Saturday, December 12, 2009

Editor & Publisher: Journalism Watchdog Closed

The Nielsen Company will close Editor & Publisher immediately. The journal chronicled the newspaper industry for over a century. The news came as a surprise to editor Greg Mitchell.

"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 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."'

Another journal owned by Nielsen was sold:

Editor Elizabeth Guider said The Hollywood Reporter is still profitable, "just not as profitable as we'd like to be, or clearly that Nielsen wanted us to be."

The Carlyle Group purchased a chunk of Nielsen in June 2006, during the go-go buyout period. Many of those deals unraveled, with the company cramming down debt holders or declaring bankruptcy. Returning to the profit theme:

Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes said his company is still reviewing its properties to make sure the company is focused on businesses with "the highest potential for growth."
A Carlyle Group affiliate pulled the plug on a journalism watchdog for profit's sake. It might help the politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU) maintain their good name, a key aspect of Carlyle's mission.

The news does a poor job of showing how PEU's infect global business. They are bloated Lyme disease ticks on Washington D.C.'s and the taxpayer's crotch. One mainstream media (CBS News) did enough "research" to call the Carlyle Group a "consulting firm."

Private equity underwriters are shadow bankers. Profits are the be all and end all. People, history and mission be damned. Editor & Publisher is gone, thus it can't hold newspapers accountable for PEU's free passes. It's likely a spin off benefit, but one just the same.

Update 1-16-10: Nielsen sold E&P to Duncan McIntosh.