People, Etc.

At the Random House Publishing Group, Melissa Milsten has been named director, partnerships and business development, reporting to Allison Dobson. In her new role Milsten will focus on developing long-term relationships with consumer brands and products to expand the audience for RHPG authors, increase marketing, publicity, and digital reach, and develop new revenue streams.

Diana Coglianese has been promoted to editor for Knopf and Pantheon.

Last Friday Hastings "dismissed 14 mid-level to executive employees" in order to cut their administrative costs. CEO and chairman John Marmaduke has relinquished the presidency, promoting Alan Van Ongevalle to president and chief operating officer as of February 15. He has worked for Hastings since 1992, most recently as evp of merchandising.

German children's book author Otfried Preussler, 89, died on February 18. The NYT notes: "Preussler's books were read aloud to generations of German children. They adored his characters, among them a freedom-seeking scarecrow; young wizards who can turn into ravens at any second; and, most famously, Hotzenplotz, a robber who deftly outwits Dimpfelmoser, an inept policeman." Preussler is said to have sold 50 million copies worldwide--but "the last weeks of his life were consumed by controversy over his 1957 book The Little Witch,” after he and the publisher agreed to replace a word seen as a racial slur.

We have often observed at the London Book Fair that the locals hate working on Sundays--when the trade show used to open on Sundays, the second day was always busier than the first--and next year the event will adjust its dates again to accommodate that impulse. The 2014 trade event will run Tuesday (April 8) through Thursday, which means that their digital conference, which convenes the day before the exhibit floor opens, can convene on Monday. Director Jacks Thomas says in the announcement, "We've listened to feedback from the past couple of years and it's apparent that the majority of our attendees would prefer the entire book fair programme to take place during the normal working week."