O’Callaghan Succeeding Lucki at HMH
Tony Lucki is retiring as CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt April 15 and will be replaced by Barry O’Callaghan, chairman and principal shareholder of the Education Media & Publishing Group, HMH’s parent company. Lucki took over as CEO of HM in 2003 and oversaw the integration of HM with Harcourt. He will retain several non-executive roles with HMH and EMPG.
Naggar Joining Amazon
Former Random House executive David Naggar is joining Amazon, where he will be v-p of Kindle content. In that role, Amazon said, Naggar will be “working with the team to continue building a massive selection of content in the Kindle Store.” Naggar became president of iAmplify.com after leaving RH in late 2007.
Teicher to Head ABA
Longtime ABA executive Oren Teicher has been selected to succeed Avin Domnitz as CEO, who is retiring. Teicher, currently COO, will assume his new role June 1.
Bloomsbury U.S. Up
Bloomsbury’s U.S. group posted a pretax profit of £378,000 last year, compared to a loss of £1.6 million in 2007. Sales jumped 29%, to £17.3 million ($24.8 million at current exchange rates), on the strength of sales of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher and The Tales of Beedle the Bard into Canada. Rights and database sales also rose in the year.
In the year following the tremendous success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, revenue at the U.K. publisher declined 33%, to £99.9 million, and pretax profit fell 34%, to £11.6 million.
Kensington Sitting Out BEA
Kensington Publishing has decided not to exhibit at this year’s BookExpo America. President Steve Zacharius said that given the state of the economy, the publisher decided to put its marketing dollars where they will have more of an impact on sales. Kensington has taken space in the BEA Rights Center and will have staff walking the exhibit floor.
BEA show director Lance Fensterman said that because of the recession, there will be fewer exhibitors at this year’s conference.
Final Wheel of Time Title Set
The Gathering Storm, book 12 of Robert Jordan’s bestselling Wheel of Time series, will go on sale November 3. Storm is the first of three volumes that will make up A Memory of Light. The two remaining titles in the trilogy will be released over a two-year period. Jordan died in 2007 and Memory is being completed by Brandon Sanderson. The Wheel of Time series, published in the U.S. by Tor, has sold more than 14 million copies in North America and more than 30 million copies worldwide.
CBA Plans June Conference
The Canadian Booksellers Association is planning a new conference that will replace some of the events that were lost when Reed Exhibitions canceled BookExpo Canada earlier this year. The conference is set for June 20 and 21 at Toronto’s Radisson Admiral Hotel. CBA will use the event to hold its annual meeting and awards ceremony, while providing publishers an opportunity to show their forthcoming titles to booksellers.
Quebecor Cuts Loss
Quebecor World, still operating under Chapter 11 since filing for bankruptcy in early 2008, reported a loss from continuing operations of $943.9 million last year, down from $1.8 billion in 2007. Net loss was $1.6 billion, down from $2.2 billion in 2007. Sales from continuing operations dropped 14%, to $4.0 billion. Results exclude Quebecor’s European operations, which were sold in June. As part of its downsizing efforts, Quebecor reduced its workforce by 12% in the year, closed plants and reorganized its operation to better align costs with sales.
Candlewick Signs Obama’s Sister
Candlewick Press has acquired a picture book, Ladder to the Moon, by Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, who also is a writer and educator. Candlewick president and publisher Karen Lotz acquired the book and will edit; Jennifer Gates at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth brokered the deal. Candlewick has not yet determined the book’s illustrator or pub date.
In last week’s feature “The New Storytelling,” JillElyn Riley and Ariel Aberg-Riger, both of Fourth Story Media, were referred to with incorrect titles. Riley is the editorial director at Fourth Story and Aberg-Riger is creative development and marketing manager.