Giant founder Jamie Hooper looks to follow in the illustrious steps of Time4Media, announcing plans to sell the magazine off to the highest bidder. In this case, it’s Radio One.
The decision to cash out may have something to do with Giant’s somewhat disappointing performance. Since its launch back in ‘04, Giant hasn’t exactly matched the successes of Dennis Group’s top-selling boobalicious titles Maxim and Stuff. (Then again, FHM was a decent competitor with 1.25 million in circ, and look how that ended.)
With more identity crisis than Augusten Burrough’s semi-fictionalized childhood characters, frequent punching bag Giant never much figured out what it wanted to be: a lad mag for the young types or a music mag for the lad types.
Hooper’s call to sell out, meanwhile, may have something to do with pressure from his principal backer, Mort Meyerson, who—in addition to being Investor Numero Uno—is also Hooper’s father-in-law.
A former business partner of Ross Perot’s, Meyerson initially staked Hooper with a $10 million-plus investment. “Giant hasn’t really done what Jamie told him it would do,” says one source who knows Hooper. “It must’ve made for an awkward Thanksgiving.”
An awkward Thanksgiving, indeed. And, most likely, a less than stellar champagne toast on New Year’s Eve.
However, it looks as though Hooper’s planning to turn over a new leaf in 2007, as he’s already made good on this year’s resolution: Stop squandering father-in-law’s investment on mediocre, money-hemorraging pet project that you’ve managed to screw up so badly even Grade B girls won’t sleep with you.
We wish slow days attracted good news — but they rarely ever do. Well, maybe this is good news for some people, we don’t really know, but it seems that the publisher of Giant (just like everyone else in the biz) is heading over to Vanity Fair. (You know, the mag with all the baby pics today?)
Michael Provus will take an advertising director role at VF, under former WWD publisher Edward Menicheschi and associate publisher Agnes Chapski, who joined recently from Lucky. (Yeah, yeah, we’re nerds.)
From Fishbowl NY:
If Provus’ move was to something other than Vanity Fair, where he will have the title of advertising director, it would make Hooper’s reportedly bizarre antics following the magazine’s most recent redesign a factor. For now, though, it appears the bright lights of Vanity Fair were too alluring.
We don’t pretend to know why Hooper’s antics (which were thoroughly reported here) don’t factor into his departure. But we’ll give our best guess, which is that Graydon Carter is way loopier anyways … and pays much better.
Somebody really needs to keep Giant magazine founder and president Jamie Hooper away from those office windows. Seriously, if he jumps out one day, well, don????????t say we didn????????t do everything in our power to prevent it.
The latest gossip comes in response to Jossip????????s report last week that Hooper went a bit berserk after reading the not-so-flattering comments on his mag????????s new site. (There were counter reactions in the comments section denying the crazy antics, but, no official email.)
Today, this bit just in from Mediabistro: (Note: apparently readers can’t send follow up info from our story to, uh, us … but we’ll take it anyways.)
Now comes word ???????? unconfirmed but from a reliable source ???????? that editor Rich Dorment has left the magazine.
Says a tipster: ???????Hooper was staring out the same window and refused to even acknowledge Dorment????????s presence.???????
Usually it’s pretty tough to acknowledge somebody if they’ve already left, so we’ll give Hooper the benefit of the doubt on that one. But what is with this guy and his window staring? We wonder if he was blabbering on about fires and smoke and the bad men coming to leave comments on his website, or if the mag just has some kind of ridiculously great view of a hot model exhibitionist across the way?
Giant Editor Out? [Fishbowl, NY]
When we get wind of the whispers, we run them. This little (not really that juicy but pretty friggin’ funny) rumor landed in our tattle box this morning — and because were always jonesin’ for some good magazine gossip, we thought we would share the unconfirmed rumors surrounding stressed out Giant founder and president Jamie Hooper.
His recent all-out panic attack was supposedly induced by some negative reader reaction on Giant’s website in response the mag’s redesign, headed up by former America EIC and Vibe editor Smokey Fontaine. The unedited email recount of this “incident” (along with our pathetic attempt at fact-checking) after the jump.