Books on Tape, one of the country's largest publishers of unabridged audiobooks, has been acquired by Random House in a deal that closed October 17. The company will operate as an autonomous publishing imprint of Random's audio publishing division and will remain at its Santa Ana, Calif., location. Duvall Hecht, founder of Books on Tape, will serve as a consultant, while Ron Prowell, currently the audio publisher's chief financial and chief operating officer, will become president of the imprint. No other personnel changes are planned.

Books on Tape publishes about 300 new titles annually and has a backlist of nearly 5,000. While the company serves all markets, it is particularly strong in the school and library segments, areas in which Random is looking to expand.

The Books on Tape purchase is Random's third niche acquisition in the domestic market this year. Last month it acquired the book assets of Golden Books and in the first part of the year it bought Prima Communications.