RADAR LIVES!: You can stop asking if Maer Roshan will ever restart Radar. He already has, albeit in a somewhat more modest form. According to two sources, Roshan has rented an office in Manhattan and hired at least three staffers. One source said Radaronline.com will be up and running again in a month or so. A revival of the print version is further off; despite talk about the next edition appearing in September or October, the source said it will almost certainly be later than that.
Who’s paying for all this? As WWD first reported in March, Roshan has held talks with Yucaipa Cos. owner Ron Burkle and several partners about funding Radar. But that was before Burkle called federal authorities in to catch New York Post gossip reporter Jared Paul Stern allegedly asking for money in a videotaped sting operation. Shortly afterward, Burkle penned an editorial for The Wall Street Journal, in which he declared, “Casual disregard for the facts may be synonymous with tabloid gossip.” It was hard to imagine he could still consider funding a publication like Radar, whose recipe called for large helpings of celebrity and political dirt — but apparently he could, because sources say Burkle and his partners (one of whom is said to be Endeavor uberagent Ari Emmanuel) remain in the picture.
Roshan has yet to publicly address rumors of Radar’s third coming (following two issues in 2003 and three more last year), and did not reply to messages from WWD. But perhaps he’s just waiting for the right moment — for instance, the reunion of Radar employees he will host Saturday night. Meanwhile, it may be only a matter of time before another, less affectionate reunion takes place — between Roshan and his former backer, New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman. Radar’s new offices are only steps away from the News’ headquarters on 33rd Street and 10th Avenue.
— Jeff Bercovici
RED-LETTER DAY: London’s Independent newspaper will have a new editor today — Bono. The U2 star is to guest edit the paper for a day as part of his Product Red initiative, in which private sector money is channeled into fighting AIDS in Africa. And while he may not have much newspaper experience, the musician and activist has roped in an impressive list of contributors for his editorial turn. Giorgio Armani and Stella McCartney will interview each other, Condoleezza Rice will write the paper’s Ten Best page and Sam Taylor-Wood will offer an exclusive of her new photographs. “His perspective on world affairs is unique, his access to world leaders is second to none and he shares the sensibilities of our newspaper,” said Simon Kelner, editor in chief of the Independent, of Bono.
This story first appeared in the May 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The paper will donate half of its sales of Tuesday’s paper to AIDS relief. The Independent joins other Product Red members Emporio Armani, Gap, American Express and Converse, who as part of the program donate a portion of the profits from their Product Red capsule collections to the Global Fund, which finances AIDS programs in Africa.
— Nina Jones