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Sightings (15)

Spotted around the media universe

First Half Sales Slow for Random House - Posted September 4, 2007
The Bookseller's Philip Jones reports that Random House registered a slight year-on-year decline in its first-half revenues and earnings, according to parent Bertelsmann. The group blamed the decline on the "cost of investing in future growth", and came despite a strong perf... [GalleyCat]

Bertelsmann to Restructure Direct Group Unit - Posted August 29, 2007
Reuters reports that Bertelsmann (parent company of Random House) plans to carve up its Direct-Group unit. Bertelsmann bosses will discuss the new structure of the division, which includes the group's book club businesses and generates annual sales of some 2.7 billion euros ($3.7 billi... [GalleyCat]

OFT Clears Advertising Guidelines for Bertelsmann Book Clubs - Posted July 13, 2007
AFX reports that the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said Bertelsmann-owned Book Club Associates (BCA), membership book clubs across the UK selling books online and by mail order, has given undertakings not to use misleading adverts when enticing customers to sign up for its book clubs, although it added that... [GalleyCat]

Bertelsmann Launches Dutch Chain - Posted June 14, 2007
The Bookseller reports that Bertelsmann, Random House's parent company, is expanding its Direct Group with the launch of a new bookselling chain in the Netherlands. The first branch in the Cosmox chain, which combines traditional bookshops with book clubs and online activities, will launch in Alkmaar this autumn. At least two... [GalleyCat]

Who Spiked the Water at 1745 Broadway? - Posted June 11, 2007
It's been a very strange week for the world's largest publishing company. First we had Wednesday's surprise announcement that Crown svp and publisher Steve Ross would be moving to Collins, with ... [GalleyCat]

Bookspan Bloodbath - Posted May 21, 2007
PW Daily reports that a mere six weeks after it acquired complete ownership of Bookspan, Bertelsmann has initiated a major overhaul of the book club business, a process that will eliminate 280 positions, or about 15% of its workforce of 1,900. As part of integrating... [GalleyCat]

Slight Q1 Loss for Bertelsmann - Posted May 15, 2007
Bertelsmann, the international media company and parent company of Random House, announced that the company continued its positive development in the first quarter of 2007. Adjusted for portfolio and foreign exchange effects, revenue rose by 1.7 percent year on year, to 4.4 billion euros. Reported revenue declined slightly though, since this... [GalleyCat]

Bertelsmann Makes Book Clubs Work in Eastern Bloc - Posted May 4, 2007
Business Week has a fascinating piece on the growth and expansion of Bertelsmann's book club arm into Eastern Europe and former Soviet Bloc countries like the Ukraine. In fact, Bertelsmann is enjoying dot-com-like expansion in fast-modernizing Ukraine for its book club, a category that's a slow- or no-growth proposition in the... [GalleyCat]

Private Equity Keen on Thomson - Posted March 27, 2007
Reuters reports that Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, the former private equity owners of Houghton Mifflin Co., are bidding for Thomson Corp.'s text book publishing unit, sources close to the process said Monday, in a deal that could be worth around $5-billion. A separate source told Reuters... [GalleyCat]

When Being Dooced Is Only One Side of the Story - Posted March 6, 2007
Sometimes, even us freewheeling bloggers like to exercise a little restraint. Because reporting on publishing people getting fired for what's clearly a case of going overboard on a small matter is, frankly, not the best use of our time and resources. But since Gawker's now gone ahead and present... [GalleyCat]

Weisberg Departs from Random House - Posted January 31, 2007
PW Daily reported yesterday that Don Weisberg, who has headed the large Random House sales group since Random's acquisition by Bertelsmann in 1998, will leave the company February 28. Weisberg, who is executive vp and COO of North America, also oversees Random House of Canada. All of his duties will be... [GalleyCat]

Changes to Bertelsmann Board - Posted January 25, 2007
The Mohn family, which owns the giant conglomerate (and parent company of Random House) Bertelsmann, has implemented some changes to its supervisory board. A Bertelsmann spokesman confirmed to Scott Roxbrough Wednesday that changes to the Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft (BVG), the holding company that contro... [GalleyCat]

Ostrowski Chosen to be Bertelsmann's New CEO - Posted January 19, 2007
As expected, Liz Mohn, head of the German dynasty that controls Bertelsmann, nominated board member Hartmut Ostrowski to succeed Gunter Thielen as chief executive of Europe's largest media conglomerate, reports the Financial Times. The 64-year-old Thielen will take over as chai... [GalleyCat]

Bertelsmann to pick new CEO - Posted January 16, 2007
The man on the left is Hartmut Ostrowski, head of the printing company Arvato and the current front-runner for the plum position of being the CEO of Bertelsmann (the parent company of Arvato, BMG and Random House.) ... [GalleyCat]

Fun with Expensively Made Corporate Films - Posted January 4, 2007
Now here's a movie that would likely make extremely interesting viewing but is equally likely never to be aired in America: a specially commissioned biopic of Reinhard Mohn, the controversial founding father of the Bertelsmann publishing group. The Times reports that only a few hundred executives will watch t... [GalleyCat]