This news has been widely reported but I thought the news noted on Eoin Purcell's blog today anticipated in significant ways the immediate need for new thinking in Publishing.
Eoin noted a story in The Bookseller that claims Weidenfeld are returning author advances because they (supposedly) don't have the staff to edit the titles. This seems idiotic to me.
There is probably more to this but it is hard to believe that if these titles were good on the fundamentals; profitable, message driven, good for the imprint(important titles), that they don't still stand up. Sadly, it probably speaks to the continued lack of focus on business principles that continues to be prevalent in publishing. Rather than cast these books off - assuming they had merit in the first place - seek another model. Take them to POD or a vanity press type model where the publisher and the author share some risk. The announcement that Harpercollins in the US is thinking differently anticipates this announcement from Weidenfeld.
I anticipate we will hear more about Bob's new venture. Good luck to him.