Random House

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Random House
Founded1927;94 years ago (1927)
Founders Bennett Cerf, Donald Klopfer
FateActive
HeadquartersUnited States
Number of locations
Random House Tower, New York City, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Markus Dohle (CEO, Penguin Random House)
Núria Cabutí (CEO, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial)
Gina Centrello (President & Publisher, The Random House Publishing Group)
Anthony Chirico (President, Knopf Publishing Group)
Barbara Marcus (President & Publisher, Random House Children's Books)
Brad Martin (President & CEO, Random House of Canada)
Maya Mavjee (President & Publisher, Crown Publishing Group)
Nihar Malaviya (chief operating officer, Random House, Inc.)
Reagan Arthur (Executive Vice President & Publisher, Knopf, Pantheon, and Schocken)
Gail Rebuck (Chairman & CEO, The Random House Group UK)
Dr. Frank Sambeth (Chairman & CEO, Verlagsgruppe Random House)
Frank Steinert (Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Random House Worldwide)
ProductsBooks
RevenueIncrease2.svg€2.142 billion (2012)
Owner Bertelsmann
Number of employees
5,712 (as of December 31, 2012)
Parent Penguin Random House
Website randomhousebooks.com

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. [1] [2] [3] The company has several independently managed subsidiaries around the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

Contents

History

Random House was founded in 1927 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, two years after they acquired the Modern Library imprint from publisher Horace Liveright, which reprints classic works of literature. Cerf is quoted as saying, "We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random," which suggested the name Random House. [4] In 1934 they published the first authorized edition of James Joyce's novel Ulysses in the Anglophone world. [5]

Ulysses really launched Random House. ... Random House grew into a formidable publisher over the next two decades. In 1936, it absorbed the firm of Smith and Haas—Robert Haas became the third partner until retiring and selling his share back to Bennett and Donald in 1956—which added authors including Faulkner, Isak Dinesen, André Malraux, Robert Graves, and Jean de Brunhoff, who wrote the Babar children's books. Random House also hired legendary editors Harry Maule, Robert Linscott, and Saxe Commins, and they brought authors such as Sinclair Lewis and Robert Penn Warren with them. [6]

Random House entered reference publishing in 1947 with the American College Dictionary, which was followed in 1966 by its first unabridged dictionary. In October 1959, Random House went public at $11.25 a share. This move drew other publishing companies, such as Simon & Schuster, to later go public. [7] American publishers Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Beginner Books were acquired by Random House in 1960 and Pantheon Books in 1961; works continue to be published under these imprints with editorial independence, such as Everyman's Library, a series of classical literature reprints. In 1965, RCA bought Random House as part of a diversification strategy. Random House acquired the paperback book publisher Ballantine Books in 1973. [8] RCA sold Random House to Advance Publications in 1980. [7] [9] In 1988, Random House acquired Crown Books. [10] Also in 1988, McGraw-Hill acquired the Schools and Colleges division of Random House Inc. [11]

Acquisition by Bertelsmann

In 1998, Bertelsmann AG bought Random House and merged it with Bantam Doubleday Dell and it soon went global. [12] In 1999, Random House acquired the children's audiobook publisher Listening Library. [13]

Phyllis E. Grann joined Random House as vice-chairman in 2001. [14] Grann was the CEO for Putnam and had grown that house from $10 million in revenue in 1976, to over $200 million by 1993 and without increasing their title output. [14] A publishing insider commented that then CEO Peter Olson was, "I think maybe instead of buying a company he bought a person." [14]

Coinciding with the 2007–2008 financial crisis, the publishing industry was hit hard with weak retail sales. In May 2008, Random House CEO Peter Olson stepped down and Bertelsmann replaced Olson with Marcus Dohle. [15] By October of that year, Doubleday, a division of Random House announced that they would lay off 16 people or about 10% of its workforce. [16] In early December, what became known as Black Wednesday in publishing circles, many publishers including Random House took steps by restructuring their divisions and laying off employees. [17] The reorganization consolidated and created three divisions—Random House Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and Crown Publishing Group. [18] [19] Susan Kamil, was named editorial director for Dial Press and editor-in-chief of Random House imprints reporting to Gina Centrello, the president and publisher of the Random House Publishing Group. [17] There were layoffs in the Doubleday imprint (now part of Knopf Publishing Group) and Dial Press, Bantam Dell, and Spiegel & Grau were moved from Doubleday over to the Random House imprints.

