Dawn Davis is a seasoned book editor hired in 2020 to bring Bon Appetit back after mass resignations and racism allegations at its parent company, Condé Nast On track, he resigned on Tuesday. She will return to Simon & Schuster as publisher of 37 Ink, a publishing house she founded in 2013, and as executive editor of the Simon & Schuster trade press.
“I have made the difficult decision to return to book publishing,” Ms. Davis wrote in a letter to employees at her company’s recipe sites, Bon Appétit and Epicurious. She said she will continue in the role through September, citing things like “helping establish Bon Appétit and Epicurious” as an authority in the culinary industry, developing delicious and thought-provoking content, growing our audience across channels, and empowering our team and The audience we reach. “
But, she said in a public statement, “Staying away from books made me realize how much I love manuscripts.” She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In her first editorial letter to Bon Appétit in February 2021, Ms. Davis wrote, “When there are calls to leave book publishing to take the helm of this storied magazine because it takes racial and cultural equality into account, it is unacceptable.” resisting. “
She joins at a time of great upheaval at Bon Appétit, which became Condé Nast’s main food brand after the abrupt closure of Gourmet in 2009. While Ms. Davis’ editorial focus wasn’t food and she didn’t serve as an editor at the magazine, Anna Wintour, who was Condé Nast’s artistic director and chair of its diversity and inclusion committee at the time, convinced She takes the job.
Davis’ predecessor, Adam Rapoport, was a Condé Nast insider who worked at GQ before becoming CEO of Bon Appétit in 2010.
Mr Rapoport resigned in June 2020 after food writer Tammie Teclemariam posted a photo online of him in offensive clothing in 2004. But Bon Appétit workers have begun to speak out about long-standing racial inequities in pay and career advancement. Eventually, more than two dozen people, including stars of the magazine’s popular YouTube channel, left the magazine in protest.
When Ms. Davis returns to Simon & Schuster in September, she will become part of the executive leadership team and will report directly to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Karp.
Ms. Davis first joined Simon & Schuster in 2013. Her books there include Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s “Never Caught,” which was shortlisted for a National Book Award; Susan Rice’s “Tough Love”; and the bestselling comedian Kevin Hart and weight loss expert JJ Smith Book. Prior to joining Simon & Schuster, Ms. Davis was publisher of Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins, where she edited Edward P. Jones’s The Known World, the The book won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
She will rejoin Simon & Schuster at an unusual time for the company. Penguin Random House, the largest U.S. publisher, tried to buy Simon & Schuster for $2.175 billion, but a federal judge blocked the deal last year on antitrust grounds. Simon & Schuster’s parent company, Paramount Global, said it still intends to sell the publisher.
Despite the uncertainty about future sales, Simon & Schuster has delivered strong results over the past year, even as other publishers struggle with weaker revenues. It brings in $1.1 billion in revenue in 2022, surpassing $1 billion for the first time in the company’s history. Its operating income for the year was $248 million, also a record high. The company said there was growth across the business, but some of its standout authors include Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reed, Janet McCurdy and Stephen King.