After completing its purchase of Rodale Inc. last week, the Hearst Corp., which announced the deal in October, quickly turned around and sold Rodale’s trade book publishing assets to Penguin Random House. Terms of the acquisition, which involves more than 2,000 backlist titles and 100 frontlist books, were not disclosed.
With the purchase, Rodale Books’ adult nonfiction titles will be released under the Rodale Books imprint. It will become part of the Crown Publishing Group, and will be an imprint of its Illustrated and Lifestyle division, comprised of the Harmony, Ten Speed Press, and Clarkson Potter publishing programs, overseen by Aaron Wehner, senior v-p of the unit’s imprints. Diana Baroni, v-p and editorial director of Harmony Books, will oversee Rodale Books.
The Rodale children’s line, which made its debut in fall 2017 under the Rodale Kids imprint, will become part of Random House Children’s Books, led by Barbara Marcus, president and publisher. Mallory Loehr, senior v-p and publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers Group, will be responsible for Rodale Kids.
It wasn’t clear if any Rodale employees will be making the move to Crown. A PRH spokesperson said the company’s priority is to publish Rodale’s frontlist and backlist books “with care and enthusiasm.” The spokesperson added that “we are committed to ensuring that Rodale’s books and authors are fully supported and are evaluating the resources required to ensure the program’s long-term success.” For an interim period, Rodale’s staff will assist with the transition.
Rodale Books has been a long-time publisher of books in the wellness, lifestyle, fitness, and cookbook categories, many written in cooperation with the company’s magazine’s that are now part of Hearst. Among its best-known titles are An Inconvenient Truth, The Honest Life, and The BulletProof Diet. It’s best known series is The South Beach Diet.
Commenting on the purchase, Markus Dohle, CEO of PRH, said in a statement: “With our acquisition of Rodale Books and its impressive frontlist and backlist, we continue to grow the Penguin Random House portfolio of award-winning and bestselling titles.”