Andrew AlbaneseThe door has opened on a new year – and for Barnes & Noble, the understandable preference is not to look back but to look ahead. In a week that saw B&N’s one-time flagship store shuttered in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, there was much news from the retail giant of US bookselling.

“They announced that they have a new leader, naming Michael Huseby to the post of CEO. He has been in charge since William Lynch resigned last July, after joining B&N in March 2012 as CFO,” reports Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer. “In a statement, B&N chairman Len Riggio called Huseby the right person to lead B&N forward even though he is a relative newcomer to the retail book business. But given the changes in the business, that may be a good thing – because the old rules of business truly no longer apply.”

This week, B&N also reported that holiday sales for the nine-week period ended December 28 fell 6.6% in its retail segment and a whopping 60.5% in its Nook division, Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. Overall, sales of digital content fell 27%, largely due to lower device unit sales and lower average selling e-book prices, he adds.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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