In a flurry of announcements, Nielsen Business Media announced that it is selling eight titles and popped the surprise that it will fold the 108-year-old Editor & Publisher and 76-year-old Kirkus Reviews. Titles sold from Neilsen's troubled business media portfolio included the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Backstage magazines, now to be owned by a newly-formed company put together by James Finkelstein's Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners in a deal worth an estimated $70 to $75 million. It had been widely expected, unlike the concurrent closures.
According to a report in The Wrap, staffers at E&P were stunned by the decision because Nielsen was said to have been searching for a buyer for the titles. (The magazine has never been well-known to the public because it was focussed on the newspaper trade; clearly, the parlous times and uncertain future of the newspaper business contributed to the closure.)
"I'm shocked that a way was not found for [E & P] to continue some form," said Greg Mitchell, editor since 2002, "and remain hopeful that this may still occur." (Alan Meckler, CEO WebMediaBrands and owner of Mediabistro, said on Thursday that he had offered to "take the publication off Nielsen's hands" several months ago, but that the company spurned his offer, "claiming it could receive 'millions' for the title.")
Nielsen Business Media president Greg Farrar wrote in a memo to staffers:
“This move will allow us to strengthen investment in our core businesses – those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth – and ensure our long-term success.”