Thursday, July 02, 2015

After 20 years, SkyNews magazine bought by Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) is buying the astronomy magazine Sky News,which for almost 20 years has been provided as a benefit to its members. 

SkyNews has been published by SkyNews Inc. since 1999 when the National Museum of Science and Technology, which launched it, sold it to editor Terence Dickinson and circulators Greg Keilty and Colleen Moloney. 

They describe it as "the only popular, English-language science magazine for adults published in Canada." It also publishes the website SkyNews.ca and a monthly e-newsletter. 

Keilty and Moloney are stepping down from their respective roles as publisher and associate publisher. Dickinson in planning to step down as editor next year, though he has agreed to remain as editor emeritus and continue to contribute his own column thereafter. 
"One of my distinct pleasures in the past two decades has been gathering an all-Canadian team of astronomy writers, photographers, illustrators, designers and editorial experts to steer a steady course for SkyNews," said Dickinson. "Our readers have supported us as the magazine has doubled in size since its founding. I am absolutely delighted that The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be moving into the driver's seat as we head into the next two decades."
 James Edgar, the Society’s National President said
“This is a monumental event, one that bodes well for our Society and for SkyNews,” said . “The acquisition of the magazine ensures that our long-standing relationship will continue far into the future, a relationship that we have seen increase in several dimensions over the past few years. This can only mean an improvement to member benefits, plus it provides a new way for us to grow our public outreach. We are most pleased that Terry Dickinson has agreed to remain with SkyNews as Editor Emeritus. His presence ensures that the flavour and thrust of SkyNews remains as a quality Canadian astronomy publication.”                             
Keilty said
“Launching a new magazine and finding the readers to support it is a gamble.... We were able to tend it and grow it and now it's 20 years old, already quite a long life for a magazine, and is now the only popular-level adult science magazine published in English Canada. Passing this treasure on to the RASC pretty well guarantees that SkyNews will celebrate a 40th anniversary as well.”
There were no financial details provided. Sky News's current circulation is about 25,000, published 6 times a year. Just under 5% of this is in the United States. Average single copy sales per issue in Canada total about 8,700.

The RASC also publishes a bi-monthly magazine called the Journal, an annual Observer's Handbook and Observer's Calendar, and a monthly e-letter called The Bulletin for members. 

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