Entertainment attorney Michael I. Rudell, 78, died Monday. He was managing partner at Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, formed over 55 years ago, and represented many prominent authors. Staff recall, “His wicked wit, empathic personality, frustrating punning and extraordinary brilliance made him a star of the entertainment bar as well as the workplace.”
Chris Dufault will move over to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in the new role of senior vice president, group deputy publisher, publishing and sales operations, starting March 15 and reporting to president and publisher Maya Mavjee. He has been vp, group sales director for PRH. In the new role, Dufault will continue to work “all aspects of our publishing business and will continue to collaborate with our publishing and sales teams,” as well as taking responsibility for hardcover and paperback managing editorial, production, and sales operations teams.
Arcadia Publishing announced a leadership transition plan, with director of business development Brittain Phillips succeeding David Steinberger as ceo, while Steinberger joins the board of directors and remains an investor in the company. Chairman Michael Lynton says in the announcement, “Having set Arcadia on an outstanding growth path, David is ready to step away from day-to-day leadership of the business, and turn the reins over to Brittain.” Also joining the board is media executive William (Billy) Campbell.
Maria Goldverg will move over to Pantheon as senior editor, starting March 1 and reporting to Lisa Lucas. She has been at Vintage and Anchor.
Abby Muller has been promoted to associate editor at Algonquin.
Dr. Florida E. Starks will join Pearson as svp, chief diversity officer, reporting to chief human resources officer Anna Vikström Persson. Most recently Starks was at ConAgra Brands and Best Buy and has “a track record of successfully scaling up internal and external programs that promote inclusivity.”
Publishing veteran Michael Barson will join Melville House as senior publicity executive.
Mandy Chahal has Sourcebooks as senior marketing associate for Poisoned Pen Press. She was previously assistant marketing manager at Harper One.
Kuo-Yu Liang has launched Ku Worldwide, a new global pop-culture publishing consultancy focused on “focused on helping publishing, gaming, comic and other media companies with business development and strategy, product distribution, event production and strategy, publishing and sales.” Liang is a board member at BINC and was previously associate publisher at Del Rey.
Storyglass, the podcasting company spun off from Bertelsmann’s Fremantle which works in alliance with PRH UK and DK UK, hired Steve Carsey as managing director. He was at Audible for the past six years, as senior director for international English.
Independent Publishers Group is forming a new in-house field sales representation team, led by vice president of sales Michael Riley. The team will work directly with independent bookstores and other trade accounts in the US, in conjunction with IPG’s corporate team. They plan to hire new reps to focus on three territories — East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast — and will be “parting with their current commission sales representatives effective May 1.”
Spotify‘s previously-reported plans to build a “book editorial team and strategy” and expand “the books experience” in Spotify gets its first, modest public manifestation this week. They started with a small collection of new recordings of classic works of literature. THR reports, “The company is characterizing the release as one of many tests that it regularly runs to help it improve its user experience.”
Maria Shriver is launching an imprint called The Open Field in partnership with Penguin Life. She will look to “inform, ignite, inspire, and move humanity forward” with books that “will carry readers’ minds beyond judgments and troubles, into new reaches of peace and compassion.” Brian Tart will serve as publisher with Shriver as founder. The line launches in March with The Call to Unite: Voices of Hope and Awakening, edited by Tim Shriver and Tom Rosshirt, and follows in April with Martha Beck’s The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self.
The NYT Book Review plans a yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Book Review, which was first published on October 10, 1896: “Each month, we’ll resurface some of the best, worst, funniest, strangest and most influential coverage from our pages in our digital report and on the back page of the Book Review.”
Little, Brown Children’s has signed a first-look deal with independent content studio Einhorn’s Epic Productions. The deal allows the publisher early access to middle-grade IP generated by the production company to adapt into graphic novels. The production company says the deal will focus on diverse and women-driven creators and characters. The first acquisition under the deal, ABSOLUTE ZEROS, will be published in February 2023.