'USA Today' Inks Book Deals

By: USA Today has signed licenses with six US book publishers to extend its brand.

Gannett company officials say the nation's biggest newspaper by circulation will attach its name to books on various subjects. They will feature graphics and content from USA Today, ranging from sports and Sudoku puzzles to business and legal guides.

USA Today will team with legal information publisher Nolo to co-produce a 12 book series of business and legal guides. Sports Publishing will print a hardcover book documenting "25 Years of USA Today" and will reissue in paperback "The Making of McPaper, The Inside Story of USA Today." It will also put out "A Year in Sports, 2007."

Barnes & Noble division Sterling Publishing will print eight USA Today crossword puzzle books in spring 2008. Andrews McMeel Publishing will produce five USA Today puzzle books this spring and a USA Today 2008 day-to-day sudoku puzzle calendar in the fall. Multimedia Publishing will publish a monthly USA Today sudoku puzzle magazine.

Mead Westvaco Consumer Products will publish a 2008 USA Today year-in-a-box multi-puzzle calendar.

Susan Lavington, senior vice president of marketing for USA Today, said in a statement that the timing was right to extend the brand into book publishing, calendars and other products.

USA Today retained corporate brand licensing agency Nancy Bailey & Associates to help it develop new products around its core assets.

Shares of Gannett rose 26 cents to $58.90 in morning trading.


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