Random House gets in show business

Some of the most prestigious institutions in the country are taking efforts to create a new, permanent archive of scholarly work online.

Penguin Random House is known as a book publisher, but now they’re hoping to make a mark in TV. Their first foray? A food show. TV food shows are big, and cookbooks by show hosts like Emeril Lagasse do really well. Penguin Random House is trying to reverse that equation.

The book publisher's first TV production will be “Heartland Table” starring Amy Thielen. It’s set to air in September. After the show airs, the publisher will release her first book “The New Midwestern Table.”

“In a perfect world, these TV shows basically serve as infomercials for the book properties,” says Michael Norris, an analyst at Simba Information. He says book publishers need to look beyond the traditional formula of creating a best selling book and turning it into a movie or a TV series. Norris argues book publishers’ future depends on thinking of the value of their content first and then trying to spin it out onto as many media platforms as possible.

It doesn’t matter what comes first the TV show or the book,” he says. And, he adds, let’s face it, books are getting less-and-less attention so publishers are smart to take put their content where it get the most eyeballs.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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