Adages: Summertime and the living is easy

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Summer is usually the doldrums for magazines, with lower newsstand sales, subs and ad-page counts, especially lately, with the ad recession strangling the print ad business. The summer of '03 may not be the best time to launch new titles, but there are a couple of brave souls bucking the odds. Actually, one of them, IFCRant, is a relaunch that hits newsstands today. It caters to the indie film scene and is put out by Rainbow Media Holdings' Independent Film Channel. Their covergirl is indie ingenue Chloe Sevigny, star of The Brown Bunny, a film directed by the don of downtown, Vincent Gallo. The Bunny, which reportedly flopped at Cannes in May, features an outrageous sex scene between Vince, 41, and Chloe, 29, who ranted about it in Rant: "I'm afraid people are going to get the wrong idea about it. It's very tender and it's not gratuitous. ... I knew it would be well done. I've known him since I was 17... we were intimate when I was younger a little bit, so I feel so comfortable with him." The critics, however, weren't as comfortable with Vince and his flick; Roger Ebert called it the worst movie ever shown at the fest.

Meanwhile, the revamped Rant has more money behind it than the previous incarnation, and will be more of a consumer title than a niche magazine, said Caroline Bock, IFC's senior VP-marketing. It is an every-other-monthly going for big distribution, with a circulation of 150,000.

Hormonal drive

Vegas Magazine, on the other hand, coming out in July, is a brand new monthly, and as far as advertising is concerned, it's already sold out, says partners Jerry Powers, who launched Ocean Drive with Jason Binn about 11 years ago, and Michael Carr, former Playboy ad prez and onetime CEO of Wieder Publications. The new magazine picked up over $600,000 in advertising on 75 ad pages in a premiere 200-page issue from marketers such as Louis Vuitton, Philips Van Heusen, David Yurman, Rolls Royce, Anheuser- Busch, Jacob the Jeweler, Izod and Ian Schrager Hotels.

The pub is being bankrolled by SoBeNews, the Florida publisher of Ocean Drive, and the Greenspun Media Group of Henderson, Nevada, which publishes Las Vegas Life magazine, Las Vegas Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun daily newspaper, and owns Las Vegas ONE, an all-news cable channel. They are putting out 80,000 copies of Vegas on newsstands, with 30,000 in Las Vegas alone. They don't believe their book will compete with Jaqk, a men's magazine launching in the fall with a gaming slant that will target men ages 25 to 44 who earn more than $100,000 a year.

Vegas will be marketed to people making more than $250,000 a year. "Las Vegas is a city," Mike says, "But Vegas itself is a hormone. We've tapped into that in the magazine. We're promoting the consumption of Vegas, we are not promoting gambling."

Speaking of hormones, Pamela Anderson will appear on the cover of the second issue, says Jerry.

When the deuce met the double O

It turns out Ford Motor Co. dabbled in branded entertainment well before Madison Ave. crossed Vine. Founder Henry Ford started his own film company in 1914 called Ford Motion Pictures, producing hundreds of travelogues that screened before feature films. They featured Henry's road trips with "vagabond" buddies like Thomas Edison. In the 1920s it was the largest producer of films, says Jan Valentic, VP-global marketing at Ford. "To me it was one of the most compelling product demonstrations of its time." By the way, Henry "The Deuce" Ford II became friends with Albert Broccoli, longtime James Bond movie producer and co-owner of the 007 franchise. The Mustang was in the 1964 Bond movie "Goldfinger." The following year, The Deuce himself appeared in a walk-on role in a hotel-room scene in 007's "Thunderball."

Contributing Jean Halliday

Place your bets at rlinnett@crain.com

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