In a surprising announcement, Neil Ortenberg, executive v-p of the Avalon Publishing Group responsible for the five imprints that make up its New York group, has resigned after less than a year in the job. As PW went to press, Ortenberg was unavailable for comment.

Karen Auerbach, director of publicity at the Avalon Publishing Group, said Ortenberg resigned "on his own," and she said he plans to announce "an exciting new adventure." She declined to reveal details and said that Ortenberg would make an announcement about his new venture shortly. She did tell PW that Ortenberg's new effort "will not be a part of Avalon" and that it would be located in New York City.

Ortenberg has been a longtime executive at Avalon and at its publishing and distribution precursor, Publishers Group West. In 1980, he founded Thunder's Mouth Press, now one of Avalon's New York imprints.