The newest venture out of Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Films, headed by ex-New Yorker Editor in Chief Tina Brown as chairman and former Vogue VP-Publisher Ron Galotti as president, will encompass book, TV and film projects. But the foundation will be a new monthly general-interest magazine, set to debut in September 1999.
How the new division will take shape has the industry buzzing. The very public lunch that Ms. Brown, Mr. Galotti and Miramax Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein had last week at the Four Seasons' Grill Room with David Pecker, CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, had tongues wagging about a possible partnership. Swing, David Lauren's twentysomething title, receives back-office support from Hachette.
"Suffice it to say, since the idea has evolved and the deal has been announced, we have been fielding many offers that have come to us," said Mr. Galotti.
He said meetings also would take place with other publishing companies, including Disney properties, to see what they could provide. But there will be no forced synergy because of a shared parent company, Mr. Galotti added.
Disney also owns Fairchild Publications, producer of W and Women's Wear Daily; Disney Publishing, housing FamilyFun, Disney Adventures and Discover; and is a joint partner in the launch of ESPN Magazine with Hearst Magazines and ESPN.
The Miramax deal gives Ms. Brown an outlet for projects she always hoped to do at The New Yorker and, in fact, had discussed with ex-Publisher Thomas Florio, now VP-Publisher at Conde Nast Traveler.
"When Tom Florio was there, they were working on the same type of strategy but could never get it going," said Kim Vernon, VP-advertising and communications at luxury Italian clothing maker Prada. "Now with Miramax, she'll have all the latitude she'll need."