The best indication that Nielsen Business Media was shutting down newspaper-industry trade magazine Editor & Publisher is that it was a trending topic on Twitter all afternoon Thursday. And the magazine, which had documented the ups and downs of newspaper publishing for more than a century, wrote its own obituary.
E&P editor Greg Mitchell says he and his staff got the news of the magazine's closure Thursday morning, along with everyone else. "We knew that there was a sale in the works," he says, "but there was never any sort of crisis meeting, and there was no indication that it might be folded."
Kirkus Closes, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter Sell
Nielsen also announced it would shut down Kirkus Reviews, the 76-year-old publishing-industry magazine, and sell eight titles, including Billboard and Hollywood Reporter, to e5 Global Media Holdings.
E&P is halfway through completing its January issue, but Mitchell says he doesn't know if E&P will have the chance to finish it. The magazine's Web site, he says, will keep going in some form, at least until the end of the year. "We've been terminated," he says, "and Nielsen has no plans to support [the site] beyond January 1." A Nielsen Business Media representative says of E&P and Kirkus that "it's not immediately clear when their final issues will be."
The outpouring of support through email, blog posts, and Tweets left Mitchell feeling "kind of staggered, frankly," he says. "I think people took [the magazine] for granted, and didn't think it would ever go away. Now they realize what they'll lose."
What Happens to the Archives?
As to which media source might fill E&P's shoes, Mitchell says, "There's no shortage of Web sites and news outlets" that cover media. But Mitchell says the magazine's ultimate legacy is its "independent voice," defending reporters' First Amendment rights and espousing the tenets of investigative and hard-news journalism.
Book-industry professionals are feeling the impending loss of Kirkus Reviews, one of four trades offering book reviews. Kirkus's reviews were legendary for their sharp, often negative tone, and authors considered a Kirkus pan a badge of honor. But the fate of Kirkus's 5,000-review archive is unclear. Nielsen is not divulging plans for the archives and, as with E&P's site, has no plans to keep the Kirkus site going. Kirkus managing editor Eric Liebetrau declined to comment.
Ironically, Kirkus's demise comes the same day that GoodReads, a social network for books and readers, received $2 million in new financing with the help of TrueVentures. With the future of Kirkus rival Publishers Weekly also in flux -- parent company Reed Business Information put a block of its media publications up for sale in July -- the large void in advance reviews of professional criticism could get even larger.
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