Smith to Succeed Pesce At Wiley
Stephen Smith has been named to succeed Will Pesce as president and CEO of John Wiley & Sons when Pesce retires April 30. Smith joined the company in 1992 and has been Wiley’s chief operating officer since 2009. Pesce joined Wiley in 1989 and was named president and CEO in 1998, succeeding Charles Ellis. Under his leadership the company moved its headquarters from New York to Hoboken, N.J., made a series of important acquisitions, and became a leader in digital publishing, all while posting record financial results.

July Store Sales Slip
The downward trend of bookstore sales continued in July with sales declining 2.3%, to $1.08 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Through the first seven months of 2010, bookstore sales were down 0.7%, to just under $8.5 billion. The overall retail sector performed much better, with July sales up 5.4% and sales for the first seven months of the year ahead 6.0%.

Richter Launches Ruckus Media
Rick Richter, former president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is returning as the head of a new media company, Ruckus Media, a global family entertainment company that will specialize in creating high-definition animation apps for children aimed at the mobile computing market. Ruckus Media has more than 80 original and licensed animated titles under contract, with plans to price titles at $3.99, and the company will begin releasing an app each week starting September 28.

Thompson Memorial Set
The life of David Thompson, assistant manager at Houston’s Murder by the Book who died suddenly September 13, will be celebrated with a party on September 26. Thompson, who also launched Busted Flush Press in 2005, was 38. The party will be held at the Briar Club, 2603 Timmons Lane, Houston, Tex., 2 p.m.–5 p.m. Crime fiction novelist Alafair Burke has set up a memorial fund in Thompson’s memory. Tributes may be sent to Burke at 7 E. 14th St., #1206, New York, N.Y. 10003. Checks should be written out “In memory of David Thompson.”