Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Launches Merchandise Unit

February 15, 2005
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February 15-28, 2005 Edition

Simon & Schuster

Children’s Publishing

Launches Merchandise Unit

New York, NY/02/09/05—Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will establish a new Merchandise division as part of a plan to enter the coloring and activity marketplace, and to place increased focus on value and custom-publishing activities. Rick Richter, President of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, made the announcement.

Stephen H. Weitzen will join the company as Senior Vice President and Publisher, Merchandise Division, reporting to Mr. Richter. Mr. Weitzen will begin his new position on February 28.

The first list of titles from the new Merchandise Division will be published in Spring 2006. The company plans to add six editorial, design and sales positions to handle the new business

“Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing has enjoyed a remarkable ten years run of growth, more than tripling in size since the acquisition of Macmillan Publishing in 1994,” said Rick Richter. “In order to sustain our momentum, and to be even more competitive in our marketplace, we are thrilled to take this next logical step. Coloring and activity, value and custom publishing are complementary businesses to our strong licensed and novelty publishing lines, and having an in-house merchandise division will allow us to offer the entire suite of publishing options to both our current and future authors and licensors.”

Mr. Weitzen comes to Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing from Big Tent Entertainment LLC, an independent publishing, marketing, and licensing company established in 2003, and where he is a founding partner. Prior to that Mr. Weitzen was President and Publisher of Golden Books Family Entertainment’s International Division and responsible for the acquisition of licenses, after having been President and Publisher of Golden Value Books and Special Markets. He has also held senior sales and management positions at Modern Publishing, and the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

“Stephen Weitzen has lived in this merchandise and value publishing arena for more than twenty years,” said Rick Richter. “He has enormous credibility with both the licensing community and our customers in traditional and special market channels. We look forward to his arrival and getting our Merchandise Division off to quick start.”

“Simon & Schuster is one of the great success stories of the children’s publishing business in recent years,” added Stephen Weitzen. “They have the best licenses in children’s publishing, as well as a terrific group of in-house authors and properties, and I look forward to being part of the team to help establish a first class merchandise division”

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin Paperbacks, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight Entertainment®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and best-selling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy(tm), Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts®, Nickelodeon’s® Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants®, and HIT Entertainment’s Bob the Builder(tm) and Rubbadubbers(tm), and Mirage studios’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(tm). Simon Spotlight, an imprint wholly devoted to media tie-ins, has become one of the fastest growing imprints in the children’s book industry. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at http://www.SimonSaysKids.com

Simon & Schuster, part of the entertainment operation of Viacom Inc., is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and multimedia formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Online, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonsays.com

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