With Penguin Random House now holding a majority stake in Sourcebooks, the companies have teamed up in a PRH-funded acquisition of the assets of Callisto Media. Callisto’s assets will now be managed by Sourcebooks. The purchase comes after PRH, which acquired a 45% stake in Sourcebooks in 2019, upped its ownership stake to a majority position. The announcement said there are no changes in Sourcebooks' leadership, management or publishing autonomy following the increase in PRH’s ownership position.

Callisto, which was founded in 2011 and was once one of PW’s fast-growing independent presses, enjoyed tremendous growth up and into the pandemic, and at one-time had as many as 400 employees in offices in New York and Emeryville, Calif. In 2020, Callisto enjoyed a sales boom in children’s nonfiction books published by its Rockridge Press imprint. Its My First Learn-to-Write Workbook racked up sales of 431,000 copies in the first half of 2020, and has now sold about 1.5 million copies.

Speaking to PW in 2020 about the success of that title and its children's line, Callisto executives cited the company's data driven approach to publishing as the driving factor. But by the summer of 2021, Callisto began laying off some employees and, early that next summer, delaying and cancelling new projects. By July 2022, Callisto had laid off 35% of its workforce in a bid to downsize and reduce its spending by $20 million. A second round of layoffs came in October 2022, when it eliminated another 200 jobs.

Benjamin Wayne, cofounder and CEO of Callisto, told employees at the time that the additional cuts were necessary because he was unable to raise additional funds, with venture capital firms becoming more cautious about making new investments following a slowdown in the economy. Wayne also cited questions from VC firms about the prospects of technology companies as the economy cooled. (Callisto viewed itself as a “data and technology company first.”)

“We are excited to continue to build the future of the Callisto publishing program with our partners at Penguin Random House," said Sourcebooks founder and CEO Dominique Raccah, in a statement. “This acquisition brings together two of the most data-driven publishers in the industry to create a consumer-led organization."