Anna Sowa / The Bulletin

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

Random House.

Multnomah operations will move to Colorado Springs, Colo., to be

integrated with WaterBrook Press, Multnomah's first evangelical Christian

publishing line.

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.