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BACK ON THE RADAR: Maer Roshan, the Radar founder and media survival artist who has been largely absent from the publishing world for the last 30 months, launches his latest venture Monday: a Web site called Thefix.com.
The site will cover an industry Roshan believes is underserved: addiction, recovery, rehab. The site’s tag line is: “addiction and recovery, straight up.”
“From Bill Clegg to Mary Karr, there were dozens of addiction memoirs on the best-seller lists this year,” said Roshan. “It’s an almost inescapable subject on movies and TV. ‘Intervention’ is the number-one show on A&E. ‘Celebrity Rehab’ is the hottest show on VH1. Christian Bale won an Oscar for his role in ‘The Fighter.’ Eminem won a Grammy for his album ‘Recovery.’ So I think we’re definitely at this perfect moment when the subject of addiction and recovery has really entered the culture.”
Roshan, whose Radar Magazine folded for a third time in October 2008, said he has funding of nearly $500,000 for the site, an office in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and a staff of five. The Web site will have a feature well, a daily blog and features like a rehab review section. The 43-year-old Roshan said he was inspired to do the site since he got out of rehab a year and a half ago for alcohol abuse.
“When [Radar’s Web site] was sold, and the magazine market crashed, It was the first time in my life that I didn’t know what my next move would be,” he said. “I moved to L.A., wrote some freelance articles, edited a book and dabbled in producing and TV. But The Fix seemed to provide an outlet that could combine my passion for journalism with my deepening interest in addiction and recovery.”
In addition to creating a site that he thinks could genuinely help people, he also said, “It occurred to me that there was a chance here to create a project that could be incredibly lucrative and successful.”
The site will address the topic seriously — he said there will be an investigative story Monday on Narconon, the Scientology drug and rehab center — but in typical Radar style, there will also be “a sense of humor about things — and a willingness to take on big stories and sacred cows.” Potential item: The Most Unfortunate A.A. Clichés.
“I have no desire to create an earnest, pastel-hued Web site with spiritual stories and daily meditations,” he said.
And the site isn’t Roshan’s only project. Since last summer, he has been thinking about developing an iPad magazine, which is “a great idea that I still intend to pursue,” he said.