The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Sold to Who's Who Publisher

Changing the ownership of two of show biz's major trade journals will either change everything, or change nothing at all. In Hollywood, you're always safe betting on the latter

• These late days of print media bring some strange potential owners out of the woods to poke around at the fire sale and see what kind of bargains they can land on unmatched, only-slightly-singed argyle socks. The Wrap reports that the venerable journals, the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard have been sold by their parent company Nielsen to James Finkelstein's News Communications Inc. publisher of Who's Who and The Hill. Also included in the sale, The Wrap reports, Backstage, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Editor & Publisher. [The Wrap]

• After a strong debut, the ratings for ABC's V took a tumble last night with 29 percent drop-off. [Hollywood Reporter]

Carrie Underwood's hold on the music charts has not let up. "Play On", the former Idol star's third album easily took the top slot on Billboard's Hot 200, selling 318,000 copies in its first week out, knocking the soundtrack to Michael Jackson's This Is It down to #2. [Billboard]

• There was an actual bidding war over content in Hollywood yesterday and in the end, Peter Chernin's New Regency walked away with the prize. Chernin beat out Universal and Warner Brothers to snatch up the rights for My Name is Memory, the first book of a trilogy about a college couple whose souls have been intertwined for hundreds of years. [Variety]

• Simon Cowell has topped primetime TV's top-earners list. According to Forbes, the Idol judge/America's Got Talent creator rakes in $75 million a year, soaring past Donald Trump in the #2 slot at $50 miilion. [Forbes]

• To promote its new film Nine, the Weinstein Company has signed a deal to annoy ABC viewers in unprecedented ways. According to the deal with the network, the film will be written into the plotlines of a variety of ABC shows including its daytime soap operas, will be featured on Dancing With the Stars. [Variety]

• And if you're keeping score, it hasn't been a great week to be Nikki Finke. Not only does she inform blog readers that she is down with the flu, but she gets beaten by Sharon Waxman on the Hollywood Reporter story (assuming it pans out) and her biggest scoop of the year, the news about Oprah's departure from her syndicated show, still has yet to be confirmed by anyone else, with all sources still, a week later, publicly saying that no decision has been made. It may yet turn out that Oprah will end up making the leap, but some are wondering is it possible Nikki jumped the gun claiming the deal was done?