Avalon Publishing Group, a division of Publishers Group Inc., has announced the formation of Avalon Travel Publishing, an imprint that will be composed of Moon Travel Handbooks and Foghorn Outdoors. Susan Reich, COO of Avalon Publishing, told PW, "We expect the combined entities to have sales of over $6 million in 2000." In May, Avalon increased its ownership stake in Moon Travel to 100%, and in early June, Avalon signed a letter of intent to acquire control of Foghorn, having previously held a minority position. The deal is expected to close at the end of July.

"By September 1," said Reich, "the two companies will start to be run as one." The new imprint will move into offices in Emeryville, Calif., in the same building, coincidentally, occupied by Avalon's sister company, Publishers Group West, in the 1970s.

Moon Travel, currently based in Chico, Calif., will move right away; publisher Bill Newlin will become publisher of Avalon Travel Publishing. Pauli Galin, also of Moon, will become editorial director.

Foghorn publisher David Morgan will become operations director of the new entity. Foghorn, currently based in Santa Rosa, Calif., is expected to move to Emeryville early in the fall.

Amanda Bleakley, previously marketing manager for travel books at St. Martin's, has been appointed marketing director of Avalon Travel. The staff for the combined companies is expected to reach 21. The company is currently hiring for 10 openings in editorial, marketing, sales and Web marketing and content (the two companies' Web sites will be combined in early autumn). Seven employees will be staying on in the Moon production offices in Chico. Plans for editorial expansion include broadening the Foghorn series on hiking and fishing to cover other states besides California.