Concerns for the future of reference journal Keesing's Record of World Events will be intensified by confirmation this week that the monthly's editor of 11 years, Roger East, is leaving.
The journal was acquired in September 1996 by United States publisher Worldwide Government Directories - which has re-named itself Keesing's Worldwide - from Pearson Group subsidiary Cartermill International.
Since 1989 the Pearson Group has had a contract with CIRCA Research and Reference Information, a body set up by Dr East to provide the full research, writing, editing and pre-press production of Keesing's. Now many of CIRCA's staff have left to work on contract for the new owners.
Dr East said: "I don't know the new owner's editorial budget, but they were unwilling to enter into a new arrangement with us at anything like the previous budget level, and certainly not at a level at which we thought we could do a proper job."
New publisher Jonathan Hixon denied any financial cuts, but said that research activities would be moved to the US and pooled with the company's other publications.
CIRCA continues to publish Keesing's UK Record, which is not affected by the changes.