Friday, October 07, 2005

INDUSTRY NEWS - Harlequin buys BET Books

Harlequin Enterprises Limited purchases the assets of BET Books
Toronto, Ontario, Canada Oct 06, 2005 Harlequin Enterprises Limited today
announced the purchase of the assets of BET BOOKS, the publishing arm of Black
Entertainment Television. The new ownership deal is expected to close
November 30, 2005.

This is a key acquisition for Harlequin, and represents a strengthening of
the Company’s strategic position as one of the world’s leading publishers of
women’s fiction. The addition of BET Books, a leading publisher of African
American women’s fiction and the imprints Arabesque, Sepia and New Spirit, to
the Harlequin portfolio will enhance the position of Harlequin within a strong
growth segment in the US book market.

This acquisition supports a key strategic initiative for Harlequin of
offering greater breadth in publishing niches that can create future growth for
the overall Harlequin franchise. The BET editorial strategy dovetails perfectly
with that of Harlequin “romance, women’s fiction and inspirational
publishing,” states Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO.

We are delighted that Linda Gill has agreed to join Harlequin and lead the
growth of this new venture, which combines BET Books with Harlequin’s own
African American program. We are also very pleased to associate ourselves with
such an excellent group of authors and are confident that under Linda Gill’s
strong leadership, we will continue to build a strong publishing program for
these authors, says Hayes.


Harlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one
of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, with titles issued
worldwide in 25 languages and sold in 94 international markets. The company
produces over 115 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,300 authors from
around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange (TS.nv.b). Harlequin's Web site is located at _www.eHarlequin.com_
( . Harlequin has offices in 18 countries including
Toronto, New York and London. For more information please visit
www.eHarlequin .com or _press.eHarlequin.com_ ( .
Website: _http://www.eharlequin.com_

BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), is the nation’s
leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and
public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network
reaches more than 79 million households according to Nielsen media research, and
can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant
consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded
businesses:, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET
Digital Networks “ BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives
for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in
a full range of event production services, including event management, venue
selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET
Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance
novels under the Arabesque imprint which also publishes compelling fiction under
the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New
Spirit imprint. is the leading electronic media company that leverages the
power of e-mail/direct mail to deliver unforgettable info based content to
consumers worldwide and equips publishers; authors, book marketing
professionals, event and conference planners, bookstores, and content owners with a
cost effective, highly targeted marketing and distribution channel to instantly
stimulate awareness. creates and delivers rich, visually
enthralling, personalized emails containing content about black books and
black book related info that its consumers have opted to know more about. places the right information in front of the right person at the
right time. The platform gives aspiring, emerging and
best-selling authors, as well as, small press, independent publishers, mid-level
and large publishers a fresh new way to market and increase distribution,
create awareness and build brands.

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