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Simon spotlights teen entertainment

Publisher develops TV tie-in titles

NEW YORK — Simon & Schuster has created a new imprint, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, designed to exploit other media properties for teenage readers.

SSE will be launched next year with a selection of humor books, Comedy Central titles and tie-ins to TV programs like “Buffy” and “American Dream.”

The imprint is an extension of the Simon Spotlight imprint created several years ago by Simon & Schuster kids publishing division prexy Rick Richter. Simon Spotlight has published books for young readers based on TV shows like “Rugrats,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Bob the Builder.”

Adding edge

Richter told Daily Variety the teen consumer market in 2002 was worth close to $170 billion. “Teen publishing has been somewhat stodgy,” he said. “We want to put an edge on teen.”

Simon & Schuster already has an imprint with a similar mission: MTV Books, which issues fiction, nonfiction about music figures like 50 Cent and TV companion titles like “MTV’s The Real World: Las Vegas.”

Richter said SSE will be even more focused on books adapted from pre-existing media properties.

The imprint will be run by Robin Corey, who holds the title of exec VP, novelty, media and teen; and Jen Bergstrom, VP and associate publisher of Simon Spotlight.

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