Dennis Goes Hollywood

Lad mag publisher tees up production unit

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% As reported on Ad Age.com, after teasing Hollywood over the years, Dennis Publishing, the company behind popular bachelor brands Maxim and Stuff, is finally making a commitment. The company is launching a division called Moving Pictures DPI, which promises to marry off its successful magazine titles—also including music title Blender and newsweekly The Week—with TV, movie and DVD. Presiding will be Peter Jaysen, 37, a partner and president of development and production at Creative Light Entertainment in Beverly Hills.

"We are going to do this differently," said Jaysen, whose new title is Moving Pictures executive producer. He has already set up shop in the publisher's West Coast office near the corner of Wilshire and Doheny in Los Angeles. "Many publishers have tried to develop content for film and television, but these have always been very direct translations of the brands or magazines. What we are going to do is develop and translate the attitudes. First, the content is developed on its own merits and then we figure out the brand integration afterward."

Jaysen said the company will look for project funding from a number of sources, media and entertainment companies and advertisers.

"We can do advertising packages for people advertising in the magazine. We can be doing business with a multitude of platforms and people and offer them something exclusive and unique. It's not just about selling a brand, it's selling the content that works for the brand and the programmer."

The Maxim, Stuff and Blender attitude, of course, is all about being young, single and male with a taste for scantily clad women, sports, fashion, cars, gadgets and music. Dennis' winning format is stories you can flip through, geared for—according to some—the "attention-deficit-disorder generation." Even The Week, which boils down news items from newspapers, magazines and Internet sites from around the world, has been called a CliffNotes for the news.

Although Dennis' premiere title, Maxim, launched here in 1997 after becoming a phenom in the U.K. and has been called a lad magazine, it now wants to be known as a men's magazine. Ostensibly, the boys are getting serious.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% "What Dennis Publishing does better than almost any other company in America is speak to the 18-to-34 target demographic that every advertiser wants," said Jaysen. "These are no typical readers. They spend a lot of time with these magazines, they are very loyal. I will create content that represents the brands and the creativity they have developed."

Dennis currently has a first-look deal with Time Warner's New Line Cinema that will now be part of the Moving Pictures agenda. The unit also inherits relationships with Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group, which produced a Maxim rock sampler CD last year and with Viacom's Spike TV to develop programming (Maxim has trademarked "Men's Entertainment Network" for its own possible move into cable).

While Jaysen acknowledges that spinning off content from Maxim will be a special priority, he also has projects in mind for the more challenging title, The Week, which he would not disclose.

Jaysen appears well-suited to the task having spent a number of years working as a newsmagazine producer for "Entertainment Tonight," "Extra" and "Dateline" on NBC. At Creative Light Entertainment, Jaysen developed "Jekyll," "Comic Book: The Movie," "Stan Lee 's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels" and "Hail Sid Caesar! The Golden Age of Comedy." Jaysen will maintain a relationship with Creative Light as a "passive partner."

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