Random House Inc. announced Thursday that it has purchased
Multnomah Publishers Inc., a Sisters-based publisher of Christian books.
The deal was finalized Wednesday, terms of which are not being
released, said Stuart Applebaum, Random House spokesman. Both companies
are privately held and Multnomah representatives deferred all questions to
Multnomah operations will move to Colorado Springs, Colo., to be
integrated with WaterBrook Press, Multnomah's first evangelical Christian
WaterBrook is an editorially autonomous division of Random House's
Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group. Both WaterBrook and Multnomah will
maintain their distinct editorial identity, Applebaum said.
It is unclear how many of Multnomah's roughly 65 full-time employees
will be offered jobs in Colorado Springs, but Applebaum said for now,
Multnomah workers will see ”business as usual.”
”The transition to Colorado Springs will be at least six months, maybe
12 months, from now,” Applebaum said. ”We will be adding people from
Multnomah to the new WaterBrook Multnomah operation, but we don't have a
precise number (of original Multnomah workers) yet.”
Applebaum said Multnomah's current information technology, financial
and administrative positions will not be transferred to Colorado because
Random House provides those functions from New York. Editorial and
marketing jobs, however, are expected to continue in Colorado.
Multnomah staff will be informed as the process continues, Applebaum
Customers will still see books published with the Multnomah imprint, he
”They will be editorially independent of WaterBrook and Random House,”
Applebaum said. That means publishing decisions will be made in Colorado
Springs, not New York City.
Applebaum said the New York City-based publishing company has been
interested in Multnomah for the past decade, as a way to expand Random
House's Christian publishing line.
”(We) have had conversations with (Multnomah president Don) Jacobson
over the years that could have taken on a number of forms,” Applebaum
said. ”Only (Wednesday) were we able to consummate that by our purchase of
Jacobson announced July 10 that he intended to sell the company that he
and his wife, Brenda, founded in 1987. The company produces more than 100
new titles each year, with an active backlist of 600 books.
Despite the publishing of bestsellers like Bruce Wilkinson's ”The
Prayer of Jabez” in 2000, Multnomah has experienced some financial pains.
In March, the company laid off seven employees amd in January 2004 it
eliminated 15 positions.
Jacobson will be a consultant during the transition and integration,
according to a written statement from Random House.
”The decision to sell Multnomah was a difficult one,” Jacobson said in
the release. ”In my new consultant capacity, I will do all I can to make
the efforts ahead as smooth as possible for everyone.”
Steve Cobb, president and publisher of WaterBrook Press, will lead the
WaterBrook Multnomah programs. Cobb helped found WaterBrook Press in 1996.
WaterBrook publishes more than 75 new titles each year with an active
backlist of 500 books.
Applebaum boasts that Random House Inc. is the world's largest
English-language trade book publisher, based on its 3,500 titles published
annually in the United States and its $2 billion in yearly revenues.