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Posts Tagged ‘Felix Dennis’

Steven Kotok Shares Some Felix Dennis Memories

Steven Kotok, a long-serving employee at Felix Dennis‘ various media enterprises and current CEO of The Week and Mental Floss, was among those who shared fond reminiscences for a recent theweek.com tribute following the colorful magnate’s passing. Speaking today via telephone with FishbowlNY, Kotok was kind enough to add a few more.

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“My first memory of Felix is back before Maxim was launched,” Kotok recalls. “It was a 12-person company in 1997 and this guy wandered up holding the plastic part of a six-pack of beer, that had three or four beers left in it. And some Doritos.”

“I was working away in the office at 7 p.m. or something, and he offered me a beer and Doritos. That was the first time I met him,” he adds. “He was a person who just, absolutely, did not want to stand on ceremony or pretense. I think if he had been an assistant, he would have behaved the exact same way. He didn’t know how to be any other way.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: USA-Portugal Hits Highs | Isikoff Joins Yahoo! News

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18.2 Million Watch USA vs. Portugal, Most-Watched Soccer Match Ever on U.S. TV (TVNewser)
An average of 18.22 million viewers watched the USA tie Portugal (2-2) in World Cup action late Sunday afternoon on ESPN. That’s the most-watched soccer match ever on American TV and surpasses the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. TVSpy 1.3 million watched on the WatchESPN app. Washington, D.C., led all markets for the telecast with a 13.3 rating. AllFacebook The game resulted in approximately 20 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) by some 10 million Facebook users, according to the Facebook Data Science Team. In the U.S. alone, more than 4 million Facebook users were responsible for more than 7 million interactions related to the match. Financial Times An average of 24.7 million viewers watched Sunday’s performance on either ESPN or Univision, the Spanish-language network whose best football ratings have in the past often been for Mexico matches. Mashable Not only was that an all-time record for a soccer match, it also beat the average viewership for the 2013 World Series by 10 million viewers.

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RIP: Felix Dennis

DennisPublishingLogoIn the U.S., Dennis Publishing’s footprint had been reduced to The Week and Mental Floss. But it is of course for the vertiginous rise of Maxim magazine that the company’s flamboyant chief executive chairman Felix Dennis will be most remembered here.

With news that Dennis passed away over the weekend at age 67 after a long battle with throat cancer, the fond reminiscences are starting to be shared. From a piece by The Guardian‘s David Hepworth:

Although Felix loved the company of journalists and photographers, he never made the mistake of getting hung up on editorial. When Maxim was at its height in the United States, I sat with him while he went through a new issue, purring over every page of advertising, pulling out a gatefold and cackling, “You know how much they paid for that?”

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Felix Dennis and His Magazines are Doing Great

Here’s what we know about Felix Dennis — the eccentric owner of Dennis Publishing: He and his magazines are doing great. Well, at least the ones he once owned or currently owns, including The Week and Mental Floss. We know this because that’s what he tells David Carr of The New York Times, in an interview.

Dennis told Carr that there are a lot of haters out there, but that’s mainly because they’re jealous. “I have sold at the top of market several times,” explains Dennis. “Nobody remembers how long I’ve been at this. I love the media game. Love. It.”

The publisher then explained that his magazines are doing well because he understands everything better than everyone:

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The Week GM Promoted to President

Steven Kotok_10575_10576.JPGFirst on FishbowlNY: Steven Kotok, general manager of The Week‘s U.S. edition, is being promoted to president of The Week Publications, Inc. He has been with the magazine since 2002 and in his current position since 2007.

Kotok joined Dennis Publishing, which produces The Week, in 1996 and served as publisher of Maxim Books before joining the American version of the successful newsmagazine. It’s one of the few publications gaining advertising pages, posting double-digit percentage gain during the first quarter of 2009. Adweek named The Week No. 1 on its “10 Under 60″ Hot List.

In one of Kotok’s first moves as president, he announced a host of other new positions. Kevin Morgan is the new CFO, while Arielle Starkman joins as controller. David Weeks moves from The Economist to become international advertising director. Lori Crook joins as production director with Shelby Washington coming onboard as senior promotion manager.

Both releases are after the jump.

