The announcement was in Publishers Lunch today:
The publishing world's concerns about declining review space will only become more severe with this morning's news that Nielsen Business Media has "made the decision to cease operations" at Kirkus Reviews (as well as Editor & Publisher.) The news came as the company announced the sale of the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and six other media brands to Guggenheim Partners and Pluribus Capital Management. Nielsen is retaining ownership of The Bookseller in the UK.
The memo from Nielsen Business Media president Greg Farrar does not indicate what will become of the Kirkus archives, and whether there will be any effort to sell the operation. As Ron Charles at the Washington Post Book World tweeted: "Worst news in a long time: Kirkus shutting down. For me, they were the last reliable source of negative reviews."
I think if life were like a blockbuster movie these things would be some of those (not so) early signs that an enormous meteor (or other cataclysmic life-destroying event) is about to hit the publishing world. And, like in the movie 2012, we sort of knew it was coming but thought we had more time. I'm looking around for John Cusack as I type this, to see if he has any ideas for surviving the upcoming calamity or whether I should just, like, go back to school and become an accountant or something because, you know, once the ebook format takes over (hello bargain basement prices and mass piracy!) it's looking as though authors won't be able to make a living (not that most of us ever really could but there goes the lunch money even!).