The History Press has restructured following a company-wide review, creating four distinct business units, and putting "a small number" of people into consultation over their jobs.
The independent publisher, specialising in local history as well as military history titles, underwent a company-wide review earlier in the year and has decided to concentrate more on direct to consumer sales as a result.
Four new, vertical, business units have been created in order to do this; General History & Gift, Military & Transport, Local History and Pitkin, with each headed by an individual publisher who will focus on their core publishing genre and consumer audience.
The History Press has internally promoted three people to the position of publisher:Sophie Bradshaw will become publisher of the General History & Gift unit, Jamie Kinnear will head to Local History division and Susan Swalwell will lead Pitkin, the company's souvenir publishing arm. Meanwhile Michael Leventhal, former publisher at Frontline, part of the Pen and Sword Group, will join the company as publisher for the Military & Transport business unit, although he will remain a director of Greenhill Books and Chatham Publishing.
Tim Davies, m.d of The History Press, said a small number of people were in consultations over their jobs as part of the restructure.
“As the consumer environment rapidly evolves, it’s vital that The History Press anticipates and embraces this transformation and development with vigour, confidence and skill; continuing the good work done so far by so many experienced and valued staff, and further growing the various strands of our business,” he said. “With that objective in mind, a strategic business review was completed in the early part of this year. The review identified the imperative to specialise further by capitalising more explicitly on our four core publishing areas, with the aim of creating a more focussed consumer proposition. Of course, we value our trade relationships immensely but we also recognise the need to build a more direct route from commissioning to consumer.”
In conjunction with the appointment of the four publishers, each of whom has full profit and loss responsibility for their respective new business unit, the History Press has also reviewed its existing processes, systems and resources with a view to simplifying working methods, minimising duplication of effort and costs and building maximum flexibility in our future plans.
Davies said: “As a consequence of the reorganisation, we are now consulting with some staff whose roles are at risk of redundancy. Clearly, the next few weeks will be a challenging time for everyone in the business and we are unable to comment further until the consultation is complete.”
He added: “Once we’re through this period, and as we move into 2015, The History Press will be in better shape than ever before, with a clear focus on its core publishing areas, more streamlined workflows and most importantly, a much more specialised and consumer-focused approach to its sales and marketing.”
The History Press has recently sold its German and US publishing units to concentrate on its UK operations. Last month, the publisher announced its chief executive Stuart Biles had resigned from his role as group chief executive, and taken on a new non-executive role as vice chairman of the company in order to focus on broader strategy and opportunities as well as its overseas operations.