Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Trade News from Publishers Lunch


Simon & Schuster announced internally on Monday afternoon an agreement with F+W Media to acquire their trade publishing division Adams Media, as F+W continues to pare back on some of its business lines. Adams Media vp, books and content Karen Cooper will serve as vp, publisher of the line for Simon & Schuster, reporting directly to ceo Carolyn Reidy, and staff will remain based in Avon, MA. (F+W president Sara Domville, who had overseen Adams, left the company in July.)

Reidy tells employees the acquisition is expected to close before Thanksgiving, noting internal teams "are already hard at work to assure a smooth transition so that we can hit the ground running when the deal closes." She remarks, "This acquisition is an exciting opportunity for both of our publishing companies, one that will make us stronger and more competitive, and I know you will join me in welcoming our new colleagues from Adams Media to Simon & Schuster." Founded in 1980, Adams publishes approximately 200 new titles a year and has an active backlist of over 1200 titles. F+W
purchased the company in 2003. Terms were not disclosed, but sources at the time put that purchase at between $30 million and $40 million.

Penguin Random House chairman John Makinson will retire on December 31 after three and a half years at the position and more than 15 years with Penguin and PRH. He will be succeeded by Philip Hoffman, formerly chief corporate finance and strategic development officer at Pearson, on January 1, 2017. Hoffman has served on the PRH board of directors since the company's inception and has been chairman of the audit committee.

Bertelsmann chairman and ceo Thomas Rabe said of Hoffman in the announcement: "From the beginning, he has closely supported Penguin Random House's development as an equally expert and responsible advisor. I look forward to working even more intensively with him in the future. At the same time, I would like to sincerely thank John Makinson for his outstanding contribution to the Penguin Random House success story over the past few years. The smooth integration of the two companies, the ongoing development of Penguin Random House, and many of the company's successes would have been inconceivable without him." Hoffman added: "I am delighted to be taking on the role of Chairman of Penguin Random House, continuing the outstanding Board leadership begun by my colleague and friend John Makinson. Since my days at Penguin, book publishing has always been close to my heart. As a member of the Penguin Random House Board these past three years, I have really enjoyed working with Markus Dohle and his team, and I look forward to plugging in more deeply with them to help drive the continued success of this amazing company."

On Makinson's retirement, Pearson ceo John Fallon said: "John Makinson spent a decade leading the creative and commercial resurgence of Penguin and the last four years ensuring the tie up with Random House builds on that success. In an engagement with Pearson that dates back to 1979, John has proved himself to be a highly talented and inspirational colleague for all seasons -- distinguished journalist, finance director, publishing executive and leader, highly regarded by his colleagues and industry peers. We thank him for all his work on Pearson's behalf and wish him every future success."

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