Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Report: Rupert Murdoch Book Publishing Empire Expanding to Add Harcourt, Houghton Mifflin to Harper Collins


Hey guess who got this scoop? The Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch, just reported that News Corp, also owned by Murdoch, is expanding its book publishing empire.

Murdoch already owns Harper Collins, which was called Harper & Row back in the day. Now they’re going to add Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, now known as Houghton Harcourt.

Isn’t that great? Book publishing will essentially be two conglomerates. The other one is Bertelsmann, which owns Random House, all its subsidiaries like Knopf, plus Doubleday, Viking Penguin, and is trying to complete the purchase of Simon & Schuster.

If you had told me this in 1986, I would have laughed, LOL. Not possible, I’d say! But sure enough we’re going to be down to these two massive conglomerates controlling all of book publishing.

The next thing you know, Murdoch will put Judith Regan or one of his old cronies in charge of the whole shooting match. It’s certainly a turn of events. Houghton Harcourt already owns Scholastic Press’s education and technology business, so now those go to Murdoch too!

They used to have the ABA book convention, now called the BEA or something, in convention halls with hundreds of stalls for booksellers. Now they can have it in the backroom of a funeral parlor with two stands.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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