Random House also has an entertainment production arm for film and television, Random House Studio; one release in 2011 was One Day . The company also creates story content for media including video games, social networks on the web, and mobile platforms. It is one of the largest English-language publishers, along with the group formerly known as the "Big 6", now known as the "Big Five". [20]

Merger with Penguin

In October 2012, Bertelsmann entered into talks with rival conglomerate Pearson plc, over the possibility of combining their respective publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. The merger was completed on July 1, 2013, and the new company is Penguin Random House. [21] When founded, Bertelsmann owned 53% of the joint venture while Pearson owned 47%. [22] Pearson sold 22% of its shares to Bertelsmann in July 2017, and since April 2020, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann, making Random House division again wholly owned by German parent. At the time of the acquisition the combined companies controlled 25% of the book business with more than 10,000 employees and 250 independent publishing imprints and with about $3.9 billion in annual revenues. [22] The move to consolidate was to provide leverage against Amazon.com and battle the shrinking state of bookstores. [22]

In October 2018, Penguin Random House merged two of its most known publishing lines, Random House and the Crown Publishing Group. According to Madeline McIntosh, chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., the two lines "will retain their distinct editorial identities." [23] McIntosh explained some of the motivation behind the merger in a memo to employees, writing, "Book discovery and buying patterns continue to shift, resulting in growth opportunities in the nonfiction categories in which Crown in particular already has a strong foothold: food, lifestyle, health, wellness, business, and Christian." [23] "We must invest even more aggressively in title-level and scaled marketing programs, capabilities and partnerships," she added. [23] Detailing additional growth strategies, McIntosh explained of the merger, "We will need to do two things simultaneously. First, we must expand and strengthen the expert publishing teams who are specialized in and dedicated to each category. Second, we must invest even more aggressively in title-level and scaled marketing programs, capabilities, and partnerships. This will ensure that we not only maximize the sales for each individual book but also keep pace with consumer trends." [24]

Organization

Headquarters

The publisher's main office in the United States is located at 1745 Broadway in Manhattan, in the 684-foot – 210 m Penguin Random House Tower, completed in 2009 and spanning the entire west side of the block between West 55th Street and West 56th. Its lobby showcases floor-to-ceiling glassed-in bookcases filled with books published by the company's many imprints. Earlier addresses were 457 Madison Avenue, New York 22, NY; 20 East 57th Street, New York 22, NY; and 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022.[ citation needed ]

International branches

Random House, Inc. maintains several independently managed subsidiaries around the world.

The Random House Group

The Random House Group is one of the largest general book publishing companies in the United Kingdom,[ citation needed ] it is based in London. [25]

The Group comprises five publishing companies: Cornerstone Publishing, Vintage Publishing, Ebury Publishing, Random House Children's Publishers UK and Transworld Publishers, with more than 40 diverse imprints.[ citation needed ]

Its distribution business services its own imprints as well as 60 other UK publishers.[ citation needed ]

The Random House archive and library is located in Rushden in Northamptonshire.

In 1989, Century Hutchinson was folded into the British Random House Group, [26] briefly known as Random Century (1990 - 92), [27] [25] Century became an imprint of the group's Cornerstone Publishing. [28]

The Random House Group also operates branches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (as a joint venture under the name Random House Struik), and India as part of its overseas structure.[ citation needed ] In Australia offices are in Sydney and Melbourne. [29] In New Zealand it is based in Glenfield, Auckland, while Random House's Indian headquarters are located in New Delhi.

