Sarah Weinman on Random House changes: Will New M&A Exec Expand or Shrink the Publisher?

Despite Sarah Weinman's excellent breakdown in this Daily Finance article, I'm having a hard time tracking changes at Random House.
Consolidation has been the strategy of Random House's parent company Bertelsmann throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Most famously, in 1998, it scooped up Random House -- which had long owned imprints Knopf and Pantheon -- and tucked it under the same umbrella as Bantam (acquired in 1980), Doubleday (1986), and Crown (1988), creating the behemoth we know today...

"Dohle is all about core businesses, consolidation and trying to get control of the beast," one industry insider told DailyFinance. Control, in this case, may be about separating out chaff instead of buying more wheat.
Read the rest here.

Here in my own little corner in my own little chair, I'm finishing up another thoroughly enjoyable experience at Random House. I've done three books there in the last six years, and the corporate structure has gone through a lot of changes in that time, but the people on the ground are consistently terrific, work incredibly hard, and genuinely love the art of publishing. The artistic culture at Random House doesn't float down from above. It's between the lines. Walk in their front door and you'll see what I mean.

This kind of movement is like changes in the weather down here on the Gulf Coast. Storms roll in, sun shines, winds blow, heat rises. Yes, we get beat up by the occasional hurricane. But we keep doing what we do.


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