PRESIDENT/CEO, NASHVILLE, TN
Worthy Publishing is the operating unit of Worthy Media, Inc., a privately funded holding company that seeks to acquire and grow strategic and tactical businesses, creating a robust, multifaceted Christian media leader. The Company launched Worthy Publishing in 2010. Worthy develops products with a Christian worldview, marketing and distributing them worldwide through both mainstream and Christian sales channels for general consumers and the church. See www.worthypublishing.com for more information.
Integrity Publishers, Inc.
PRESIDENT/CEO, NASHVILLE, TN
In 2001 Williamson launched Integrity Publishers as a subsidiary of Integrity Media of Mobile, AL. By the spring of 2007 Integrity achieved trailing 12-month revenues of $23 million. The #1 and #4 books on the Publishers Weekly religion list in April 2007 were Integrity titles. As late as April 2010, three former Integrity titles were still listed as top ten CBA bestsellers, more than any Christian publisher.
Integrity signed such bestselling authors as Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Dr. David Jeremiah, Newt Gingrich, Emerson Eggerichs, Sarah Young, Jerry Jenkins, Dr. John Townsend, and Steve Arterburn. Seven New York Times bestsellers were published as well as two children’s video series: On the Farm, featuring Amy Grant, Vince Gill, and Randy Travis, and the video series babyfaith, developed by the creators of Disney’s Baby Einstein.
Williamson led the sale of Integrity Publishers to Thomas Nelson, aiding the completion of parent company Integrity Media’s going-private process. After the transition of Integrity’s assets to Nelson in 2007, Williamson moved on to form Worthy Media, subject to honoring a long non-compete imposed by Thomas Nelson, which expired in July 2010.
Thomas Nelson | Word Publishing
(FY 1993 – 1999)
PRESIDENT, NASHVILLE, TN
After Nelson acquired Word from Cap Cities/ABC, Williamson relocated to Nashville as president of the Nelson and Word group. From Nelson’s acquisition of Word in fiscal 1993 through 1999, the combined sales grew from $123 million to $170 million, a 35% increase.
Williamson consolidated Word and Nelson into a single company, creating the nation’s 9th largest general trade publisher, competing for retail space with Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and HarperCollins.
Major authors signed include multi-million unit bestsellers Frank Peretti, John Maxwell, and John Eldredge. Prior to resigning as president of Nelson/Word in fiscal ‘99, Williamson recruited Mike Hyatt, who now serves as Nelson’s CEO.
Word Publishing | Cap Cities/ABC
(1988 – FY 1999)
President, Dallas, TX
Williamson joined Word Publishing, a unit of Cap Cities/ABC, in the fall of 1988. Word publishing had been operating in the red for five years with revenues stalled at $19 million. After assembling a new management team and re-establishing relationships with key authors and literary agents, revenues grew to $83 million over his term at Word, making it the largest and fastest growing Christian book publisher.
An unprecedented list of bestselling artists and authors were signed published during the Word years, including Billy Graham, Max Lucado, James Dobson, Nolan Ryan, Barbara Johnson, Charles Colson, Gary Smalley, and Charles Swindoll. Word authors occupied as many as 7 of the top 10 CBA bestseller positions.
Two new business units were formed during these years: WordKids was launched in 1990, later morphing into Tommy Nelson, a children’s publishing imprint that developed the International Children’s Bible and its adult edition, the New Century Version, together selling over 15 million copies. J. Countryman, an inspirational gift book imprint, was launched in 1994. By the late ‘90s Tommy Nelson and Countryman each had annual sales of $24 million.
In FY ‘93, Cap Cities/ABC sold Word to Thomas Nelson.