Opperman acquires Phoenix

Michael Viner will still run company

Publisher-turned-philanthropist Dwight D. Opperman has scooped up Phoenix New Millennium Books and Audio and retained founder Michael Viner to run the company.

Viner will serve as prexy-CEO of the company, redubbed Phoenix Books. Julie Chrystyn, a Phoenix author and exec director of Opperman’s foundation, will serve as exec VP.

Opperman ran legal lit house West Publishing for almost 30 years, selling it to Thomson Corp. for $3.4 billion in 1996, then devoting his attention to philanthropic affairs. He worked his way through the ranks at the company, formerly know as WestLaw Database, before taking the reigns in 1968.

Viner founded Phoenix two years ago, after filing for bankruptcy protection for New Millennium. He is known for publishing provocative tomes such as “Burning Down My Master’s House,” by disgraced New York Times journo Jayson Blair, along with Robert Evans’ audio book “The Kid Stays in the Picture.”

Chrystyn penned “Body Transformation,” a 2006 Phoenix tome, and “The Secret to Life Transformation,” skedded to bow next year. She has also served as a ghostwriter to various pols and businessmen.

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