Bob Guccione, Jr. on Navigating the Recession
Bob Guccione, Jr. began his career at the age of 18 in the UK where he became Britain's youngest-ever publisher. A year later he returned to America and launched the monthly music magazine, Rock Superstars, making him America's then youngest-ever publisher. In 1985, he launched SPIN, the enormously successful music magazine that usurped Rolling Stone as the dominant pop culture magazine for 18-24 year olds. In 1997, Guccione sold SPIN to Vibe Ventures and in 1998 launched Gear, a young men's lifestyle magazine, which closed in 2003. In October 2005, Guccione completed the acquisition of science magazine, Discover, from Disney and formed Discover Media, LLC. In the two years Guccione ran the title before stepping down as Chairman in December 2007, the magazine returned to profitability. He is now helping launch a new luxury lifestyle magazine in New York called Prestige New York.
Question: Why launch a luxury lifestyle magazine in a downturn?
Guccione: You know, that’s a great question. Of course, it wasn’t the intention to launch Prestige in a recession. The intention to launch it this year before the recession was predicted or came about to the extent that this came about. Having said that, I still don’t think it’s a bad idea. I think the very rich will always be at least rich, and the lifestyles of these people, which is very cosmopolitan, very international, very curious, very active, very alpha in some ways, that doesn’t change, only the numbers change. So this magazine is about that lifestyle, [carry] the advertising for products and services and lifestyles that the rich can still afford. Yes, for sure, everybody is being a bit more sober about excessive spending, including us at the magazine. But, you know, in general, the lifestyle is still valid and is still of interest to this demographic, so [IB], maybe one of the few good launches in a time like this.
Bob Guccione, Jr. says despite the recession, the very rich are still rich.
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