CEO and chairman of F+W Media for the past 8 years David Nussbaum is leaving that post to become ceo of America’s Test Kitchen/Boston Common Press, starting October 14. COO and CFO Jim Ogle will serve as interim CEO of F+W as well while the board looks for a permanent replacement. Controlling owner Tinicum’s co-managing member Terence O’Toole will take on the role of chairman of the board. O’Toole says in the announcement, “We thank David for his leadership and wish him all the best in his new position. We look forward to working with Jim and the entire F+W management team to continue F+W’s transformation.” Tinicum bought their controlling interest in F+W in May 2014.
Nussbaum had joined the board of ATK’s parent entity Boston Common Press over the summer, and is the company’s first official chief executive officer. He takes over as chairman of the board as well. Managing partner Eliot Wadsworth says in the announcement, “The popularity and financial growth of America’s Test Kitchen and our related enterprises over the past few years have prompted us to formally create the role of CEO.”
Co-founder of Boston-based ABRY Partners Royce Yudkoff former ABRY partner Peni Garber have joined the Boston Common Press board as well. (ABRY owned F+W for a number of years, as well.) America’s Test Kitchen founder Chris Kimball remains as president and “continues to hold key responsibilities,” though Kimball’s ongoing role is the subject of speculation and it’s not clear if he will report to Nussbaum. A company email said, “The board is currently in discussions with Chris and he continues to handle key responsibilities.” The Boston Globe writes that the company “has been in tumult in recent weeks, with rumors flying after a staff meeting and an earlier e-mail regarding coming changes. That e-mail, sources close to the company said, indicated Kimball might depart with wife, Melissa Baldino, an executive producer there, to form a new company.”
In other personnel news, Ira Silverberg will join Simon & Schuster’s adult trade imprint as senior editor on October 5, reporting to Marysue Rucci. After 15 years as an agent at Donadio & Olson and Sterling Lord Literistic, he worked as literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts and most recently has been an advisor at Open Road.
Tom Miller will join the Carol Mann Agency as an agent affiliate on October 20, representing a broad range of nonfiction and fiction authors. He is currently an agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.
Anjali Singh has joined Ayesha Pande Literary as an agent, where she will be pursuing fiction, nonfiction, YA and graphic novels. She was previously editorial director at Other Press, and an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin and Vintage.
Judy McDonough has joined Thomas Nelson as director of publicity, W Publishing Group. She spent the past seven years running her own independent PR firm JEMMedia.
The shortlist was announced for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, with the winner to be named November 17:
The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment by Martin Ford
Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff
Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin by Nathaniel Popper
Unﬁnished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler
How Music Got Free: What Happens When an Entire Generation Commits the Same Crime? by Stephen Witt
Lambda Literary announced a commitment from Chuck Forester to give the organization $1 million. Part of that donation will go to establish the annual Forester Fellowship, “the largest cash prize in the world offered to LGBTQ writers” that “will allow the selected author financial security and uninterrupted time to finish their next book.”
Former publisher of Penguin India and editor-in-chief of Random House India Chiki Sarkar is starting a new publishing company, Juggernaut. They aim to publish 50 titles a year starting in April 2016 and will be distributed by Hachette India. Durga Raghunath is CEO and co-founder (she launched Firstpost and was CEO, Web18) and the team includes such experienced publishing professionals as art director Gavin Morris, managing editor Jaishree Ram Mohan, and editors Nandini Mehta and R. Sivapriya. The announcement says, “Juggernaut will give authors both a digital and a physical platform, and will reimagine books for mobile at both ends of the spectrum – new ways of commissioning and rethinking the reading experience, book distribution and payments.”
Media accounts in India say the company has raised roughly $15 million in funding. Sarkar tells the Business Standard, “We will get a round two with double or treble that money within a year, when there is more to show on paper, because there is plenty of interest. At the moment, my investors have put in money only on the basis of the team and the idea.”