Daniel Menaker Out @ Random House, Kurt Andersen In (But Not a Replacement)

By Neal Comment

Motoko Rich and Julie Bosman share the byline on this morning’s announcement that Daniel Menaker is leaving Random House at the end of the month. Their article makes much of the fact that he was rehired in 2003 (after leaving for a stint at HarperCollins) on the strength of his literary credentials and wonders if his departure signals a break from that path, although Random president/publisher Gina Centrello insisted “the direction of the imprint would not change,” and that the move didn’t have anything to do with the fact that, say, Indecision barely sold 15,000 in hardcover. (Which sounds perfectly legit; after all, that’s why we have a paperback market, right?)

Menaker will apparently continue to work with some of his authors from home, and says he’s discussed “the possibility of publishing two books with Random House, including a memoir and another unidentified project.” Kate Medina rises to assume many of his duties, and receives a promotion to associate publisher; editorial director Jennifer Hershey reports to her. Also—and this is really just as interesting in its own right—Kurt Andersen is joining Random, where he just signed a two-book deal, as a consulting “editor-at-large,” recommending nonfiction books the imprint might like to publish.

DISCUSS: What does this mean? Not just from Random House, that is, but for literary fiction in general… Share your thoughts on the mediabistro.com discussion boards.