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Maer Roshan to TheWeek.com

biz034a.jpgThe Radar refugees are resurfacing. Aaron Gell signed on as editor-in-chief of Hemispheres. Choire Sicha, Alex Balk and David Cho launched TheAwl.com. And now Maer Roshan, the man at the top of the thrice-failed magazine, has a new full-time gig. Buried at the bottom of Keith Kelly‘s column today comes the news that Roshan will join TheWeek.com as editor.

The Week, brought to the United States by Felix Dennis after the magazine was a huge hit in England, saw its ad pages jump 42 percent in the first quarter of 2009 (or 19 percent, depending on your source). Given the struggles of other newsweeklies, Roshan looks to be in a good situation.

Maxim, Blender Publisher May be Turned Over to Creditors

maximgg.jpgLooks like Citigroup wasn’t the only one struggling to get through the weekend. The WSJ is reporting that Alpha Media, the publisher of laddie magazines Maxim and Blender, is in “restructuring talks that are expected to turn over the company to creditors.” Just to give you a sense of how closely everything is tied together, Alpha Media was purchased in 2007 by superstar deal-maker Steve Rattner‘s Quadrangle Capital Partners — Rattner’s firm also happens to be in charge of Mayor Bloomberg‘s fortune.

Quadrangle’s private-equity fund paid about $250 million for Alpha Media in August 2007, lauding the company as an “unrivaled” play for reaching 18-to 34-year-old males. The New York-based firm put up about $90 million of equity and borrowed the rest to purchase the titles from British publisher Felix Dennis.

Like everyone else even remotely involved with Wall St. Rattner’s firm is “struggling with its private-equity portfolio and recently unwound its hedge fund amid market turmoil.” That and both Blender and Maxim‘s ad pages have plummeted. And that’s not all.

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The Week Hires a New Editor and Ups its Rate Base

week.pngFelix Dennis‘s The Week has announced that it has hired former HuffPo blog editor, and National Magazine award winner Francis Wilkinson as its new top editor. In this role he will serve as deputy to editor in chief William Falk assisting with the editing of the magazine and will be responsible for “expanding and bringing more original content to theweek.com,” which was acquired earlier this month.

In other good(!) news the WSJ is also reporting that The Week is raising its rate base by 25,000 readers to 500,000, this is its third since January. Wow. Maybe Dennis should be teaching a class.

Related: The Week: Your ‘Second Source’ for News

Which American Magazine is Felix Dennis Trying to Buy?

_42328498_dennis203rexfeatures.jpgOver at Folio Dylan Stableford has released a little gem from a forthcoming interview with Felix Dennis in which the Maxim founder, maybe murderer, and all round interesting publishing type declares that he is in discussions to but the rights to a well known American magazine.

We’re trying to buy the worldwide rights of a well-known American magazine while leaving the North American rights with the parent company…We sort of think it’s a win-win for everybody. This is a big company, a sensible company, but they do not engage in much worldwide activity. They’ve got a good title that will do well in places like India, China, Russia. But they need someone to go and do it. And we’re not going to do it unless we own it. And that means shared ownership.
Dennis promises us we’ll never, ever be able to guess, but that’s not going to stop us from trying. Send us your tips or guesses if you have them.

Memo From Felix Dennis: ‘Remain Focused’

maxim_sold_061407.jpgFriday’s “We got sold” memo from Felix to all Dennis employees:

Today we announce that Dennis Publishing Inc will be acquired by Quadrangle Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm and Kent Brownridge, who many of you will know from his days at Wenner Media. The transaction includes our magazines Maxim, Blender and Stuff with their websites, but not The Week, which will continue to be published by me and my partners. A copy of the press release that we are issuing immediately is attached.

Between now and the closing of the deal, which should take place no later than September, business will continue as usual. At the closing Mr. Brownridge will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Stephen Colvin will step down and leave the Company. I want to take this opportunity to thank Stephen for all the hard work and commitment over the past 10 years that has made our Company and its magazines what they are today.

I know that many of you will have questions about what today’s announcement will mean. We are in the early stages of this process so we do not have all the answers. However, I can assure you that we will make the best possible effort to keep you informed as we move forward.

I want to thank all of you for your patience, hard work and dedication to the Company through this difficult process. I appreciate the important contribution that each of you makes every day and ask for your continued commitment. As always, we rely on you to remain focused on your day-to-day jobs to ensure that we continue to publish the extraordinary magazines and websites that our readers expect.

Thank you very much.

Felix Dennis.

EARLIER:

  • Finally: Dennis Sells Maxim, Stuff, Blender
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