Barely a month after it acquired Running Press, Perseus Book Group continues to reshape its operations with the announcement that it will fold D.C.—based Counterpoint Press into Basic Books. As part of the move, Counterpoint founder and publisher Jack Shoemaker will leave Perseus, and Basic publisher John Donatich takes over the direction of Counterpoint. Donatich said all existing Counterpoint contracts will be honored and that the overall number of books on the Counterpoint/Basic list will not be diminished, though details about how the two might fit together remain unclear.

Basic's staff will assume responsibility for Counterpoint titles, and Basic marketing director John Hughes takes over as associate publisher of Counterpoint. About six Washington, D.C., Counterpoint employees will leave the company, but Basic will hire another publicist and has also hired John Sherer as marketing manager to handle the added Counterpoint load. New York—based Counterpoint senior editor Dawn Seferian will stay on and be promoted to executive editor.

Counterpoint, which publishes about 60 titles per year, was created by former North Point founder Shoemaker in 1995. Funded by Frank Pearl before he formed Perseus, Counterpint was a linchpin of what would later become Perseus. While Shoemaker said he thought cost-savings and the elimination of redundant positions were behind the decision to integrate Counterpoint, he did not believe it should be read as a repudiation of Perseus's founding ideals.

"What the Perseus Book Group has become is a good deal different from what Frank and I might have envisioned eight years ago," he said. "Counterpoint is a very small company in a company that has grown to be very large. It might be far too idealistic to expect a model to work well for the larger and mid-size companies as well as for the tiny, and we are the tiny."