Staff -- 2/12/01
'PW,' 'Inside' Host Book Summit | Executive Changes at Holtzbrinck
Ingram Closes Warehouse | Texterity, GiantChair.com In New Alliance | MediaBay Drops Tapes
New Business Unit at Goldberg McDuffie | Publishers Briefly
'PW,' 'Inside' Host Book SummitTop executives from six publishing houses will join other media industry personalities on March 19 for the 2001 Book Publishing Industry Summit, sponsored by Inside and Publishers Weekly. The one-day event, called "Opportunity and Challenge: Getting a Grip on the Future of Publishing," will feature speeches, interviews, q&as, audience polls and networking opportunities.
The summit will be moderated by Nora Rawlinson, editor-in-chief of PW, and Kurt Andersen, co-founder of Powerful Media, Inside's parent company. Among the publishing industry speakers scheduled are Peter Olson, Random House chairman and CEO, who will give the keynote address; Larry Kirshbaum, Time Warner Trade Publishing chairman; Charlie Cumello, Crown Books chairman, president and CEO; Morgan Entrekin, Grove/Atlantic president and publisher; Jack McKeown, Perseus Books president and CEO; and David Rosenthal, Simon and Schuster v-p and publisher.
Other speakers include Tom Brokaw, author and anchor of the NBC Nightly News; author David Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius); and Richard Heller of Frankfurt Garbus Kurnit Klein & Selz, P.C.
The event will be held in New York City at the Millennium Hotel and Hudson Theater. Registration information can be found at www.inside.com/conferences/publishersweekly.html or by calling (888) 750-0716.
Executive Changes at HoltzbrinckDieter von Holtzbrinck, the 59-year-old son of the founder of the German publishing group, who has run the firm since 1978, will become chairman of the supervisory board of the Holtzbrinck Verlagsgruppe GmbH effective May 15. Stefan von Holtzbrinck, his 37-year-old brother, will succeed him as CEO and chairman of the executive board. Stefan was most recently managing director of Holtzbrinck's Nature Publishing Group. The Holtzbrinck Group's U.S. holdings include Henry Holt, St. Martin's Press and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
The change will allow Dieter to focus on strategic issues while Stefan runs the company on a day-to-day basis. Stefan said Holtzbrinck is "ideally positioned to carry out our ambitious plans. We continue to believe that a decentralized structure with highly autonomous operating units is the best strategy for our group."
The move will lead to other changes. John Sargent, CEO of Holtzbrinck U.S., will now oversee the U.S. trade and college book operations. He will also be responsible for the strategic development of the company's world English trade publishing operations and the medical publisher Hanley and Belfus. Sargent told PW his new role is to "make sure that whatever Holtzbrinck can do on a global basis gets done."
Other management changes include Richard Charkin, chief executive of Macmillan U.K., who is now responsible for the strategic development of all Holtzbrinck's world English college, academic and educational publishing. Rolf Griseback, formerly responsible for Bedford Freeman Worth College group and Scientific American, will return to Germany as head of corporate strategy for the executive board; Bedford Freeman will report to Sargent. Heinz Werner Nienstedt, CEO of the Handelsblatt group, will join the executive board. He will also be responsible for Scientific American operations worldwide.
Ingram Closes WarehouseIngram Book Co. is closing its Denver distribution center. Customers will be serviced from Ingram's "superwarehouses" in Nashville, Tenn., and Roseburg, Ore., as well as from its warehouses in Chino, Calif., and Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Michael F. Lovett, Ingram Book Group's president and CEO, said in a statement, "We have seen significant growth in our business, but our Denver facility has not experienced the same rate of growth."
In addition, the company recently expanded several DCs so that, it says, it can serve customers at the same level of service from fewer facilities.
Some 130 Denver DC employees will be affected; some may be reassigned elsewhere at Ingram, which has seven other distribution centers across the country. Ingram has had a warehouse in Denver for 10 years, since it purchased the assets of Gordon's Books, the wholesaler that had been the primary regional wholesaler until it ran into financial problems when it tried to expand outside the Rocky Mountain area. The Denver warehouse is Ingram's smallest.
Texterity, GiantChair.com In New AllianceE-publishing services provider Texterity has reached an agreement with GiantChair.com, a new e-book distributor, to convert its clients' titles from the PDF format into e-books using Texterity's technology.
Cimarron Buser, a spokesperson for Texterity (www.texterity.com), told PW that GiantChair.com will use Texterity's TextCafe, an automated text-conversion service. The service will supply GiantChair.com with format-neutral digital copies of files originally intended for use in print publishing. TextCafe can also generate e-books in all the current formats. GiantChair.com offers independent publishers e-book distribution through the publisher's own Web site or through a network of online retailers and affiliate sites.
Cory McCloud, CEO of New York City-based GiantChair.com, said that by partnering with Texterity, "we can achieve our goal of fully automating the entire process of book production, including conversion, e-commerce and fulfillment. This allows us to focus on promoting our publishers' books."
MediaBay Drops TapesRecent visitors to the MediaBay.com site were startled to see this message: "MediaBay.com is going completely digital! All CDs, cassettes and videos must go!"
MediaBay CEO Michael Herrick confirmed that the MediaBay site will, indeed, stop selling physical audiobooks and concentrate entirely on audio downloads. However, he was quick to add, "We're not getting out of audiobooks. The Audio Book Club is still one of our biggest core businesses."
Instead, the company's various Web sites will be differentiated, he said, so that each has "a clean, clear focus." MediaBay.com will focus on downloads, RadioSpirits.com will sell old-time radio programs and AudioBookClub.com will continue its audiobook club business.
MediaBay has also signed deals with Liquid Audio, Iomega and Creative Labs, establishing links to MediaBay.com on those companies' sites. "Our strategy is not to spend millions on marketing, but form relationships with other download providers," Herrick told PW. "That way we're able to extend our brand and our library into other sites where people are coming to download audio. The content comes from us, and we serve our MediaBay pages onto their sites, so it's a co-branded situation."
New Business Unit at Goldberg McDuffieGoldberg McDuffie Communications, the well-known publicity firm specializing in book publishing and authors, is launching Goldberg McDuffie Business, a new division that will focus on publicity campaigns for business titles.
Barbara Cave Hendricks, who has worked at GMC since 1996, has been named director of the new division, and Mark Fortier, publicity director of GMC, has been named its associate director.
Lynn Goldberg, CEO of GMC, said that while business titles have always been a part of the agency's list, "in the last four years, the demand for business-book campaigns has skyrocketed. We've reconfigured the company to give business books the specialized attention necessary to stand out in today's crowded marketplace."
Volume 247 Issue 7 02/12/2001