Popular Science Shuts Online Magazine in Another Sign of Decline

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In yet another sign of decline, Popular Science has ceased publication of its online journal, three years after closing its historic print edition that began in 1872.

Popular Science continues to publish articles and videos on its website, and still produces the “Strange Things I Learned This Week” podcast.

But from him a quarterly digital magazine It started in 2021It has ceased publication and will no longer charge for subscriptions, said the magazine’s parent company, Frequent Ventures.

The last online editionTitled “Lies”. It was published in September and featured articles on taxidermy, artificial intelligence and fake crystals.

“Like most media companies, Repetition is catering to the needs of its audience,” company spokeswoman Kathy Hebert said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s clear that change is a constant theme, whether it’s the increase in consumer demand for video or the ad budget – as well as the shift to video – due to changes in social networks.”

The decision came two weeks later Axios, citing an unnamed source, reported Recurrent Ventures has cut 13 positions in Popular Science. Only five editorial members remain at the publication, Axios reports.

Ms Hebert declined to confirm how many staff had left but acknowledged “headcount reductions across a number of brands and work groups”.

Recurring Ventures is undergoing a transformation that it recently announced. The third CEO in three years. It was the company. Created in 2021 At Northern Equity, a private equity firm, to manage Popular Science, The Drive, Domino, Field and Stream and other media acquired by Northern Equity.

The closure of the digital magazine saddened and angered some former prominent scientists, citing the publication’s rich tradition of science journalism that dates back 151 years and includes articles by Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur and Isaac Asimov.

Over the decades, popular science has explored photography, hovercraft operations, gyrocopters, spaceflight, and the struggle to gain extra space on commercial airplanes, all in the eye of the general interest reader. Even in recent years, in 2019, it won National Magazine Awards for “Tiny Things,” and “The Tiny Issue.” Temperature issue” on climate change, in 2022.

The magazine was known for making and presenting amazing predictions about the future. Do it yourself projects An indoor “aircraft detector” that could be built from a kit and detect enemy aircraft, like a motorized “yard tractor” introduced after the Earl Harbor bombing.

Purbitha Saha, a former senior deputy editor, wrote on LinkedIn that “I am saddened, angry and appalled that the owners are shutting down a pioneering publication dedicated to making changes in the space of five minutes for 151 years.” . She said she was fired on November 13.

“I still have some talented colleagues who are producing news, reviews, and podcasts for popsci.com, but Popsci magazine will cease to exist,” she wrote.

The deduction comes from National Geographic, another respected science magazine. The secretaries and other members of the staff In a round of layoffs announced in April, months after he fired several top executives last year. including other media Buzzfeedof Los Angeles Times, Vox Media And The Washington PostThey also cut staff.

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute’s School of Journalism, said the end of Popular Science’s online magazine is another step toward “trying to capture a small number of formats that are less expensive down the road.” readers”

He said it would be presumptuous to call it “the last step before the grave,” but added that “it may be difficult to rebuild and build an advertising base.”

Jacob Ward, former editor-in-chief of Popular Science, said the loss of the online magazine “breaks my heart.” Early editions featured oil paintings on the covers that he said would put him at home, like a man filming in protective gear on the edge of a volcano.

He called Popular Science “so beautiful, so historic” and “a real treasure of American popular scholarly publishing.” Video Posted on LinkedIn. But he said, “It’s kind of thrown away in the minds of people who make money for a living.”

In the year Joe Brown, who served as editor-in-chief from 2016 to 2020, said the magazine’s demise would make it difficult to unify stories around a common theme and provide context that is missing from much of everyday journalism. He said he was concerned that the rest of the staff would have to “feed the beast” to keep the website fresh.

In light of the recent layoffs, he said, “I don’t see how you can keep everything.”

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