In a just-releasedkirkus.jpg message, Greg Farrar, President of Nielsen Business Media, announced the company’s decision to cease operations on two important publishing industry publications: Kirkus Reviews and Editor & Publisher. Nielsen will also sell eight other magazines, including Backstage and Billboard, to a newly formed company called e5 Media Holdings. Click here to read the notice (via Poynter Online and Jim Romenesko).

This is a big blow to the publishing industry, if not to the eBook sector specifically. With the closure of Kirkus, we do lose an important online source of reviews, though one that lives mostly behind a subscriber pay wall.

There is, of course, much talk about this news on Twitter. Notably, Ron Charles of the Washington Post said, “For me, they were the last reliable source of negative reviews.” Charles also notes that the last tweet from the Kirkus Reviews was 17 hours ago.