Simon & Shuster Slashes Staff, Random House Restructures

by Staff

Yesterday Simon & Schuster added to a grim week of news for book publishing with the announcement that it had eliminated thirty-five jobs across several departments, Publishers Weekly reported. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy said in a memo that the cuts were "an unavoidable acknowledgment of the current bookselling marketplace and what may very well be a prolonged period of economic instability."

Earlier in the day, Random House released notice of its plans to restructure its imprints, a move that eliminated the positions of publishers Irwyn Applebaum of Bantam Dell Publishing Group and Steve Rubin of Doubleday Publishing Group, which laid off 10 percent of its staff in October. The Doubleday and Nan A. Talese imprints will be absorbed by Knopf, under the leadership of Sonny Mehta, and the Bantam Dell imprints, along with the Dial Press and Spiegel & Grau, will fall into the province of Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello. The Crown Publishing Group, under president and publisher Jenny Frost, will take on the remaining Doubleday Publishing Group imprints, including Broadway Books. Marcus Dohle, chairman of world operations for Random House since last spring, announced the reorganization in a letter to staff in which he expressed his intention to maintain the integrity of each imprint.

"Because of the current economic crisis, our industry is facing some of the most difficult times in publishing history," Dohle wrote. "I am convinced that our new organization, drawing on our expertise and focusing on the market with a team-oriented approach, will make our great company stronger than ever before."

Also reported yesterday by GalleyCat, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) executive editor Ann Patty lost her job along with an undisclosed number of other employees. That news came just one day after Becky Saletan, senior vice president and publisher of adult trade books at HMH, announced her resignation.

On Tuesday, inspirational book and bible publisher Thomas Nelson also slashed fifty-four jobs, roughly 10 percent of its employees, in the company's second round of layoffs this year.