Nielsen Co closes Editor & Publisher and sells off eight titles

By Calvin Palmer

Nielsen Co sold eight of its titles today, including The Hollywood Reporter and Adweek , in a $70 million deal.

The company also announced the closure of Editor & Publisher, which has reported on the newspaper business for 108 years of reporting on the newspaper business, and Kirkus Reviews.

Neilsen Co has sold the eight titles to e5 Global Media LLC, a new joint venture between Pluribus Capital Management, a media partnership, and Guggenheim Partners, a global financial services firm.

James Finkelstein, who founded Pluribus this year with George Green and Matthew Doull, will serve as e5’s chairman.

The closure of Editor & Publisher shocked staff.

Editor Greg Mitchell said, “We knew that something big was happening but we didn’t think the aftermath was that we wouldn’t be sold and it would be folded.”

Mitchell said Editor & Publisher appeared to have turned things around after struggling at the beginning of the decade. The magazine switched to a monthly format from weekly in 2003 and heightened its focus on the Web.

Nielsen said both the print and online operation will shut down immediately. But Mitchell hopes Editor & Publisher will return in another form.

“I would hope because of our special history and our role as a watchdog in journalism that it would be more likely in this case that there will be someone that’s going to say, `Hey, we’re not going to let this die.'”

Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews have 18 employees combined.

The eight titles sold off are The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, Mediaweek, Brandweek, Billboard, Backstage, The Clio Awards and Film Journal International.

In addition, e5 Global Media will also acquire the Film Expo business, which includes ShoWest, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International and CineAsia trade shows.

Greg Farrar, president of Nielsen Business Media, stated that divesting the titles is an opportunity for the company to “focus its investment on its core businesses and those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth, including our leading trade show group”.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and Media Daily News.]

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