Pearson Plc (PSON), the publisher of the Financial Times newspaper, reiterated its full-year earnings forecast and said its restructuring and investment program is on schedule to speed growth next year.
The shares rose as much as 4.1 percent. Adjusted earnings per share will be 62 pence to 67 pence in 2014, London-based Pearson said in a statement today. Profit will be heavily weighted to the second half, it said. First-quarter sales dropped 6 percent on a stronger British pound versus the U.S. dollar, according to the statement.
Spanish media group Prisa said yesterday it had agreed to sell Alfaguara, publisher of Nobel-prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa and several other editorial brands, to Penguin Random House for 72 million euros (US$100 million).
Penguin Random House is majority owned by German media group Bertelsmann, while Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times, holds a minority stake. Bertelsmann and Pearson last year completed the merger of their publishers Penguin and Random House.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has had a decent reception in its return to the public markets, with a solid gain since its November 2013 initial public offering. The company was a victim of the changes sweeping the book-publishing business, including a shift to digital distribution delivered via e-readers and tablets, which has generally led to lower product pricing and profit compression for publishers. After a trip through bankruptcy court in 2012, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has reemerged more focused and lighter, having rid itself of close to $3 billion in debt. So, is it a worthwhile play for investors?
BEIJING - Chinese readers of Ezra F. Vogel's sprawling biographyof China's reformist leader Deng Xiaoping may have missed a few details that appeared in the original English edition. The Chinese version did not mention that Chinese newspapers had been ordered to ignore the Communist implosion across Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. Nor that General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, purged during the Tiananmen Square crackdown, wept when he was placed under house arrest.
Prize-winning investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein will speak to true crime fans and conspiracy enthusiasts around the globe through a series of interactive online video chats discussing some of history's most intriguing unsolved crimes, which are the topic of his recent book, The Annals of Unsolved Crime.
The series will comprise an initial six online chats on Tuesdays at 5pm EDT and will be powered by Shindig.com, an interactive platform for large scale video chat events, allowing attendees to enjoy a live talk by a notable personality, share the stage to ask them questions face-to-face or to privately video chat with other participants in the event. "Shindig provides an extraordinary interactive means of directly answering questions provoked by the cases in my book," Epstein said. The discussions will be free, but are limited to the first 800 RSVPs who sign up at: www.mhpbooks.com/unsolvedcrime
Farmington Hills, Mich., April 2, 2013 — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced plans to unify, over the coming years, its extensive digital humanities collections on one state-of-the-art platform, creating the world’s largest online curated primary source and literary collection. The new research experience, Artemis, named for the Greek goddess who symbolizes new ideas, discovery, power and “the hunt,” will enable researchers to make connections and realize relationships among content that has never before been possible.
It appears that Amazon’s warehouses are the global book distribution chain’s equivalent of modern day sweatshops. Earlier this week Amazon fired its German security firm after a documentary film crew from ARD tied it to a far right wing group. The film crew revealed that seasonal workers hired by an Amazon subcontractor in Germany, many of whom were previously unemployed, were driven around Germany in buses, housed in poor conditions and kept under constant surveillance by the aforementioned security guards.
The Financial Times notes in their report on the firing:
The recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann in Germany, sent shock waves throughout Western publishing circles. This new leviathan will publish a quarter of all books appearing in English, with annual sales of close to $4 billion, yet it is being treated by The New York Times and other media as a routine and perhaps even beneficial development.
As we mentioned yesterday, the marketplace of ideas around what the Random House/Penguin merger all means is heating up. The Financial Times' Robert Cookson looks at bigness vs. smallness and might vs. agility as competing strategies for success in an increasingly digital world. In smallness' corner is indie house Salt Publishing's Christopher Hamilton-Emery:
“I don’t think big necessarily means better." The rise of digital publishing, he argues, is likely to lead to an “explosion” of smaller, more focused publishers that can harness technology to establish relationships directly with consumers. —Brian Howard
Pearson, the British media conglomerate, said Thursday that it was in talks to combine its Penguin publishing house with Random House, owned by Bertelsmann of Germany.
The deal, if completed, would bring together two of the biggest book publishers in the world, uniting Penguin and its iconic orange logo with the owner of Crown Publishing and Knopf Doubleday. The combination would create a division with greater scale that could compete in a rapidly evolving e-book market.