Updated at 1:31 p.m. EST
The Nielsen Co. is selling some of its most prominent trade journals - including The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard - and shutting down Editor & Publisher, which has chronicled the newspaper business for 108 years.
In all, Nielsen is selling eight titles to e5 Global Media LLC, a new company formed by private equity firm Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners, a financial services company. James Finkelstein, who founded Pluribus this year with George Green and Matthew Doull, will serve as e5's chairman.
Thursday's closure of E&P "was a shock," said its 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 said Editor & Publisher appeared to have turned things around after struggling at the beginning of the decade. The magazine switched to a monthly format from weekly in 2003 and heightened its focus on the Web.
Nielsen said both the print and online operation will shut down immediately. But 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."'
Along with Editor & Publisher, Nielsen is also shuttering the book review title Kirkus Reviews. The two publications have 18 employees combined. Nielsen would not reveal details about the financial performance of E&P or Kirkus.
Spokesman Gary Holmes said Nielsen is still reviewing its properties to make sure the company is focused on businesses with "the highest potential for growth." Nielsen is keeping a handful of other media properties, including Contract Magazine and Progressive Grocer.
Lachlan Murdoch, 38, the eldest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was expected to be among the buyers of the Nielsen publications, but he was not part of the deal, according to two people familiar with the matter. They were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. A message left early Friday with Murdoch's investment firm in Australia was not immediately returned.