Maer Roshan’s Pop Culture Title Loses Another Backer

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Three issues into its second life, Maer Roshan’s Radar is folding -- again.

Chief financial backer Mort Zuckerman told Mr. Roshan, editor in chief, about a month ago that he would not support the monthly book of politics and pop much longer. He gave Mr. Roshan three or four weeks to find new financiers or shutter the title, a person close to the matter said.

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Although new investors began kicking the tires, according to this person, none could reach a deal before Mr. Zuckerman’s patience ran out. Last week, Mr. Roshan persuaded Mr. Zuckerman to wait on announcing his decision to pull the plug. Radar staff members were informed yesterday, however, that the fourth issue, due out in the third week of January, would not be published.

Not gaining traction
Mr. Zuckerman, who funded Radar along with Jeffrey Epstein, said in a statement that the magazine was not gaining traction among advertisers, rendering further publication unfeasible.

In a dueling statement, Mr. Roshan said Radar may have a future yet. "We are currently engaged in productive discussions with a number of new investors and I look forward to continuing operations in the near future," he said.

Radar’s ad sales staff, under publisher Grayle Howlett, had sold about 35 pages for the upcoming January/February issue, a considerable improvement over the dozen or so pages in each of the three previous issues. But that is not the only important metric; Radar may have been cutting ad rates to boost ad-page counts.

It was not clear yesterday whether Mr. Zuckerman’s decision to withdraw signaled that Radar had become a far deeper money pit than many had anticipated -- or that Mr. Zuckerman was overextended in other areas and therefore less eager to sustain a fledging title. Mr. Zuckerman also owns U.S. News & World Report, which has been shedding senior staff this year to cut costs and to free funds for Web operations.

It was also impossible to say whether Radar would, could or should be rescued again.

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