Longstreet Press in Atlanta has changed ownership. Founded by Chuck Perry in 1988 and acquired by Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers Inc. four years later, the trade publishing house best known for The Millionaire Next Door by Drs. Thomas Stanley and William Danko and comedian Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be a Redneck If..., has been sold to a small group of investors that is headed by Scott Bard and includes Barbara Babbit Kaufman.
Kaufman owns Chapter 11 Bookstores, a 13-site chain in the metropolitan Atlanta area, while Bard was Longstreet's sales and marketing manager. Upon the sale's completion Bard became president and CEO. The 33-year-old son of Ray Bard, founding head of business and self-help-oriented Bard Press in Texas, he is now a second-generation publisher in his family.
Bard, who joined Longstreet in 1997, said, "Though I was excited to work at one of the South's top independent publishers when I joined Longstreet, running--and owning--my own press has been a longtime goal since I began my publishing career with my father in Austin. So when the opportunity to purchase Longstreet arose, I knew I had to make it happen."
Although neither Cox or Longstreet divulged the purchase price, Bard is the company's majority (69%) owner and Kaufman the largest minority (30%) owner. "Having grown an independent Atlanta bookstore," Kaufman said, "I understand the challenges that face independent publishers. But because I've worked with Scott through the years, I had complete confidence that his leadership skills and marketing savvy would help propel Longstreet Press to a new level of success."
Perry, a journalist at Cox's flagship Atlanta Journal-Constitution before becoming editor at Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta and later launching Longstreet, has returned to Cox, as has former general manager Steve Gracie. Nonetheless, Bard told PW, he plans no "significant" staff or list changes, and added that he was honored to continue what Perry had started.