A bad fourth quarter contributed to a decline in sales and earnings at Simon & Schuster in 2019 compared to 2018. In the first earnings report since the merger of CBS and Viacom late last year, which formed ViacomCBS, S&S’s new parent company reported that the publisher’s revenue fell 1%, to $825 million, and that OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) declined to $143 million, from $153 million in 2018. Bright spots for the year included digital audio, where sales rose 15% over 2018, and e-book sales, which increased for the first time in at least three years, up 1% over 2018, Reidy reported. Overall, digital sales in 2019 increased 7%, but the gain was not enough to offset a drop in print book sales. Sales in the children's group were also up, while adult group revenue fell compared to 2018.
Michael Sacks has been named senior vice president of operations for Hearst Newspapers. The announcement was made by Hearst Newspapers President Mark Aldam and Houston Chronicle President and Publisher John McKeon. Sacks begins his new position immediately and will report to Aldam.
“Mike’s leadership at Hearst’s Texas properties over the last four years has proved invaluable to the growth and strength of those newspapers,” Aldam said. “His experience bringing process improvements and data-driven discipline to operational strategies make him an excellent addition to the senior leadership team.”
In his new role, Sacks will be responsible for operational projects across Hearst Newspapers. He will work to evaluate opportunities for greater efficiency within the Newspaper division. Sacks will continue to be responsible for operations at the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.
“Working for Hearst Newspapers over the past several years, I have witnessed this team’s unwavering commitment to innovation and agility,” Sacks said. “I look forward to working with the larger group to establish performance metrics that will improve Hearst Newspapers’ overall operational performance.”
Since 2012, Sacks has served as vice president of Hearst Newspapers, where he leads facilities management, operations leadership, real estate strategy and process improvement at Hearst’s Texas papers. Prior to joining Hearst, Sacks held various roles at the Tribune Company, including vice president of process improvement and business optimization and vice president of real estate, facilities and operations. Earlier in his career, he worked in facilities and operations roles at the Sun Sentinel in South Florida. Sacks graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s in finance.