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Sky and Telescope parent files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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264 replies to this topic

#1 BGeoghegan

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:35 PM

Not good news...

 

"F+W Media Inc., the company behind Writer’s Digest, Sky & Telescope, Beadwork and other niche publications, filed for bankruptcy and plans to sell itself, saying it faced a cash crunch despite a restructuring that included laying off 40% of its workers."

 

I don't have a WSJ subscription so that's about all I can read.

 

https://www.wsj.com/...ess-11552329196


 

#2 Starkid2u

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:43 PM

Uh, oh. That's REALLY bad news for us S & T readers. I hope they'll be picked up by another niche publisher or at least that S & T can be kept alive in web format. Sheesh! Just what I needed right now!...

 

STARKID2U


 

#3 havasman

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:48 PM

Hard times for print media, publishing and niche markets. I hope there's a business case for somebody to pick up S&T. That would be a helluva loss.


 

#4 Crow Haven

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:52 PM

frown.gif  Oh No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

#5 Astrola72

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:55 PM

NO!NO!NO!  nonono.gif


 

#6 Araguaia

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:00 PM

This is what happens when you get wi-fi on airplanes.


 

#7 bobhen

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:21 PM

Told you so.

 

As I have written MANY times in the past few years in these S & T threads, the writing has been on the wall since the new owners took over.

 

As I wrote in the latest S & T thread: The Sky and Telescope Subscriptions thread (post 18) a few months ago…

 

Sending product without a request and then sending a bill is just another reason (and a typical hack publisher ploy) why, after 40-years of continuously subscribing to S & T, that I dropped my subscription. Step-by-painful-step the new owners have shown their true colors – and those colors aren’t painting a pretty picture.

When the cash cow no longer gives milk, it will be sold to the nearest butcher.


Bob


 

#8 Starsareus

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:41 PM

Sad, just one of many issues to occur. "Progress has a price", even if it is not really progress.  American telescope manufacturing- almost gone, American Computer manufacturing-gone, eventually we will be widgets to computers who will do all the manufacturing! Who will you complain to then??  


 

#9 Dan Crowson

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:57 PM

You can read more information here (not paywalled) - https://www.csbankru...g-fw-media-inc/. Maybe someone for S&T will chime in on the thread?

Dan


 

#10 Astrola72

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:59 PM

Told you so.

 

As I have written MANY times in the past few years in these S & T threads, the writing has been on the wall since the new owners took over.

 

As I wrote in the latest S & T thread: The Sky and Telescope Subscriptions thread (post 18) a few months ago…

 

Sending product without a request and then sending a bill is just another reason (and a typical hack publisher ploy) why, after 40-years of continuously subscribing to S & T, that I dropped my subscription. Step-by-painful-step the new owners have shown their true colors – and those colors aren’t painting a pretty picture.

When the cash cow no longer gives milk, it will be sold to the nearest butcher.


Bob

Well Bob, your complaints aside, I would surely miss S&T!

 

Joe


 

#11 aneeg

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:09 PM

Sad news. And I just renewed my subscription.

 

Arne


 

#12 Roland David

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:18 PM

It is a very sad news.

 

I was waiting every month for the new issue to come.

 

Hopefully, it will be buy by another publisher and continue servicing the backyard astronomers community.

 

Thanks S&T for all those years of great publishing!


 

#13 bobhen

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:23 PM

Well Bob, your complaints aside, I would surely miss S&T!

 

Joe

Me too Joe. However...

 

The fault lies not in the stars but at S & T (or more likely F+W Media Inc.)

 

The Internet is not to blame. The Internet is something to take advantage of.

 

There are many astro-oriented websites out there that are more viable than S & T’s (we are all on one right now). To be a publisher today you don’t need paper, ink or presses, you need content that in engaging, includes video clips and is 2-way conversational (like with forums) that pull eyeballs. Advertisers want to see eyeballs and they don’t care if its print or video or on a computer or a phone. Give advertisers eyeballs and they will be happy to pay.

 

S & T has acted like it’s 1970 for the past 20 years. The fact that the new owners didn’t have a clue was the final nail in the coffin.

 

Maybe the next owners (if any) will get it right. I hope so because until I dropped them last year, S & T was a big part of my astro life, as I subscribed for over 40-years. Back in the 70's I had to drive 15-miles to the Philadelphia Free Library to read copies before I subscribed to the magazine – that's a dedicated reader.  When they lost someone like me, after 40 years, I felt the end was near. 

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 11 March 2019 - 08:40 PM.

 

#14 Cali

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:24 PM

You can read about F+W here.

 

From the Wiki post, "The private equity firm ABRY Partners purchased F+W in 2005... In 2014, F+W Media acquired New Track Media, renamed itself F+W, and was acquired by the private equity company Tinicum."

 

Whenever you read the words "private equity" in the publishing business, be prepared for Impending DOOM.

 

- Cal


 

#15 Neptune

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:44 PM

So, this comes as no surprise. I had just visited the Sky and Telescope web page this past Friday evening. I was shocked at the quality of the ad's on the page itself. So much so that I wrote them a letter, well, an e-mail. Copied below...

 

"As a long time, a very long time subscriber to your magazine, since 1977.  I once-in-a-blue-moon checked out the Sky and Telescope web page.  Upon it loading, I was accosted with such gems as 'Top 5 Telescopes of 2019', 'Say Goodbye Apple' and 'Senior Cell Phone Deals' and the like.  Don't tell me that my beloved Sky and Telescope magazine has had to resort to this kind of advertising in order maintain physical liquidity?  Did anyone actually look into this click bait before they pulled the trigger on using this on your webpage? A while ago there was mumblings of a 'dumbing down' of this periodical. I think with this type of click bait, it's just another nail in the coffin."

