CHECKING IN: How does a MySpace-obsessed former teen magazine editor become qualified enough to muse on forbes.com about business? Perhaps through entertaining statements such as: “My corporate sugar daddy gave me a lot of cool things: a car and driver, a clothing allowance and a sick expense account. But I also had to pretend I was excited making love to an old man every night.” Former Seventeen editor in chief Atoosa Rubenstein clearly was speaking metaphorically in referring to her former job in her first column for the Forbes Web site, which was on innovation in the digital realm. More thoughts on business are to come: She has signed on as a regular contributor to forbes.com’s op-ed section. A spokeswoman for Rubenstein said she planned to contribute approximately every other week to the site. “What I especially value about Atoosa is that her voice is a fresh and original one that resonates strongly with a large and important audience,” said forbes.com executive editor David Andelman. “It is very much the Forbes tradition to surprise and delight. We expect Atoosa to fulfill that in her every contribution.”
Meanwhile, Rubenstein will be honored by the Advertising Women of New York in its inaugural Changing the Game awards recognizing women who, according to AWNY president Arlene Manos, “have seen the path before the rest of us, reinvented themselves or their companies or made an educated leap of faith that has paid off.” The organization singled out Rubenstein for taking the risk of leaving her job at Seventeen to start up her own teen-focused consultancy. Rubenstein will receive the award on May 2 in New York. — Stephanie D. Smith
TOUGH CRITIC: When it comes to critiquing fashion, New York Times scribe Cathy Horyn has nothing on the unfiltered Kanye West. The rapper/producer takes swipes at hoodies, three-piece suits and actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in urban fashion magazine Complex, penning the “Fashion Beatdowns” column in its April/May issue. West wrote the column for nearly two years between early 2004 and late 2005, but returned for the magazine’s fifth anniversary edition. A self-declared fashion innovator who is said to be working on a clothing line, West declares several trends dead and evaluates celebrity style of some red-carpet standbys. He declares the “grown and sexy” look is over — “Enough already with the f—ing three-piece suit,” he writes. “No more open bow ties stuck perfectly on your shirt with your vest!” However, West said, “Gray jeans are the end-all-be-all right now. Dior pants in general — last year, Dior annihilated the game.” Designers also get West’s streetwise valuations: “The Alexander McQueen bomber leather: straight drug dealer status,” he said of the jacket he wears in one of his spreads. The issue hits stands April 10. — S.D.S.
This story first appeared in the April 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
RUSH TO THE SUN: The Miami media scene is finally waking up to the city’s building boom, and most new players are vying for the luxury market. New York-based cable and Web channel Plum TV, for example, plans to launch in Miami Beach as part of a $20 million expansion funded by private investors, many with South Florida ties such as Jimmy Buffett and Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.
“There’s excitement in Miami, and our advertisers appreciate access to locals or tourists with disposable incomes,” said David Kuhn, director of new operations, who spent March in Miami securing Channel 5 on Atlantic Broadband to reach 100,000 subscribers, hiring an eventual staff of 12 and producing enough local content for a May debut.
Meanwhile Modern Luxury, a Los Angeles-based publishing group with 25 titles, including Angeleno, leased office space in Miami’s Design District to gear up for Miami magazine’s premiere September/October issue. Publisher Leslie Wolfson, a Miami native who served for more than a decade as co-publisher of The Ocean Drive Media Group in Miami Beach, said the magazine will appear bimonthly until next year in printings of 50,000 copies that will be mailed to wealthy zip codes and distributed at upscale businesses. Since the average reader of the company’s other titles is 41 years old with a median income of $300,000, Miami falls right in line, according to Wolfson. Richard Martin, former editor in chief of Complex in New York, has signed on as editor in chief.
Phoenix-based 944 magazine chose Miami as its sixth market in preparation for its New York launch and going national, according to Stephen Kushnir, director of new business development. “It’s a stronger stepping stone to our goal than Austin [Tex.] or San Francisco,” he said.
After tapping former Miami Herald and Flavorpill.net editor Brett O’Burke as managing editor, the April issue hit in late March during the city’s annual dance music conference. Kushnir said 50,000 copies offering equal parts national and local stories about nightlife and culture are distributed for free in hotel rooms and boutiques.
“We focus on twentysomethings, which isn’t the same luxury demographic as Ocean Drive magazine,” said Kushnir.
Jerry Powers, founder and chairman of The Ocean Drive Media Group, said he has no plans to veer from the magazine’s formula of nightlife, celebrity and lifestyle coverage that garners 280,000 readers and 18,000 subscribers. “There’s plenty of room for unique media here. It’s just the copycats of us that always fail,” he claimed. — Rebecca Kleinman