Thursday, February 11, 2010

All's well that ends well for Kirkus Reviews: finds new ownership under long time reader; editors to stay

The New York Times is reporting that Kirkus Reviews, closed down by the Nielsen Company late last year, will be reborn under the new ownership of a loyal reader -- Herb Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers, and chairman emeritus of Simon Property Group, a shopping mall developer.  Simon will go into the venture with partner Marc Winkelman, chief executive of Calendar Holdings.

Simon and Winkelman are co-owners of a bookstore, Tecolote Books, in Montecito, Calif.  Winkelman formerly worked for the Barnes & Nobel book chain.

Simon has been a longtime subscriber of Kirkus Reviews. “With the growth of e-books and e-reading devices, no one can really see the future of publishing. But turmoil like this creates opportunities. At a time when even the definition of a book is changing, my love of books makes me want to be part of the solution for the book publishing industry," Simon said in a statement.

For editors Elaine Szewczyk and Eric Liebetrau this may be a dream come true: new ownership that loves the product and is not buying the property for its cash returns -- kind of like owning a local bookstore, no?  Best of luck to the editors and new owners.