 

So, now it all makes sense....  what a shame.  I loathe the idea of subscribing to Astronomy. Are they still publishing?

 

Deep down I am hurting. I grew up with Sky and Telescope.  They sent me a free issue back in the summer of 1977 (pic below) and I was HOOKED.  Maybe the old group who sold it can buy it back for pennies on the dollar and carry on.  A guy can dream can't he. After all, Celestron did just that.

 

David

Attached Thumbnails

  • Sky & Tel May 77.jpg

Edited by Neptune, 12 March 2019 - 09:24 AM.

 

#16 krahling

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 06:08 PM

This is sad news indeed.  I've subscribed off and on since I was in high school in the 70's.  I hope they find a way to carry on.


 

#17 BGeoghegan

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 07:39 PM

You can read more information here (not paywalled) - https://www.csbankru...g-fw-media-inc/. Maybe someone for S&T will chime in on the thread?

Dan

Thanks Dan. There's a lot more to this -- as much as we focus on S&T, it's part of a much larger media group.


 

#18 edwincjones

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 05:25 AM

 

 

.............So, now it all makes sense....  what a shame.  I loathe the idea of subscribing to Astronomy. Are they still publishing?..............

 

David

 

 

what is the Mark Twain statement  "the news of my death is premature"  ?

 

and while I agree with the sentiment that S&T is better than Astronomy,

Astronomy is a good magazine and still publishing.

 

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 12 March 2019 - 05:31 AM.

 

#19 aneeg

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 07:15 AM

what is the Mark Twain statement  "the news of my death is premature"  ?

 

and while I agree with the sentiment that S&T is better than Astronomy,

Astronomy is a good magazine and still publishing.

 

 

edj

For the time being.....

 

Arne


 

#20 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:10 AM

This is terrible news, I've been reading S&T since March of 1968, it's a major part of my astronomical life. Loosing S&T would be like loosing all my telescopes and books. But I admit I've been seeing more and more advertisements on its pages that have absolutely nothing to do with Astronomy. bawling.gif frown.gif

 

Rich (RLTYS)


 

#21 bobhen

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 09:35 AM

This is terrible news, I've been reading S&T since March of 1968, it's a major part of my astronomical life. Loosing S&T would be like loosing all my telescopes and books. But I admit I've been seeing more and more advertisements on its pages that have absolutely nothing to do with Astronomy. bawling.gif frown.gif

 

Rich (RLTYS)

I subscribed for over 40-years and have fond memories of S & T. As I write this, a quick turn to my left and there are 40-years of S & T stacked on my bookshelf. And like you, I thought long and hard about stopping. I stopped last summer and haven’t really missed it. It was pretty painless. As a matter of fact, it was MORE painful getting the magazine each month and seeing what the new owners were doing to my beloved S & T.

 

Publishing is about content. And S & T is just not as relevant as it was back in the day. That could change. But that change was never going to take place with the current ownership. Hopefully new owners (if any) will know what they are buying, make the necessary changes and get it right.

 

Bob


 

#22 Neptune

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:18 AM

Sounds like a group of 'us' needs to buy it and make it what it once was.   But, then again I tend to live in the past. The times they are a change'in.

 

I do believe a magazine dedicated to imaging might just work, but then again, most it seems want blog's and on line reading.  I hate the way this is going.   R.I.P. Sky and Telescope....

 

I know what bobben is talking about. I to have been wrestling with the idea of just letting my subscription laps into unconsciousness.  Hard to do when you have so many fond memories of waiting anxiously for the next months issue to arrive.  Yes, as pathetic as it sounds, I enjoyed when it arrived. Only recently to be less than thrilled to find what was waiting inside.  It's all been said above and it's all true.  ...maybe "I can't handle the truth" 


 

#23 edwincjones

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:30 AM

I took S&T for only 20 years and stopped it several years ago.

I just was not getting much out of it-was irritated of all the e-mail ads they sent.

My favorite part of S&T was the Beautiful Universe series, and it stopped.

In olden days I would eagerly look forward to its arrival and read and reread.

I did replace it with Astronomy's 9.99 special from discount mags

but would not now pay the regular price.

 

times change, interest change, faithfulness fades

 

frown.gif frown.gif frown.gif

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 12 March 2019 - 10:35 AM.

 

#24 Michael Covington

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 10:38 AM

Here is a Forbes article that I don't think is paywalled:  https://www.forbes.c...tcy-protection/

 

I am wondering if their mistake was simply trying to be too big and going for too much of the mass market.  I remember their "stodgy Harvard days" and actually rather liked it... but the circulation was small.  

A lot of us sensed trouble when irrelevant ads suddenly appeared, initially one of them in bad taste (some kind of "male enhancement" I think it was).  I have nothing against off-topic ads that are in line with the readership of the magazine and their intellectual level and seriousness.  Ads for camping gear, electronics, rocks and minerals, clocks, antiques, for example, would be quite welcome.  Just not anything quackish or pitched at less intelligent buyers.


Edited by Michael Covington, 12 March 2019 - 10:46 AM.

 

#25 George N

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 11:01 AM

Why is everyone jumping on S&T as a "loser"? 

All we know so far is "F+W Media Inc. applied for bankruptcy protection" - and this firm owns S&T.... plus a number of other and bigger 'hobby' magazines, and publishes books. S&T is probably so small that it has little impact on their bottom line - and may be one of the assets that can be sold and bring in a few bucks..... Only they know at this point.


 


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