More Random House movement: Craig Virden, who has been President of RH Children’s and before that, BDD Books for Young Readers, is leaving. Crown’s Chip Gibson will take over, with Rich Romano as his EVP. Meanwhile Jenny Frost, now heading up Random Audio (which she will continue to run), will take over Crown Publishing Group, which now includes Random Information Group’s imprints. Bonnie Ammer will report to Frost, along with Pete Muller, SVP Publishing Operations, Robert Allen, President of Random House Audio, and Lynn Bond, President of Random Value. It is unclear at this point what role Joerg Pfuhl (who had overseen Children’s and Random Information) will play in the reorganization, though he will be involved in audio and international.
Neal Goff has been named President of Scholastic’s Grolier Reference Division, reporting to Dick Robinson. He was most recently Senior VP of Marketing at BMG Music Clubs.
PJ Mark, formerly at Inside.com, and before that, a book scout for Mary Anne Thompson, is moving to IMG as agent. He will be working for Mark Reiter.
Among the 30 or so let go at S&S were Charles Roberts, Regional Manager for Texas and the South West for 42 years, and Karen Weitzman, Foreign Rights Director and 22-year veteran. Meanwhile, Greg Anastas, Director of the online sales group, is now Field Sales Director for Field Key Accounts reporting to Roger Williams (we had earlier reported he had left the company — our apologies). Pocket Book Senior Editor Tracy Sherrod is leaving to set up her own literary agency with partner Beverly Williams. Tony Clark, who had worked at Holt, is also joining the firm which, according to PW Daily, will offer authors a variety of services.
Also, Mike Campbell, most recently of Martingale & Co., is joining Carlton Books as VP Director of Sales in New York
. . . . Alissa Neil has joined PR agency Ellen Ryder Communications, as VP. . . . In the wake of Michael Denneny leaving St. Martin’s, Diane Reverand is rumored to be in active negotiations with St. Martin’s, possibly for an imprint.
AAP’s annual meeting took place in Washington, DC, February 27-28, and copyright — Pat Schroeder’s central focus — played a major role in the discussions. In fact, the king of copyright manipulation, Michael Eisner (Disney’s efforts to extend the term of copyright are being challenged in court), was a key speaker. He was in DC to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee in the interests of the content providers who are battling piracy. Meanwhile, Schroeder pronounced the “publishers’ axis of evil” as “postal rates, piracy, and illiteracy.”
At the board meeting on Thursday Hyperion’s Bob Miller officially stepped down from his two-year term as Chair of AAP, and was succeeded by Robert E. Evanson, President of McGraw-Hill Education. And Random CEO Peter Olson asked fellow publishers if they would contribute to the Rosetta Books suit. The response was, we hear, positive.
Pat Conroy’s new ms is in: My Losing Season, which takes the reader back to the Citadel, where his earlier novels were set. Publication is scheduled for October ’02 by Nan Talese/Doubleday and his new agent, as mentioned in PT (February) is Marly Rusoff.
• As mentioned elsewhere, Riverhead Books has acquired world rights to publish a book derived from the personal journals of Kurt Cobain, the late lead singer for Nirvana. PT has learned that the amount paid for the journals is reputed to be close to $4 million, with Penguin UK putting in a hefty chunk of the change.
• With Tim and Nina Zagat announcing the expansion of their guides, Fortune’s Tim Carvell speculates on possible future titles: Zagat’s Guide to Accounting Firms, Guide to Economic Forums, and Guide to Petty Grievances in Tim and Nina Zagat’s Marriage. Meanwhile CEO Amy McIntosh has left the firm.
• A contract has been drawn up for the purchase of Klutz Press, which was sold just over a year ago to the Canadian company Nelvana, which was itself recently purchased by a larger Canadian company. At press time the identity of the new buyer was not known.
• Those concerned about Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped on February 23 by revolutionary guerrillas, are urged to email a note of support to firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails will be forwarded to the Colombian government as a show of American solidarity. The family is also setting up the site ingridbetancourt.org. According to Justin Loeber, Director of Publicity at HarperCollins (and actively involved in galvanizing support for her), the NYTBR will run a review of Betancourt’s memoir, Until Death Do Us Part: My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia (Ecco), on March 17.
Winners of the 2001 Barnes & Noble Writers For Writers Award, E. Lynn Harris, June Jordan, and Wally Lamb, will be presented the awards at Poets & Writers’ annual gala benefit on March 5 at the Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, New York City.
• The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 20-24 (www.tennesseewilliams.net), is in its 16th year.
• The Virginia Festival of the Book will take place March 20-24 in Charlottesville, VA. Marie Arana, Washington Post Book World’s editor, is the luncheon speaker. See www.vabook.org.
• National Book Critics Circle Awards take place on March 11, at the Tishman Auditorium, NYU, New York. Contact Linda Wolfe, email@example.com.
• London Book Fair is March 17-19 at Olympia Exhibition Centre, London, UK. Contact Joanne Veale, 020 8910 7815; firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 14th Small Press Book Fair is March 23-24, NYC; call (212) 764-7021 or visit www.smallpress.org.
• The New York Public Library’s 2nd annual Young Lions Fiction Award will be presented March 20 at the Celeste Bartos Forum. The finalists for the award, which comes with a $10,000 prize, are David Czuchlewski, Allegra Goodman, Peter Orner, Brady Udal, and Colson Whitehead.
Going to school with the right people can pay off as Arthur Klebanoff demonstrated at the Texere party held at the Bloomberg headquarters to celebrate his book The Agent: Personalities, Politics and Publishing. Hizzoner spoke of his school chum, followed by Chuck Schumer. And to reinforce them were Ed Koch, Cindy Adams, and Bill Bradley. A few publishing folks were also sighted.
• Terrence Cheng, director of electronic marketing for Random House, celebrated his first novel, Sons of Heaven, set during the Tiananmen Square massacre. The book is coming from Morrow in May to coincide with the Chinese New Year. The event was splendidly catered and featured some of the best Chinese dim sum this correspondent has encountered.
• Otto Penzler’s reception for Michele Slung at his Mysterious Bookshop to celebrate the publication of her latest anthology, Stranger (HarperPerennial), featured publishers-turned-writers Joe Kanon and Amanda Vail, Voice fashion columnist Lynn Yaeger, NY Post drama critic Donald Lyons, as well as fans that included agents Nat Sobel, Vicki Bijur, and veteran editor (responsible for the current hit, The Red Tent) Bob Wyatt.
• Barney Rosset displayed another side of his mercurial and talented self at the opening of his collection of war photographs taken in China (where he was in the US Army Signal Corps Photographic Services) at the Janos Gat Gallery, where there was much whispering about his autobiography just sold to Gerry Howard at Broadway.
• And the tireless Michael Pollan showed just what it takes (again and again) to sell books (The Botany of Desire is now up to 110,000 copies since last May) at The Stegner Circle (“Readings by Writers of the Land”) benefit lecture on behalf of the Trust for Public Land held at the New York School of Interior Design.
Happy Birthday to AMS, 20 years old and now the proud owner of PGW; to Trafalgar Square, 30, and with a total of 50 clients, eight of them new. Also, best wishes to Aperture, which celebrates its 50th anniversary by a group that included Minor White, Ansel Adams, and Dorothea Lange. And to the Today Show’s literary editor Andrea Smith, recently honored by the AAP. And it’s the show’s 50th anniversary too this year.