Mr. Crankypants read today that Neilsen Business Media has made the decision to close Kirkus Reviews, according to the Kirkus Reviews web site. No doubt librarians everywhere will mourn its death, as Kirkus Reviews has long been a source of excellent, honest book reviews; as for Mr. Crankypants, he mourns the loss of a motherlode of snark.
So why did Nielsen kill Kirkus? The L.A. Times reported that Nielsen purchased Kirkus Reviews as part of a trade publication group that included ten periodic; yet Nielsen sold most of the other titles, including Billboard and (gag) Brandweek. Says the L.A. Times, “It was unclear why a buyer had not been found for Editor and Publisher [a trade journal covering newspapers] and Kirkus. A Nielsen Business Media company spokesman said they were ‘no longer aligned with our strategy’.”
Nielsen killed Kirkus because the beancounters won again: short-term profits and laziness once again triumphed over intellectual and cultural importance.