Peter McCarthy, former Random House VP

Peter McCarthy

An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO interview with Peter McCarthy, former 

Vice President of Random House and Penguin

December 2012 Authorlink Edition

Peter McCarthy

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Former Random House and Penguin Vice President Peter McCarthy provides an insider's look at the planned merger between the world's two largest publishing entities, Penguin and Random House. McCarthy has held executive positions at both Penguin Group (USA) and Random House, Inc, where he focused on marketing innovation, digital business development, and corporate strategy, and knows the major players from each organization.

In late October, the international media groups Bertelsmann and Pearson announced that they will combine the activities of their respective trade-book publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. Bertelsmann will own 53 percent, Pearson 47 percent. The closing of the transaction is scheduled in the second half of 2013, following regulatory approval. Upon closing, Markus Dohle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Random House worldwide, will be CEO of the new group. John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin, will become Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The new publishing group will include all the publishing divisions and imprints of Random House and Penguin in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, as well as Penguin's publishing company in China, and Random House's Spanish-language publishing operations in Spain and Latin America. Random House's Munich-based German-language publishing company, Verlagsgruppe Random House, will remain at Bertelsmann. In the new company, the publishing imprints of Random House and Penguin will continue to publish their books autonomously, and will retain their distinct editorial identities.

In a timely Authorlink interview, McCarthy comments on why he believes the merger came to be and the challenges it faces in melding the two houses. He addresses fears that trade publishers are approaching obsolescence and compares the combined companies' cultures, strengths and weaknesses. He also discusses The future of publishing and his role in eBookMall's America's Next Author national writing contest . [Editor's note: eBook Mall's social writing contest is a great opportunity for writers. Check it out].

McCarthy spent 15 years as a marketer for the major trade publishers and recently founded McCarthy Digital, a marketing consultancy.

Read more about McCarthy's view of the merger on his blog.

–Doris Booth