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Hachette UK forms supercharged audio team

Hachette UK today announced a new, centralised and enhanced structure for their audio team, led by Group Rights and Audio Director, Rebecca Folland. As part of the development strategy for Hachette’s audio format, which has seen 81% growth in three years, the current structure has been reshaped to create one, central audio team.

The new team will be headed up by Dominic Gribben and Sarah Shrubb, who have both been promoted to Audio Director, and retains all existing Hachette UK audio staff. The central department will continue to be integrated within divisions, creating and producing audio into existing imprints. They will have responsibility over the audiobooks, further aligning the audio format with the rest of the business and accelerating the growth of audio publishing. Bookouture and Hodder Education will continue to operate with solus teams due to their bespoke commercial needs. Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) and Octopus Publishing Group will be included in the central team with Karen Lawler, Head of Media Rights & Audio at HCG, and Melissa Baker, Group Digital Director for Octopus, working with the Audio Directors on strategy.

In 2020, Hachette UK’s ongoing investment in audio led to the creation of production studios at Carmelite House, which have been expanded twice and are projected to deliver over 360 titles in 2023. A centrally connected team with an in-house production studio will allow for greater collaboration and efficiency and, with audio sales up 10% year to date, the new structure will continue to supercharge Hachette UK’s audio strategy, creation, production, and distribution.

Rebecca Folland, Group Rights and Audio Director said: “I’m very excited to be working alongside Dom and Sarah to make sure our authors’ work is launched in the most imaginative ways and that we maximise every opportunity for them in this expanding market. I am sure that our newly formed team, bringing together expertise from all parts of the business will deliver a huge amount of ambition and energy to our audio production.”

Dominic Gribben, Audio Director said: “I’m delighted to be working alongside Sarah to establish this new team. There’s so much great work being done across Hachette UK on audiobook publishing, and we aim to support and enhance that by centralising our audio publishing talent while continuing to make the most of Hachette’s federal structure.”
Sarah Shrubb, Audio Director said: “Hachette’s audiobooks are best in class, written by some of the best authors in the world, and it’s a privilege to be part of the new audio team, all of whom will play an important role in publishing brilliant ‘ear-catching’ recordings. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to work with Dom to continue developing fantastic audiobook publishing across all of Hachette’s divisions.”