Freezes at Macmillan, Perseus

Macmillan and Perseus were the most recent publishers to announce pay freezes. Macmillan is freezing pay for all employees earning over $50,000 and will create a pool of money to provide modest increases for employees earning under that amount. Perseus is suspending pay increases for all employees, as well as suspending contributions to retirement plans. Perseus will also not fill any open positions.

Joint Venture Takes NetGalley

A joint venture has been formed between Firebrand Technologies and Rosetta Solutions to take over NetGalley, the year-old company that aims to let publishers manage and distribute galleys through an online service. Firebrand head Fran Toolan will lead the joint venture, to be known as NetGalley LLC, while core members of the Rosetta team that developed the service will remain with the company.

Ten Speed Sale Near

Ten Speed Press, publisher of the perennial bestseller What Color Is Your Parachute? and one of the largest independent houses in California, is close to a sale, several sources familiar with the process said. The company has been without a full-time publisher since Lorena Jones left in the fall. Aaron Wehner, editorial director for Ten Speed, has been acting publisher, overseeing the day-to-day operations, along with Nicole Geiger, publisher of Ten Speed’s Tricycle Press imprint. Geiger had no comment on the sale. Sources said however, that Ten Speed had attracted approximately a dozen bidders and the winning company is expected to be announced no later than January.

Wiley Results Up

Sales at John Wiley rose 2%, to $431.9 million, in the second quarter ended October 31, while adjusted net income rose 15%, to $40.1 million; the adjusted income excludes one-time tax benefits in the prior period. Sales rose 11% in its higher education group and 7% in the STMS group, but fell 12% in the professional/trade segment, to $113 million. For the first half of the year, professional/trade sales were off 8%, to $215 million, with sales down in all categories.

Total sales for the first six months of fiscal 2009 rose 3%, to $833.6 million, and adjusted net income increased 17%, to $70.3 million. Including last year’s tax benefit of $18.7 million, earnings were off 10%. At present, Wiley expects sales gains in the mid to single digits, with earnings-per-share up 20% for the full fiscal year. Both forecasts exclude the impact of foreign exchange, which CEO Will Pesce expects to have a “significant adverse effect on revenue and EPS growth in fiscal year 2009,” especially in the last six months.

D’Agnes Lands at Workman

Glenn D’Agnes, the former chief operating officer of HarperCollins, will join Workman Publishing January 5 as chief administrative officer. In the newly created position, D'Anges will be responsible for finance, human resources, warehousing, customer service and information technology. According to Workman founder Peter Workman, D'Anges "will act as an in-house business consultant for all parts of the company, helping us to identify ways in which we can improve our processes, procedures and operations." D'Agnes worked for 18 years at Harper, the last 10 as COO.

Cuts at Chronicle

Chronicle Books eliminated about 10 positions last week, less than 5% of its total workforce. President Jack Jensen said the cuts were made in response to a drop in backlist sales as well as the decision to reduce output of adult titles in 2010.