Haskell book rights to Ballantine


Ballantine has acquired world English rights to a memoir by Sam Haskell, former executive vp and worldwide head of television at WMA.

The book will center on "living a principled life in unprincipled times," the publisher said. It will be written with David Rensin, who met Haskell when writing his 2003 book "The Mailroom: Hollywood History From the Bottom Up."

"Since I was a kid, I've been guided by principles that shaped me into who I am today," Haskell said. "Mostly, I have my mother to thank for that. She's not here for the telling of this story -- of life's lessons learned, promises kept and dreams fulfilled -- but I think if she were, she'd be smiling."

Haskell, who retired from WMA nearly three years ago at age 49, has represented such clients as Bill Cosby, Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Feinstein, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Martin Short and Sean Hayes.

More recently, he executive-produced "Mississippi Rising," a three-hour MSNBC special hosted by Morgan Freeman that raised $15 million for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. He is also chairman of the board of the Miss America Organization.

Ballantine senior editor Susan Mercandetti will edit his book, which is targeted for publication in spring 2009. The deal was brokered by Endeavor.