Alan Smagler, senior v-p and associate publisher at Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, will step down from that position October 31. According to a memo from Rick Richter, president of S&S Children's Publishing, Smagler "is taking his career in a new direction that will include teaching and consulting."

Smagler joined the S&S children's group in 1996 as v-p for sales and marketing. His tenure at S&S included a stint as acting president of the division in late 1999 to early 2000 when Richter moved from head of the unit to oversee the sales group. Richter returned as president of the children's group earlier this year.

With Smagler's departure, Richter is making some adjustment in the children's division's executive team. Suzanne Murphy, v-p, marketing, creative services and publicity, will assume some of Smagler's marketing duties and will now report directly to Richter. Richter is also looking to add someone to a newly created senior post, to serve as the liaison between the children's division and the S&S sales and distribution division and to manage the group's subsidiary rights department, a role Smagler had recently taken on.