• Execs at CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox are supposedly "seething" that the president's three news conferences have cost them $30 million in ad revenue. [THR]
• Is the New York Times Co. heading towards bankruptcy? [E&P]
• More budget cuts at the Star Ledger and San Francisco Chronicle. [E&P, HP]
• The LA Times introduces a new weekly magazine this Sunday. [Folio]
• Star Trek is off to a fast start. The pic grossed $7 million last night alone. [EW]
• It looks like television and radio advertising is rebounding a bit. [MLM]
• Former Radar editor Maer Roshan is now the editor of TheWeek.com. [NYP]
• The Simpsons got its own series of postage stamps yesterday. [Reuters]
Radar magazine has come and gone for the third time, folding suddenly last Friday—but as Michael Musto pointed out, when a party's already been paid for, you might as well go ahead with it. And so a mockup of the magazine's last cover, featuring actress Shannen Doherty, sat on the red carpet in front of Citrine, where editor Maer Roshan was smiling for photographers. As of 11p.m., neither Shannen nor the party's promoter had been made aware that the magazine had unceremoniously folded, and that she was gracing the cover of its last issue. Directly in front of Maer, asphalt was being dumped onto the street and stamped into place by construction workers, leaving the people in line to cough on the fumes while they adjusted their Halloween masks. Was this irrational hubris or performance art?"You'll be seeing us again in some way!" he told us without blinking or laughing once. Performance art. "You're killing me," sighed the flack at the door when we were finally plucked from the line and had the audacity to bring in a guest. No, we're killing print! It did seem a bit ironic that the final Radar party was wildly oversubscribed. So Maer, how are you feeling? "We put out sixteen good issues," he said, adding that he'll be an editor-at-large at Tina Brown's Daily Beast, "helping out." Will he have to go into the office? "Only when I feel like it." Meanwhile, we heard the rumor of a party guest who was laid off at Radar on Friday, hired at Culture + Travel on Monday, and laid off again on Wednesday when that magazine folded. And this was all before covergirl Shannen Doherty arrived, who showed up dressed in black shiny leggings, looking like a sexy cat. (We were promised absolutely "no access" to her.) As Nick Denton wrote in 2005,
♦ Details on the layoffs and management changes at Time Inc. [NYP]
♦ More on the demise of Maer Roshan's Radar and its God-awful TMZ-like reincarnation. [NYO, HuffPo]
♦ Fox News has apologized for putting a racist and anti-Semite on the air. [MM]
♦ Noted media expert (and former basketball player) Charles Barkley thinks Fox News is "corrupt." [B&C]
♦ Barack Obama's 30-minute infomercial airs tonight. [AdAge, Politico]
Ron Burkle, supermarket magnate and friend of Bill Clinton and sleeper-with of models, used to own a magazine, with his friend Yusef Jackson. The magazine was called Radar. Last Friday, Jackson and Burkle closed the magazine and sold its carcass to AMI. It's not really clear why Jackson and Burkle invested in Radar to begin with, except that they wanted to be media moguls, maybe? Then it turned out that being a media mogul doesn't mean publishing one sarcastic niche title, really. Burkle made his money with supermarkets. It is quite profitable, of course, to own all the supermarkets, because people need to eat. But, you know, it's not very glamorous! And Burkle enjoys flying around on his private jet with famous people, and globe trotting with politicians, and partying, and models. He likes models. One can enjoy this lifestyle with supermarket billions, but isn't it more fun to enjoy it with media holdings? So at some point he and Jackson decided to invest in Maer Roshan's crazy magazine about "pop and politics and pop culture and scandal and pop" or whatever the hell the tagline of Radar 3.0 was. And they gave him 15 issues to do with as he pleased, and he did eventually turn out a pretty good product. But the money wasn't there, because it was a new magazine, and there's not even money for old magazines anymore. And honestly it was probably not as exciting and fun to own a magazine as Burkle thought it would be! It's tough, because he also wanted to secretly own the magazine, and no one who secretly owns things gets the same pleasure Rupert Murdoch does from personally tearing up the Wall Street Journal and remaking it in his image. And Murdoch loves newspapers. There's really never been any evidence that Burkle loves magazines. Murdoch will take a loss for years on something like the New York Post. Burkle didn't give Roshan the five years he said it'd take to break even on Radar before he pulled the plug. Because if it's not subsidizing his lifestyle, it's not worth the cash. He's a capitalist, obviously, and Radar was not a charitable endeavor, but if we had his fortune we wouldn't mind wasting it on the talent Roshan brought together. Back to controlling distribution and sales of food! Unlike media, mac and cheese is recession-proof!
