Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

What Do Maxim Magazine, Chrysler and Your Tax Dollars Have to Do With Each Other?

maximWhat does the collapse of lad magazine publisher Maxim have to do with the auto industry’s bailout?

More than you think, argues the New York Post’s Keith Kelly. If you’re interested in either publishing or Washington’s attempt to save the auto business, you should read the entire piece.

But here’s the important part: Quadrangle Group, the big media investment group run by Steve Rattner, borrowed $125 million from Cerebus Capital Management to buy Maxim and other high-concept, big-print titles from founder Felix Dennis. Those magazines are in disarray (yesterday, Quadrangle shuttered music title Blender) and Quadrangle defaulted on those loans last year.

Still there? OK. Now Rattner has left Quadrangle for Washington, where he’ll advise the Obama administration on how to deal with companies that include Chrysler, which is owned by… Cerebus.

Which should make for an entertaining conversation or two, at the very least.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald