OSV acquires Harcourt Religion Publishers

by Heidi Schlumpf

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In what may be a sign of things to come, two Catholic publishing groups have merged. Our Sunday Visitor, billed as "the nation's largest Catholic publisher," has acquired Harcourt Religion Publishers from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, one of the leading educational publishers in the United States. OSV publishes a weekly newspaper, books, religious education curricula, periodicals and pamphlets, as well as offering envelopes.

In a June 3 press release, OSV publisher and president Greg Erlandson said, "“We are thrilled to welcome Harcourt Religion Publishers into the Our Sunday Visitor family. They have long stood out for their curricula and forward-looking support tools. The joining of our product lines not only reinforces both missions, but it leverages similar corporate cultures that value innovation, hybrid solutions, and sharing what the Church teaches and why to Catholics of all ages."

Specific terms of the transaction were undisclosed. Harcourt Religion Publishers is best known for its award-winning Call to Faith K-8 Series and the nation’s number-one-ranked Catholic high school religion programs.

OSV will retain Harcourt's’ existing management team, support staff, field representatives and product line. Harcourt Religion Publishers’ customers will continue to work through their established local sales representatives.The press release says customers can expect to see expanded service support, expedited fulfillment services, and new hybrid products and services over the next few months.

OSV is billing the acquisition as "A new day in catechesis." It may also signal a new day in Catholic publishing, as companies join forces to compete for survival.

In other OSV news, its blog is now offered in a downloaded Kindle edition for $1.99 a month. Look for similar availability of this blog soon!

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