Susan Moldow, president of Scribner Publishing Group and publisher of Touchstone, is retiring at the end of the year. She has been with Simon & Schuster since 1994, shortly after the Macmillan acquisition. CEO Carolyn Reidy notes, “Her first order of business was to rationalize and reorganize a collection of three disparate adult imprints-Charles Scribner’s Sons, Macmillan and Atheneum-and forge them together as one: Scribner, a single powerful brand that at once acknowledged and cherished the distinguished history and tradition of those diverse imprints, while also signaling a new and contemporary focus that would revitalize and move Scribner forward. And what a turnaround it has been: under Susan’s leadership Scribner has enjoyed many years of unbroken accomplishment that could easily be a case study for how to build and run a successful publishing imprint.”
Moldow told Reidy of her intention to retire in the spring. Reidy tells employees, “I know that many of you, like me, are grateful to have had the pleasure of working with Susan and observing up close her singular mind, her unique success as a modern-day publisher, and that one-of-a-kind, frequently pessimistic sense of humor, all of which makes time spent with her an experience not to be forgotten.”
Karen Mayer, senior vice president, associate general counsel, of Penguin Random House will retire this month after 33 years with the company. Anke Steinecke, executive vice president, general counsel said, “She is widely admired throughout the company, the publishing industry, and the media bar as an attorney of extreme skill and integrity – a collaborative colleague who is a tough and unrelenting advocate when there is a position to defend, but always fair-minded, respectful, and decent. Among the most important legacies of Karen’s career are the people she has hired, trained, mentored and inspired throughout her career, both within the legal ranks and throughout the company.”
Chris Rogers has joined Dunow, Carlson & Lerner as agent. He was editorial director at Yale University Press from 2009 to 2016.
Liz Gorinsky, formerly of Tor, has founded Erewhon Books, a new speculative fiction publisher based in New York and distributed by Workman. Gorinsky serves as president and publisher, working with business advisor Peter Burri, who co-founded The Experiment. Erewhon plans to launch its first titles in 2020. Gorinsky said, “I’ve been honored to publish many beautiful SF&F books that have been bestselling, award-nominated, critically acclaimed (or all three!), and I’m thrilled to carry on my work with the many great authors in this genre and build the special attention and individual approach that a boutique independent publisher can provide.”
Norah Piehl has been promoted to executive director of the Boston Book Festival, succeeding founding director Deborah Z Porter, who will continue as chair of the board.
Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund and partner at the law firm Kaplan, Hecker and Fink will represent Moira Donegan in the defamation suit against her and other anonymous women filed by Stephen Elliott. Kaplan said: “Given the fact that (1) the case against Ms. Donegan is extremely weak both factually and legally; (2) our client is a freelance writer who obviously doesn’t have the resources to satisfy any monetary judgment; and (3) the case was filed in New York, a state with perhaps the most protective standard for free speech in the nation, it seems pretty clear to us that the whole point of the lawsuit is to intimidate other women against speaking out in a similar manner in the future.”
Kaplan is handling the case pro bono for now. She told the NYT “she had been unaware of crowdfunded efforts to assist Ms. Donegan before taking the case, and that using that money would be ‘subject to discussion with Moira in the future.'”
Kara Plikaitis will join Shambhala Publications as senior director, production and design; creative director, Roost Books and Bala Kids on October 31. She was previously associate creative director at Ten Speed Press.
Bonnier Publishing USA has hired Shari Lichtner, as production manager (she was production director at Hachette Book Group); Patricia Alvarado as production coordinator (she was backlist manufacturing controller at Oxford University Press); and Evan Oare as national account manager (he was sales manager, specialty retail at Penguin Random House).
Former longtime Little, Brown editor and publisher Little, Brown Roger Donald, 82, died at home in Condon, MT on Oct. 11 after a long illness. The Missoulian writes: “He was a passionate advocate for his writers, a generous colleague, and mentor who delighted in the success of his younger associates.”