Friday, August 6, 2010

Discover Magazine Purchased by Kalmbach Publishing

Kalmbach Publishing, located in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has bought Discover Media, which produces Discover magazine. Discover will become Kalmbach's 17th periodical.

Kalmbach is a respected publisher of "enthusiast" magazines such as AstronomyIt's a great fit; Kalmbach's a good publisher and they should take good care of the magazine, its 700,000+ readers, and the brand. They're not a buy-and-sell type of company.

Discover will remain headquartered in New York, reports Folio:, which will make the staff that works there happier, no doubt, but it'll be a waste of money. Perhaps the location will shift in future years, but for now it probably helps the company retain staff. (Publishers often say they need to be in Manhattan to get visibility among large advertisers and to get media "buzz," but there are plenty of successful publications produced outside of the Big Apple, so we can dispense with those rationalizations for paying sky-high rents.)

Discover was founded in 1980 by Time Inc., and it was then in the vanguard of a new movement of science writing for popular audiences. The articles were written by scientifically literate professional journalists who were able to bring science to mass, non-expert audiences. The magazine has been owned by quite a few companies in the meantime, including the Walt Disney Company and a company that included magazine entrepreneur Bob Guccione Jr (who later flirted with the idea of resurrecting his father's popular science/futurist magazine Omni, but I haven't seen anything on that possibility for years now, so I assume it's not going to happen).

So at least one happy ending in the magazine marketplace these days.

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