Neil Ortenberg, EVP of the Avalon Publishing Group and Publisher of Thunders Mouth/Nation Books has resigned. He may be reached at (917) 620-4435.
Becky Saletan is joining Harcourt as Editor in Chief in June. She was Editorial Director of North Point Press. Tina Pohlmann is also joining as Senior Editor, Harvest. She was Senior Editor at Carroll & Graf and replaces Kati Hesford, who has resigned to join her husband who has been posted to the American Embassy in Rome. … Rosemary Ahern has joined Other Press as Executive Editor to spearhead their fiction program. She was most recently at Washington Square Press.
Chuck Adams is joining Algonquin Books “overseeing the editorial effort,” and based in Chapel Hill, though he will spend time each month in New York. He was at S&S. … Michael Kazan, EVP, Director of Business Development and Client Relations at Spier Inc., has left the company and may be reached at [email protected]. … Jeannie Bailey is moving to Nashville to work for Thomas Nelson as Director National Accounts. She will report to Ron Land. Most recently she was Director of Mass Market Sales for DK. … Kathleen Halligan, formerly manager, National Accounts Random House Children’s Books, has joined Ripe Ideas, a brand development company. She may be reached at (212) 905-3173 or kathleen@ ripeideasinc.com. … Ben Bruton, Assoc. Director of Publicity at Doubleday, is taking his title and going to Atria/S&S.
Sara Nelson, Glamour’s Senior Contributing Editor, Books, and columnist for The New York Observer, will do a regular Monday morning stint on Air America, the new liberal radio network.
Atlanta-based The News Group has opened new offices in New Jersey to service the book publishing community. Sharon Hails has left Harlequin after eight months, to become VP Book Sales and Marketing. Marcia Roney is Director of Book Marketing. They may be reached at [email protected] and mroneytng@ aol.com or (973) 237-9600.
PGW has hired two Marketing Managers — Eric Kettunen, former US General Manager for Lonely Planet, who replaced the departed Michele Crim, and Rick Bauer, former Senior VP of Viz, the US publisher of Japanese animation comics.
In agency news, Elizabeth Sheinkman is opening a London branch of the Elaine Markson Agency. Jennifer Repo joined the Joelle Delbourgo agency based in Los Angeles. She was at Riverhead and Perigee. Anita Diggs has joined Frank Weimann’s The Literary Group as an agent. She recently left now-defunct Savoy magazine.
Elsewhere, Gordon Macomber has been named President of the Thomson Gale Publishing Group. Macomber was most recently CEO of Merriam Webster. … Keith Titan has joined RH as VP, Director of New Media. He was Senior Director of e-publishing & e-commerce at S&S. … Michael Morrison has hired Rob McMahon as Senior Editor of Morrow/Avon. He was most recently at Putnam. … Beau Friedlander has gone to Reed Elsevier’s Reed Press as Executive Editor, working for Fred Ciporen. He had been Publisher and Editor in Chief of Context Books, and replaces Nick Weir Williams, who left recently.
Houghton Children’s Books’ Editorial Director Judy O’Malley has left the company after just over a year.
Perseus announced that Stephen Bottum, formerly Executive Managing Editor and Publishing Manager for Basic Books, Basic Civitas, and Counterpoint, has been promoted to VP, Group Managing Editor. William Morrison Garland has been promoted from Associate Managing Editor to the position of M.E. of Basic Books, Basic Civitas, and Counterpoint. Megan Hustad has been promoted to Editor for Basic Books, Basic Civitas and Counterpoint. … James Howitt has been promoted to Director of Client and Product Development at Bookscan. He moved from the UK to the US office last April.
The Academy of American Poets, whose Ninth Annual National Poetry Month takes place in April, kicks off with its second annual benefit, Poetry & the Creative Mind on April 6, at Lincoln Center. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Kevin Kline, Wynton Marsalis, Louis Menand, Vanessa Redgrave, and Meryl Streep, among others, will read their favorite poems.
• The final lecture in the five-part series on the Algonquin Round Table, “Wit’s End on West 44th Street” will feature biographer Marion Meade speaking about the life of Dorothy Parker. April 13th at 6 p.m. at the Small Press Center, 20 West 44th. Call (212) 840-1840 or go to www. generalsociety.org.
• Jupitermedia’s Digital Rights Management Strategies Conference will be held April 12-14 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. The conference focuses on DRM business and technology issues and explores copyright, online piracy and other current issues. Speakers include ContentGuard CEO Michael Miron, Wiley’s Director, New Initiatives, Jonathan Stowe, and Siva Vaidhyanathan, Director, Communications Studies, NYU, and author of Copyrights and Copywrongs and the just published The Anarchist in the Library. To register email registration@ jupitermedia.com or call (203) 662-2857. Also at the Crowne Plaza this month: The April 20th PAMA luncheon features a panel discussion entitled “Break Out Books.” Denise Berthiaume is moderator and St. Martin’s John Cunningham and Lisa Gallagher and S&S/Atria’s Judith Curr will participate. Contact: [email protected].
• NYU’s Center for Publishing will hold its second Management Forum for Independent Publishers on April 23-24. Speakers include Borders’ Phil Ollila, Harvard Business School Press’s David Goehring and keynote David Godine. Call (212) 992-3236 for details.
• The LA Times Festival of Books takes place April 24-25, and the LA Times Book Prizes will be presented at UCLA on April 24. In addition to nine category awards, the annual Robert Kirsch Award will recognize an author whose oeuvre focuses on the Western region of the US. For more information call (800) LATIMES, ext. 72366.
The Village Voice reports that Tod Sacerdoti’s How to Use Google has been at the top of Amazon’s bestseller lists for months. A 12-page PDF, it costs $1.99. Now Sacerdoti is taking the concept of short and cheap to traditional books, providing summaries of popular nonfiction books, including Jack, Straight from the Gut, and Atkins New Diet Revolution in PDF formats. He contacts publishers for rights, and claims that, “while some have said please don’t do this, some have said, please do do this.”
• The March 29th edition of the NYT contains an editorial that begins “Last September the Office of Foreign Assets Control — part of the Treasury Department — made a surprising ruling. Publishers could publish works by authors living in certain countries, including Iran, Libya, Sudan and Cuba, but they couldn’t edit them. Those countries are subject to American economic sanctions, and the office decided that to consult with an author about a manuscript was against the rules.” The editorial ends with the rousing line, “Ideas pose no risk to us until we begin to try to control them.” Separately, AAP and member publishers have met with Bush Administration officials to protest this ruling. The AAP board is meeting in April to discuss options, which are said to include the possibility of a lawsuit. Separately, PEN American Center sent a letter to the Treasury Department — and cc’d President Bush, among others — requesting “an immediate review of OFAC regulations that could be interpreted to bar or restrict in any way publication of literature.” The letter strongly suggested a First Amendment infringement. Several book and magazine publishers have already vowed to flout the ruling, and the Council on Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) stated it will support their efforts.
• Services for Spalding Gray have been planned: The first service will be April 15 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York City, at a time yet to be determined. The second service is scheduled for 5 p.m. on May 15 at the Whaling Church in Sag Harbor, N.Y.