As a successor to Jonathan Karp, who took over as Simon & Schuster president and CEO following the heart attack death in May of Carolyn Reidy, Canedy becomes the first Black publisher in the company’s history.
“I am confident that as our new publisher, Dana can deepen our strengths while expanding our field of vision,” Karp said in a statement, “combining broad editorial expertise with hands-on management skill and the proven ability to effect strategic change.”
Following a 20-year career at the Times, Canedy has been the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes since 2017. While at the Times, she was a lead writer and editor on the 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning series “How Race Is Lived in America.”
Canedy is also the author of the bestselling 2008 memoir A Journal For Jordan, about life with her war-hero partner and the journal he left behind for their infant son before he was killed in combat in Iraq. A screen adaptation of the book is set to begin production this fall, starring Michael B. Jordan and directed by Denzel Washington.
“I look forward to leading the storied Simon & Schuster flagship imprint, a publishing powerhouse that has long produced some of the most important and impactful books in our culture,” Canedy said. “We have an incredible legacy on which to build, and it is an honor for me to join this talented group of editors and publishing professionals as it continues to tell the stories that demand to be told, through the voices of so many of the best authors of our time.”
According to the publishing house, Canedy was part of the Times’ senior management team, tasked with talent acquisition, management training, and staff development across media platforms. She also served as special advisor to the Times’ CEO and Executive Editor on strategic planning, change management, and diversity and inclusion practices.
In a Times article, Canedy’s years as the Pulitzer administrator were noted for the awards’ acknowledgement of increasingly diverse works, including the music of Kendrick Lamar, a posthumous award to the pioneering Black journalist Ida B. Wells, and a special citation to the small Maryland newspaper The Capital Gazette after five people were killed in the newsroom in 2018.
The hire comes as the publishing giant is making major headlines, first for the publication of John Bolton’s memoir The Room Where it Happened and the upcoming publication of a controversial family memoir by President Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump.