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Discover Magazine Builds New Staff in Wisconsin

Jan 17, 2013 6:00 AMNov 12, 2019 6:20 AM


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With the publication of the March 2013 issue of Discover magazine, Kalmbach Publishing Co. completes the transition of Discover’s editorial offices from New York to Waukesha, Wis., including the hiring of a new editorial and design staff.

Discover has been a leading science and technology magazine for more than 30 years and has a circulation of 550,000. Kalmbach also publishes Astronomy, the world’s largest-circulation astronomy magazine.

Led by new Editor in Chief Stephen C. George, the Discover staff includes several editors with extensive credentials in science journalism.

George comes to Discover after stints at several national magazines. Most recently he was executive editor at the Reader’s Digest Association in Greendale, Wis., where he headed up RDA’s book and special-publication division. He previously held senior editorial positions at Better Homes & Gardens, The Saturday Evening Post (where he was editor-in-chief), and Prevention magazine. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

George succeeds Corey S. Powell, who served on Discover’s staff for 15 years, including four years as editor in chief. Powell also launched the magazine’s website, DiscoverMagazine.com. He will continue to be associated with the magazine as editor at large, writing the magazine’s “Out There” column and blog posts covering various topics related to astronomy and physics.

Working in a consulting role will be Executive Editor Pamela Weintraub, who has worked at Discover for five years. A former editor-in-chief at Omni magazine, Weintraub wrote the widely acclaimed book “Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic” (St. Martin’s Press, 2008).

The new staff includes two senior editors, Tasha Eichenseher and Siri Carpenter. Eichenseher formerly was environment editor and producer at National Geographic Digital Media. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University.

Carpenter has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, O – The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, and several other publications. She is a founding editor of The Open Notebook, an online resource for science journalists. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, and a master’s and Ph.D. in the same subject from Yale.

Serving as acting managing editor is Kathi Kube, who comes to Discover after 10 years at Kalmbach’s Trains magazine, which covers the railroad industry. Kube has been managing editor of Trains for 8 years; previously she was associate editor at Progressive Railroading, an industry magazine. She is a graduate of Mount Mary College.

The magazine’s photo editor is Ernie Mastroianni, formerly photo editor for Kalmbach’s BirdWatching magazine and a 20-year veteran of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, where he was both a picture editor and photographer. He received a 2001 National Science Foundation media grant to report on research in Antarctica.

Other new members of the Discover staff include:

• Lisa Raffensperger, associate editor-online: Raffensperger will oversee the Discover website and comes to the magazine after doing similar work at the National Science Foundation. She has also reported for The Economist and New Scientist. She studied biology at the University of Iowa and earned a master’s in science journalism as a Fulbright Scholar at City University in London.

• Bill Andrews, associate editor: Andrews moved over to Discover after serving for several years on the staff of Kalmbach’s Astronomy magazine. He studied science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. His writing credits include MayoClinic.com and the Wisconsin State Journal.

• Alison Mackey, senior graphic designer: Mackey has worked at Kalmbach for nearly 10 years, four years as a designer for Astronomy. Previously she was a web designer at Fullhouse Interactive and art director at Gumbo magazine. She studied graphic design at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

• Gemma Tarlach, associate editor: Gemma Tarlach, associate editor: A former pop music critic for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and six-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, Tarlach studied comparative politics at Columbia University and received a master’s degree in science writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After earning a degree in pastry arts from the Culinary Institute of America, she worked as a travel and food writer in locations ranging from McMurdo Station in Antarctica to the South Island of New Zealand.

• Breanna Draxler, staff writer: A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Draxler had an assistantship at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, where she earned her master’s degree. Before Discover she reported for daily and weekly newspapers, as well as the National Public Radio station in Boulder, Colo.

• Elisa Neckar, editorial assistant: Neckar moved to Discover after several years as a staff editor at Kalmbach Books. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Carroll University, where she teaches English, as well as master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northern Michigan University, and, in 2011, a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

• David Lee, copy editor: Most recently a copy editor at Cars.com, Lee also has worked as a copy editor at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Charlotte Observer. He has bachelor’s degrees in zoology and the history of science from the University of Wisconsin.

Kalmbach publishes 15 special-interest magazines, related books and events, and produces more than 30 websites. The company employs 275 people at its suburban Milwaukee headquarters.

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