According to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, Nielsen Co. has decided to cease publication of the newspaper industry's preeminent trade magazine Editor & Publisher.

A cartoon I drew for Editor & Publisher back in January about furloughs at newspaper publisher Gannett.

A cartoon I drew for Editor & Publisher back in January about furloughs at newspaper publisher Gannett.

"After years of covering the death of newspapers, we here at Fitz & Jen got to experience it first-hand this morning," Mark Fitzgerald and Jennifer Saba posted on their Fitz & Jen blog.

Editor & Publisher, which dates back to 1884, is the country's oldest journal covering the newspaper industry.

"Shuttering E&P is a real loss for the media beat, given that the publication has comprehensively covered the newspaper and magazine world (while breaking a lot of news in the process) for nearly 100 years," Michael Calderone wrote on his Politico blog.

"Their reporters are typically the first to break down circulation numbers, while offering monthly listings of newspaper website traffic rankings and other essential information."

Having drawn cartoons for Editor & Publisher, I can attest to the the high degree of professionalism and enthusiasm among their staff, including Editors Greg Mitchell and Shawn Moynihan. Their love of the newspaper industry has always been inspiring to me, and the loss of Editor & Publisher to an industry that has been battered and abused in recent years is just simply depressing.

UPDATE: E&P's Editor Greg Mitchell spoke for a few minutes with Columbia Journalism Review's assistant editor Greg Marx (you can follow Mitchell on Twitter here):

Marx: Were you given any explanation as to why you would be ceasing publication?

Mitchell: It’s just a business decision, nothing to do with performance. We had turned the magazine around completely since 2003. We were a weekly until 2002, when we were starting to struggle, and we went monthly. And to the amazement of practically everybody, we turned things around, started making money, won awards, the Web site become tremendously popular and influential—it was quite a success story. So it was kind of a shock to us [to hear that] E&P would not keep going in some form.

UPDATE #2: Steve Greenberg, a fellow Cagle blogger, drew cartoons for Editor & Publisher for a number of years, and chimes in about it's closing:

It was a challenge for me to focus on a single industry and find worthy cartooning material each week. Plus, it became my first national audience, seen by my journalism colleagues and my cartooning ones, and made me a far-better-known name within the industry.