Radar and Portfolio may face skepticism among some media watchers, but they evidently more than passed muster among the peer judges for the National Magazine Awards, which announced the 2008 finalists today.

Radar, a magazine that is in its third permutation, was nominated for the first time in the prestigious General Excellence category for circulation between 100,000 and 250,000. Portfolio, the Cond? Nast start-up that has been beset with bad press, was nominated for magazine section.

The New Yorker and New York, stalwarts of recent years, continued to lead with 12 and nine nominations, respectively. Vanity Fair was strong with six nominations, followed by GQ and National Geographic with five each. Esquire, which was nominated seven times last year and won once, did not have as much luck this year, with one nomination, for magazine section.

In core fashion titles, W received two nominations – one for General Excellence and one for photography – while Elle was nominated for essays and Glamour for general excellence in the over two million circulation category.

In addition to Radar and Portfolio, other first-time nominees included Domino, Good and The New York Times Magazine which, in all its permutations, received a total of six nominations. The Times magazine was eligible this year, as ASME moved to include newspaper supplements for the first time, and had a strong showing both for its main weekly and for its T style and Play spin-offs.

For complete coverage, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.