HarperCollins Announces Plans to Acquire the Ecco Press

Posted on February 17, 1999

Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers today announced that HarperCollins will purchase The Ecco Press. Ecco's publisher and co-founder Daniel Halpern will join HarperCollins as Vice President, Editorial Director of this new imprint and will also serve as Executive Editor of the HarperCollins Adult Trade Division.

In awarding Halpern the PEN Publisher's Citation Award in 1993, the Award Committee stated that "In the more than 20 years since Daniel Halpern conceived of a magazine, Antaeus and a publishing house, The Ecco Press, he has consistently published work not only of the highest literary quality, but also work whose cultural relevance has endured. The vision and focus brought to (Ecco) have not altered or compromised in all the years of publishing and economic vicissitudes." Halpern will report to Cathy Hemming, Executive Vice President and Publisher of HarperCollins.

"This is a very exciting development for HarperCollins. Over the last few years we have strengthened our financial position and are poised to take advantage of strategic growth opportunities," said Friedman. "The Ecco Press, with a superb backlist of literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry, is widely regarded as one of the most important literary publishers worldwide and is a valuable addition to our company. Ecco authors have won every major international literary award -- as well as all the major book prizes in this country. We have a tremendous respect for Ecco's superior reputation and feel it will be a great complement to our own rich literary publishing program. Dan brings an extraordinary publishing acumen along with an esteemed list of authors to enhance and support our efforts."

The acquisition will become effective as of July 1. The Ecco list includes such acclaimed authors as John Ashbery, Paul Bowles, Italo Calvino, Gerald Early, Richard Ford, Louise Gluck, Robert Hass, Zbigniew Herbert, Bobbi Ann Mason, Cormac McCarthy, Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tobias Wolff. In addition, Halpern will publish his first books with HarperCollins starting in January, 2000.