Magazine Names New Executives; Key Staffers to Return

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- "I am a great believer in Maer Roshan," said Mortimer Zuckerman, commenting on yesterday's news that his financial backing will enable Mr. Roshan to once again publish the well-received
Mortimer Zucker has become the patron of 'Radar' magazine.
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but cash-strapped cultural title Radar.

Radar launched last year, publishing two issues before going dormant as it conducted a hunt for financial backing. Nevertheless, those two issues received a surprising amount of press attention in Manhattan's media circles, in which Mr. Roshan is well-known and well-regarded.

Hipster urban audience
The publication is aimed at a hipster urban audience, aged 25 to 39, with the notion that there is no magazine equivalent of media niches like an HBO series aimed at the smart set or one of the more successful independent movies of the past several years. Despite feints from major media companies and at least one term sheet signed by an investor, Maria Oufkir, no financial backing ultimately came through until yesterday.

Now, Mr. Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report, and financier Jeffrey Epstein confirmed they will provide an infusion of funding for the Radar concept. The plan is to publish four issues in 2005 and 10 in 2006.

Mr. Zuckerman declined to discuss the level of his investment in Radar beyond calling it "enough."

Mr. Epstein was part of Mr. Zuckerman's unsuccessful coalition that sought to buy New York magazine late last year. In an interview yesterday, Mr. Zuckerman said that if he had been successful in purchasing New York he would have sought to hire Mr. Roshan to edit that title.

Tough to make work
Mr. Zuckerman conceded that general-interest magazines were "tough" to make work. But, he added, he felt Radar spoke to an under-served generation. "What's emerged quite visibly in almost every urban area is people are marrying later, having children later and living a whole different level of urban life," he said. "This is an audience which is also highly desired by advertisers."

Linda Sepp, who's been working on projects for Mr. Zuckerman after stints at Fast Company and US News & World Report, will be Radar's publisher. Elinore Carmody, who worked on the test issues, will be senior vice president and chief marketing and sales officer. Paul Fish, a former Dennis Publishing chief financial officer, will be Radar's general manager.

Key staffers return
Mr. Roshan, who will have an equity stake in the magazine, said a number of key editorial-side staffers from Radar's original issues will return for the latest reincarnation. Among them are executive editor Andrew Lee, articles editor Hanya Yanagihara, and senior editor Christopher Tennant.

Magazine executives have consistently expressed doubts about the prospects for a small-ish project with large ambitions like Radar. Its last press run was about 175,000, which isn't expected to substantially change for its first issues in 2005. Radar's long-term goal is to reach a circulation of 500,000.

Mr. Roshan pointed to other media to insist Radar was a smart proposition.

"Look at the culture, and what's happened with movies. There's all these blockbusters, but an increasing understanding -- thanks to Miramax -- there's a real market for stuff that doesn't have to be so relentlessly tamped-down and focus-grouped to death. There is a place for creativity as well."

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