The organizational structure of Random House continues to evolve with the announcement made earlier this month regarding the formation of three new publishing divisions: the Random House Children's Media Group, the Random House Audio Publishing Group and the Random House Diversified Publishing Group. The head of each group will report to Erik Engstrom, Random's president and chief operating officer.

The children's media group will consist of all the book publishing imprints, video publishing, multimedia activities, outside joint ventures and third-party distribution relationships of the previous Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers and the Random House Children's Publishing divisions. According to Engstrom, all existing children's publishing programs will "retain their individual editorial identities and direction," while also continuing to publish the same number and range of titles.

Kristina Peterson, executive v-p, Random House Children's Publishing, has been named president of the new children's group and will oversee its various operations. Craig Virden, president and publisher of BDD Books for Young Readers, has been named president and publisher of Random House Children's Books. Virden, who will report to Peterson, will be responsible for the group's book publishing activities. For the immediate future, the sales staff for the children's group will remain the same.

Jenny Frost, publisher of the BDD Audio Publishing Group, has been appointed head of the new Random audio group, while Michael Morrison, v-p and publisher of Random's audio publishing division, has been named senior v-p and publisher of the new combined unit. He will report to Frost. Engstrom gave the audio group a strong endorsement, observing that audio is "an integral core business of Random House Inc., which we are committed to building and expanding."

Frost has also been picked to head the diversified group, which will consist of Random House Value Publishing and Random House Large Print. Lynn Bond will continue to serve as president of the value division, reporting to Frost, and Frost will directly oversee the efforts of the large print unit.

Two casualties of the reorganization are Harold Clarke, who oversaw both Random's children's publishing units as well as the value publishing division, and Sandra Stiles, senior v-p and director of operations for the two groups. Both will be leaving the company.

Distribution Not RH Priority

Random House CEO Peter Olson created a bit of a stir at the recent New England Booksellers Association annual meeting when he remarked that one area in which Random House d s not expect to expand is the distribution business. Random House currently distributes for a number of publishers and had started a distribution unit under Gilbert Perlman to increase that business. Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum told PW that "going forward, it is unlikely that we will be adding distribution clients." He added, however, that Random has no plans to disband its distribution group and is committed to serving the publishers it already has under contract.