Loft. Ego Miami. These are just two of the ambitious titles that have folded in efforts to dethrone Ocean Drive as Miami’s quintessential city magazine. Now comes 944 Miami, a hipster magazine with editions in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County.
Where others have crashed and burned, 944 chief executive Marc Lotenberg hopes to succeed by partnering with Tommy Pooch and Alan Roth, the owners of TAI Entertainment, a marketing and events company catering to South Beach’s party set. The nightlife gurus are 944’s co-publishers, in charge of attracting advertisers and marketing the magazine around town.
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Ocean Drive founder Jerry Powers isn’t sweating it. “It’s skewed to a very young demographic,” Powers said. “It doesn’t appeal to the crowd that loves to ride around in Bentleys and shop at Gucci in Bal Harbour.”
"Miami is the perfect setting to launch our east coast expansion," says 944 chief executive Marc Lotenberg. "It's got sex appeal, great weather and beautiful people."
Lotenberg, whose first office address in Phoenix inspired the magazine's name, hired former Street editor and ex-Miami Herald writer Brett O’Bourke as editor.“I’m going to do my best to create a legitimate magazine,” says O’Bourke.“People keep telling me they want a real magazine and not something that hands out blowjobs.”
Nevertheless 944 will still have its share of vapid profiles and fashion and party spreads. “This is Miami, and image is everything,” O’Bourke admits. “So almost always you will see a hot girl on the cover.” --Francisco Alvarado