Verlagsgruppe Random House was established after Bertelsmann's 1998 acquisition of Random House, grouping its German imprints (until then operating as Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann) under the new name; before April 2020, it has explicitly no legal part of the worldwide Penguin Random House company and a hundred percent subsidiary of Bertelsmann instead but de facto is led by the same management. It is the second largest book publisher in Germany with more than 40 imprints, including historic publishing houses Goldmann and Heyne Verlag, as well as C. Bertelsmann, the publishing house from which today's Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA would eventually evolve. Verlagsgruppe Random House is headquartered in Munich (with additional locations in Gütersloh (where Bertelsmann is headquartered), Cologne, and Aßlar), employs about 850 people, and publishes roughly 2,500 titles per year. Following the formation of Penguin Random House, a Penguin Verlag (with no legal connection to Penguin Books) was founded for the German market in 2015, as part of the Verlagsgruppe Random House. With Bertelsmann acquiring full ownership of Penguin Random House in April 2020, Verlagsgruppe Random House is being reintegrated with the main Penguin Random House company. [30]

Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial is Random House's Spanish-language division, targeting markets in Spain and Hispanic America. It is headquartered in Barcelona with locations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay, and the United States. From 2001 until November 2012, it was a joint venture with Italian publisher Mondadori (Random House Mondadori). Upon Bertelsmann's acquisition of Mondadori's stake in the JV, the name was kept temporarily four months. [31] Some Spanish-language authors published by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial include Roberto Bolaño, Javier Marías, Mario Vargas Llosa and Guillermo Arriaga.

Random House of Canada [32] was established in 1944 as the Canadian distributor of Random House Books. In 1986 the company established its own indigenous Canadian publishing program that has become one of the most successful in Canadian history. Until January 2012, it used to hold a 25% stake in McClelland & Stewart, with the remaining 75% being controlled by the University of Toronto. It is now the sole owner of McClelland & Stewart.

Takeda Random House Japan was founded in May 2003 as a joint venture between Kodansha and Random House. [33] In 2009, Random House discontinued the joint venture.[ citation needed ] The company filed for bankruptcy on December 14, 2012. [33]

In 2006, Random House invested in Random House Korea. In 2010, Random House divested their ownership.[ citation needed ]

In April 2010, the company announced that Random House Australia managing director, Margie Seale, would take on the responsibilities of exploring and evaluating potential business opportunities in Asia. [34]

See also

Related Research Articles

Doubleday is an American publishing company. It was founded as the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 and was the largest in the United States by 1947. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House. In 2019, the official website presents Doubleday as an imprint, not a publisher.

Hutchinson was a British publishing firm which operated from 1887 until 1985, when it underwent several mergers. It is currently an imprint which is ultimately owned by Bertelsmann, the German publishing conglomerate.

Penguin Group is a British trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann initially owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson PLC initially owning the remaining 47%. Since December 2019, Penguin Random House has been wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

Simon & Schuster American publishing company

Simon & Schuster is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of ViacomCBS founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was the third largest publisher in the United States, publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints.

Dell Comics American comic book publisher

Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1974. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium. In 1953 Dell claimed to be the world's largest comics publisher, selling 26 million copies each month.

Alfred A. Knopf American publishing house

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is an American publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group division of Penguin Random House which is owned by the German conglomerate Bertelsmann. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925.

E. P. Dutton former American book publishing company

E. P. Dutton was an American book publishing company. It was founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton.

Grosset & Dunlap is a United States publishing house founded in 1898.

New American Library American publisher

The New American Library is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its initial focus was affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works as well as popular and pulp fiction, but it now publishes trade and hardcover titles. It is currently an imprint of Penguin Random House; it was announced in 2015 that the imprint would publish only nonfiction titles.

G. P. Putnams Sons

G. P. Putnam's Sons is an American book publisher based in New York City, New York. Since 1996, it has been an imprint of the Penguin Group.

