Kirkus, Editor & Publisher going out of business
Someday the death of old media might be marked by the date of Dec. 10, 2009, the day that Nielsen Trade Papers announced it is closing Kirkus Review and Editor & Publisher, venerable trade publications covering the book and newspaper industries.
Few details are available at this moment, but according to The New York Times, Nielsen is shuttering the two magazines as it gets out of the trade publications business. It is selling other properties — The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, and Mediaweek among them — to “to a joint venture of Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners.”
Nielsen will hold onto a few publications, including Contract magazine and Progressive Grocer.
The loss of Kirkus Review is yet another blow to literary culture in the United States, following the extreme contraction of newspaper book review pages over the past three years. Book reviews are essential to the public conversation that helps keep literary culture alive.
Kirkus was founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus to serve libraries, publishers, agents and booksellers. Published monthly, it produced about 5,000 brief book reviews annually. I suggest we all pray for the health of its chief competitor, Publishers Weekly.
Editor & Publisher is even more venerable, dating to 1884. Also published monthly, it covers all aspects of the newspaper industry. It was a newsroom staple during the long, blissful years I spent laboring in newsrooms in Tennessee and Florida.
PoynterOnline has the complete Nielsen press release.
I keep telling myself the Internet is an information highway — a good thing — but they’re paving paradise, no doubt a digital parking lot is soon to follow.