Holtzbrinck Publishers has reached an agreement in principle to acquire Renaissance Media, the Los Angeles—based publisher of books and the popular Audio Renaissance audiobook line. Renaissance Media titles are currently distributed by St. Martin's Press, a unit of Holtzbrinck. Bestselling backlist titles for Audio Renaissance include Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and The Prometheus Deception by Robert Ludlum. Among the solid backlist print titles are Dr. Susan Gregg's The Toltec Way. The deal, which will be finalized later this fall, gives Holtzbrinck's U.S. trade group its own audio division. In a statement, Holtzbrinck CEO John Sargent commented, "We feel that having our own audio line will allow us to more effectively plan marketing and promotion for our authors in their book and audio editions and will enable us to leverage our sales more effectively in the marketplace."
Jeff Baker of Renaissance said the sale was prompted by the lack of spoken-word rights now available, as many publishers have their own in-house audio divisions. The sale will also allow Audio Renaissance to keep publishing in the self-help and spirituality categories as well as add more popular fiction and nonfiction to the list.
Alison Lazarus, senior v-p of Holtzbrinck and president of the company's sales division, will oversee the Renaissance program, which will be led by current Renaissance publisher and president Bill Hartley.
Rosenman to SMP
In a personnel move at St. Martin's, Jane Rosenman has been named an executive editor. Rosenman, who will join St. Martin's in mid-October, had most recently been executive editor at Scribner. Rosenman had also been editorial director of Washington Square Press and a senior editor at Doubleday and Dutton. She will focus on literary fiction and serious nonfiction and will report to editor-in-chief George Witte.