Cengage to Buy HM College

Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning) has agreed to acquire the Houghton Mifflin college division for $750 million. If approved by the government, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2008. With sales of about $225 million, HM is the country's fourth largest college publisher, and the purchase will move number 2 Cengage closer to Pearson, which tops the higher education list with 2006 sales of $1.58 billion. In making the announcement, HM chairman Tony Lucki said the sale of the college unit will permit the company to “focus our efforts on our k—12, trade and reference businesses.”

Tor, Seven Seas In Manga Deal

Tor Books announced plans to enter the U.S manga market by creating a new manga imprint with Seven Seas Entertainment, an independent publisher of original and licensed manga, manga-inspired prose titles and illustrated juvenile fiction. The new venture will release original manga titles and also plans to compete for top Japanese manga licenses. Titles from Tor/Seven Seas Manga will be distributed by Macmillan, and the new venture will take over the Seven Seas backlist of 20 titles.

Ross Resigns From Cody's

Andy Ross, one of the most prominent booksellers over the past 25 years, has resigned as president of Cody's Books Inc. The announcement comes nine months after Cody's closed its store in San Francisco and less than two years after Ross closed Cody's flagship store in downtown Berkeley and sold the company to Yohan Inc. Cody's has one remaining store, on Fourth Street in Berkeley.

Paperchase Gets President

Dick Lynch, who has held top management spots with a number of major retailers, has been named president of Paperchase U.S., the stationery and gifts arm of Borders. In the newly created post, Lynch will be responsible for Paperchase's American operation, including the expansion of the store into standalone outlets.

Girkins Named Zondervan CEO

Maureen “Moe” Girkins will take over as president and CEO of Zondervan January 2. Girkins, who is succeeding interim CEO Bruce Ryskamp, is coming over from the tech industry, where she's held executive posts at a variety of companies.

News Buys Beliefnet

News Corp. has acquired Beliefnet, the spiritual and inspirational site created by Steven Waldman. The site, which claims three million unique monthly visitors, will become part of News' Fox Digital Media group, headed by Dan Fawcett. News said it will use Beliefnet as an online platform to distribute relevant content from its faith-based businesses, which include Zondervan and HarperOne.

Borders Names Director

Michael Archbold, a veteran retailer and executive v-p, COO and CFO of the Vitamin Shoppe, has been appointed to the board of directors at Borders. Archbold was recommended by William Ackman, head of Borders's largest shareholder.

Elliott Named Alibris CEO

Brian Elliott has been named CEO of Alibris. Elliott, who most recently held the title president and COO, succeeds founder Marty Manley, who is leaving to start a new company.

Manga Sales Up 10%

Total U.S. manga sales in 2007 rose about 10%, to more than $220 million, according to a report prepared by ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp; about 1,468 titles are estimated to have been released. Griepp also estimated that more than 1,700 manga titles will be released in 2008. In comparison, sales of anime on DVD have declined, from more $500 million in 2003 to about $400 million in 2006, with further decline projected.


Jack Romanos (“Romanos Goes Out on Top,” Dec. 3) was a co-creator of the mass market premium format, along with Penguin CEO David Shanks.

PW's Best Books of the Year feature (Nov. 5) listed the incorrect publisher for Osamu Tezuka's MW; the publisher is Vertical Inc.