MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
January 22 – January 29, 2008 Edition
Barnes & Noble
Job Cuts Extend
To Sterling Publishing
NEW YORK, NY (Authorlink News, January 22, 2009)-Barnes & Noble’s elimination of about 100 jobs at its corporate headquarters last week reportedly were due to “the reduction in store openings and consolidation of functional areas within the retail and online operations.” However, the cuts apparently have also spread to the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Sterling Publishing. An estimated 15 people have been cut from Sterling’s New York office.
Philip Turner, hired in November of 2006 as publisher of one of Sterling’s largest imprints, Union Square Press, was confirmed among last week’s job casualties. When Authorlink asked Barnes & Noble whether this would mean the elimination of the imprint, spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating said, “We are not breaking out a list of employees affected nor departments. I can confirm that Union Square Press will continue.” Another source had said earlier that Union Square Press would be folded into the rest of the company and that Turner’s job had been eliminated.
Sterling an expert-driven, how-to press that had recently tried branching into other areas, has (or had) more than 50 imprints.
In a press release issued last week, Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio said, “Although our people, from top to bottom, did a terrific job in managing expenses and maximizing productivity, the current business climate and the downturn in retail sales mandate that we reduce corporate overhead costs as appropriate to our overall sales volume.” He added that “. . .this is the first time in the company’s history we’ve had to do this. The business climate in which we are operating is unprecedented, and therefore, the reduction in expenses is inevitable.”
Phil Turner notified friends of his departure Friday, January 16, saying that he views the job loss as a kind of liberation. “I am ramping up what will be my
next act, and I have some concrete ideas and early prospects about how I may again do a “purpose-driven imprint,” even better this time around.”
Before joining Union Square Press, Turner was with Avalon as Editor in Chief of Carroll & Graf Publishers, Philip Turner Books, and Thunder’s Mouth Press.
At Union square Press, Turner was charged with publishing about forty books a year in a variety of areas, including adventure, biography, culture, current and international affairs, the environment, history, politics, social issues, and sports. He was also assigned to help create a Union Square Press paperback program focusing on revivals of important out-of-print books, reprints in trade paperback of both its own and other publishers’ titles, and quality paperback originals. Turner was to create within Union Square Press a branded line of books featuring truthtellers, whistleblowers, and muckrakers, a signature of his tenure with Avalon.
The company will be providing the affected employees with an enhanced severance plan and will offer healthcare benefits for the next 12 months. In addition, the company will be providing outplacement counseling and transition seminars.
As a result, the company will record an after-tax charge of $2.5 million, or $0.04 per share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.
Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 799 bookstores in 50 states. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., is one of the world’s leading publishers of nonfiction titles with more than 5,000 books in print.