The Scientist may not be hanging up its lab coat just yet. Only one week after announcing it was shutting down, the possibility of new ownership has revived hopes that the quarter century-old publication which caters to life scientists will continue on with its editorial team intact.
On 14 October, LabX Media Group, based in the Midland, Ontario, announced it had signed a nonbinding Letter of Intent to purchase The Scientist from its current owner, Sciencenow Inc.
"The Scientist complements what we are doing, it’s sort of the missing piece,” says LabX publisher Mario Di Ubaldi. In addition to Lab Manager Magazine, a trade magazine that is sent to some 42,000 lab managers each month, LabX Media group also hosts the LabX Scientific Marketplace, a website for selling and purchasing new and used lab equipment, and LabWrench, an online forum for lab equipment questions and discussions.
The potential purchase would bring LabX to the attention of The Scientist readers and conversely, expose readers of exisitng LabX products to The Scientist, broadening their focus, says Di Ubaldi. Both possibilities would open up a larger market for existing advertisers.
The last ten days have surely felt like a rollercoaster ride for employees of the magazine. “We were all saddened by the decision to cease publication of The Scientist, and grateful to our readers and contributors for all their kind words concerning the magazine,” said Mary Beth Aberlin, editor in chief of the magazine, in ”http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/intent-to-purchase-the-scientist-announced-1573410.htm">a published statement. “The editorial team and I are delighted that LabX Media Group has been able to agree on terms with Sciencenow, Inc. with such dispatch.” The statement also indicates that LabX Media Group and Sciencenow Inc. hope to seal the deal by the end of this month.
Should the acquisition go through, Di Ubaldi does not anticipate any major changes to The Scientist in the near future. “We are really proud of what The Scientist has accomplished over the years,” he says. “We met the staff, who are very accomplished and very smart, and we want to basically help them become even more successful.”
That perspective is echoed by Aberlin who says in the statement, “Our dedicated editorial team will remain intact and continue to produce a magazine that maintains our editorial standards.”