BACK ON THE RADAR: It’s (almost) alive. Sources close to the cryonically frozen Radar magazine said founder Maer Roshan has at last reached a tentative agreement for the long-term funding he has been seeking for the past two years — approximately $20 million from a pool of investors, with the lead investment said to have originated overseas. At press time, it appeared that the investors in the consortium organized to purchase New York Magazine, who had expressed interest in Radar — Mort Zuckerman, Harvey Weinstein, Donnie Deutsch, Nelson Peltz and others — had not participated.
Roshan declined comment, but sources said he reached the deal Monday, and he was overheard that night at a book party for India Hicks excitedly telling guests “I have money!” In recent weeks he also told potential contributors that he planned to relaunch the magazine in September, with regular publication to follow. Whether Roshan will be able to reassemble his original team is unclear, as most have moved on since being put on hiatus last Memorial Day. But he is in serious talks with former Talk publisher Lee Rosenbaum (who also consulted on Radar’s original business plan) to join the magazine as publisher. — Greg Lindsay
GLAMOURAMA: Condé Nast France’s launch Thursday of French Glamour was no low-key affair. Four television commercials directed by Ellen Von Unwerth are currently airing during prime time in France, making the young women’s title the first of its genre to capitalize on new laws freeing publishers to push magazines on TV. Prisma Presse was the first to launch a magazine — its television listings biweekly Tele 2 Semaines — via small screens in France in January.
Two-thirds of Glamour’s $8.5 million, or 7 million euros, promotion budget is being funneled into TV, with the remainder allocated to events, billboards and posters, said Didier Suberbielle, president of Condé Nast France. “Television was a boon [for Prisma],” he said. “It should be equally great for Glamour.”
French Glamour is the latest version of the title to take on the Continent, after blockbuster launches in Britain, Germany and Italy. Base circulation in France will tally 160,000, with a full page of advertising costing $18,300, or 15,000 euros. Condé Nast France is owned by Advance Magazines, which also owns WWD.
“The target reader is urban and she’s a luxury client,” said Suberbielle. “We’re in a class of our own with the title. No other magazine in France is geared to the 20-to-35 set. The competition is either teenager or over 30. Biba and Cosmopolitan come closest and their average reader is over 30.”
Glamour stuck to a mini format — the same used for the title in Italy, Germany and Britain — and a low newsstand price of $1.83, or 1.50 euros. “The price is attractive but the editorial is very luxe,” said Suberbielle.
The first issue counts 100 pages of advertising amid 200 pages of editorial, including how-to columns on food, decoration, dressing and, of course, love. “It has a real practical side,” said Suberbielle. “The small format [8.8 by 6.8 inches] is our plus. Italian Glamour used it first in 1998 and they went from 150,000 to 250,000 copies in a year. There’s no reason France can’t do the same.” Suberbielle expects French Glamour to turn a profit in two years. — Robert Murphy
COAST TO COAST: While Time Out New York president Cyndi Stivers is racking up the free air miles from her frequent jaunts to Chicago, and while her staff is celebrating their National Magazine Award nominations (including one for general excellence), sources close to the magazine said the home office in London is busy sketching the next phase of expansion: Time Out Los Angeles.
Time Out Group executives have quietly begun looking for a financial partner in L.A. who can play the part of the local, silent investor that William Louis-Dreyfus (father of “Seinfeld” star Julia) did for TONY and financier Joe Mansueto will for the Chicago version launching this fall.
“Do we have feelers out there? Sure,” said TONY publisher Alison Tocci. “I don’t feel that we’re significantly more involved with it than before. But we definitely want to be there.”
Complicating things, one source said, is the group’s desire to stay clear of any Hollywood-derived fortunes, to prevent the magazine from being drawn into internecine conflict among the studios, with advertising suffering as a result.
Los Angeles, along with Chicago and, to a lesser extent, San Francisco, have long been targets for the Time Out Group. Stivers developed an editorial strategy for Los Angeles several years ago, but its dissimilarities to New York (the driving, as opposed to commuting culture being one) were deemed more challenging than Chicago. Stivers, who returned a call from Los Angeles (“It’s a total coincidence,” she said) said her plans were so tentative she had never committed them to paper.
But with Time Out Chicago’s launch team about to be announced, the group’s attention is already turning elsewhere.
“I have a sense that once Chicago is up and running, the floodgates will open,” Tocci said. “I think we’ll have more interest and inquiries from investors about rolling out versions in other cities.” — G. L.