NEW YORK — Maer Roshan may not have much cash to publish Radar, but he’s signed up even more talent to help sell it.
His fledgling magazine has retained Larry Burstein and Elinore Carmody — the former publishers of Us Weekly and George, respectively — to essentially pound the pavement as ad salesmen for Radar’s first four issues. They join Tina Brown (who will be an occasional columnist) and a seeming cast of thousands as the latest publishing veterans to chip in.
Money’s almost certainly not the draw: Investor Michael Fuchs, former ceo of HBO, has chipped in less than $1.5 million for Radar’s launch, a source with knowledge of the investment said. Roshan declined comment.
The magazine launches in April, followed by issues in May, June and then July-August, before hopefully attracting more investors and going essentially biweekly with 18 issues a year. It plans to distribute an initial 100,000 copies with a target reader who sounds familiar: 29 years old, college educated and “as interested in Iraq as they are in Jennifer Lopez,” Roshan said.
Inside, Radar borrows heavily from the “lifestyle” formula now so prevalent. Roshan promised “smart, brash and opinionated” takes on the traditional front of the book, feature essays and celebrity profiles. But he’s careful to play down hype not seen since his last gig at Talk.
“I don’t really want to be a Maxim-level success,” Roshan said. “I just want a magazine I’m proud of when I go home at the end of the day. It’s my responsibility, however, to make it a real business.”
Fitting in with the rampantly modest ambitions for the much-publicized title, Burstein said Radar, which is supposed to have a circulation of 700,000 by 2008, “doesn’t have to be huge to be a success.”
This story first appeared in the February 7, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.