popular term in the past several months, the only way forward is to make sure that diversity isn’t just talked about, but actively and often pursued. My hope for the column is that it provides a welcome light—to question, to explore, and to celebrate the diverse opportunities this industry has to offer."