Bantam Books Publisher from the USA

Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine, with funding from Grosset & Dunlap and Curtis Publishing Company. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it to form Bantam Doubleday Dell. It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.

Vintage Books is a trade paperback publishing imprint established in 1954 by Alfred A. Knopf.

Dell Publishing American publisher

Dell Publishing is an American publisher of books, magazines and comic books, that was founded in 1921 by George T. Delacorte Jr. with $10,000, two employees and one magazine title, I Confess, and soon began turning out dozens of pulp magazines, which included penny-a-word detective stories, articles about films, and romance books.

The Crown Publishing Group is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House that publishes across several categories including fiction, non-fiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, cooking, health, business, and lifestyle. Its imprints include Crown, Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum, Hogarth, Three Rivers Press, Clarkson Potter, Potter Craft, Potter Style, Broadway Books, Broadway Paperbacks, Image, WaterBrook/Multnomah, Harmony Books, Rodale Books, Watson-Guptill, Amphoto Books, and Ten Speed Press. Formerly, the company also used the Bell Tower Press, Orion Books, and related imprints and subsidiaries, such as Gramercy Publishing Company. However, these have now either been discontinued or transferred to other Random House units.

Transworld Publishers

Transworld Publishers Ltd. is a British publishing house in Ealing, London that is a division of Penguin Random House, one of the world's largest mass media groups. It was established in 1950 as the British division of American company Bantam Books. It publishes fiction and non fiction titles by various best-selling authors including Val Wood under several different imprints. Hardbacks are either published under the Doubleday or the Bantam Press imprint, whereas paperbacks are published under the Black Swan, Bantam or Corgi imprint.

Ebury Publishing is a division of Penguin Random House, and is a well-known publisher of general non-fiction books in the UK. Ebury was founded in 1961 as a division of Nat Mags and was originally located on Ebury Street in London. It was sold to Century Hutchinson in 1989; Century Hutchinson was acquired by Random House. Random House merged with Penguin Group to form Penguin Random House in 2013.

Doubleday Canada is an imprint of the publishing company Penguin Random House Canada. The company used to be known as Forboys. It was incorporated in 1936, and since 1945 it has been known as Doubleday Canada Limited. In 1986 parent company Doubleday was acquired by Bertelsmann. Due to Canadian policy at the time, majority control of Doubleday Canada was sold to Anna Porter. Porter sold her shares to Winnipeg businessman Abraham Simkin in 1991. Random House of Canada, which has just been acquired by Bertelsmann, acquired Doubleday Canada in 1999. In 2013, Random House of Canada and Penguin Canada merged to form Penguin Random House Canada.

Broadway Books American book publisher

Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a Division of Random House, Inc., released its first list in Fall, 1996. Broadway was founded in 1995 as a unit of Bantam Doubleday Dell a unit of Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann acquired Random House in 1998 and merged Broadway into a combined group with Doubleday the next year. Random House reorganized again in 2008, with Doubleday moving to Knopf and Broadway moving to its current home at Crown. Broadway's general-interest publishing was combined with Crown in 2010. Broadway became the paperback publishing for the Crown imprint in 2010.

Penguin Random House Multinational conglomerate publishing company

Penguin Random House LLC is a multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Penguin Group and Random House.

Phyllis E. Grann is a former book editor and publishing executive. She was the first female CEO of a major publishing firm, Penguin Putnam, and one of the most commercially successful publishers in recent history. She was a long-time editor for Knopf Doubleday, and a former CEO of the Putnam Berkley Group and was also CEO of Penguin Putnam. Grann was responsible for publishing many notable and bestselling authors at Penguin including A. Scott Berg, Judy Blume, Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, Daniel Silva, and Kurt Vonnegut. At Doubleday Grann acquired and edited Jeffrey Toobin, Tina Brown, Bob Herbert, Ayelet Waldman and Tim Weiner. At Knopf she edited John Darnton.

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