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Downsized Cosmos Moves to Melbourne

Australian Financial Review | 25 February 2013

The February 2013 cover of Cosmos

by Primrose Riordan

Australia's leading science magazine, Cosmos, has cut staff levels and lost both its chief executive and editor before a planned relaunch in July.

The magazine's editor, Wilson da Silva, and its chief executive, Kylie Ahern – two of the title's co-founders – have sold their stakes in the magazine to the other two co-founders, Monash University chancellor Alan Finkel and his wife, science writer Elizabeth Finkel.

Dr Finkel, a noted neuroscientist and entrepreneur, said the relaunched magazine would reduce costs by moving from Sydney to Melbourne, where it will share office space and personnel with the Finkels' other corporate activities. Mrs Finkel will be editor-in-chief.

Dr Finkel said he wanted Cosmos to become "an international science magazine that offers an Australian insight" and was looking at moving towards "digital delivery."

He said staff numbers in Melbourne would be "substantially smaller".

Dr Finkel is looking to expand his Stile Education company and incorporate the magazine into the wider business.

He said the change was "not about financial pressure".

At the last audit in October 2012, circulation stood at 23,021. The magazine's chief rival titles are American-owned, such as Discover and Scientific American.

The subscriber base is concentrated in educational institutions - 70 per cent of Australian high schools receive a monthly copy and 20 per cent to 25 per cent of schools have site licences to online content, according to Ms Ahern.


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