Thursday, June 25, 2015

NAL Is Merged Into Realigned Berkley Publishing Group

Publishers Lunch

Following on the “wide-ranging” reorganization of much of the Penguin Publishing Group imprints in January, Berkley/NAL Publishing Group president Leslie Gelbman announced internally on Tuesday afternoon "significant organizational changes for Berkley and New American Library," which are being fully merged into the new Berkley Publishing Group, with Gelbman continuing as president.

"What have to this point been separate editorial, managing editorial, production and art departments" for Berkley and NAL will be brought together as of July 1. An unspecified number of people are having their positions eliminated as a result. A spokesperson declined to provide additional details. Gelbman writes: "A major organizational realignment always involves difficult decisions, and that is true today. After taking a long, close look at our publishing program, we have taken the step to eliminate a number of positions in our editorial, managing editorial, art, copy and production departments. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to those who are leaving, as their individual and collective contributions to Berkley and NAL have been enormous."

With the fall 2016 lists, the NAL imprint will publish all of the group's non-fiction titles, while the Berkley Books imprint will publish all of their fiction. Gelbman says this "will delineate the two publishing lines and sharpen their publishing identities" and "highlight our core strengths and firmly position us to provide the best possible forward-thinking, unwavering support and focus for our books and authors." The specifics on the mass market imprints "are still evolving", spokesperson Craig Burke told us, but mass market paperbacks "will continue to be an important component of the Berkley Publishing Group mix."

As part of the realignment, Kara Welsh has been promoted to svp, publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, continuing to report to Gelbman, responsible for merging the two imprints, and managing day-to-day operations. Claire Zion moves up to vp, editor-in-chief, Berkley Publishing Group, reporting directly to Welsh. Tom Colgan is promoted to vp, editorial director, reporting to Zion, and "will work closely with her on building our list and integrating the editorial groups." He will also oversee the mystery program and supervise the science fiction/fantasy editors who acquire for Ace and Roc. Cindy Hwang moves up to vp, editorial director, also reporting to Zion, and will oversee the romance program, and continue to build her women's fiction list. In Berkley's art department, Judy Murello has also been promoted to vp, art director, while Anthony Ramondo moves up to vp, senior art director.

In a related announcement, Paul Buckley has been promoted to svp, creative art director, Penguin Publishing Group, overseeing the art departments for all the group's imprints, with the exception of the Berkley Publishing Group. Executive creative director Rich Hasselberger "will be leaving the company as the result of the restructuring of the art departments."

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