ViacomCBS has promoted Jonathan Karp to CEO of Simon & Schuster, effective immediately, succeeding Carolyn Reidy, who passed away earlier this month.
Karp most recently served as president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing that includes Atria Books, Avid Reader Press, Gallery Books, Scribner, Simon & Schuster and associated sub-imprints and lines. Now he will oversee all of Simon & Schuster’s domestic and international publishing operations.
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish called Karp “a key member of the leadership team that consistently delivered strong results” for the nearly century-old Simon & Schuster, “while expanding its readership across genres and formats. He is a highly skilled executive who is deeply committed to the collaborative process of publishing, and will no doubt build upon a storied legacy of success.”
Karp may at some point be leading the storied publisher under a new owner. ViacomCBS said in late February it was looking to sell the business as is streamlines the company to focus on its core media assets. In late March, he said the parent company had received 25 inquiries but sale plans had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As this market stabilizes, we are going to engage in a process and look at strategic alternatives for Simon & Schuster,” he said at a media conference then.
Karp joined the publisher in 2010 and has overseen publication of works including Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, What Happened by Hillary Clinton, Fear by Bob Woodward, Frederick Douglass by David Blight (winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History), Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, In One Person by John Irving, The Library Book by Susan Orlean, and the launch of Mobituaries by Mo Rocca, an acclaimed book and podcast co-produced with CBS Sunday Morning. He was named president of Adult Publishing in 2018, introducing new authors to best-selling status including Jack Carr, Mary Beth Keane, Megan Miranda, Mike Rowe and Rebecca Serle.
Tom Brady, Stephen Colbert, Ray Dalio, Clive Davis, Nelson DeMille, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Brian Grazer, Sam Lipsyte, Gucci Mane, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, Andrew Sullivan, and Herman Wouk are other notable authors and cultural figures brought to the imprint’s list during Karp’s tenure.
Prior to joining Simon & Schuster, he was Publisher and Editor in Chief of Twelve, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group, which he founded in 2005.
Reidy, one of the few women to run a major publishing house and chief executive since 2008 passed away of a heart attack.
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