Magazines: New York Rebirth

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Before the World Journal Tribune folded last spring, its Sunday magazine, New York, acquired a reputation for breezy comment on the city, from its fleeting mod-pop fancies to its durable ethnic folkways. Unlike other publications that have come and gone, New York was missed enough to make it want to come back. Last week the magazine threw a midday party to announce its reappearance as an independent publication in March.

Editor Clay Felker, 39, bought the New York name from the defunct W.J.T. last June. He has spent the intervening months rounding up private investors. Led by Wall Street Investment Banker Armand G. Erpf, they have enabled the magazine to "complete its initial financing," says Felker. He thinks it will take about $2,000,000 to get New York started, modestly pins his initial circulation hopes at something over 100,000, counts on picking up some of the all-important Fifth Avenue retail advertising. Priced at 40¢ a copy, New York will appear every Thursday. At the beginning, the sales are expected to be 75% newsstand, the rest will be subscription.

At the party last week, all the old gang puffed up four flights to the East Side editorial walkup. Dressing as distinctively as they write, Columnist Jimmy Breslin appeared with open collar and untied tie, Writer Tom Wolfe in a white suit over a blue paisley shirt, Pop Critic Dick Goldstein with a Beatles haircut, boots and an "Indo-Russian embroidered jacket." They were joined by two new staffers, Lady-Writ-er-About-Town Gloria Steinem and Mafia Watcher Peter Maas. Harold Clurman will review plays for the revived magazine, Judith Crist, movies. George Hirsch, who came from TIME-LIFE International, is publisher.

For audience and ads, Felker will be competing with The New Yorker, which has just started promotional advertising in the New York Times for the first time in 14 years. But The New Yorker, although livelier of late, devotes little space to city affairs. The city is simply too vast, its interests too varied, to be covered properly in a single publication. So the riches are amply available; all New York has to do is mine them.