TEEN GQ?: Are there Maxim readers out there who are latently very GQ? Condé Nast executives will find out this August when 300,000 copies of Fahrenheit, a GQ spin-off pitched at men ages 18 to 24, hits newsstands. And to make sure its tone sounds authentically young, man-of-a-certain age Art Cooper won’t be editing it.
This story first appeared in the January 31, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Currently under development as a one-shot test, Fahrenheit takes its name from GQ’s opening spreads. How much more it’ll have in common with its uncle is still up the air, and so is the editor — GQ is apparently searching for a celebrity guest editor whose name will help attract readers’ attention and assure them young fogies aren’t in charge.
A magazine spokeswoman confirmed plans for Fahrenheit are moving forward, but declined comment on specifics and strategy. The latter seems obvious — Fahrenheit, if successful, can capture young men who might otherwise turn to Maxim, Details or FHM and migrate them to GQ a few years later.
— Greg Lindsay
COOPER’S TOWN: Art Cooper had other things on his mind, however, on Wednesday night, when he was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame. He shared the bill at the Waldorf-Astoria with Essence founder and CEO Edward Lewis, who was honored with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award from the Magazine Publishers of America.
Cooper felt comfortable enough at the podium to tweak his past and present partners, including GQ publisher Ron Galotti. “I think Si [Newhouse, chairman of Advance Publications] chooses them on the basis of their Rococco nicknames,” Cooper quipped. “Stevie the Bull; Mad Dog…Mr. Big,” referring to, he explained, Steve Florio, Richard Beckman, and Chris Noth. Cooper didn’t sound like a man planning to let go of GQ’s wheel anytime soon, either. “Magazines are my life,” he said. “There is nothing I would have rather done. There is nothing I would rather do.”
Sandwiching the dinner was the real action — schmoozing at the pre-party and GQ’s own afterparty. Time Inc. editors James Seymore and Richard Stolley were seen shaking their heads over Ted Turner’s abrupt resignation from AOL Time Warner that night, while Gruner + Jahr CEO Dan Brewster hadn’t heard the news. He apparently hadn’t heard that Walter Isaccson had quit CNN weeks before, either. He was overheard explaining to guests that he was in the dark on current events after dealing with marital discord in recent weeks.
— G. L.
HE SAID, SHE SAID, US SAID: Last July, Time arts editor Belinda Luscombe talked openly to reporters about an offer from Bonnie Fuller and US Weekly. “They’re throwing around a lot of big numbers,” Luscombe said. “They’re offering me half again my salary — a 50 percent pay increase. Kind of big!”
There’s just one problem — she was never offered a job. While a high-level source at the magazine acknowledged that Luscombe (like half of New York) had been approached, it was never more than preliminary. This was fine, until Luscombe told The New York Post this again a few weeks ago in a story on Time’s Style & Design issue.
“Our headhunter did an APB,” sniped the source. “They talked numbers with a lot of people. Most people seemed to realize that when a headhunter throws out dollar amounts, in no way is that a job offer.”
On Thursday, Luscombe acknowledged the lack of a formal offer, but characterized the talks differently. “I’d met with Bonnie and Janice [Min] and the next meeting was to be with human resources,” she said. “I’m delighted to clear this up, but as I tried to explain, it was not an offer. There were serious talks. I was as upset as anybody when I saw the articles.” She added, “But I did feel it was a serious meeting and that they wanted me to come on board.”
US Weekly, meanwhile, has filled the consulting editor position on the Fashion Week daily vacated by Brandusa Niro. Fellow Fashion Wire Daily alumnus Joe Dolce will edit it this time around.
— Jacob Bernstein
NYLON FOR GUYS: Boys who can’t wait to sink their teeth into Fahrenheit have a snack waiting for them in March. “Nylon For Guys” will debut as a 50-page outsert polybagged with that month’s issue of the downtown women’s fashion book. Aimed at twentysomethings with Strokes haircuts, the first issue throws Casey Affleck on the cover and fills interior pages with stories on Ducati motorcycles and sneaker spreads. Diesel, Armani Exchange and PRO-Keds have all bought pages, and another outsert is planned for September, while two stand-alone issues are on the drawing board for 2004. “It’d be fun if this became a 10-times a year magazine,” said editor Marvin Scott Jarrett.
He added that “the outsert is profitable” while the parent magazine “is close to breakeven,” which is certainly a relief to the creditors of the notoriously hesitant-to-pay magazine.
— G. L