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Why New Scientist is expanding to U.S. market

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Renowned U.K.-based publisher New Scientist is betting that a fresh investment from its new owners will amplify its standing among U.S. readers.

Why it matters: A successful U.S. expansion would make for positive headlines when it comes to the American trade media market, and would also be a major boost to the publisher's new owners.

Catch up quick: New Scientist was bought in 2021 by Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) for £70 million. Late last year, the Daily Mail was delisted from the London Stock exchange and taken private by Lord Rothermere, the company's controlling shareholder.

The latest: New Scientist has just opened its first U.S.-based bureau in New York, led by U.S. editor Tiffany O'Callaghan.

  • The bureau is starting with a team of 10 journalists and one marketing employee and has been in place for three months, O'Callaghan tells Axios. The plan is to eventually open a second bureau on the West Coast.
  • "What we don't have right now is much in the way of brand recognition over here, in the way that we do in the U.K., [where] we're, like, a kind of beloved household name," O'Callaghan says. The publisher has tried a U.S. expansion before.
  • New Scientist has a weekly circulation of just above 110,000, with about 20,000 of those subscribers residing in North America. Online, the U.S. makes up about half of the outlet's 4.4 million monthly visitors.

The big picture: The pandemic has led to an influx of readership for science-based outlets. O'Callaghan says the U.S. expansion is one way for New Scientist to maintain that momentum.

  • "We saw tremendous growth and increase in interest and subscriptions ... throughout the pandemic."
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