By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
The UK’s Bonnier Announces Bonnier Publishing USA
Bringing together the London-based Bonnier Publishing‘s existing imprints in the US—Little Bee Books in New York and Weldon Owen US in California—Bonnier Publishing USA is to be led by Shimul Tolia as CEO with Roger Shaw of Weldon Owen handling West Coast operations, including food, drink, and lifestyle titles.
From the announcement of the plan:
“Little Bee Books was started in 2014 and will publish more than 150 titles this year. Weldon Owen US, founded in 1986, was absorbed by Bonnier Publishing in February from sister company Bonnier Corp., bringing the UK book group’s overall revenue to $180 million.
“To prepare for further growth, Bonnier Publishing USA will establish a new flagship office, relocating Little Bee Books from its current premises at 853 Broadway to a larger space at 251 Park Avenue South.
“The new space will be triple the size of the current office and will act as the division’s headquarters. Weldon Owen US will remain at its offices in San Francisco with marketing and PR staff remaining in the New York City office.”
In the company’s prepared statement, Group CEO of Bonnier Publishing Richard Johnson is quoted saying, “We have risen from nowhere to be the fourth largest publisher in the UK and we intend to drive the same growth strategy in the USA in the coming years. Bonnier Publishing USA, headed by the hugely impressive Shimul Tolia, provides the perfect platform for this.
“Our combined US operation currently accounts for $40m of this and the plan is for growth in the USA to $100m by the end of 2019.”
And from Tolia: “This is an exciting time for us at Bonnier Publishing USA. We launched Little Bee Books in NYC with four employees in 2014 and have grown exponentially in just two years. Including the established Weldon Owen business, we now have a dynamic US company of over 40 employees.
“Our results over the last year demonstrate a strategy that’s working and a strong foundation for growth. We can’t wait to relocate to our new offices in New York City and look forward to bringing more of our books to more people.”
Canada’s Publishers Condemn Turkish Media Closures
In Toronto, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) has issued a statement, criticizing the state closure of 29 publishing houses in Turkey. These publishers’ assets, according to ACP, have had their assets seized by the Ankara government following the failed coup in July.
Reports from the BBC confirm the ACP’s statement that “dozens of other media outlets have also been closed,” the BBC citing a total of more than 130 such closures. A three-month declared state of emergency, the BBC reports, is “allowing the president and the government to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.”
The BBC’s report lists “three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 45 papers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers” among Turkish media outlets silenced.
From the Canadian publishers’ statement:
“In addition to the implications for human rights that stem from the government’s actions, the financial consequences for the affected firms, their authors, translators, and employees are severe and threaten the publishing ecosystem in Turkey.”
The organization’s President, Matt Williams, is quoted saying, “Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy and central to human rights. We at the ACP join our colleagues from around the world in urging the government to rescind the decision to close these publishers and to uphold a system where freedom of expression is protected.”