Quarterly Results Off at HC

Revenue at HarperCollins dropped 25% in the quarter ended December 31, to $305 million, and operating income plunged 66%, to $23 million. It was HC's second consecutive weak quarter; at the midpoint of its fiscal year, earnings were down 75%, to $26 million, with revenue off 16%, to $620 million. The poor performance was attributed to a weak retail environment and difficult comparisons to a strong showing in the fourth quarter of 2007. The bankruptcy by the U.K. distributor EUK contributed to the earnings decline.

To improve profits, HC is continuing to cut costs, but it is not revealing how many employees accepted its voluntary retirement offer made in late January; responses were due February 3.

Borders Cuts Execs

Borders has eliminated 16 positions at the v-p and director level as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce expenses. Among those leaving the company are Ken Armstrong, executive v-p of U.S. stores, and Susan Harwood, senior v-p and CIO. Armstrong's duties will be assumed by Steve Davis, senior v-p of operations, while Dan Smith, recently named chief administrative officer, will take over Harwood's tasks. In addition, Kevin Ertell, senior v-p, e-business, who handled the relaunch of Borders.com as an e-commerce site, is leaving the company; Rich Fahle will oversee Borders's online presence.

Taylor Exits NCIP

Karin Taylor, executive director of the nonprofit New York Center for Independent Publishing, has been laid off, a victim of the economic crisis. Leah Schnelbach, assistant director of the NYCIP, has been asked to serve as interim director. Taylor had been the executive director of NYCIP (formerly called the Small Press Center) for some 20 years.

S&S Unites Marketing

Simon & Schuster has formed a unified marketing group for its adult and children's divisions under the direction of Liz Perl, who joined S&S last year as senior v-p for adult marketing. Under the reorganization, Perl will also oversee the marketing responsibilities for the children's division.

Google's New Book Search App

Google has launched an optimized version of its Book Search Web app for iPhone and Android (Google's open-source smart phone operating system). The mobile app—accessible through a mobile Web browser at www.books.google.com/m—enables anyone with an iPhone or Android phone and an Internet connection to read more than 1.5 million public domain books in the Google Book Search database. This is the first time books from the Google Book Search database have been made available in an iPhone/Android-specific format.

New Con for Chicago

Reed Exhibitions, which launched the New York Comic-Con in 2006, plans to launch the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo in April 2010 at the McCormick Place convention facility. Reed also announced that New York Comic-Con, which was held last weekend, will permanently move to the fall; the next New York Comic-Con is scheduled for October 8—10, 2010, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Research Bill Resurfaces

The Fair Copyright in Research Works bill, a controversial measure that would ban public access policies similar to those of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was reintroduced in Congress last week, after being shelved at the end of 2008. The measure is backed by publishers but opposed by librarians.

Rodale Trims Four

Rodale has eliminated four jobs in its book group as part of a realignment of resources, according to a corporate spokesman. Among the positions eliminated was that of v-p of publicity, held by Beth Davey.

A Profile of Walter Mosley

Jonathan Segura talks to Walter Mosley about his new novel, The Long Fall (Reviews, Jan. 5), at www.publishersweekly.com/ mosley.