Late last week BlackBook magazine finalized a new ownership deal that sold the media company from Vibe Media Holdings to Jon Bond of the ad agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners and Evanly Schindler, who founded BlackBook in 1996 before serving as president of Interview magazine and co-owner of the restaurant Acme.
BlackBook‘s editor is out. Buzzfeed’s got a new vertical. And The Observer has a softball game against a Foer Brother to get to, so let’s get on with this. Here are your Friday Afternoon Media Briefs:
What People Did On May Day
Yesterday was a big day for the Occupy movement: May Day. They billed it as a day to tell capitalism, the uber-rich, and spendthrifts in general to shove off. There were protests aplenty. Some people got arrested, some people destroyed some things, and some people just made an honest attempt at expressing their dissatisfaction with The Way Things Are.
So, how to capitalize off of this as a freelance writer? One idea: Use it to write a totally innocuous post in which you celebrate spending lavishly, ostensibly for your birthday, but actually as trollbait for the few people on the Internet who would read it.
off the record
Newly appointed BlackBook editor in chief Joshua David Stein is looking forward to writing for an audience that’s a little bit more like him. For the last year, he’s been senior editor at Departures and Black Ink, the glossy magazines distributed to the wealthiest American Express card holders.
“I’m not a billionaire,” Mr. Stein told Off the Record last week. “This job’s not going to make me a billionaire. Or a millionaire for that matter!”
Mr. Stein’s new boss at the arts and culture starter magazine, on the other hand, is definitely a billionaire. Last month, BlackBook Media Corp. was bought by grocery magnate Ron Burkle and his investment partner, Magic Johnson. Mr. Stein didn’t have much to say about the acquisition, except that it means more money and better resources for the magazine, side-by-side with Mr. Burkle’s current holdings, Vibe, Uptown and the reportedly lucrative Access Network media software company.
Supermarket magnate, billionaire, Bill Clinton pal, Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner, powerhouse Democratic donor, and Page Six extortion victim Ron Burkle is back in the hip Manhattan culture rag business, and his partner-in-crime is Magic. Literally.
off the record
Last week Nick Haramis started his new job as editorial director of Bullett, the curious quarterly fashion magazine now entering its second year.
From his designated corner of Bullett’s Chelsea loft (equipped with a big shiny Mac, but still awaiting a partition to separate the broom closet from the office), Mr. Haramis said he had been seduced by the prospect of building something new at Bullett, an opportunity presented to him by editor in chief Idil Tabanca and chief brand officer Carrie Rosten in a meeting at The Ace.
Although Bullett is not exactly a start-up, one might say it’s pivoting. In the spring, a founding investor and editor, Erin Ralph, a proto-Tavi fashion blog entrepreneur, was bought out by another founder and his or her “undisclosed overseas backer,” rumored to be a blood relation.
Ms. Tabanca, 27, replaced Ms. Ralph as editor-in-chief. She said the parting was mutual and amicable. Ms. Tabanca hired Ms. Rosten from Out magazine. Ms. Ralph went on to launch Weebo, a social shopping start-up.
I'M AT A FASHION PARTY I'M WEARING FASHION CLOTHES
Last night at PH-D, the rooftop hotspot atop the Dream Downtown, BlackBook magazine hosted a party to celebrate its 15th year of publication. Cover boy/True Blood vampire Alexander Skarsgård was there, as were flocks of girls stretching their iPhones toward his booth to get a picture of him.
Yet, the other guests of honor—critical darling rap group Das Racist—were not as impressed with the fashion party. Before, during, and after their short performance (part straight-faced performance art, part tag-team rap mayhem; one onlooker noted that they appeared to be texting while on stage), they took to Twitter to air some grievances.
On the latest cover of The Stranger, profile subject Richard Yates author Tao Lin mocks Jonathan Franzen’s appearance on the cover of Time last month by adopting the same self-serious pose assumed by the man who penned Freedom. To complete the parody, The Stranger used the same tagline as the Time cover: “Great American Novelist.”
Gawker Read More
October 2008 may have seemed like the worst time to start a new magazine, but that didn’t deter Evanly Schindler, the founder and former editorial director of BlackBook, from starting a thick, indie arts biannual called Tar under the rubric of a media company called Tar Art, which he’d founded two years earlier with former Read More
It looks as though former Page Six columnist Lydia Hearst‘s internship at BlackBook was, in the style of James Frey‘s recent visit to Gawker, more of a one-day joke/publicity thing than a long term joke/publicity thing (their former intern, Ryan Adams, stuck around long enough to get his own Read More