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R.I.P., E&P?

December 10, 2009 - Rob Weaver
I had just returned to my desk after thumbing through the December issue of Editor & Publisher, an industry publication, when I opened the financial news feed from The Associated Press and learned the latest edition of E&P may be its last.

The lead paragraph of the file read:
NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

... 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.’’

... Nielsen said both the print and online operation will shut down immediately. But Mitchell hopes Editor & Publisher will return in another form.

You may have never heard of it, but word of E&P’s closing scurried through the newsroom. Over the years, Editor & Publisher has chronicled changes in the newspaper industry. E&P tracked some of those changes indirectly. For example, anyone who monitored the classified ad section over the past 20 years could have charted the spread of pagination — the switch from using paste-up boards to computers in assembling newspaper pages.

More recently, E&P has covered the advent of, and merging with, digital media. In fact, this month’s cover story asks, “When will Web editors take over the newsrooms?”

Next year, the publication apparently won’t be around to ask such questions. Unless, of course, it is revived.  “I’m shocked that a way was not found for the magazine to continue it some form — and remain hopeful that this may still occur,” Mitchell said in an online article announcing the closing.

That article ends with these three words: Watch for updates.


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