April 13, 2021

Report: “Simon & Schuster is Up for Sale, ViacomCBS CEO Says”

From The Hollywood Reporter:

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish on Wednesday signaled book publisher Simon & Schuster is up for sale.

“We’ve made the determination that Simon & Schuster is not a core asset of the company. It is not video based; it doesn’t have significant connectivity to our broader business. At the same time, there’s no question it’s a marquee asset that’s highly valuable. I’ve had multiple, unsolicited inbound calls about that asset,” Bakish told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, in a session that was live-streamed.

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From Variety

In a memo to staffers Wednesday, Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy said that the publishing house  has “a history of strong and long lasting relationships with our authors, and we will continue to bring important voices to readers around the world, both with our current publishing and our rich backlist of perenially favorite titles.’

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From the LA Times

It is unclear how much ViacomCBS might fetch from the sale. Book publishing is no longer a growth business but its revenue has been relatively stable in recent years, and Simon & Schuster has some of the world’s most recognizable authors, including Mary Higgins Clark and Doris Kearns Goodwin. The publishing house probably will be sold to another publishing firm looking to merge assets and create cost savings.

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Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 by Richard L. “Dick” Simon and M. Lincoln “Max” Schuster. Their initial project was a crossword puzzle book, which was a roaring success. The company has since grown to become a diverse house that publishes approximately 2,000 titles a year. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Publishing, Scribner Publishing Group, Atria Publishing Group and Gallery Publishing. Simon & Schuster and its imprints have won 56 Pulitzer Prizes and numerous National Book Awards and Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

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From The NY Times:

A sale of Simon & Schuster, one of the five largest book publishers in the country, would shake up the publishing industry, which has become a winner-take-all business dominated by huge companies and brand-name authors.

A wave of consolidations has swept the book business in the last decade. In that series of moves, Penguin and Random House merged, Hachette Book Group acquired Perseus Books and News Corporation bought the romance publisher Harlequin.

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“It hasn’t been a strong growth industry in a long time, and what little growth there has been recently seems to be arrested,” said Thad McIlroy, a publishing industry analyst.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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