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Hal Leonard Buys Backbeat

Hal Leonard has acquired the Backbeat Books division of San Francisco-based CMP Technology. Backbeat is a publisher of music reference books.

Since 1991, Hal Leonard has exclusively distributed Backbeat Books to the music trade. Under the terms of the new agreement, Hal Leonard has purchased the existing Backbeat Books catalog. It will continue to create new titles under the Backbeat name and will manage sales, marketing and distribution for all of them, worldwide.

During the transition of ownership, Hal Leonard will continue to work with Backbeat’s existing distributors in various markets around the world.

Backbeat’s catalog contains nearly 200 publications, including the All Music Guide reference series; instructional books like “The Guitar Player’s Repair Guide”; band biographies and memoirs like “Skydog: The Duane Allman Story”; and books on equipment like “Beatles Gear”.

Nigel Osborne of London-based Outline Press has long developed content for Backbeat Books. He will continue in that capacity, liaising with both established and new authors for forthcoming titles, which will remain branded under the Backbeat Books imprint.

“We have always had the utmost respect for the prestigious Backbeat Books product line, which is known and loved throughout the world,” said Hal Leonard President Larry Morton. “The Backbeat brand will become the anchor line for our trade book publishing, and fit neatly with our long-term objective for growth in this area.”

“CMP is confident that we have placed the Backbeat catalog in the best possible hands,” said Steve Weitzner, CMP Technology’s CEO. “As Backbeat’s long-time distributor to the music trade, Hal Leonard can hit the ground running in this new and expanded capacity. No one else has such a great working knowledge of the Backbeat catalog, and how best to make it flourish moving forward. The sale of the Backbeat catalog completes CMP’s transition back to a pure-play technology media company.”;