Random House Publishing Group announced today that Daniel Menaker will step down as executive editor in chief at the end of this month. Hired four years ago—after a sixteen-month stint as an executive editor at HarperCollins—for his literary sensibilities and publishing acumen, Menaker says the decision to leave was mutual. He will continue to edit some of the authors he worked with at Random House, which include poet Billy Collins and novelists Benjamin Kunkel and Gary Shteyngart. Kate Medina, executive editorial director of the Random House hardcover imprint, and Jennifer Hershey, editorial director of Random House imprints, will divide Menaker's responsibilities. Medina will pick up the additional title of associate publisher.
Before Menaker was named executive editor in chief at Random House, he spent twenty-six years as an editor at the New Yorker. According to an article in today's New York Times, Menaker has discussed with Gina Centrello, the president of Random House, the possibility of publishing two books—a memoir and an unnamed project—with the publisher. After he leaves Random House, Menaker says, he would like to spend time writing a novel and learning to play the fiddle.
In addition, Random House has named Kurt Anderson editor at large. Anderson, the author of the novel Heydey, published in March by Random House, recently signed a two-book deal with the publishing house. He will be expected to suggest new nonfiction books for the company.