Random House CEO Touts ’06 Successes, Sees Tough Year Ahead

December 21, 2006
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December 21- December 28, 2006 Edition

Random House CEO

Touts ’06 Successes,

Sees Tough Year Ahead

NEW YORK, NY/12/20/06—Random House, Inc. CEO Peter W. Olson, in his year-end letter to employees yesterday, touted his company’s unprecedented successes for 2006 while warning that more hard work will be needed to combat the tough times that lie ahead for North American publishing.

Olson said that in the U.S. Random House has a record number of #1 New York Times bestsellers, an impressive array of literary prizes, and an increase in sales over previous years. He noted that for the eight straight year, Random House has placed the most titles of any U.S. publishing group on the New Your Times hardcover and paperback national bestseller lists: 200 so far, just shy of the company’s all time record of 203 titles three years ago. Thirty seven of them were #1, substantially ahead of its previous record of 22 titles set last year. Random House Canada published 26 of the Toronto Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of the year.

In the U.S. this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature winner Orhan Pamuk is the newest of the more than fifty Nobel literary laureates Random House imprints have published in this and the previous century around the world. Prestigious prizes and citations for Random House, Inc. books and audios include the Pulitzer in biography for AMERICAN PROMETHEUS by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin; the PEN/Faulkner for THE MARCH by E. L. Doctorow; National Book Critics Circle Awards for the two aforementioned in biography and fiction respectively, and for REFUSING HEAVEN by Jack Gilbert in poetry; a Newbery Honor for WHITTINGTON by Alan Armstrong; and the Best Spoken Word Grammy for DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, written and read by Barack Obama.

Despite the optimism, Olson said the “demands of our business and the pressures of the book marketplace these past twelve months have been relentless. The overall economic slowdown in North America with the ongoing uncertainty over jobs and the cost of living has had a considerable impact on consumer book publishing.”

Olson added that “I wish I could tell you that this level of achievement will get easier next year. It won’t . . . we are gong to have to work very hard in this marketplace and competitive environment for every sale to enable us to continue to achieve growth in sales and operating results. “

The CEO pointed out that parent company Bertelsmann is “more committed than ever to supporting our long-term growth.” He said Random House will make the investments necessary in marketing, corporate acquisitions, infrastructure and online and digital initiatives to stay on top in North America.

About Random House

Random House, Inc. assumed its current form with its acquisition by Bertelsmann in 1998, which brought together the imprints of the former Random House, Inc. with those of the former Bantam Doubleday Dell. Random House, Inc.’s publishing groups include, the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, the Crown Publishing Group, the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, the Knopf Publishing Group, the Random House Audio Publishing Group, Random House Children’s Books, the Random House Diversified Publishing Group, the Random House Information Group, the Random House Publishing Group, and Random House Ventures.

Together, these groups and their imprints publish fiction and nonfiction, both original and reprints, by some of the foremost and most popular writers of our time. They appear in a full range of formats—including hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, audio, electronic, and digital, for the widest possible readership from adults to young adults and children.

The reach of Random House, Inc. is global, with subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Through Random House International, the books published by the imprints of Random House, Inc. are sold in virtually every country in the world.

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