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April 19 – April 26, 2007 Edition
NEW YORK, NY/4/25/07-HarperCollins is realigning its editorial structure after the departure of fired Regan Books publisher Judith Regan. Chief among the changes is the retirement of Joe Tessitore, president of Collins’ reference, wellness, lifestyle, and business imprint which publishes Smithsonian Books. Another key development is the appointment of HC newcomer Lisa Sharkey as senior vice president and director of a new Creative Development division.
The new development team will be charged with acquiring sizzling high-profile books for several HarperCollins imprints and deciding which titles will be published under what imprint.
HarperCollins President Brian Murray sent an employee memo earlier this week, announcing that Tessitore would retire before the end of the year and that he does not plan to remain in the publishing industry. Tessitore was hired by HarperCollins in 2004 to form a new reference group by combining several imprints. He has published such hits as You: The Owner’s Manual, and engineered the deal with the Smithsonian Institution to co-publish popular and scholarly titles about the Institution’s collections.
Sharkey will report to HarperCollins/Morrow president and group publisher Michael Morrison. Executive Editor Maureen O’Brien will now work under Sharkey’s direction, as will Doug Grad, senior editor, and Matt Harper, editor.
Tessitore will remain at HarperCollins during a transition period until a successor is found. He formerly served as publisher of Publishers Weekly and as president of Grolier/Scholastic.
Sharkey is a former Good Morning America producer. She was named president of Al Roker Productions, Inc. in July 2005, where she was involved in production, development and sales. As senior producer at Good Morning America (GMA) since 2000, Sharkey managed all the on-air contributors and produced the second hour of the show. She also oversaw medical, financial, consumer investigative, parenting and home improvement news, as well as implementing multiple magazine partnerships. At GMA she senior produced many sweeps specials and big television events for the show. She joined HarperCollins in March 2007 several months after Judith Regan’s stormy departure over the O.J. Simpson book controversy and subsequent closure of the Regan Books division. Regan was fired by Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Newscorp, which owns HarperCollins. Sharkey will take over much of the old Regan unit’s responsibilities, though there will be no imprint in her name.
Sharkey’s new Creative Development team will publish news-making, high-intensity, instant titles as well as books on politics, self help and pop culture.
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