The Book Closes On Judith Regan

Last month, HarperCollins and its Regan imprint shocked and angered the nation by announcing the publication of a book by OJ Simpson titled If I Did It. The firestorm of criticism surrounding that decision eventually caused HarperCollins to cancel the publication and the Fox Network to cancel its two-part interview with imprint executive Judith Regan and Simpson. Now the other shoe has dropped:

O.J. Simpson’s would-be publisher, Judith Regan, was fired Friday, her sensational, scandalous tenure at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. ending with the tersest of announcements.
“Judith Regan’s employment with HarperCollins has been terminated effective immediately,” HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman said in a statement. “The REGAN publishing program and staff will continue as part of the HarperCollins General Books Group.”
Regan’s firing comes less than a month after Murdoch’s cancellation of Simpson’s hypothetical murder confession, “If I Did It,” a planned book and Fox television interview that was greeted with instant and near-universal disgust when announced.
An industry force since the 1980s, when she produced best-sellers by Drew Barrymore and Kathie Lee Gifford for Simon & Schuster, Regan has been labeled a “foul-mouthed tyrant” and the “enfant terrible of American publishing.” She is also widely envied if not admired for her gift of attracting attention to her books and to herself.

The driving force behind Jenna Jameson’s “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star,” a book made rather redundant by the actress’ extensive video demonstrations, obviously made few friends during her career in publishing. She packed up for Los Angeles to get away from personality conflicts, when the heart of publishing remains in New York. It sounds like the Simpson debacle gave HarperCollins a perfect opportunity to ditch their albatross, and they took advantage of it.
She’ll probably return to publishing, but a little wiser the next time. Or, if not, we can look forward to a book by Robert Blake about how he would have murdered his wife, too.