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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Bleak Times in Media Businesses

At Showbiz411, Roger Friedman writes about book publishing:
This shabby state of the business is definitely causing trouble in the book business. Three weeks ago, two major literary publishers were fired without notice. Reagan Arthur, the publisher of Alfred A. Knopf, and Lisa Lucas, the publisher of Pantheon and Schocken were dismissed. Lucas was so surprised that she freaked out a bit on social media and then headed off to Paris.

Last week, Little Brown laid off seven top editors including Tracy Sherrod, Pronoy Sarkar, Jean Garnett and Ben George. They were just as shocked.

All of this follows a huge exit of legacy editors last summer at Random House’s Alfred A. Knopf that included veteran star Victoria Wilson, plus Penguin’s Wendy Wolf, Rick Kot, and Paul Slovak. Some, like Wilson, took a retirement package. Others were simply laid off.

If you don’t think there’s a correlation between all these top people getting the axe, and real books disappearing, you’re wrong.

Meantime, publishers keep putting resources in books by personalities, only to see them backfire. Kristi Noem’s “No Way Back,” is already well below number 10,000 on amazon. Tom Selleck’s autobiography is number 598. Whoopi Goldberg’s memoir, which couldn’t have had more publicity, is at number 895. Michael Richards — Kramer from “Seinfeld” — has a memoir that expired within a week.