Developer Herbert Simon Buys Kirkus Reviews

By Jason Boog Comment

kirkus.jpgReports surfaced last night that Herbert Simon–the owner of the Indiana Pacers and “chairman emeritus” of the Simon Property Group–has purchased Kirkus Reviews.

Simon is the 317th richest American, according to Forbes magazine’s 2009 list. He made his fortune developing shopping malls around the country, including the Mall of America–“his firm owns or has interests in 263 million square feet of leasable space,” the magazine explained.

The editorial structure will stay intact–Elaine Szewczyk will remain as editor at Kirkus and Eric Liebetrau will stay managing editor. Here’s more from the NY Times: “Mr. Simon, who is co-owner of an independent bookstore in Montecito, Calif., has appointed Marc Winkelman, chief executive of Calendar Holdings, owner of several chains of seasonal retailers, to be chief executive of what will be re-named Kirkus Media.”

>UPDATE: eBookNewser has more about the digital book implications of the book review’s new life.

In December, as Neilson announced they would shutter Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews, sending shockwaves through the literary world. A few weeks later, a Twitter post (which was later deleted) renewed hopes that the book review outlet could survive. In early January internal memo surfaced that said the company had found a potential buyer and would continue publication.