Felix Dennis – an acquitted co-defendant in Britain's seminal Oz obscenity trial during the seventies and latterday multi-millionaire media owner – is to launch a new US weekly news magazine this April.
Dennis, now the owner of best-selling lads’ magazine Maxim and a string of highly successful computer titles in the UK and US, has announced the forthcoming birth of The Week, subtitled ‘Cliff Notes for intelligent and busy people – a weekly digest of newspaper and magazine writing’.
Dennis has hired a duo of highly skilled midwives to assist in the delivery: his editor in chief is Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter William B Falk, and consulting editor is Harold Evans, a former editor of London's Sunday Times and ex-publisher of Random House Trade Group.
Every ounce of their combined skills will be required for the venture to succeed in the intensely competitive US weekly news magazine sector, currently dominated by Time, Newsweek and US News & World Report. Industry observers have long pontificated that three news-weeklies are one too many; and few would bet their month’s expense claims on the success of a fourth.
However, Dennis argues that The Week, which has enjoyed success in the UK over the past six years, differs editorially from its competitors, in that it does not feature original reporting. It is far closer, he insists, to Henry Luce’s original Time magazine format in 1923, and will meet a need that today’s news magazines ignore.
Unlike Dennis’s other titles, The Week is not expected to be a mega-moneyspinner; this is not his objective, he claims. "I don't mean to be condescending or pompous, but America has made me a very, very rich man with my computer magazines and Maxim," he says. "This is my gift to America."
News source: Wall Street Journal