The USA TODAY Best-Selling Books List is back. Meet the new editor, Barbara VanDenburgh.


In August of 2022, Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain, with more than 200 dailies, terminated 3% of its workforce (around 400 employees) after posting a loss of $54 million, on revenues of $749 million, in its second quarter. 

One of the layoffs included Mary Cadden, who spent 17 years as editor of the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books List, a weekly ranking of the 150 top-selling titles based on U.S. book sales. Caden started at USA TODAY in 1995 as a researcher. After the layoff was announced, Gannett issued a separate statement announcing that the book list will be on hiatus for the remainder of the year (2022), a move that surprised many in the industry since USA Today’s list has been highly valued by authors, agents and publishers, who also look to the weekly rankings as an alternative to other popular lists citing its “length, diversity and transparency, since The New York Times breaks down its charts into various categories of 10 or more bestsellers where USA Today, combined everything into one list of 150.

Now some six months later, Gannett announced the coveted USA TODAY Best-Selling Books List is back, placing longtime Arts & Entertainment Journalist Critic for the Arizona Republic, a Gannett/ USA TODAY newspaper, Barbara VanDenburgh as the new editor.

Although VanDenburgh has achieved journalistic recognition, winning the “Best of the West Award" for short-form feature writing in 2018 and the 2015 Arizona Press Club award for arts criticism, she is also shown a high degree of mastery of the digital publishing side of the industry. VanDenburgh started at the Republic as a Digital Innovation Strategist, where she won the Gannett Innovation Challenge after developing new audience strategies.

In this episode of "E&P Reports," we meet the new editor of the rereleased USA TODAY Best-Selling Books List, Barbara VanDenburgh. We talk with VanDenburgh about why bringing back the USA Today lists is important and how she feels about her new role with national influence over the very competitive book publishing industry.


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