Simon & Schuster is launching a new imprint, Avid Reader Press, inspired by “the spirit invoked” in former Simon & Schuster editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb’s memoir Avid Reader, with its first titles launching in late 2019 or early 2020. Jofie Ferrari-Adler will serve as vice president and publisher of the new line, and Ben Loehnen is vice president and editor in chief, both moving over from their current positions as executive editors at S&S. They will hire “at least one more senior editorial partner who will specialize in fiction, while also building a dedicated staff across editorial, publicity, and marketing.”
Ferrari-Adler and Loehnen said in a joint statement: “In our experience the most rewarding publishing—for writers, for agents, for booksellers, and, ultimately, for readers—has three common denominators: great books, published with intense focus, in true partnership. We want to put together a small band of cheerful literary warriors who publish every book with avidity.”
President of Simon & Schuster adult publishing Jon Karp said, “One day, I hope Avid Reader will be listed among other notable spin-offs, just as PayPal was spun off from eBay, or Rhoda was spun off from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or Huckleberry Finn was spun off from Tom Sawyer. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing the fruits of this exciting new publishing enterprise.”
CEO of Bertelsmann-backed online education company Udacity Vishal Makhijani “has decided to move on to new challenges.” Founder and executive chairman Sebastian Thrun will run the company while it searches for a new ceo. Last month TechCrunch had reported that Udacity laid off five percent of their employees globally “based on carefully considered, strategic business decisions.”
Tessa Meischeid has joined Penguin Children’s as senior publicist. Previously, she was associate publicist at Abrams Children’s.
President of Lion Forge Geoff Gerber left the company in August, and created Anchorplate IP, a new consultancy.