HarperCollins has annouonced a major restructuring that will create a new imprint, add a president and change the company's lines of reporting.
The house has put nearly all of its HarperCollins adult imprints under the banner of a new entity called HarperMorrow, which will be run by current Morrow/Avon publisher Michael Morrison, who has been named president of the new division. He will report to Books Group president Brian Murray. The division will include HarperCollins, William Morrow, HarperEntertainment, HarperPerennial, Amistad and others. As a result Susan Weinberg, the influential HarperCollins publisher, will report to Morrison, as will Dawn Davis, editorial director of Amistad, and Ana Maria Allessi, associate publisher of HarperAudio.
Since the departure of HarperCollins publisher Cathy Hemming in May, all imprints had reported individually to Murray, whose role has been to focus on larger strategic issues. Under the arrangement, Rayo, ReganBooks and Ecco/Fourth Estate will remain stand-alone imprints and will continue reporting directly to Murray.
As part of the restructuring, HarperCollins is creating a separate super imprint parallel to HarperMorrow, which will put together reference and other lines under the revived Collins name. The division will be run by Joe Tessitore—who until recently was the publisher of PW—and will expand into areas such as wellness. Tessitore will report to Murray.
HC CEO Jane Friedman described the new arrangement, in which two large and parallel divisions encompass many smaller imprints, as stemming from a desire for newer and more distinct identities. "It will all divide very cleanly [now]," Friedman said. "Part of what I've found to be troubling in the past is the blurring of lines. I like well-defined publishing imprints." She also said that the moves came as part of the company's Publishing+ effort, aimed at reaching and understanding consumers.
Friedman said that despite the grouping of many Harper and Morrow imprints under just two umbrellas, she thought each one could retain its brand identity while still benefiting from the larger HarperMorrow and Collins names. Asked if it was fair to say that the grouping amount to a centralization of Harper's diverse imprints, Friedman said, "I think it's fair if the word centralized is presented as positive." She added that each HarperMorrow imprint would continue to function as it always has, with no changes in mandate, budget or colophon, only now with a direct line of reporting to Morrison.
As for Collins, the group will include Harper San Francisco, HarperBusiness, HarperResource, HarperDesign (all part of HarperInformation) and branded publishing. Stephen Hanselman and Laurie Rippon, publisher of HarperInformation and HarperDesign, respectively, will report to Tessitore. The Collins division will have 150 titles when it launches officially next fall, though it's unclear how much of an expansion this number will represent. Friedman did stress that wellness would be expanded under Collins.
Collins president Tessitore was president of Grolier/ Scholastic for seven years before coming to PW, where he's credited with invigorating the company's Web strategy. "Joe is a very talented guy who made a great contribution to Publishers Weekly, and I am sure he will do terrific things for HarperCollins," said Tad Smith, president, media division, Reed Business Information.
Friedman said all the changes were made so the company can "focus on direct-to-consumer," a drive she said was aimed at "understanding" and "defining" readers. She said direct sales is not currently a priority for the company, but branding is.