Hannah Telfer appointed MD of new standalone division Penguin Random House UK Audio

Penguin Random House UK today announced it is establishing its audio business as a standalone division under the leadership of Hannah Telfer. She adds the title of MD, Penguin Random House Audio to her existing role of Group Director, Consumer and Digital Development and will oversee an ambitious audio growth programme for 2016 and beyond.

2015 was a record year for audio publishing across Penguin Random House UK with an innovative, engaging and diverse programme from across the Penguin Random House lists; publishing highlights included Penguin Random House UK’s biggest-ever selling audio download with The Girl On The Train and fastest-ever selling title with YouTubers Dan and Phil’s The Amazing Book is Not on Fire.

In May 2015 Penguin Random House UK became the global exclusive publishers of BBC Audio, publishing audiobooks from the bestselling and award-winning drama, comedy and landmark factual programmes from the BBC Radio network and archives.

Announcing Hannah’s appointment, Ian Hudson, Deputy Chief Executive Penguin Random House UK, said: “Having led the team that has revitalised our audio publishing, forged a number of key partnerships and delivered significant growth, Hannah is perfectly placed to take on the role of Managing Director of our new Audio Division working closely with our publishers to offer our authors the best possible home for their audiobooks.”

Hannah Telfer said: “Penguin Random House is already the biggest audiobook publisher in the UK. “Last year alone, through our unique combination of our audio and broadcast experts using our own bespoke in-house studio and working with the best performance talent, we commissioned and published a stunning array of audiobooks. We sold more than 30 million hours of audio and we know we can sell more.

“By launching as a standalone division, we will have one unified audio strategy across Penguin Random House UK with our expert audio team working hand-in-hand with their publishing colleagues.”

Hannah added: “Audio is a brilliant way for us to take our authors to even bigger audiences and we will continue to invest in the highest quality production values, work with the best performance talent – including the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Patti Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry and Sheridan Smith – and find ever more creative ways to market and distribute our titles.”

Also announced today is the appointment of Kate Willoughby as Penguin Random House UK’s first dedicated Audio Marketing and Communications Manager who will report to Audio Publisher, Videl Bar-Kar. Kate joins from Universal Pictures where she was Marketing Manager responsible for devising and executing marketing campaigns across a range of movie releases. She will lead the audio marketing strategy, working closely with marketing and publicity teams from across the business.

Her appointment is a further strengthening of the audio team and follows that of Caroline Raphael as Editorial Director from a career commissioning audio for BBC Radio where she brought programmes including Little Britain, The League of Gentlemen and Cabin Pressure to UK audiences.

Hannah added: “We firmly believe it is in our authors’ best interests to have us publish their audiobooks alongside their print and digital editions. Through our commitment to promote Audio as both a standalone format, and as an integrated part of our overall publishing campaign, we are uniquely placed to reach the broadest possible listenership.”

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