Random House has offered a “Voluntary Retirement Window of Opportunity” to “most” employees who have been with the company at least five years, and are 50 years old or older. The email offer was made on March 19 and employees must notify HR by mid-May. Many people clicked the Delete button before reading the memo, but at least one employee accepted the offer within two days of its being made. Meanwhile, layoffs continue, as it was announced this week that Random Value has folded its sales team into the Random sales group, and Brad Parliman, Horace Whyte, and VP Proprietary Publishing Ron Palmer will leave the company. Lynn Bond continues to oversee RHVP.
Michael Friedman has left Barnes & Noble Publishing to pursue new interests. He came to B&N with its purchase of Friedman/Fairfax in 1999. He may be reached at (917) 696-7955 or MFPG2@earthlink.net. . . Cathy Fox, VP Director Subsidiary Rights for Putnam, has left the company (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Leigh Butler, SVP, Director of Sub. Rights for the Penguin Group, will take over her responsibilities. . . Hyperion’s Leigh Haber has been named Editor-at-Large, and will now spend part of her time developing a DVD magazine.
John Harris has been named VP, Director of Finance, Planning & Operations for Houghton’s Trade & Reference Division. He succeeds Ellen Faran, who left to become Director of MIT Press. Harris was most recently CFO of Hungry Minds.
Following close on the heels of Neal Goff’s resignation, Scholastic announced the appointment of Joe Reynolds as President of Scholastic Library Publishing, effective immediately. Reynolds was previously President and CEO of ProQuest Information and Learning, which provides services to school and public libraries. Goff may be reached at (917) 541-4034 or email@example.com. L. Spencer Humphrey has also left Scholastic, where she was overseeing licensed characters, including Barney.
More sales moves this month: S&S has promoted National Accounts Manager Mary Beth Thomas to the position of Director of Distribution Clients Services, replacing Gary Fitzgerald. He can be reached at (732) 257-2541 or firstname.lastname@example.org. . . Bill Wolfsthal has been named Director of Specialty Retail at Abrams/STC. He was most recently at Overlook. . . Sabrina Farber has gone to Bloomsbury as Sales & Marketing Director. She was most recently Director of National Accounts for the Crown Group, at Random House.
Yulia Borodyanskaya has been named Sub. Rights Manager for Avalon Publishing Group, working out of the New York office. She was previously at Newmarket Press. . . Katie Hall began her new job as Harcourt Senior Editor. Hall had previously been at Random House.
McGraw-Hill announced two appointments in its Education divisions: William Oldsey has been named EVP McGraw-Hill Education, replacing Julie McGee, and reporting to Henry Hirschberg, who has just been named President.
As noted in PW, Bloomberg Press has streamlined its reporting structure, and John Crutcher has been appointed to the newly created position of Publisher, with Editorial, Marketing, and Sub. Rights reporting to him. He reports to Bill Inman, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg Publishing. To elaborate on their announcement, Christine Miles has moved over from Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine, which closed last year, to the Press, as Senior Editor. Kathleen Peterson has been named Executive Editor for an as yet unnamed new professional finance and investing line that will be launched in 2004. Editorial Director Jared Kieling (who recently brought in The Economist books), now reports to Crutcher. Bloomberg Press, which was founded in 1996, has had “continued profit and revenue growth” since its founding.
Rebecca Mancini has been promoted from Associate Director of Subsidiary Rights to Director of Children’s Rights for Houghton Mifflin’s Trade & Reference Division. . . Greer Hendricks, Senior Editor of S&S’s Atria imprint, has been promoted to VP. Jen Bergstrom has been promoted to Associate Publisher of S&S Children’s, and EVP, Publisher Robin Corey was given responsibility for two more imprints
. . . Melody Guy, who runs Villard’s Strivers Row, has been given the added responsibility for Ballantine’s One World.
The Feminist Press celebrates its 33rd year with a gala dinner on April 7. AAP’s Pat Schroeder and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi are the honorary dinner chairs, and Carol Jenkins is the program host. There will be a tribute to Tillie Olsen, as well as an awards ceremony. Call Lorelei Enterprises at (212) 838-2660 for information.
• NYU’s Center for Publishing is offering a “Scandinavian Literature in Translation” day on April 24th. The focus will be on Sweden, and major Scandinavian publishers — along with American publishers who buy translations (New Press’s Andre Schiffrin, Texere’s Myles and Lee Thompson, etc.) — will be featured on a series of panels. The fee is $75. Contact email@example.com or call (212) 790-3232 for details.
• April is National Poetry Month and City Lore and Poets House, in collaboration with the Bowery Poetry Club, will celebrate “A Woodstock for Words” at the People’s Poetry Gathering, April 11-13. The 2003 Theme is ballads and epics, with poets from Bosnia, Lebanon, Morocco, and Pakistan, and a Grand Peace Reading finale. For more information contact City Lore at (800) 333-5982. Also check The Academy of American Poets web site, www.poets.org, for their events calendar.
In the ongoing saga of publications about books, which started with the NYT’s article on Book Magazine’s retrenchment under the “Barnes & Noble Presents” banner, AMS’s Book Street USA has ceased publication. It had first been inserted into various newspapers including USA Today, and boasted a circulation of “almost 2 million,” through 41 newspapers. A later effort to make it a stand-alone was abandoned, and the focus will now be on Pages, the bookstore publication. It has a circulation of more than 7,000, according to its ad sales department.
Meanwhile, rival Book Page has teamed up with Books-A-Million to deliver a customized edition in a different, Parade-like format, and with a cover chosen by BAM. The customized March edition has George W. on the cover, while the generic version has Jim Patterson. A custom version is being developed for BookSense members, with yet another cover, and the BookSense bestseller list on the back cover. Book Page also reaches 3,000 public libraries.
• Barbara Tolley tells Publishing Trends that Livre de poche celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a reception hosted by Jean-Louis Lisimachio, Président Directeur Général d’Hachette Livre and Dominique Goust, Directeur Général du Livre de Poche at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris on March 4. An exhibition with iconic covers will run for two months at the museum.
• Lynn Goldberg is the lucky winner of veteran editor Larry Ashmead’s rolodex, which was auctioned off to support Books for a Better Life. Ashmead, who is retiring from HarperCollins after 43 years in publishing, was inducted into the BBL Hall of Fame in 2002.
• Carol Fass Publicity and Public Relations has announced the launch of Fass Speakers Bureau (FSB) in Spring 2003. Those who have expressed interest in being a part of FSB include Michael B. Oren, author of Six Days of War; Daniel Levitas, who wrote The Terrorist Next Door; and Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D, author of Women and Madness, and the forthcoming New Anti-Semitism.
Little, Brown’s Asst. Publicity Director Heather Fain and Nickelodeon’s SVP Consumer Products, Leigh Anne Brodsky are among Ad Age’s “Entertainment Marketers of the Year.” Fain is credited with publicizing The Lovely Bones and Brodsky, with licensing SpongeBob SquarePants.
Miranda DeKay will hold a memorial service for her husband George on April 17 at 7:30 at the Century association in the Gallery. Tim Seldes will be the emcee. There will be speakers, music, and then a reception in the Billiard Room.