Publishers Weekly has tapped Jane Friedman, the prexy-CEO of HarperCollins, as its second recipient of its Publishing Person of the Year Award for 2006.

The honor to Friedman follows last December’s nod to Larry Kirschbaum, the former CEO of Time Warner Book Group who now heads his own literary agency LJK.

Friedman joined News Corp.-owned HarperCollins in November 1997, overseeing its worldwide book publishing including operations in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and India.

Over the course of her career, Friedman has embraced innovation, most recently with the decision to digitize all HarperCollins content including its full backlist and future books. That commitment to create a digital warehouse reflects her goals to protect the rights of HarperCollins authors, meet consumer demand and generate additional opportunities for the company. The endeavor recently earned Friedman a spot on the magazine Fast Company’s Fast 50 list of notable innovators.

Friedman came to HarperCollins from Random House, where she was at different times exec VP of Random House, exec VP of Knopf, publisher of Vintage Books, and founder and prexy of Random House Audio Publishing.

Friedman has earned myriad awards and has been recognized by numerous international, national and local organizations and publications. In addition to being named one of Fast Company’s Fast 50, she was recently featured in New York Magazine’s The Influentials – charting the people “whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York.” Additionally, Friedman was included on Vanity Fair’s list of 200 Women Legends, Leaders and Trailblazers.

The Publishing Person of the Year Award will continue to be presented annually at year-end to an individual in recognition of his performance in and contribution to the publishing industry.

Like Daily Variety, Publishers Weekly is owned by Anglo-Dutch conglom Reed Elsevier.