Kate Dresser has been promoted to senior editor at Gallery.
Shawn Sarles has joined DK as a sales manager (after serving as a sales Analyst at Hachette Book Group); and Katie Schloss has joined the company as a brand manager.
At the University of Chicago Press, Carrie Olivia Adams has been named promotions and marketing communications director of the books division.
Richard Atkinson left his position as senior commissioning editor at Bloomsbury UK in November after 12 years with the company to focus on writing a family memoir.
Former vp and divisional sales director at Random House Gail Browning, 80, died recently. Jaci Updike, who was hired by Brown as a sales rep for Bantam 30 years ago, writes to staff: “Gail was a beloved mentor to many of us, and while her actual territorial responsibility was the western states, we liked to joke that she was the boss of us all…. She taught me how my job ought to be done, for which I owe her so much.” Browning retired from Random House in 2003.
Atticus LLC, Scott Rudin‘s production company for the stage play of To Kill A Mockingbird, has blocked a planned UK production of an earlier adaptation of Harper Lee’s book by playwright Christopher Sergel. Attorneys for Atticus told the UK’s Jonathan Church Productions that they would sue to over planned stagings in London and Leicester.
“We own and control those rights, so there was of course no choice but to enforce the agreement we have with the estate of Harper Lee,” Rudin told the NYT. Jonathan Church Productions says they had licensed Sergel’s adaptation from Dramatic Publishing Company, which acquired rights from Lee in 1969 and has licensed UK productions as recently as 2016.
WH Smith announced their annual Christmas trading update, with sales up 6 percent across the business, and like-for-like sales flat in the 20 weeks ending January 19, 2019. Half that growth is thanks to the November 2018 acquisition of InMotion, the US digital accessories retailer.
Drilling down, the numbers and news follow the longstanding trend: Sales growth and new stores for the high-performing travel business, which now includes InMotion, and slow contraction in sales and footprint of the High Street business. High Street sales were down 1 percent, with same store sales down 2 percent, billed as “good performance.” Indeed, it is a smaller decline than the roughly 5 percent of the past few years. The company attributed the showing particularly to “good growth in Christmas cards, wrap, diaries and fashion stationery” – which has grown to represent about half of that business’ sales.
Separately, Bonnier-owned French children’s publisher Piccolia filed for liquidation on January 14, “based on Piccolia’s past and expected future performance in the French market.”
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