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Kirkus Reviews to Continue With New Owner

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Herb Simon, the owner of the Indiana Pacers basketball team, and chairman emeritus of Simon Property Group, had bought Kirkus Reviews. In December, the Nielsen Company had announced that it was closing the magazine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Simon appointed Marc Winkelman as chief executive of what will be re-named Kirkus Media," according to the Times. Simon and Winkelman, the chief executive of Calendar Holdings, are also co-owners of Tecolote Book Shop, an independent bookstore in Santa Barbara, California.

Winkelman told the Times that Kirkus would keep its current editorial leadership, including Elaine Szewczyk as editor and Eric Liebetrau as managing editor, and it would continue to be published as a print magazine, although its digital offerings would be expanded.

Online Spending Up in Fourth Quarter of 2009

On Tuesday, comScore Inc. released data showing that U.S. spending online in the fourth quarter of 2009 had grown three percent to $39 billion, according to Reuters. The reversal of four consecutive quarter year-over-year declines was driven by an increase in online buyers, according comScore, although average spending per buyer declined somewhat.

ComScore said that December 15 was the busiest online spending day in history, with $913 million dollars in transactions.

The company also said that free shipping was a factor in more than 40 percent of online transactions.

Books for a Better Life Awards to Be Presented on February 22

Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News' Good Morning America, will host the Books for a Better Life Awards on February 22 in New York City. The awards ceremony, sponsored by the New York City - Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society, will also honor Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, and Cami Walker, author of 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books).

Awards will be presented to authors who published a self-improvement book in 2009 in each of 10 categories: Childcare/Parenting, First Book, Green, Inspirational Memoir, Motivational, Psychology, Relationships, Spiritual, Wellness, and Personal Finance. S&S's Reidy will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The 14th Annual Books for a Better Life Awards will be held at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in Manhattan. More information is available at