Rautenstrauch Named AMS Prez

Advanced Marketing Services has named Gary Rautenstrauch president and CEO. Rautenstrauch has a long background in the distribution and wholesaling business, most recently as CEO of Blackwell's Book Services. Before joining Blackwell's, Rautenstrauch had been with Baker & Taylor for 22 years, the last three as president and CEO. Rautenstrauch will have a base salary of $450,000.

Peterson to Blackwell

Following Gary Rautenstrauch's departure, Blackwell North America appointed Susan Peterson CEO. Peterson has held senior executive roles at B&T and Lightning Source.

OUP Realigns

Oxford University Press has consolidated its trade and academic departments into a single unit under the direction of v-p and publisher Niko Pfund. The press has also set up a new technology group. As a result of the changes, three employees will be leaving the press: v-p and trade publisher Ellen Chodosh, executive v-p and COO Barbara Wasserman and v-p and director of sales Michael Burkin. Joan Bossert has been promoted from v-p and associate publisher to publisher for brain sciences, medicine and social work. According to the interim publicity director, Christian Purdy, the house's list will remain unaffected by the changes.

Salem Buys Xulon Press

The religion media company Salem Communications has acquired Xulon Press, an evangelical Christian POD publisher. The Xulon acquisition is Salem's first foray into book publishing. Xulon hopes that Salem's media reach—its holdings include radio stations and magazines—will enable Xulon to find new authors to buy its services and provide an additional incentive for would-be authors in the form of multimedia promotion for their books.

Random House Goes Green

Over the next four years, Random House will raise the amount of recycled paper it uses to print its books from 3% to 30%. Conceived of by RH chairman Peter Olson and implemented by director of operations David Drake, the program will save 550,000 trees annually once it gets to the 30% level in 2010. Random is the first major trade house to commit to a large scale use of recycled paper, though many smaller presses have gone green.

Trouble for MediaBay

With MediaBay's digital download initiatives yielding only "minimal" sales, revenue in the first quarter fell 58%, to $1.4 million, and the operating loss deepened to $2.3 million, from $1.6 million last year. Moreover, the company said that it doesn't have enough cash on hand to continue operating through the end of the year, prompting the hiring of investment bankers to look for strategic alternatives. Those options include raising additional capital or possibly selling the company.

Results Up 6% at Nelson

Thomas Nelson reported that revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31 rose 6.7%, to $253.1 million. Net income for the year rose 6.0%, to $21 million.

AuthorHouse Loses Libel Suit

Print-on-demand subsidy publisher AuthorHouse was ordered to pay $230,000 in damages to Rebecca Brandewyne, a bestselling author of historical romances. Brandewyne sued AuthorHouse for libel after it published Paperback Poison: The Romance Writer and the Hit Man by Brandewyne's ex-husband, Gary D. Brock, in which Brock charged that Brandewyne broke laws, committed adultery and plagiarized several of her books.

Bryan Smith, president of AuthorHouse, said he was disappointed that the jury ignored the First Amendment protections afforded AuthorHouse, and instead considered Kansas common law. AuthorHouse is considering an appeal.

Davis Joins Weldon Owen

Former Dorling Kindersley publisher Christopher Davis has joined Weldon Owen Publishing as publisher-at-large. Davis will be charged with helping Owen grow its international co-edition business.

Agate to Buy Surrey

Chicagoland press Agate Publishing, a publisher primarily of African-American titles, has agreed to acquire Chicago-area press Surrey Books, which has published approximately 100 entertainment, food and lifestyle titles. After the deal is completed, Surrey will continue as an imprint of Agate.