Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HarperCollins Shutting Down Collins

The Associated Press reported this morning that HarperCollins has closed its Collins division, specializing in non-fiction books. The news of the closure and layoffs first appeared in postings on Twitter this morning.

The AP said:
The cuts were widely expected after HarperCollins, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., reported poor earnings last week for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2008. Among those leaving are Steve Ross, who had worked on President Obama's bestseller "The Audacity of Hope" at Crown Publishing before going to head Collins in 2007.
Publishers Weekly reported:
". . . Steve Ross, president and publisher of Collins, and Lisa Gallagher, senior v-p, and publisher of William Morrow, are leaving the company. Ross was brought over by Jane Friedman two years ago from Crown to rebuild the Collins brand. In addition to closing Collins, CEO Brian Murray issued a memo today saying that despite efforts to avoid layoffs, a reduction in the workforce will be necessary. 'Given the continued uncertainty in the market and soft revenues for the company, we need to take further action to align our cost basis with expected revenues,' Murray wrote. 'I have asked each division to evaluate their business and begin the process to meet this goal. Unfortunately, in some HarperCollins divisions, implementing these plans will result in a reduction in workforce'.”
Publishers Lunch said:
"William Morrow publisher Lisa Gallagher is leaving the company as well. The Harper imprint, under Jonathan Burnham, will absorb the Collins general non-fiction list (which will be published as Harper titles), along with Collins Reference, which retains its name as an imprint, and Collins Business, which will publish as Harper Business going forward.

"Bruce Nichols remains as publisher of Collins Reference and will also serve as executive editor at Harper; similarly, Hollis Heimbouch will continue to oversee the business books program and become executive editor at Harper. . .

"Collins trade paperbacks, with the exception of Collins Reference and Collins Design, will be folded into Harper Perennial and Harper paperbacks under SVP, publisher Carrie Kania.

". . . Harper paperback svp Carrie Kania . . .will now oversee the Avon trade paperback line.

"Liate Stehlik takes over as publisher of William Morrow/Eos/Avon, and will continue to oversee Avon and Harper mass market titles."
See Gawker here for copies of the internal memos issued by HarperCollins.

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