New York Post

Paper that broke internet heads for a buyout

- By KEITH J. KELLY Dear ‘Diaries’ Adam add Rodale rolling kkelly@nypost.com

PAPER Magazine — the one which used a butt-naked cover photo of Kim Kardashian to break the internet three years ago — is about to be sold to a veteran of Condé Nast.

Tom Florio, a former publisher of The New Yorker and Vogue, is said to be heading a buyout of the pop culture and fashion magazine and Web site. Noted French photograph­er Jean

Paul Goude shot Kardashian for the Winter 2014 issue of Paper with the headline “Break the Internet,” which it then proceeded to do, with more than 34 million page views since.

Florio left Condé Nast in 2010 after a 25-year career. For awhile he teamed up with Ted Forstmann, but the IMG head died of brain cancer shortly thereafter.

Florio next emerged as the president of Advanstar’s Fashion Group in 2012, but plans to amp up the wattage onthe nitty-gritty men’s apparel trade show known as MAGIC didn’t pan out, and by early 2014 he was gone.

Sources said Florio has been out raising money and scouting for deals in the ensuing years.

Paper Communicat­ions was started in 1984 by Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovit­s, and magazine designer Lucy Sisman, among others. Hastreiter and Hershkovit­s remain co-editor and co-publisher. Neither they nor Florio returned calls. Sources say a dealè is close, but not yet finalized. Timing is everything. Tina Brown’s new book, “The Vanity Fair Diaries,” hits next month just as the golden era of magazine publishing is getting renewed attention with the passing of S.I. Newhouse Jr. on Sunday.

Brown, whose Princess Diana book “The Diana Chronicles” sold more than 500,000 copies for Doubleday in 2007, has taken the latest book to Henry Holt, where Stephen Rubin, her former editor at Doubleday, is now the president and publisher. Sources estimate she snagged close to a seven figure advance and Henry Holt, not usually knownas the biggest spender, is believed to be cranking out a 100,000 copy first printing.

Rubin would not disclose terms or first printings, but did say, “It’s inside an industry people love reading about — witness ‘ The Devil Wears Prada,’ which I also published — by a visionary editor with the best pair of eyes in the business.”

Brown ran Vanity Fair from 1983 to 1992. In the early days, the magazine struggled mightily, and she had to plead with S.I.Newhouse to give her a few more issues and not pull the plug. She got a blockbuste­r Harry-Benson cover photo of Ronald Reagan dancing with Nancy. Newhouse relented, the cover appeared, and the magazine turned the corner.

Brown told Media Ink she was searching for a book idea and had kept “voluminous diaries” throughout the ’80s.

“When I came to write about the period, I found 300,000 words not looked at since then and realized what a fascinatin­g picture it was of a vanished golden era of magazines.

“I shaped, edited and amplified the material into a real-time surf through the ’80s madness and the court of Condé Nast.” She was succeeded by Graydon Carter in 1992 when she was the surprise choice to lead The New Yorker. Carter struggled out of the gate, but then hit on the New Establishm­ent cover of media and tech moguls in 1994, which became a hearty annual, and the magazine soon regained its momentum. Carter became a celebrity editor and one of the longest serving in Condé Nast history. Speculatio­n is swirling that Carter himself may do a memoir. Reached at the Vanity Fair New Establishm­ent conference in Los Angeles, Carter did not dispel the notion. “It’s certainly a possibilit­y,” he told Media Ink, “but I’ve got four more issues of Vanity Fair to close before I begin to plot the next chapter."

David Remnick is said to be joining in the search to find a replacemen­t for Carter at Vanity Fair but he’s still tending to his own portfolio at The New Yorker.

On Thursday he revealed that he raided The Washington Post to sign Adam Entous, who has been chroniclin­g the alleged Russian interferen­ce in the 2016 election. Earlier, as a na- tional security correspond­ent for The Wall Street Journal, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

“Hehas remarkable insight into the world of intelligen­ce and national security, and he will be pursuing stories in that area for The New Yorker, writing a combinatio­n of longer, deeply reported pieces for the magazine and shorter investigat­ive columns and analysis online,” Remnick said in a memoto staffers on Thursday. Hearst has a tentative agreement in place to buy Rodale, the publisher of Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and Prevention, for what one source estimates will be a deal worth north of $250 million. And Rodale employees — at least the 450 or so who remain — will be pleased to know that Hearst is expected to assume the pension liabilitie­s of the 80year-old, family-run company. Our sources say that neither side wants to comment until the Justice Department gives the deal a look to make sure it is not violating any antitrust laws. But sources say the deal is expected to pass muster.

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