Doubleday, BMOC Venture to be Called Bookspan

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Doubleday Direct Inc. and the Book of the Month Club Holdings LLC on Monday said their previously announced joint venture would be called Bookspan, and they named Doubleday Direct CEO Markus Wilhelm CEO of the combined companies. Other top executives will be drawn from the ranks of both companies.

George Artandi, the former CEO of BMOC, returned to the corporate ranks of BMOC parent Time Inc. Malka Margolies, vice president of corporate communications for BMOC, said no other staff reductions were planned as a result of the merger.

The two companies agreed to merge in December in order to save on their printing, distribution and marketing costs and to wage a better battle against the bargain pricing of such Web-based sellers as The company's Booksonline subsidiary, which combines the e-commerce efforts of both book clubs, will be run by Seth Radwell, executive vice president of Booskspan. Margolies said additional online-only book clubs are in development, and could be launched by this summer.

Each of the 50 or so individual clubs within Bookspan, including the Book of the Month Club and the Literary Guild, will retain its current identity.

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