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.