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Well, this is another company whose history is so convoluted with mergers and acquisitions that it's almost impossible to be sure. But here goes:
In 1967, Kinney Parking Company and National Cleaning Company merged to form Kinney National Group, which then purchased Warner Brothers/Seven Arts (two studios which had merged earlier that same year).
In the first few years, the extent of their publishing (under the Warner name) was limited to DC Comics and Mad Magazine, both of which had been bought by Kinney at about the same time as the original Warner purchase. They bought out Paperback Library in 1970 and launched the book business. It was successful from the beginning, and they were able to acquire Popular Library in 1982.
Their first books were called "Warner Paperback Library." I'm not entirely sure when they shortened the name to simply "Warner." The numbering carried over from the previous Paperback Library series, which can be accessed on BookScans HERE. They seem to have filled gaps in their numbering systems, using prefixes 59-, 64- and 65-, before ratcheting it up into the "70's" and starting over.
In 1972, Kinney spun off all of the non-entertainment businesses and renamed itself Warner Communications, Inc. They became Time-Warner in 1990, Time Warner Entertainment in 1992, and AOL Time Warner Inc in 2001. Hachette Book Group USA, a subsidiary of the French company Hachette Livre, took over the publishing business in 2006.
(NOTE: The BookScans Database does not go beyond 1979.)
(Scan above Courtesy of Bob Gaines)
This page was updated in October, 2017