Situations -- Saab, Gourmet -- where a company might rather close a money-losing subsdiary than sell it to a firm that might successfully turn it around have been a topic of interest here. The latest example is Nielsen Business Media's decision to close Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus gave a nasty, ideologically biased review to my Samuel Adams book, so the news draws more interest from me than it might otherwise. You'd think that some buyer -- either a bottom-fishing vulture investor or someone ideologically minded who'd like a chance to shape the debate with a first word on books that gets read by bookstore buyers and library purchasers and is reprinted on some of the ecommerce book sites -- would make a lowball offer and have some fun with it. Maybe such an offer has already been made but wasn't high enough to entice Nielsen to risk the embarassment of having a buyer make a success of a publication that was failing under its ownership. On the other hand, this may be another example of the trend away from centralized taste-making a la the Kirkus review and toward more democratic, user-generated content, like the user-generated reviews on Amazon.com. The same week Kirkus announced it was closing, GoodReads, which says it has 2.8 million registered users, announced a round of venture capital financing, that, as reported by Publisher's Lunch, is "close to $2 million." GoodReads is founded by Otis Chandler, whose family used to own and run the Los Angeles Times, which stopped publishing its Sunday book review as a separate section back in 1997. How's that for creative destruction and the self-correction of a market, as opposed to the government subsidy that the New York Times quoted historian David Brinkley suggesting in the N.Y. Times article on the demise of the Washington Post's Book World?