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Magazine rack

Two new pubs in the works for Little Rock.

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The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is in the final stages of adding a new magazine to its stable, a glossy lifestyle publication that sources say is aimed at the niche currently occupied by magazines like Inviting Arkansas and Soiree.

Paul Smith, general manager of the Democrat-Gazette, denies reports that the magazine will be in the style of Little Rock's more established society mags.

“Soiree and Inviting Arkansas are obviously social, party-type magazines,” Smith said. “This would cover more aspects of life — home, fashion, family and so forth. None of that's in concrete. We're still in the talking stage.” He said the new publication would be “possibly monthly, but not weekly.” He said that while some titles had been suggested, he wasn't ready to disclose what those might be.

Smith said that upper management at the paper has been discussing the new publication for several months, and is currently in the process of getting together printing costs.

“There's a lot of newspapers that publish magazines,” he said, “and we've been talking with some of them and we've been looking at different magazines…. We're just trying to come up with additional products, and it seems like a magazine like this is something that quite a few newspapers in markets our size are publishing.”

Smith said that while some staff would likely be dedicated to the new magazine, most of the writing would probably be handled by staff currently on the D-G payroll. “[W]e've got a staff set up that does Sync and does our zone publications that we put out in Conway and Searcy and Benton,” Smith said. “We'll probably use some of those people, and we'll probably have a few people dedicated to it.”

Becki Moore is the editor and publisher of Soiree magazine, which is part of Arkansas Business Publishing Group. After six years as editor there, she knows how tough it can be to get a foothold in Little Rock's very limited magazine market.

“It's a very crowded field of magazines, not just society magazines…but that doesn't stop people from wading in,” she said. “There's a limited pool of advertisers, and that's always tricky.”

Another interesting new entry into the Little Rock magazine market — if it makes it to print — is the new free monthly Expose. In an e-mail to potential advertisers, publisher and owner Stefan Diamante promises that Expose will be a full glossy publication “focusing exclusively on arts, entertainment and nightlife in Central Arkansas.” The initial print run will be 25,000 copies, with the first issue scheduled to appear in May. An attached rate card says that the magazine will sell full-color, full-page ads for $750. According to a comparison chart in the same rate card, the Democrat-Gazette's weekly tabloid Sync sells the same ad for $5,172.

So, who is Stefan Diamante? Attempts to contact him proved unsuccessful, but a quick search turned up his blog, “The Steroid Diaries.”

“I'm an exotic dancer who has worked in several major markets across the country since I began stripping in October of 2001,” he writes. “Some of the more notable credits on my resume include: Men of Playgirl, Hardbodies Striptease of Denver (major players in the CU football recruitment sex scandal of a few years back), ‘The Maury Povich Show,' and Hardbodies Entertainment Of Arkansas.”

Diamante goes on to write that Expose will feature “what's hot in music, visual art, theatre, filmmaking, nightlife, dining, events and various forms of entertainment in Central Arkansas with a sexy, sophisticated and stylish flair,” adding that he has plans to expand the magazine into other markets.

Don't chuckle too hard. If the mock-up ads on the website are any yardstick, Expose will have no qualms about running racy ads for escort agencies — ads that are verboten in most of the mainstream pubs in Little Rock, including the Arkansas Times. Those ads are fairly lucrative, to the point that we've heard they've been keeping certain Little Rock publications afloat for years. Diamante is quickly going to hit the financial wall trying to field a glossy with his low-ball ad rates, but he may have found a niche.

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