When last we saw Jane Friedman, ignominiously fired HarperCollins CEO, she was regaling New School students with tales of her early publicity days and hinting at a new career phase in which she would be doing just about everything. Friedman is still mum on her plans, but this week brings news that she's raised $3 million for a start-up named OpenRoad Integrated Media LLC, with headquarters on Spring Street — far from the steel towers of midtown, where HarperCollins and its corporate brethren ply their trade.
Listed as a partner is movie producer Jeff Sharp, who'd been working (unsuccessfully as yet) on developing films out of HarperCollins titles — resurrecting the specter of synergy for an Internet era. (Friedman has also been spotted at film festivals in recent months.) Given her past declarations of commitment to new, post-print publishing models, e-books will almost definitely be a big part of the new company. Perhaps it'll even be a full-on virtual publisher, along the lines of other start-ups like former Soft Skull publisher Richard Nash's Cursor.
Friedman's people had no comment on the speculation, but there's one thing we can definitely tell you: All will be revealed in a matter of weeks. Until then, hold on to your masks.
Jane Friedman Raises $3 Million [Publishers Weekly]