The rumors have been flying about the net for a while, I think LiTG has covered them twice now. They need something to give some sort of sting to the coming Final Crisis don’t they? Like when they killed Barry Allen/Flash in the original Crisis. I think that is the only death they haven’t retconned yet, so it bodes well that maybe the bat-death will be a true one. If it’s not just a bunch of misinformation to throw us off from whatever the real surprise they have cooked up is.
Note that I think legacy characters are the one strength DC has over Marvel. Many of their characters are bland *coughSupermancough* and boring (Hal Jordan) as hell, but the potential for one generation to die/retire and pass on the mantle to the next, so far DC has been the only company with the balls to do that. They were on a roll with the 3rd flash during my reading tenure, but they had to go and retcon that too… I figured they’d never touch the big 3 (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman), but seeing Marvel do it has possibly emboldened them.
So here’s to hoping they do it. Nightwing’s title has always seemed stupid to me, him replacing Batman would be a great way to get rid of that title and put him to a good use.