As sales of mass market paperbacks continue to decline, the Penguin Publishing Group has combined its two divisions that house the format--Berkley and New American Library--into a single group called the Berkley Publishing Group. Among other things, the merger will result in the elimination of a currently unspecified number of positions.

Leslie Gelbman, who had headed up Berkley, has been named president of the new unit. As part of the reorganization, Berkley will expand the number of hardcover and trade paperbacks it publishes, and unite separate editorial, managing editorial, production and art departments under the Berkley banner.

The new Berkley Publishing Group will have “an amplified focus on major commercial hardcover and trade paperback originals,” Gelbman said in a memo to the Penguin Publishing Group staff. The new unit will be focusing on what she called “multi-format, full-service publishing.”

Beginning with the fall 2016 list, all nonfiction hardcover and trade titles will be published under the NAL imprint. All hardcover and trade fiction will be published under the ongoing Berkley Books imprint. Although the status of Berkley's existing mass market imprints--among others, Jove, Ace and Signet--was not touched on in the memo, a spokesperson told PW that mass market paperbacks “will continue to be an important part of the Berkley Publishing Group mix along with hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and e-books.”

With these changes, Kara Walsh, publisher of NAL, has been promoted to senior v-p and publisher of the Berkley Publishing Group, while Claire Zion has been promoted to v-p and editor-in-chief of Berkley Publishing Group. Zion, who will report directly to Walsh, had been NAL’s editorial director, and will now lead the newly combined editorial team.

Two other editorial appointments include that of Tom Colgan, who has been promoted to v-p and editorial director of Berkley Publishing Group. Colgan has been charged with overseeing the mystery program and supervising the science fiction/fantasy editors who acquire for Ace and Roc. Cindy Hwang has been named a v-p and editorial director at Berkley, overseeing the romance program.

In the group's dedicated art department, Anthony Ramondo, previously v-p, senior art director, NAL, is named v-p, senior art director, and Judy Murello has been promoted to v-p, art director.

Rich Hasselberger, v-p, executive creative director, Penguin Publishing Group, will be leaving the company as a part of the restructuring.