Former ceo of Bantam Books Oscar Dystel, 101, “widely acknowledged as one of the great architects of modern trade publishing”, died Wednesday morning. As chief executive and publisher of Bantam from 1954 through 1978 (with another two years as chairman) Dystel was responsible for some of the most successful paperbacks in the 20th century including EXODUS by Leon Uris; JAWS by Peter Benchley; and Jacqueline Susann’s VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. In a statement Random House paid tribute to Dystel as “a mentor and muse for innumerable authors and past and present colleagues of ours throughout publishing. He was a giant, who shaped our potential and our legacy.” Dystel is survived by his daughter, the literary agent Jane Dystel.
Random House also issued a statement Wednesday on the death of Maya Angelou, published by the house for more than 40 years. Longtime editor Bob Loomis said: “Maya, a dear friend, helped change our hearts and minds about the African American experience in the United States, bringing it to vivid life, and her spirit and energy crossed all borders and deeply affected readers around the world.”
President and publisher of Random House Gina Centrello added, “Today a light has gone out at Random House. Dr. Angelou was an inspiration to all, and we are proud and honored to have known her and to be part of the devoted team that publishes her work. Maya will be deeply missed.”
At Dey Street Books, Kendra Newton has been named senior marketing manager. Previously she had her own freelance publicity and marketing business, and before then was an account manager at Full Picture PR.
Coffee House Press marketing director Caroline Casey has been promoted to managing director, expanding her role to include communications, strategy, and individual giving.
Byliner co-founder and editor-in-chief Mark Bryant recently left the company, the Information reported last week, “amid investor efforts to find a new path for the company.” We have heard separately from people familiar with the situation that the company has been looking for a buyer. Our queries to the company and some investors did not elicit any replies.
Simon & Schuster will distribute TC Media, publisher of the Canadian Living cookbooks, Style at Home, and The Hockey News, in both Canada and the US as of July 1, 2014.