Publishers, Weakly: What The Penguin/Random House Merger Really Means

Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 04:41 PM.

That’s not marketing.

That’s masochism.

A New York editor who worked at Penguin once told me that his boss called all the employees into a meeting and said, “If there’s any merger talk, you’ll hear about it from me and not from the New York Times.”

A few days later, he was reading The New York Times on the subway on the way to work, and read that Penguin was merging with another publisher.

Here we go again.

If it weren’t for Fifty Shades of Gray, Random House (and Barnes & Noble, for that matter) would have been on life support.  There would have been nothing left to merge.

Penguin’s owner, Pearson LLC, is the smartest guy in the room, dumping off Penguin’s trade publishing on Bertlesmann, a German conglomerate which somehow still thinks it can make money selling books.



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