American Astronomical Society to Purchase Sky & Telescope

June 18, 2019 - Comment

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has agreed to amass Sky & Telescope (S&T) journal and its associated enterprise belongings, together with the skyandtelescope.com web site, SkyWatch annual, digital editions, astronomy-themed excursions, and S&T-branded books, sky atlases, globes, apps, and different stargazing merchandise. S&T’s present proprietor, the magazine- and book-publishing firm F+W Media, sought Chapter 11


The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has agreed to amass Sky & Telescope (S&T) journal and its associated enterprise belongings, together with the skyandtelescope.com web site, SkyWatch annual, digital editions, astronomy-themed excursions, and S&T-branded books, sky atlases, globes, apps, and different stargazing merchandise.

S&T’s present proprietor, the magazine- and book-publishing firm F+W Media, sought Chapter 11 chapter safety in March 2019 after what courtroom filings described as six years of poor technique and administration on the company degree. The AAS, the key group astronomers in North America and a 501(c)(three) nonprofit company, was the successful bidder for S&T in a chapter public sale course of that concluded on Monday, 17 June, pending approval by all events to the transaction, last documentation, submitting of ultimate gross sales agreements and schedules with the chapter courtroom, and a profitable closing course of.

The AAS anticipates that S&T’s employees of editors, designers, illustrators, and promoting gross sales representatives will change into AAS staff however will proceed to work out of the journal’s places of work in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The AAS is headquartered in Washington, DC, however already has a couple of dozen distant employees members scattered from coast to coast. Because it accomplishes the operational transitions wanted to publish S&T, the Society anticipates making few if any modifications to the editorial content material or the way in which the journal operates, and subscribers ought to see no interruption in its month-to-month supply schedule. Enhancements and new services are doubtless sooner or later; these will probably be developed in partnership with the journal’s editors and readers and with the Society’s members and different stakeholders.

“The synergies between our two organizations are many and powerful,” says Peter Tyson, Editor in Chief of Sky & Telescope. “Many AAS members grew up on S&T, and we repeatedly report on the discoveries made by AAS members.”

Sky & Telescope was based in 1941 by means of the merger of two earlier magazines: The Sky, produced at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, and The Telescope, printed first at Ohio’s Perkins Observatory then later at Harvard School Observatory. The enterprise was employee-owned till 2006, when the employees offered it to the craft-and-hobby writer New Monitor Media, which in flip offered it to F+W in 2014.

Earlier than he grew to become AAS Press Officer in 2009, astronomer Rick Fienberg labored at S&T for 22 years, serving from 2001 to 2008 as Editor in Chief. Upon studying of F+W’s monetary difficulties, he prompt that the journal may very well be a very good match for the AAS, which publishes two of the main peer-reviewed journals within the area — the Astronomical Journal (AJ, http://aj.aas.org) and the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) — and which just lately created an Novice Affiliate class of membership for yard astronomers, a lot of whom collaborate on scientific analysis with their skilled counterparts. AAS Government Officer Kevin Marvel agreed and wrote an in depth proposal to the Board of Trustees, who unanimously endorsed the concept of making an attempt to amass S&T’s enterprise belongings, not solely due to S&T’s shut strategic alignment with the Society’s personal objectives, but additionally as a result of it will improve the AAS’s skill to attach with newbie astronomers and most of the people.

“The AAS Board was completely onboard with the acquisition of Sky & Telescope,” quips AAS President Megan Donahue (Michigan State College). “Many people are present and dependable subscribers, and quite a lot of began studying S&T once they had been younger and famous that the fantastic articles and exquisite graphics helped encourage them to decide on a profession within the astronomical sciences. The AAS and S&T collectively will probably be better than the sum of the components.”

“I made a decision to change into an astronomer whereas voraciously studying again problems with Sky & Telescope throughout research corridor in 10th grade,” remembers Marvel. “I’m thrilled with the Society’s acquisition of S&T and look ahead to integrating the enterprise absolutely into our operations, which is able to enable us to develop our efforts to meet our mission to boost and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.”

“We couldn’t be happier that we’ll now be producing Sky & Telescope and our different merchandise underneath the auspices of the American Astronomical Society,” Tyson says. “We look ahead to working with the AAS on our shared objectives: supporting astronomers of all stripes, getting the phrase out about astronomical discoveries, enhancing pro-am collaborations, and mentoring the following era of astronomers. It seems like S&T is lastly touchdown the place it belongs.”

Contacts:

Rick Fienberg
AAS Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x116
rick.fienberg@aas.org

Kevin B. Marvel
AAS Government Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x114
kevin.marvel@aas.org

Peter Tyson
Editor in Chief, Sky & Telescope
+1 617-758-0240
ptyson@skyandtelescope.com

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is the key group astronomers in North America. Its membership of roughly 7,500 additionally contains physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose analysis pursuits lie inside the broad spectrum of topics now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the AAS is to boost and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe, which it achieves by means of publishing, assembly group, schooling and outreach, and coaching improvement.



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