Good Music, which is being developed by ex-Spin and Vibe executives John Rollins, Alan Light and Dana Sacher, has secured a deal for business and back-office services with World Publications, its executives say, to permit publishing its two issues.
Should all go well with those issues and with ongoing fund-raising, the title will publish six times in 2004, said Mr. Rollins, the CEO and co-founder of the title's parent company, Good Music Media. World Publications publishes special-interest titles including Saveur and Garden Design.
Messrs. Rollins and Light left Spin
"This generation wants to maintain a contemporary relationship with pop culture, including music. And they need a guide," said Mr. Rollins, who is 39.
"The things we'll most stay away from,' said Mr. Light, the company's editor in chief, "is the bubble-gum stuff," such as Britney Spears and 'N Sync, and "the new metal" bands such as Limp Bizkit.
Mr. Light, who is 36, said he left Spin because he "didn't want to be 40 and fighting for a Slipknot cover," referring to the garishly theatrical Iowa-based new-metal band.
From Neil Young to Norah Jones
Mr. Rollins said the current music titles, such as Wenner Media's Rolling Stone, Spin, Vibe and Dennis Publishing's Blender, are all swinging for the same demographic sweet spot, 18 to 24 year olds. But Good Music would be different: Likely profile subjects, Mr. Light said, range from Neil Young to chanteuse and current multiple Grammy Award winner Norah Jones.
Good Music's means thus far are decidedly modest. An early round of financing netted around $500,000 from friends and family investors. There is no cash involved in the World deal, said World Publications CEO Terry Snow. Mr. Rollins said thus far he and those who are involved with the project -- which also includes Ms. Sacher, a former Vibe/Spin Ventures general manager who is now Good Music Media's chief operating officer, and Jay Adams, a former Spin ad director and now Good Music Media's ad director -- were not yet salaried. "We don't have enough money to pay ourselves," he said.
Mr. Snow said World, in return for its current support, had an option on a future equity stake.
330,000 circulation goal
Mr. Rollins said Good Music would publish September and December issues with print runs of about 200,000, and that a long-term circulation goal was around 330,000. He envisioned the title's advertisers to come form those advertising in enthusiast titles like automotive and consumer electronics appealing to men 30 and older, as well as endemic music advertising.
The publishing environment for magazines remains difficult, but it hasn't deterred other independent launches from plunging ahead. In late January executives at Radar, the hip and cosmopolitan title helmed by former Talk editorial director Maer Roshan, told Ad Age of its plans to launch in mid-April.