Richard Ford is leaving his longtime publisher Knopf for Daniel Halpern and Ecco. Knopf keeps a stiff upper lip about the move, sending publicity director Paul Bogaards out to say, "Richard is one of the most significant writers of our generation. He has a lot of friends here and everyone wishes him well. I think in a situation like this, he considered his options very carefully.'' No comment yet from Gary Fisketjon, Ford's longtime Knopf editor. How much HarperCollins money did agent Binky Urban get from Ecco to whisk Ford away? We'd be interested to know!