Today Random House took the next step set in motion from the companywide reorganization in late 2008, consolidating the Ballantine and Bantam Dell lines into a new Ballantine Bantam Dell group. Libby McGuire will run the merged division as svp, publisher, and Bantam Dell evp, publisher and editor-in-chief Nita Taublib is leaving the company.
Random House Publishing Group president Gina Centrello writes to employees “I am saddened that with the organizational changes we are announcing this morning for Ballantine and Bantam Dell” Taublib will “step down.” Calling her a “one-of-a-kind editor and a team-building publisher,” Centrello writes, “she is one of the rare publishing executives who combines a keen editorial appreciation for a diverse range of authors with the skillful execution of all the administrative details that go into bringing their books into the marketplace.”
In the biggest realignment under McGuire, Random House editorial director Jennifer Hershey is switching jobs to serve as editor-in-chief of BBD, overseeing all Ballantine, Del Rey and Bantam editors, with Ballantine editorial director Linda Marrow and Bantam editorial director Kate Miciak reporting to her. Hershey will continue to edit her own list of authors as editor-at-large for the Random House imprint. No replacement was named for Hershey’s little Random role, with that editorial department continuing under the leadership of Susan Kamil.
Publisher of Del Rey/Spectra Scott Shannon adds additional responsibility as mass market publisher for BBD, and Kim Hovey is associate publisher for the new group, with both continuing to report to McGuire. Gina Wachtel is promoted to mass market associate publisher. Trade paperbacks for all the BBD lines will continue to be published under the direction of svp, publisher Jane von Mehren.
Since the earlier absorption of Bantam Dell, certain departments already had consolidated leadership, including publicity and rights, but Ballantine and Bantam Dell had retained separate editorial departments up until now.
As to any question of whether this new mega-group lessens the place of Random House imprints within the group, spokesperson Carol Schneider says “it in no way diminishes the Random House side” and “will make no difference whatsoever” in their publishing. She calls it “a sleeker organization” combining Ballantine and Bantam Dell. There are no other staff reductions as a result of the new group.