Hal Leonard Corp., which acquired a majority stake in Applause Books in 2000, has bought out the remaining shares from Applause founder Glenn Young. With the transaction, Young has stepped away from day-to-day involvement with Applause, although he will continue to work on editorial projects with such figures as Stuart Ostrow, Mel Gussow and John Simon. In addition, Young will continue to publish titles under his separately owned imprint, Glenn Young Books, which will be marketed by Applause and distributed by Hal Leonard. Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard, said he expects Young and Applause "to have a long-term relationship."
Young's bookstore, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, near Lincoln Center in New York, is not part of the deal.
Michael Messina, managing director of Applause, will now be responsible for the imprint's day-to-day operations, and he will also become more involved in book acquisitions. Kay Radtke, executive v-p and associate publisher, will also become more active in signing new projects while continuing to oversee Applause's publicity program. Radtke said Applause will do about 20 titles per year in its core segments of theater and cinema.
Morton said that Leonard, best known for its music print publishing operations, now does about 30 Hal Leonard music books annually, focusing on biographies, song writing and careers. It had a recent hit with Me and Bobby D, which has about 20,000 copies in print. Morton said Leonard remains interested in acquiring music book publishers as well as in adding publishers in the performing arts to its distribution ranks. Leonard's accounts include about 7,000 music stores, and its distribution clients include Backbeat Books and Amadeus Press/Limelight Editions.