Scholastic implemented a major reorganization of its home continuity business last week, a move that included reducing the division's work force by 20% as well as appointing a new management team.
Thirty-one positions have been eliminated in Scholastic's Danbury, Conn., office, which houses the company's continuity division and had a staff of 150. The downsizing does not affect the division's more than 100 telemarketers, most of whom work part time. Some Danbury employees who work in manufacturing and planning will be given the chance to relocate to Scholastic's New York headquarters, where those functions will be integrated, a spokesperson said.
The continuity business, known as Scholastic at Home, was one of two troubled divisions that company chairman Dick Robinson vowed to turn around in a conference call with analysts in March. Due in part to restrictions imposed by the Do Not Call law, the unit has struggled; while sales were only off 2% for the nine months ended February 29, operating profit plunged 87%, to $1.9 million.
To help improve the division's financial performance, Judy Newman was named to succeed George Saul as head of home continuities this winter, and now she has been given the new title of president for book clubs and continuities. Barbara Marcus remains head of book fairs and trade.
Newman's new management team includes Steve Tait and Heather Burgett. Tait, formerly senior v-p of Scholastic's national service organization, has been appointed senior v-p, direct marketing services, for Scholastic at Home. Burgett has been named to the newly created position of senior v-p of marketing. She joined Scholastic in March from Reader's Digest. In addition, Eric Fullilove has been named v-p of finance for the group, reporting to both Newman and Scholastic chief financial officer Mary Winston. He had been v-p of internal audits.