Smagler to Houghton

Alan Smagler has joined joined Houghton Mifflin as the new publisher of its children's book group, succeeding Andrea Pinkney. Smagler will be based in Boston and will be responsible for all three of HM's children's imprints: HM Books for Children, Clarion Books and Kingfisher Publications. Smagler's last corporate role was at Simon & Schuster, where he was senior v-p and associate publisher.

McIntosh Named RH Audio Publisher

Madeline McIntosh, Random House's director of adult sales, is moving over to become publisher of the Random Audio Group, beginning in September. She'll report to David Naggar. The job had been held by Scott Matthews, who is leaving for family reasons, said the company. No word on who'll replace McIntosh in the sales department.

O'Neal Joins Regan

Maureen O'Neal, editorial director at Ballantine, is headed for ReganBooks, where she has been named senior editor. While at Ballantine, O'Neal focused on commercial fiction and nonfiction. Also moving to Regan is Elizabeth Bewley, who has been named associate editor. She had been at St. Martin's. Both women will be located in Regan's Los Angeles office.

Viz Inks Multiple Deals

Viz Media has plans for prose works, and several deals for video games and retailing, all based on its manga and anime properties. Viz will release prose novelizations of its Shojo Beat manga line and anime titles, such as Ghost in the Shell, beginning in the fall. Bandai America has agreed to produce video and trading card games based on Viz's popular teen/tween Naruto manga/anime series, which will air on the Cartoon Network this fall. And teen retail chain Hot Topic has agreed to offer a wide variety of Naruto merchandise and books exclusively through its stores.

McKenny Joins Holt; Shreve Departs

Claire McKenny, formerly director of publicity at Miramax Books, is joining Henry Holt as its director of publicity in September.

McKenny replaces Elizabeth Shreve, Holt's longtime publicity director. Holt president and publisher John Sterling said Shreve, who just had a second child, is considering leaving New York because her husband has taken a job in Washington, D.C.

From Manga to Manwha

In a bid to raise the profile of Korean manga (known as manwha) in a U.S. market dominated by Japanese titles, three Korean media firms are joining together to form Studio ICE to publish Korean manga in America beginning in the fall. The three publishers are Sigongsa, Seoul Cultural Publishers and Haksan. Studio ICE will launch with four books in October and publish two titles per month. Diamond Book will distribute.

STL Makes Second Buy

STL Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the U.K.—based Send the Light Ltd., has reached an agreement to acquire the Christian distribution company Appalachian Distributors. Appalachian will continue to operate from its Johnson City, Tenn., and Reno, Nev., facilities as a division of STL Inc. In April, STL acquired FaithWorks from National Book Network.

STL also announced that it has named David Passman president and CEO of the American unit. Passman, a STL board member, will establish a corporate office in Atlanta over the next few months.

Lee to Head PGW Global Sales

Suk Lee, who has worked in international sales for Scholastic, Golden Books and S&S, has been named director of international sales for Publishers Group Worldwide. Lee will be responsible for global sales, with an emphasis on Asia, Europe and Latin America. She will be based in New York City.

Hottensen to Miramax

Longtime Grove/Atlantic publicity and marketing director Judy Hottensen is joining Rob Weisbach at the Weinstein Brothers company (at the moment called Miramax Books) as publisher. She'll oversee all sales and marketing plans for the books the unit publishes—those currently on the MB list as well as its new titles. She'll report to Weisbach, who is president and CEO.

Writers & Readers for Sale?

The future of Writers and Readers, the publishing house founded by the late Glenn Thompson, remains uncertain after his heirs rejected a recent offer to purchase the company. A spokesperson said the family is reconsidering their initial decision to sell the company. Neil Reshen, president of Benay Enterprises, a firm that still manages W&R's assets, said the assets include about 115 books that are a part of the For Beginners series, There are also about 50 children's titles.