Yesterday I wrote about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt reshuffling. Today, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind explains today's reshuffling at Random House. If this confuses you, my two-bit analysis is after the quote:
* The Random House Publishing Group, under the leadership of President and Publisher Gina Centrello, will expand to include the imprints of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, including The Dial Press, along with Doubleday’s Spiegel & Grau.
* The Knopf Publishing Group, led by Chairman Sonny Mehta, will expand to include the Doubleday and Nan A. Talese imprints from the Doubleday Publishing Group.
* The Crown Publishing Group, under the direction of President and Publisher Jenny Frost, will expand to include the other imprints from the Doubleday Publishing Group—Broadway, Doubleday Business, Doubleday Religion and WaterBrook Multnomah.
* As a result of the reorganization, Bantam Dell publisher Irwyn Appelbaum and Doubleday publisher Steve Rubin are leaving the company. Appelbaum leaves immediately while Rubin is in discussions with Dohle about "creating a new role for him in the company."
This might be a little inside baseball for some of you, but the important thing is this: Knopf is Random House's big old prestige imprint, and the fact that they're watering down the brand with Doubleday, which is more of a solid mid-level performer, is a sign that somebody doesn't understand their product strength. And Bantam Dell—the big mass market, genre fiction producer for the company—having its publisher completely cut out of the equation is a sign that something's really rough on the bottom line. So they're cutting the highbrow and the lowbrow with other imprints, which, to me, smacks of desperation. And this is one of the biggest publishers in the United States.