Penguin, Random House Complete Merger

By | Monday July 1, 2013 @ 3:30am PDT

The world’s leading consumer publisher has been formed via the merger of Penguin and Random House. Respective owners Pearson and Bertelsmann announced the merger of the groups last October and today confirm the deal … Read More »

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Jim Gaffigan Signs Deal For Second Book As His CBS Comedy Pilot Stays Alive

By | Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 8:41pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

A month after the release of Jim Gaffigan‘s first book, Dad Is Fat, its publisher, Crown Archetype, has signed the comedian for a second book. I hear Gaffigan’s deal with the imprint of the Crown Publishing Group … Read More »

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Justice Department Approves Merger Of Penguin & Random House

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 11:16am PST

Creation of the world’s leading consumer publisher is a step closer to reality. Pearson and Bertelsmann say the Justice Department has closed its review of the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House “without conditions”. Last October, … Read More »

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Pearson To Merge Penguin With Bertelsmann’s Random House

By | Monday October 29, 2012 @ 2:09am PDT

Despite reported last-minute interest from News Corp., UK-based Pearson has agreed to merge its Penguin with Bertelsmann’s Random House. It creates the world’s leading consumer publisher. The deal, announced Monday morning, comes after the News Corp.-owned Sunday Times said Rupert Murdoch had indicated he would offer about $1.6B for Penguin. A combination of Penguin and News Corp.’s HarperCollins would have had an English-language book market share of 20%, and appeared favored by analysts, according to Reuters. The combined Penguin Random House will have about a 25%-30% share as the companies look to fend off competition in the e-book space. The joint venture will be 53%-owned by Bertelsmann and 47%-owned by Pearson and is subject to regulatory and other approvals. It is expected to close in the second half of 2013. Following is the press release from Pearson: Read More »

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News Corp Eyes Bid For Penguin: Report

By | Sunday October 28, 2012 @ 3:35pm PDT

News Corp is jumping into the bidding for Pearson’s Penguin book imprint, according to News Corp’s Sunday Times of London. News chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch “has indicated he will make a substantial cash offer — thought to be about … Read More »

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FT: Random House And Penguin In Merger Talks

By | Thursday October 25, 2012 @ 9:26am PDT

Of course both of these publishers provide plenty of source material for Hollywood. Now the Financial Times is reporting that the parent companies of Random House and … Read More »

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Lena Dunham Book To Random House For Upwards Of $3.5 Million

By | Monday October 8, 2012 @ 10:14am PDT
Mike Fleming

RELATED: Lena Dunham Book Bidding At $3.6 Million

Random House and Lena Dunham slipped to The New York Times the news that RH is where she will write her humorous essay book Not That Kind Of Girl: A Young Read More »

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‘Bullhead’ Helmer Michael R. Roskam To Helm ‘The Tiger’ For Focus Features

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Michael R. Roskam, who got a Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar nomination last year for his Belgian film Bullhead, has been set by Focus Features to make his Hollywood feature helming debut with The Tiger, a drama … Read More »

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Random House Signs First-Look Deal With FremantleMedia, Starts Random House TV

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 9:32am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Jeffrey Levine Random House TelevisionAmerican Idol producer FremantleMedia and Random House Inc, the U.S. division of trade-book publisher Random House, have partnered to develop scripted television programming for the U.S. and international markets based on the fiction and nonfiction books published by Random House’s imprints in North America and internationally. As part of the first-look deal, Random House Studio, the publisher’s rebranded entertainment division led by president Peter Gethers, is launching new division Random House Television. It will work together with Random House’s editors and publishers, and their authors’ agents, to acquire rights for broadcast network, cable, and premium television scripted projects and will collaborate with Random House authors to develop original scripted television properties. Both FremantleMedia and Random House are Bertelsmann AG companies. Read More »

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Random House, Politico Form E-Book Publishing Ticket For 2012 Elections

By | Monday June 27, 2011 @ 6:40am PDT
Mike Fleming

(June 27, 2011)— The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., the largest English-language trade book publisher, announced today a new joint venture with POLITICO, the leading source for political news, to publish a series of four instant digital books on the 2012 Presidential Election. The books, which will be available exclusively in electronic form, to be published starting this fall, will give readers an unprecedented look behind the scenes of the election in real time, providing detail, color, in-depth analysis beyond the hourly headlines and commentary, and ultimately a look at the final results, and how and why it all happened.

The as-yet-untitled series will be reported and written by Mike Allen, POLITICO’s chief White House Correspondent and author of the renowned daily tip-sheet, Playbook, and Evan Thomas, award-winning writer and author. Each book will include exclusive reporting from the campaign trail and will chronicle the campaign as it unfolds.

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Ex-e-Book Foes Random House And Andrew Wylie Make Salman Rushdie Memoir Deal

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: The e-book rift between Random House Worldwide chairman Markus Dohle and lit agent Andrew Wylie really is in the past history books. The duo has formalized a far-reaching deal to publish a memoir by Salman Rushdie. The book will … Read More »

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Random House’s Strong Half-Year Results Driven By ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Sales

Mike Fleming

Anyone who doubts the potential of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo need look no further than how the half-year earnings of Bertselmann and its Random House division were positively impacted by the sales of the Millennium … Read More »

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Indie Booksellers Debate E-Book Drama

Mike Fleming

The Wylie Agency’s e-book exclusivity dispute with the publishing industry continues to dominate. (Random House vs Agents On E-Books) Everyone’s got a different opinion about Andrew Wylie’s … Read More »

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Janet Evanovich Makes New Deal At RH

Mike Fleming

Janet Evanovich, the bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series, is moving from St. Martin’s Press to a new 4-book deal for world rights at the Random House Publishing Group. The first title will be published next year … Read More »

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Random House Bullying Agents On E-Books – But Is It Legal?

Mike Fleming

Most summers, the biggest late-week concern among publishing honchos is Long Island Expressway traffic to the Hamptons. This week has proven different. Debate is raging about how vulnerable major publishing houses suddenly are after book agent Andrew Wylie formed an electronic publishing imprint for his authors and made an exclusive deal with Amazon. This means that instead of leaving it to a publisher and taking a low split, Wylie gave Amazon sole e-book rights to titles like Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Vladimir Nabakov’s Lolita, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, John Updike’s Rabbit Run series, Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. You can read all of them only on the Kindle for $9.99 each, under Wylie’s own Odyssey Editions imprint.

Random House responded with sheer thuggery, blacklisting Wylie in a clear attempt to scare other authors and their reps from trying the same thing. Other publishers also expressed outrage in different ways, like Macmillan CEO John Sargent, who railed about how Wylie’s exclusive deals excluded other e-devices like the Sony Reader (like Macmillan really cares about anything other than its own fortunes). What neither of these houses addressed is the $64,000 question: do they control e-book rights in contracts signed before anyone imagined that e-books might surpass print titles? Many feel the answer is no.

Random House, unable so far to prove different, is using intimidation as a fallback ploy. It’s scary, given the sheer volume of books it publishes, but probably not effective in the long term. The publisher tried in 2001 to nip this whole thing in the bud, suing for summary judgment to stop an e-book venture called Rosetta Books. Random House lost. More recently, Bertelsmann Publishing chairman Markus Dohle sent a warning shot to agents, telling them the publisher was determined to protect its e-book rights, but once again, not mentioning whether it actually controlled them.

“They’ve not said we have the e-rights to the books you’ve written,” said one well connected dealmaker. “They say, we have publishing rights to these books, it costs us a fortune to run this place, and e-books are a huge source of revenue. If we can’t have it all, we’re not working with you.” Read More »

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