February 28 – March 6, 2008 Edition

PW For Sale;
Nielsen’s Book
Standard Shuts

NEW YORK, NY/2/28/2008–Fissures in the U.S. book publishing industry grew wider last week as a key media company, Reed Elsevier, announced it is shifting away from book industry news coverage, and Nielsen shut down The Book Standard.

Reed Elsevier told its investors last week that it is divesting Reed Business Information “to reduce exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality.” The sell off will include Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal.

Meanwhile Nielsen Business Media’s The Book Standard shut down without warning. Sister sites also owned by Nielsen, including Kirkus Reviews, Media Week, Adweek, and The Bookseller in the UK, remain in tact.

The sudden disappearance of The Book Standard led some to speculate that Nielsen might be among bidders for Reed Information, a $1.7 billion company. Oddly, on February 19, Nielsen sent out a survey asking The Book Standard readers to offer their thoughts and opinions about the media site.

“Nielsen Business Media made the decision to cease publication on The Book Standard to focus resources on its other literary properties including The Bookseller and I,” Marisa Grimes, Manager, Corporate Communications, Nielsen Business Media, told Authorlink February 27.

“The company is deeply committed to continuing to serve the literary industry and will continue to seek and identify new opportunities that ensure we are providing the right products that serve our audiences as well as make sense for our business,” said Grimes.

When asked to comment on rumors of a possible acquisition of PW by Nielsen, Grimes said: “We have no plans regarding PW and don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

For the past year, Nielsen has been revamping most of the sites it owns. The Bookseller was re-launched in January 2007, and Adweek was launched anew in January 2008. Major upgrades have also been made to Media Week. The Bookseller, founded in 1997, makes extensive use of Nielsen BookScan data, with daily updates of the top 50 book titles in the UK and two news e-mails a day.

Reed Elsevier just recently completed the sale of Harcourt Education for £2.5bn/€3.6bn, and acquired ChoicePoint, Inc., a fast growing risk management marketplace.

The Nielsen Company is the world’s leading provider of marketing information, audience measurement, and business media products and services. Headquartered in New York, USA and Haarlem, The Netherlands, Nielsen operates in more than 100 countries.