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Monday, October 06, 2008

Westport’s Greenwood Publishing to Close, 150 Jobs Cut

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UPDATE Greenwood Publishing Group, a Westport presence for four decades, will close in December and about 150 employees will be terminated, according to a source at parent company Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). Image
Sam Bell, the owner of 88 Post Road West where Greenwood Publishing is located, said he has heard that some of its 150 workers will be offered jobs in Santa Barbara, Calif., or in Colorado. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The closure of the office at 88 Post Road West follows an announcement last week that HMH has reached a deal with ABC-CLIO that gives the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company a perpetual license to use the imprints and publish the titles of Greenwood.

No financial terms were disclosed for the deal involving Greenwood Press, Praeger Publishers, Praeger Security International, and Libraries Unlimited.

Layoffs are scheduled to begin the first week in December, the source said.

Publishers Weekly said that ABC-CLIO currently does not have an East Coast office and while the company may establish such a presence, it is unlikely to use Greenwood’s Westport office.

The trade newspaper quoted ABC-CLIO CEO Ron Boehm as saying the company needs to fill at least 90 positions and will be giving Greenwood employees “first crack” at those jobs.

Sam Bell, who owns 88 Post Road West and who has had Greenwood as a tenant since 1978, said he understands that some workers have been offered jobs in Santa Barbara and in Colorado.

“Everything is up in the air at this time” he said.  “We’re all still waiting for more information.”

Bell, who said Greenwood has a lease running to 2011, said he has been given no firm date for the office closing,

Greenwood was founded as Greenwood Press, Inc., in 1967 by Harold Mason, a librarian and antiquarian bookseller, and Harold Schwartz, who had a background in trade publishing.

Posted 10/06 at 10:40 PM

Comments:     Comment Policy

There (seems to be) always something there to remind me:

that getting that “entry level” position becomes more and more intimidating.

Sure, they want you to grow with the company and grow the company when that “where do you see yourself in 5 years” question comes up.

But we all know. that is not true.

jump from job to job to job all to stop at nothing to, dare say, be jobless for any period of time; which creates serious monetary woes.

But hey. 90 positions need to be filled.

no matter what happens: I will do the low of the lowest of types of employment before wallowing in the land of joblessness,
even if it offends my own worth: at least its not unemployed.

Good luck to you all at Greenwood,
and good luck to all those job losses that may occur elsewhere

Posted by Carl David Pino on October 07, 2008 at 01:48 AM | #

Most cases its simple economics. Keep raising taxes and companies move to a less expensive area to operate; sometimes it’s over a town border, sometimes another state and sometimes to another country. I have noticed a number of empty store fronts in Westport and I know some of those businesses moved to Fairfield. I personally know of a very large company that moved from New Haven to North Haven for the sole reason to escape New Haven’s taxes!

Keep spending the people’s money on entitlements and feel good legislature and watch the ones who pay for it vote with their feet.

Posted by John Raho on October 07, 2008 at 12:43 PM | #

Book publishers that are effectively leveraging the Web in their growth are surviving, and often flourishing.  Publishers that don’t are not.  The two harangues above are not relevant. 

None of this makes the disappearance of Greenwood Group from Westport any less sad.

Posted by John Karrel on October 07, 2008 at 01:57 PM | #

It may not be relevant to the Greenwood situation, but care to explain your theory on why Westport businesses and Connecticut businesses are moving on to less expensive regions.

Posted by John Raho on October 07, 2008 at 02:17 PM | #

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