• Even if Friedman's performance was bad, why not ease her out like Jack Romanos at Simon & Schuster or give her a few weeks like Peter Olson at Random House?
  • Why did people in the "highest echelons" at HarperCollins seem to know nothing about Friedman's departure Wednesday night? Why are her "closest friends" still baffled about what happened?
  • If Friedman was pushed out for performance reasons, why install her chosen successor and longtime underling as the replacement?

Still, Friedman's replacement Murray sounds a lot like the sort of publisher that's so hot these days: "Mr. Murray is a skilled businessman with a knack for administrative strategy and little interest in the literary aspects of publishing." Perhaps Murdoch, who seems to be the only one who saw this change coming, simply decided he wanted one of those.