Today's Wall Street Journal cranks out a piece on GOOD, the magazine for young people who do good things (get it?) that is being pulled together in West Hollywood by Ben Goldhirsh and a staff of under-30s. Goldhirsh, son of the late Inc. magazine founder Bernie Goldhirsh, inherited a fortune with the proviso that he use it for entrepreneurial causes. The start-up magazine is set to launch in September.
[Goldhirsh] works 15 hours a day in a Sunset Strip office here with a main group of editors he recruited from his days at Phillips Academy and Brown University. "We're in a quite rare and luxurious position. We're young kids with the capital to put behind our passions," Mr. Goldhirsh says. "There is such great potential given by the resources my father left, it would be a shame not to hustle toward that possibility."
Mr. Goldhirsh's target audience is a mirror image of himself -- affluent and media-savvy 21-to-35 year olds who are looking to change the world as insiders, not through protests. These potential readers "grew up with the benefits of capitalism...and have a trust of business, not a disdain for its structure," he says. The first issue profiles Matt and Jessica Flannery, a 20-something couple who co-founded Kiva, a Palo Alto, Calif., nonprofit that finances micro-loans to small businesses in the developing world.
Mr. Goldhirsh's business plan has a charitable component. To build circulation, the magazine, which will publish six times a year, is trying a "Choose GOOD" campaign. Charter subscribers pay $20, which is donated to one of the campaign's dozen partner nonprofit organizations that they choose. Among the groups are Teach for America, which places recent college graduates as teachers in the nation's underserved schools and Millennium Promise, which aids poor African villages.
In September, 50,000 copies of the $4.95 magazine will be sold in places like Whole Foods supermarkets, Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores and newsstands in target markets like Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco.
Not to be outdone, the LAT's West has a piece on Goldhirsh in this Sunday's magazine. Beaten to the punch by the Wall Street Journal, West threw its story on the Times website today. It profiles Goldhirsh as a young money player in Hollywood.
Just a few weeks after his 26th birthday, he is financing half a dozen films at his production company, Reason Pictures; getting ready to launch a national magazine, called Good; eyeing television, book publishing and the music business; and running a private foundation that gives millions a year to charity. That, and he just moved out of a small, bland studio apartment and into an airy farmhouse with a Guernica-sized TV, a stone fireplace that could double as a climbing wall, a guest cottage and hiking trails on five rugged acres in the middle of Beverly Hills. ("My Realtor kept showing me these slick L.A. places with fountains and marble tigers spitting water onto Venuses," he says. "Finally I was like, dude, you're going to get fired. Think calloused hands and dirty fingernails.")
Writers recruited for the debut issue of GOOD include James Surowiecki, Gary Shteyngart and Minna Proctor.
WSJ link via Romenesko
Photo: Wall Street Journal