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Karp to Leave Random House As Editor-in-Chief

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June 15-30, 2005 Edition

Karp to Leave

Random House

As Editor-in-Chief

NEW YORK, NY/06/09/05—Random House editor-in-chief Jonathan Karp, age 41, is stepping down from his high-profile post, reportedly to “take on broader publishing challenges.” His decision was announced last week in a company memo from president and publisher Gina Centrello, who stressed Karp was not fired, and that it was his own decision.

The news came as a surprise to the industry, since Karp had publicly and enthusiastically represented Random House only the previous weekend at BookExpo America, and he was considered among the most successful editors at the giant publishing company.

Karp, who has been with Random House for 16 years, called the move “a personal decision” and indicated it had nothing to do with politics.

Karp had wanted to become editor-in-chief when Ann Godoff left in 2003, but the job was given to Daniel Menaker, who had previously worked at Random House and The New Yorker. Later, when Menaker was named executive editor-in-chief, managing both the Random House and Ballantine imprints, Karp was promoted to editor-in-chief of Random House and Villard. He has long aspired to move into a publisher role, with more budgetary control, but he did not reveal any immediate plans.

According to Ms. Cantrello, Karp’s post will be eliminated and his responsibilities will be absorbed by Menaker.

Jonathan Karp has edited some of the most widely read books of our time, including the #1 bestsellers SEABISCUIT, by Laura Hillenbrand, and WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY LIFE?, by Po Bronson. Among his other bestsellers are THE DANTE CLUB, by Matthew Pearl; FRANKLIN AND WINSTON, by Jon Meacham; HOW TO GET RICH, by Donald Trump; FAITH OF MY FATHERS, by Senator John McCain; and GRACE AND POWER, by Sally Bedell Smith. Jon has also edited such writers as Mario Puzo, Molly Ivins, Kenneth Pollack, Susan Orlean and Christopher Buckley.

Daniel MENAKER began his twenty-six-year career at The New Yorker as a fact checker in l969, rising through the ranks to become a senior editor specializing in fiction. There he was the first person to publish such newcomers as Michael Cunningham, Michael Chabon, and Jennifer Egan, and he also worked with well-recognized authors such as Alice Munro, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Pauline Kael.

In l995 Mr. MENAKER came to Random House as Vice President, Senior Literary Editor. The first novel he edited was the publishing phenomenon PRIMARY COLORS by Anonymous. In 2001 he became Executive Editor at Harper Collins, returning to Random House in 2003 as Editor-in-Chief of the Random House editorial imprints. He is currently working with such authors as Billy Collins, Richard North Patterson, Elizabeth Strout, Gary Shteyngart, and Tony Hendra, author of the new bestseller FATHER JOE: The Man Who Saved My Soul. He is the author of two books of short stories and a novel, THE TREATMENT, which was published by Knopf.