Retraction Watch has obtained a recording of a conference call between National Geographic executives, ScienceBlogs management, and ScienceBloggers.
The takeaway: National Geographic will assume control of operations, editorial content, and ad sales by June 1 of this year — although “ownership of the property remains with SEED media group.”
One amusing excerpt:
… Then there was a response to a question which probably explains the silence from Nat Geo and SEED on this deal so far. Here’s Ellen Stanley, of Nat Geo’s communications department, responding to a question from one Scibling about how much of the call he could blog:
We are asking everyone not to blog about this immediately because we have one chance to make hay of this announcement with outside media. And we want ot use that to our collective advantage with trade media as well as consumer media. We’re not quite ready. We will soon be able to encourage everyone to blog about it, but not yet.
Goldberg [Ross Goldberg, National Geographic Digital Media’s vice president for strategic development] added:
The optimal moment is when National Geographic’s brand appears on the website. We will communicate when that’s about to happen. That will get the attention of the media.
But with all due respect: Trying to keep a secret among a group of bloggers and their dedicated following is, well, impossible. Which we were happy to demonstrate.
Read the whole thing here.