Viacom to Integrate Simon & Schuster With Entertainment Group
Posted on February 1, 2002Viacom Inc. will integrate its Simon & Schuster publishing operation with the Viacom Entertainment Group, reporting to Jonathan Dolgen, Chairman of the Group. The announcement was made by Mel Karmazin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Viacom. Karmazin said that by closely aligning the publishing and entertainment operations, the company expects to strengthen Simon & Schuster's position in the book industry.
Jonathan Newcomb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster, will be leaving the company to join the New York-based private equity firm of Leeds Weld & Co. Mr. Newcomb led and completed Simon & Schuster's transition into a focused stand-alone consumer publishing company, following the sale of its professional, educational and reference publishing operations.
Mr. Newcomb said, "Having successfully completed Simon & Schuster's transition into a stand-alone consumer publishing company, with efficient state-of-the-art systems and support operations, I can now move on to other opportunities and challenges. I leave with a great team in place led by Jack Romanos, who will now have the added resources of the Viacom Entertainment Group. Jon Dolgen and I have been friends and colleagues for seven years. He is extremely talented and ideally suited to oversee the next chapter in Simon & Schuster's great legacy, of which I have been fortunate enough to play a role."
Simon & Schuster, under the leadership of newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, Jack Romanos, will become part of the Viacom Entertainment Group, which is comprised of the Paramount film and television studio, the Famous Players Canadian exhibition chain, Famous Music Publishing and the Paramount Parks theme park operations. Simon & Schuster's operations will remain headquartered in New York City.
Jack Romanos said, "We are pleased to take our long relationship with the Paramount studio to the next level as part of the Viacom Entertainment Group. And I'm personally excited about working under the leadership of Jon Dolgen, an executive who I have long known and admired for his ability to manage for optimum creative -- and financial -- results. Simon & Schuster is coming off a very good year, and we are in the best possible position to take full advantage of this new partnership for the benefit of Viacom, Simon & Schuster, our authors, and ultimately, our readers."
Founded in 1924, Simon & Schuster has grown to become a multi-faceted company that publishes more than 2000 titles annually. It is the publishing home to authors Stephen Ambrose, Mary Higgins Clark and Stephen King. Some of the brands published under Simon & Schuster include, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nick Jr, MTV Books, Star Trek, Wall Street Journal Books, and World Wrestling Federation Books.