Berger Succeeds Holton

Lisa Holton, who took over for Barbara Marcus as head of Scholastic’s trade and book fair units in May 2005, is leaving the company to form her own media venture. Ellie Berger, publisher of the trade group, has been promoted to president of the unit, while Alan Boyko, president of book fairs, will report to Scholastic chairman Dick Robinson.

BBC Buys Lonely Planet

The international travel publisher Lonely Planet has been acquired by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. Based in Australia, Lonely Planet has extensive publishing operations in the U.S. and U.K., and its books are sold in more than 200 countries. Founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler will retain a 25% stake in the company, which will continue to be run by CEO Judy Slatyer.

Bookworld Closes

Small press distributor BookWorld Companies closed down September 28 without providing a warning to its clients and, so far, without filing for bankruptcy. The company handled distribution for 104 publishers. AtlasBooks, the trade book distribution division of BookMasters, which had been in discussions with BookWorld about a possible acquisition, sent its trucks to retrieve BookWorld’s inventory and is negotiating distribution deals with publishers.

PMA Tries to Block Galley Sales

The PMA board has unanimously passed a resolution urging all of its members to stop working with the online marketplaces that facilitate sales of galleys and advance reading copies. As a result of its action, the PMA has discontinued one of its membership benefits—a discount in the initial fees for selling books through AbeBooks, which lists approximately 200,000 galleys and other ARCs for sale.

PMA director Terry Nathan said the association wasn’t singling out AbeBooks, since many other online booksellers offer galleys, but in light of the resolution it would be wrong to continue to have a special agreement with them. Scott Laming, a spokesperson for AbeBooks, said it was unfortunate that PMA decided to end the discount special, but that AbeBooks has no plans to change its policy.

Macmillan Buys Kingfisher

Holtzbrinck’s Pan Macmillan division has acquired British children’s publisher Kingfisher from Houghton Mifflin. The company, which publishes about 100 titles annually—including fiction, nonfiction and reference titles—has an active backlist in the U.S. of more than 700 titles. Simon Boughton, publisher of Holtzbrinck’s Roaring Brook Press imprint, will now oversee U.S. operations for Kingfisher.

Ruppel Named MHP Prez

Philip Ruppel has been promoted to president of McGraw-Hill Professional, succeeding Keith Fox, who was named head of M-H’s BusinessWeek group. Ruppel, who most recently served as v-p and group publisher of MHP, will report to Rik Kranenburg, president, Higher Education, Professional and International Group.

Doubleday Restructures Religion Unit

Doubleday has formed a new division of Doubleday Broadway, to be called the Doubleday Religious Publishing Group, which combines the New York—based Doubleday Religion program with Colorado Springs—based WaterBrook Multnomah. President and publisher of the new division will be Steve Cobb, who has been president of WaterBrook. Bill Barry, publisher of Doubleday Religion, is leaving.

HC Film Venture

HarperCollins has teamed with New York indie film house Sharp Independent to make film adaptations based on HarperCollins books. Sharp Independent at HarperCollins will provide a more direct in-house route for HC books to be adapted to the screen. The new venture will be overseen by Harper/Morrow president and group publisher Michael Morrison.

LB Pulls 'Tintin’

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, which had been planning to publish Tintin in the Congo, a book criticized for its racist, colonial-era depictions of Africans, has quietly pulled the title from its fall list. The publisher also said it will not include the book in a forthcoming box set of all 24 books in the Tintin series.