• Larry Page and Sergey Brin pretend that they're playing with real money. [NYT]
• "It's generally a questionable sign when a publisher flees before a magazine publishes its first issue; it's worse when the magazine has been launched and failed twice already." WWD harshes out on Radar, compensates by running "thin" picture of Maer Roshan. [WWD]
• Keith Olbermann makes obscure reference to the time Nicole Richie took a gigantic crap in Paris Hilton's mouth in an epic game of Truth or Dare gone awry. [FBNY]
• The problem with new media? Not enough people getting killed. [LAT]
• "Maybe if you want to get a younger audience for your newscast, maybe you could start by not ash-canning a pregnant 43-year-old woman and replacing her with a man 20 years older. I'm just thinking out loud here." We would have said "shit-canning," but otherwise James Poniewozik speaks for us. [Tuned In]
Well, lookee here. Along with the little Times squib this morning, the Radar crew also put out a press release today announcing 3.0. The release has nearly all the staffers we named this morning, and it adds a few: WSJ alum Marcus Baram and Radar vet Dale Hrabi. Plus, it seems Maer even hired a woman, Leigh Ann Boutwell, who will be the managing editor. Most interesting to us, though, the publicist who issued the release: Mario Ruiz at Dan Klores Communications. What happened to Drew Kerr and his Four Corners Communications? Could it be that someone decided that Kerr's unique media strategy of personally attacking the reporters who cover his clients — including, notably, a reporter who now works for Radar — isn't the best way to get good press? Huh. Who knew?
Kudos to the usually loquacious Maer Roshan, who in this latest Radar go-round has successfully restrained himself from any pronouncements about its rebirth. Until today, that is, which goes down as the first time Roshan has publicly discussed his magazine's resurrection since his future employee Jeff Bercovici reported that possibility in WWD and Maer denied it. Buried on the bottom of C6, near the back of the business section, today's Times announces that Radar plans to have its website up and running by mid-August and will begin to deliver print issues — six to eight annually — in 2007. Yusef Jackson's — the Rev. Jesse's son — is the lead investor, and no one says how much he's investing, who else is investing, how much the total investment is, or whether Ron Burkle is part of it. But the Times says Jackson has raised enough money to "keep the magazine solvent for five years," and it also answers perhaps the largest question about this rerelaunch. "I'm not insane," Roshan tells the paper. Uh-huh.
Radar chief Maer Roshan has never been known to be the most understanding subject when reporters break pieces of news he doesn't necessarily want broken, or with a spin he doesn't particularly want spun. So he was no doubt less than tickled with WWD media guru Jeff Bercovici back in March, when Jeff uncovered the news that Maer's beleaguered mag was set to be resurrected once again. Savor this irony, then: We're now hearing — just as a rumor, mind you, but from more than one person — that Bercovici is in talks with the Radarites to join the mag, should it ever launch. It's a clever way for Maer to control some of his coverage, eh?
We're getting some mixed responses as to who's working with Maer Roshan on Radar 3.0; besides possibly Remy Stern and definitely Chris Tennant, there's reportedly a third hire and maybe, we're told, there's a fourth in the mix. One name we keep hearing is freelancer Tyler Gray, a contributing writer for Radar 2.0. Gray wrote some of the magazine's longer pieces, and Maer may be bringing him on in a more involved role. Makes sense, though we imagine a full-time gig would infringe on Gray's Disneyworld time.
WWD reports today that the defibrillation of Radar continues; now equipped with office space ample enough to build the most formidible pillow fort, founder Maer Roshan has reportedly hired three staffers. We're relatively certain that two of those individuals are Radar vets Chris Tennant and Remy Stern (you have to sincerely admire their dedication and loyalty, ill-advised or not), but we're unsure of staffer number three. If any of you have any ideas as to who's the third amigo, we're listening. The online site will launch first, and the print publication will theoretically follow no earlier than September or October (assuming things don't implode first).
• Three years ago today, the Times published its Jayson Blair, and things went from bad to worse for Howell Raines (and from good to better for Seth Mnookin). [E&P]
• A short (and very Maer-friendly) history of Radar magazine. [NYRM]
• Incoming Pulitzer chairman Paul Steiger wants more focus on online web-based journalism. We'll be waiting for our public-service award. [E&P]
• The coolest kids at the Ellies didn't go black tie. [WWD (second item)]
• Even more Reege, now on NBC, too. Sigh. [B&C]
It's been more than a week since WWD's gargantuan Jeff Bercovici broke news of Radar's potentially imminent resurrection, and, sadly, there's been no substantive new news since. (Not that that's stopped us from as much as speculation and innuendo as we could generate.) Without any new information, we were forced to wonder: Is this just another one of Maer's headfakes? Will the well-meaning if unexpected duo of Democrat-supporting supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and Chicago businessman and civil-rights scion Yusef Jackson go the way of all those rumored but never consummated Radar backers from the first interregnum? We raised this question with some media-reporter types over the weekend, and no one was optimistic. So we figured it was time to ask you:
• Yesterday we passed along — rather skeptically, we'd point out — a random tip that Radar 3.0 would be "a weekly tabloid-style mag and is going to compete with Star, Us Weekly, In Touch, etc." Someone who'd be likely to know now assures us that the plan is to make the mag monthly. (But, then, hasn't that always been the plan?)
When Women's Wear Daily broke the news Friday that Maer Roshan's Radar was perhaps set to be resurrected once again, the paper cited Maer's new patron as California supermarket magnate and Democratic moneybags Ron Burkle. But there was a potential partner in that investment, WWD wrote: "none other than the family of Jesse Jackson." One of our spies even reported that Maer and Jackson's kid were taking some meetings around town about the rerelaunch. Which raised the question: Why was the civil-rights leader's family suddenly so interested in the twice-failed magazine?
As we reported late last night, WWD's dynamic duo of Jeff Bercovici and Sara James today breaks the news that Radar might be preparing for yet another relaunch. California supermarket mogul Ron Burkle is reportedly the lead investor, and there's a rumor that Rev. Jesse Jackson's family will be putting money in, too. (No use letting the money you shake down from big companies in need of crisis-induced "diversity training" lie fallow in a savings account.) Indeed, we've even heard talk that Maer and a Jackson son — not the congressman, one presumes — are taking some meetings around Manhattan, prepping for a new launch. And now that we think about it, Burkle makes perfect sense as an investor, too. He's a major Democratic donor, so he's used to throwing millions of dollars at noble and valiant — but inevitably doomed — causes. Radar '06!
Maer Roshan is close to obtaining funding for yet another iteration of Radar, the magazine that refused to die, Gawker has learned Women's Wear Daily will report tomorrow. The new funder is likely to be California supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, a major donor to the Democratic party whose Yucaipa Companies private-equity firm is helping the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America finance an employee-led buyout of nine unionized Knight Ridder newspapers. WWD will also report that the Rev. Jesse Jackson's family may join Burkle in underwriting Roshan's twice-failed magazine venture. Developing, sirens, exclamation points, must credit Gawker, etc. More info tomorrow, when Women's Wear actually publishes. Meantime, as the reverend says, keep hope alive.