THE SILENT PARTNER: Radar founder Maer Roshan isn’t sure whether Harvey Weinstein is “a genius or an asshole,” but he will take his money. A source close to the magazine said Weinstein has invested $150,000 in the company, or slightly less than a 10th of the $1.7 million Roshan has raised from former HBO chief Michael Fuchs, attorney Benjamin Brafman (who’s repped P.Diddy and mafioso Vincent “The Chin” Gigante) and several of Radar’s family members.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
When asked about Weinstein’s participation, a Radar spokesman said, “We don’t comment on investors unless they want to comment first.” But all one has to do is read between the lines. The thoroughly snarky first issue left him out of its cover package on the scariest people in America, “Monsters, Inc.” The reason: Since nearly hitting director Julie Taymor last year, “Weinstein has apparently been transformed.” Reflecting on James Ivory’s musing that Weinstein is “both a genius and an asshole,” Radar asks rhetorically, “What are we supposed to do with that? Genius…asshole. Asshole…genius. You see our dilemma.” Sure, and if you flip to page 40, you’ll see a full-page Miramax ad as well. — Greg Lindsay
SEVENTEEN’S SALE AGING BADLY: Don’t hold your breath for a winner in the ongoing auction of Seventeen. Even before Primedia ceo Tom Rogers resigned under pressure Thursday (see related story, this page), the sale process had ground to a temporary halt while the expected bidders — Hachette Filipacchi Media, Wenner Media and maybe Hearst — waited for Seventeen’s first-quarter circulation data, according to a source close to the sale. There has been some skepticism about the circ; newsstand sales keep heading south, and renewal rates have been unimpressive. Final bids had been due on Wednesday.
A Primedia spokesman said Rogers’ departure would not affect the sale, although it may, in fact, make it more likely. As WWD first reported in February, Rogers put Seventeen on the block at the urging of his employers at the leveraged buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., even though he was reluctant to do so.
But even KKR needs some kind of return on its investment. “I really can’t believe they’re going to take less than $150 million, but who the hell knows these days,” said another source close to the company. “And I can’t imagine Hearst is thinking more than $100 million.” —?G.L.