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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Madden’

New Maxim Owner Makes Changes

Sardar Biglari has only owned Maxim for a little over four months, but he has already made sweeping changes at the magazine. According to The New York Post, president Ben Madden; editor-in-chief Dan Bova; senior VP of digital Bill Shaw; and associate publisher of integrated sales Sean Flanagan have all been cut.

When Biglari purchased the magazine from Alpha Media, he proclaimed that he would be “enthusiastically” revitalizing the brand. We guess those staffers didn’t have the proper level of zeal.

No word on exactly what the future holds for Maxim, but Biglari — a guy who owns the restaurant chains Steak N Shake and Western Sizzlin — did tell the Post that he wanted to make the glossy more upscale. That should be… Interesting.

Correction (7/9):
Madden and Bova both resigned after Biglari bought Maxim in February.

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Maxim Deal Might be Dead

Maxim’s days might be numbered. In early September, Alpha Media Group triumphantly announced that they had sold Maxim to Darden Media Group, despite the glossy’s dwindling popularity. Now Adweek is reporting that the deal is likely dead.

Darden had plans to expand the Maxim brand — Maxim TV, Maxim Radio, etc. If you’re a normal person, that sounds absurd. But that’s just what Alpha Media Group wanted to hear. “As a company, we are excited to see Maxim everywhere,” said Ben MaddenMaxim’s president, at the time.

Unfortunately, things went sour soon afterward. Alpha is specifically worried about Calvin Darden Jr. (son of Darden Media’s owner, Calvin Darden) being involved in the acquisition:

However, the announcement made no mention of Darden’s son, Calvin Darden Jr., who was convicted eight years ago of stealing from securities firms and investors including former NBA star Latrell Sprewell while a stockbroker. Sources close to the company said they were surprised to learn that the younger Darden was involved in the Maxim deal, though, attending meetings and fundraising.

Damn. The guy ripped off Spree? We wouldn’t sell to him either.

Maxim Sold to Darden Media Group

Alpha Media Group, parent of Maxim, has sold the brand to Darden Media Group. The sale includes the magazine and its 15 international editions sold in 34 countries, all Maxim events and digital assets. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Calvin Darden, chairman of Darden Media Group, has big plans for the magazine: Get ready for Maxim TV, Maxim radio and a Maxim music label. Darden’s plan to expand the Maxim brand via those entities is part of the reason why Alpha Media Group accepted his offer.

“He [Darden] will provide exceptional leadership and a platform to execute a large scale strategy across distribution channels we collectively envision,” said Ben Madden, Maxim’s president, in a statement. “As a company, we are excited to see Maxim everywhere.”

We’re not entirely sure that anyone else would agree.

Bette Midler, Blythe Danner and Chris Noth’s Advice for President Obama

1003_mockup.gifIf you felt the tremors in midtown around noon, it’s because 55th and Fifth nearly buckled under the weight of all the star power at Michael’s today. Between the Hollywood A-listers (Bette Midler, Blythe Danner, Kate Capshaw),  Democratic dynamos (Kerry Kennedy, Betsy Gotbaum) and talking heads (Star Jones), I was getting a serious case of whiplash trying to keep track of it all.

Just when I thought the crowd had settled in, I spied Chris Noth sitting alone at the bar, and I just couldn’t resist going over for a quick chat. While Julianna Marguilies‘ errant TV husband on The Good Wife waited for his pal, producer Fred Zollo, to arrive, I got him to weigh in on the show’s headline-making sex scenes. “Network television can’t go where cable does, but I did do a scene where we showed just enough oral sex in a bathroom while cable news played in the background,” Chris told me. How could we forget? “That stuff gets people talking, I guess.” Yup.

This season, while his co-star Archie Panjabi steams up the screen, his character is trying for a shot at redemption and is running for governor. “I have no idea whether or not he wins,” says Chris. The ardent Democrat tells me he has no interest in running for office himself. “I’m not one of those actors. All my skeletons are out of the closet!” He does, however, have a keen interest in who wins this year’s presidential election. “A lady on the subway asked me to take a picture with me, and I told her I would as long she voted Democrat!” When I told Chris I was lunching with Robert Zimmerman,  a Democratic National Committee member from New York and one of the party’s top fundraisers, he perked up. “I have a line I want to give him for President Obama! Can you introduce me?” I was only too happy to oblige.

When I brought Chris over to my table to meet Robert and another smart, savvy Democratic booster, producer Joan Gelman, he told Robert, “I’ve got something for Obama: A half truth is the same as a complete lie, and we’re not even hearing half truths from Romney. You ought to pass this along for the Obama circle for  the debate.” Robert assured Chris he would get his comment to the president’s handlers.  When Chris went off to his own table, Robert said, “They ought to take his advice; he’s got a higher approval rating than both parties.”

Chris Noth and Diane Clehane

Chris Noth and Diane Clehane

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Dan Bova Promoted to Chief Content Officer at Maxim

Dan Bova has been promoted from editor-in-chief of Maxim to chief content officer. Bova was editor-in-chief since early this year, and executive editor prior to that. He was also formerly editor-in-chief of Stuff.

“Dan has the industry savvy necessary to evolve with the rapidly changing media landscape and understands the needs and media habits of our readers,” said Maxim President, Ben Madden. “He is the ideal person to continue to lead Maxim to new editorial heights, leveraging our compelling content across multiple platforms and across our readers’ various touchpoints.”

Bova’s new role is effective immediately.

Breaking Down the Magazine Super Bowl Parties

Before the Giants win the Super Bowl on Sunday, there are parties to be had. The New York Post reports that ESPN The Magazine, Rolling StoneMaxim and Playboy are all having festivities, starting tonight. Since we won’t be attending them, let’s break down what we’re missing.

ESPN is kicking things off tonight with a party featuring a performance by Drake. Cam Newton will be the guest of honor, which is cool, but Drake — a man who sings about love, longing to love and loving love — isn’t a guy that we associate with letting loose.

This is Rolling Stone’s first Super Bowl party, and it’s bringing LMFAO, Lupe Fiasco, Cobra Starship and Gym Class Heroes to entertain guests. A ticket for the magazine’s Saturday party is $1,000.

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