Bertelsmann's Penguin division snaps up Simon & Schuster
BERLIN – German media giant Bertelsmann said Wednesday that it is buying publisher Simon & Schuster, further expanding its existing U.S. portfolio that already includes the number one American publisher Penguin Random House. “Simon & Schuster strengthens Bertelsmann’s footprint globally, and (particularly) in the U.S., its second-largest market,” the Guetersloh-based company said in a statement. The purchase of Simon & Schuster reduces the so-called Big Five of American publishing — which also includes HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan — to four. But Penguin Random House chief executive Markus Dohle told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Simon & Schuster would retain its editorial independence and that individual imprints within Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster could continue to compete with each other for book deals. The German conglomerate, which was founded in 1835 and also owns a broad portfolio of broadcast, music and online businesses, has been the sole owner of Penguin Random House since April.
Margaret Atwood honored with Dayton Literary Peace Prize
The Canadian writer and teacher has earned the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, officials of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize officials announced Monday. The award is named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnian peace accords reached in the Ohio city. Some readers of “The Handmaid's Tale” saw in the leaders of authoritarian Gilead similarities to the rise of Republican Donald Trump to president in the election of 2016. Sharon Rab, the founder and chairwoman of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, praised Atwood for popular success with writing that also educates people about pressing social justice and environmental issues. “The Testaments,” her 2019 sequel to “The Handmaid's Tale,” quickly joined her bestsellers.
Company to pay $245M toward cleanup of Kalamazoo River PCBs
The Kalamazoo is polluted with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, from paper recycling mills. Used for ink removal, the chemicals were discharged into the river from the 1950s through the mid-1970s. The agreement between NCR and the government calls for the company to pay at least $135.7 million for cleanup work that is expected to take an additional 10-15 years. The Kalamazoo River project is among those on the Superfund list designated by the Trump administration for special attention because of cleanup delays, Irving said. "This settlement represents substantial progress in the cleanup and restoration of the Kalamazoo River," said Liesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.chicagotribune.com