Louise Burke will retire from Simon & Schuster on August 18, after 16 years with the company and a 40 year career in publishing. She joined S&S in 2001 as publisher of Pocket Books, and in 2009 she led the newly-formed Gallery Books Group, which combined Pocket and what was then Simon Spotlight Entertainment. During her tenure the group launched and grew lines including Karen Hunter Publishing, Jeter Publishing, North Star Way, Scout Press and Threshold Editions, the latter a driver of many big authors for S&S, but also the imprint that signed and then cancelled Milo Yiannopoulos.
S&S ceo Carolyn Reidy writes, “Decisive and direct, Louise has been an outstanding colleague and team player and over the years has contributed mightily to the successes of others. We will miss her enthusiasm and clear-eyed publishing sense, but know that she leaves behind a team of knowledgeable and talented publishing professionals.”
Gallery Books publisher Jennifer Bergstrom has been promoted to senior vice president and publisher of the Gallery Books Group, reporting to Reidy. Bergstrom “will have full responsibility for all the publishing, editorial, publicity, marketing and other functions and activities of the Gallery group.” She joined S&S in 1998 as editorial director for the launch of Simon Spotlight, and was editor in chief of the Gallery imprint when it was formed in 2009.
Reidy writes, “Those of us who have worked with Jen know her to be an unstoppable force. Her energy, commitment and publishing savvy have been instrumental to Gallery’s growth and success, and now she will be applying that formidable drive and knowledge to an even larger and more varied group of imprints and authors in the Gallery Books Group. It will be fun to watch the results.”
In other People news, Becky Melvin has joined the W Publishing Group as director of publicity. Previously she was director of public relations, social relations, and social media for Baltimore’s Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Joshua LaMorey has left Franklin & Siegal and relocated to Berlin.
Eric Kuennen has joined VitalSource as vice president of professional learning. Previously he was vice president for Pearson.
Former longtime Transworld editor Diane Pearson, 85, has died. Transworld managing director Larry Finlay said she “is an integral part of the Transworld story, and hers is a legacy which will burn brightly for years to come.”
The UK’s James Tait Black prizes went to Eimear McBride‘s The Lesser Bohemians for fiction and Laura Cummings‘ The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velazquez for nonfiction.