Random House cleans house again, splitting Crown for digital future

Just three years ago, the Crown Publishing Group was the most profitable division of Random House, the largest U.S. trade publisher of the media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Boldface names -- Barack Obama, Rachael Ray, Deepak Chopra, Ann Coulter -- produced a string of hits. And narrative non-fiction and thrillers, like Erik Larson's Devil in the White City and Max Brooks's World War Z, were selling big, too.