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Inside the REGAN Reorganization

With so many questions yet to be answered – and the likelihood of answers before Monday morning is slim to none – HarperCollins sees fit to address only one so far. In another succinct, two-line statement released late Saturday, the company announced that REGAN will continue operations “under the able leadership of Editorial Director, Cal Morgan, reporting to Michael Morrison, President and Group Publisher Harper/Morrow.” Furthermore, “any future decisions relating to the imprint name or the publication of unpublished books will be addressed at the appropriate time.”

That Morgan is leading the ship, at least for now, should come as no surprise, as he has served as Regan’s second-in-command for several years – most notably editing the work of Jess Walter, Larry Miller, Joe Mowbray and Eric Garcia. In fact, only a few hours before Regan’s firing, Publishers Marketplace posted a deal Morgan struck to tell the story of notable murderer Betty Broderick‘s children.

It’s also not terribly newsworthy that decisions about the imprint’s name and unpublished books won’t be addressed anytime soon. The fall 2007 catalog would have been launched internally by now, which means that spring and summer titles will almost certainly bear the REGAN insignia on the book jacket. Using Hachette Book Group‘s imprints as precedent, it should take approximately 12 months, maybe less, for the name to disappear entirely.

As for HarperMorrow getting custody of REGAN’s assets, that too is not much of surprise (or at least, it wasn’t once I had the org chart figured out.) Ever since the company made clear distinctions between the Harper side and the Collins side back in November 2004, decisions on what books should be placed where have become much more clear cut. Back then, the only standalone “personality” imprints were Rayo, Ecco, and REGAN. Will the remaining two eventually be absorbed? It’s a tiny sidebar to the main story, but don’t be surprised if this becomes news in its own right…

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