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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Wolff’

Dan Rather Memoir Acquired by Grand Central

News anchor Dan Rather has signed a book deal with Grand Central Publishing for his memoir. The book will be entitled Summing Up, and is tentatively scheduled for spring 2012 publication.

Grand Central executive editor Rick Wolff acquired the book and Paul Fedorko negotiated the deal. The book will cover major historical events ranging from the Watergate scandal to the Iraq War, and it will included very “personal and candid” section about leaving CBS News in a storm of controversy.

Rather (pictured, via) had this statement: “I just felt the time had come for me to sum up my career in a candid memoir, and now I feel the time is right. Plus, with the changing climate – and attitude – about news and journalists, I feel I can give readers an honest perspective on the present, and, more important, on the future of news.”

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Warner Rebrands Business Imprint as Business Plus

PW Daily reports that Grand Central Publishing division will rename its Warner Business imprint Business Plus, with the new name appearing on titles this September. The imprint will work in tandem with Hachette‘s UK subsidiary, Hodder Headline, to give Business Plus a more international scope and “develop joint acquisition strategies and acquire world rights where possible for Business Plus titles.” Rick Wolff will continue to direct the business imprint in the U.S., while David Wilson, editorial director of Hodder, will lead Business Plus in the UK.

ESPN Wants To Hook With Books

Jeff Trachtenberg at the Wall Street Journal looks at the sports network ESPN’s newest venture: trying to get its target 18-34 male crowd to read books. Witness last week’s news about former basketball player John Amaechi‘s recent disclosure that he is gay, Trachtenberg writes. While it isn’t exactly a shocker that some pro athletes happen to be gay, the story quickly became national news. A big part of the reason is that Mr. Amaechi’s memoir “Man in the Middle,” published by ESPN Books, is now hitting the shelves. The imprint is small, but it is using its ties to the rest of ESPN to help build buzz around its titles.

So far, the company has a few good sellers but nothing in the blockbuster domain, though that may change – especially as the big chains recognize ESPN’s marketing potential. In each Borders superstore, for example, there are now two shelves labeled ESPN-Borders Bestsellers; a third is branded ESPN Instant Classics. “We are seeing significant sales increases where we have signage featuring ESPN personalities promoting specific titles,” says Christine Edwards, a Borders category manager. Barnes & Noble publishes two sports encyclopedias in conjunction with ESPN Books, one for football and one for baseball. “It’s worked for us because their brand is ubiquitous,” says Bruce Lubin, a Barnes & Noble vice president.

Rival publishers have noticed. “If they didn’t have the TV stuff and everything else, they’d be as hard-pressed as other publishers to make these books into major events,” says Rick Wolff, executive editor at Hachette Book Group. But having “everything else” does make it likely that a title will break big – perhaps William Nack‘s memoir RUFFIAN, a novella-length account of the racing writer’s relationship with the bad-luck filly who died in 1975 after racing head-to-head with Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure. A movie is forthcoming on the Disney Channel, later to be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2. If that’s not synergy, what is?