Vice President, Marketing
Andrews McMeel Universal
Kansas City, MO (February 6, 2024) – The Andrews McMeel Universal (AMU) board of directors has named Kirsty Melville chief executive officer of AMU effective February 6, 2024. Melville is the third person to assume the role of CEO of the company and will oversee all AMU operations. She will continue as president and publisher of Andrews McMeel Publishing (AMP).
“Kirsty’s leadership of our publishing division has been exceptional,” said AMU Chairman Hugh Andrews. “Her initiatives have enabled AMP to grow in unprecedented ways, advancing a culture of excellence and cultivating relationships with creators, associates, and business partners to our great advantage for many years. I am confident that in her expanded role as CEO she will continue to address challenges, seek new opportunities, and fuel AMU’s success across our publishing, syndication, digital, and entertainment divisions.”
“I am energized and excited to assume the CEO position,” said Melville.” AMU is an extraordinary global media company distinguished by its creator-first vision, remarkable leadership team, outstanding associates, and rich and varied content offerings that entertain people and enrich lives. I am honored to build upon the outstanding legacy established by the Andrews and McMeel families and AMU’s boundless potential. I look forward to focusing my energy on AMU’s continued growth and future success in each of its divisions.”
“I’ve worked closely with Kirsty for the last nine years,” said outgoing CEO Andy Sareyan. “She brings a rare combination of results-oriented drive, a deft creative touch, mastery of the publishing world and insatiable curiosity to explore new things. I’m leaving AMU in remarkably capable hands.”
As publisher, Melville helped drive the continued success of AMP’s comics and humor categories with Andrews McMeel Syndication (AMS) features, including introducing popular formats for the New York Times bestselling Calvin and Hobbes and Big Nate with The Calvin and Hobbes Portable Compendium and the Big Nate middle grade graphic novel series. She also initiated the reissue of The Far Side® Off-the-Wall Calendar, the nation’s bestselling calendar. Additional New York Times bestsellers include those featuring Doonesbury, Pearls Before Swine and Phoebe and Her Unicorn, among others. With Melville as president and publisher, AMP transformed numerous web comics into New York Times bestsellers as well, including offerings from The Oatmeal, Sarah’s Scribbles, and Catana Comics.
She helped establish AMP as the nation’s foremost poetry publisher, with numerous New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers, including milk and honey, the sun and her flowers, and homebody by Rupi Kaur, which have sold more than 11 million copies to date. These titles join other bestsellers in children’s books, inspiration, adult coloring and puzzle categories and their success serves as testimony to Melville’s strategic, determined pursuit of excellent creators and books representing distinctive and diverse voices.
A native of Australia, Melville was the founding publisher of Simon & Schuster Australia. In 1994, she moved to the U.S. to become vice president and publisher for Ten Speed Press and led its transformation from a niche publisher to an internationally recognized, award-winning publisher. She departed Ten Speed to work as publisher for San Francisco’s University Games, and Andrews recruited her to join AMP in 2005 to become publisher and executive vice president of AMP. She and her family quickly embraced the Kansas City community, in which she has been actively involved (through AFS Intercultural Programs and by publishing the works of community-related leaders and organizations) and has consistently contributed to improving the climate for women in business (through her position as publisher, as a mentor, and by professional outreach). She was named president of AMP in 2009.
During Melville’s tenure, she introduced many initiatives to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and increase sales (in North America and internationally), working with the editorial, sales, marketing, and production teams of AMP. In addition, she directs its calendar program, ensuring AMP remains the nation’s premier calendar publisher, a position it has held for decades. Melville’s sharp eye, depth of experience, and inspired leadership have significantly contributed to the growth of AMU and will continue to do so in the years to come.
About Andrews McMeel Universal
Founded in 1970, Andrews McMeel Universal is the world’s largest independently owned feature syndicate and a publishing industry leader. Distinguished by a creator-first approach and the uncanny ability to tap into the zeitgeist of popular culture, Andrews McMeel specializes in comics, illustrated humor and inspirational content, with a remarkable roster of talent across syndication, book, calendar and greeting card publishing, digital consumer experiences and entertainment licensing, including dozens of New York Times best-selling authors and Pulitzer Prize-, Reuben Award- and Emmy Award-winning creators.