Direct Brands has hired David Gitow as chief marketing officer and Alan Katz as evp, business development, the first major appointments under new ceo Deborah Fine. Gitow was cmo at both BN.com and Barnes & Noble, and in a long time stretch at Time, Inc. founded and ran Time, Inc. Home Entertainment. Katz has had a long career in magazine publishing, including executive positions at Vanity Fair and New York.
BookEnds Literary Agency co-founder Jacky Sach will retire from publishing after 10 years as an agent for “new opportunities.” Sach began her publishing career in 1985 at Berkley. BookEnds will continue operating under the ownership of Jessica Faust.
At NAL Brent Howard has been promoted to editor.
Longtime Farrar, Straus Children’s editorial director Margaret Ferguson will launch a Margaret Ferguson Books imprint at the company in 2011, PW reports, aiming to publishing about 15 titles a year.
Editor-turned-literary agent Knox Burger, 87, died January 4, the NYT reports today. “A fierce advocate of writers and writing who didn’t suffer pretenders gladly, Mr. Burger was one of the book industry’s notoriously crusty personages. A 1999 guide to literary agents described him as ‘a lean, bald, craggy-faced man with a game leg, which he assists with a cane, an expression usually either amused or sardonic, a gruff manner that can sometimes seem downright brusque, and a reputation as one of the truly upright men in the business.'”