You have to give it to Maer Roshan: he was persistent. The man was determined to will Radar magazine into existence, and he did it. Three times. And now, for the third time, the magazine is folding—and taking a pretty great website with it. (When RadarOnline.com returns under AMI next year, it will be unrecognizable). The fact is that Radar, despite having an above-average amount of good content, was just a doomed idea from the start:
♦ The New York Times has endorsed Barack Obama, not surprisingly. [NYT]
♦ If Bravo loses Project Runway, there's always the copycat show Fashion House to fill the void. [NYP]
♦ Maer Roshan's Radar magazine has folded. [Gawker]
♦ OK! has a brand new editor, publisher and executive creative director. [NYP]
British comedian John Cleese is, as the UK tabloids would put it, dating a blonde HALF his age. But that's not the most embarrassing thing about the 34-year-old. The woman, Veronica Smiley, is also vice president for marketing at Radar magazine! (We kid, we kid. Radar has fantastic marketing.) (UPDATE: According to LinkedIn, Smiley works for Radar's parent company, Integrity Multimedia.) Smiley is based out of the Chicago office, according to Cleese's quote, although Smiley's Facebook has her in New York. Apparently she's never even heard of either Monty Python or Fawlty Towers, Cleese's two most popular serials. While we're waiting for the definitive coverage of the fling from Radar, here are some basics on the couple, who've been very chatty with the press:
Reverend Jesse Jackson's secretly videotaped vow to cut off Barack Obama's nuts is a wonderful story, combining inter-generational resentment, racial politics and testicles. A wonderful story, that is, for every media outlet except Maer Roshan's Radar. The magazine is backed in name at least by Yusef Jackson, the Reverend's hotter and gayer son, who would have been better advised to stick with glamorous and manly beer distributorship his father arranged for him.
Arianna Huffington's new book - Right Is Wrong - is as partisan a piece of political writing as any during this political season. The subtitle says it all: "How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe." At Friday night's book party at the Chambers hotel in Midtown however, the divide between the guests was anything but political. The Greek-born polemicist has herself made a mockery of political convictions by switching so effortlessly from conservative wife-of-convenience to liberal power woman. To be sure, the tycoons she had assembled — Mort Zuckerman of Boston Properties and the New York Daily News; Les Moonves of CBS; former Viacom boss Tom Freston; and Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone and US Weekly — were quintessential rich liberals. But any Marxist observer at the party would note that the guests true loyalty was less to a political ideology than to their class.
It's the end of one of the great magazine marriages: deputy editor Chris Tennant, right-hand viper to Radar's Maer Roshan, is leaving the magazine. The move isn't entirely surprising. Tennant (whose brain is an encyclopedia of who's fucked whom, literally and metaphorically) has lasted longer than any other veteran of the long-suffering magazine. (In the photo, Tennant is to the right.)
Radar is among the thousand magazines, many of them defunct, that are to be booted from the shelves of Wal-Mart, the superstore chain which dominates retail in middle America. But the Manhattan title's Maer Roshan, who has launched and relaunched his gossipy magazine three times, never gives up. To better understand the needs of readers to the west of the Hudson, we're told, Radar staffers are being sent out to Chicago, to listen in on focus groups.