Mag Bag: 'Details' Ends 'Gay or... ?' Feature

Details magazine is axing its back page "Gay or...?" feature, which played off the magazine's own sexual ambivalence. Simply, it has run out of cultural archetypes to fill the second slot for comparison's sake. There's no hint yet what will replace it, so the "Mag Bag" staff would like to offer these recommendations for "[blank] or... [blank]"-style features to replace it.

The key to such satire is choosing targets that are safe to mock with stereotypes. The choice of gays was perfect, as society at large seems to distinguish them from other minority groups as fundamentally less "oppressed." On the other hand, race is a big no-no, as Details learned with its ill-judged "Gay or Asian?" comparison in 2004, when its reference to the subject's "sashimi-smooth chest" was judged offensive.

Thus, Details should set aside ethnicity and religion as objects of mockery, and focus on more acceptable targets that will generate lots of stupid double entendres. How about "Terrorist or...?" Possible candidates for the second slot: "folk singer," "hippy," "liberal arts professor," "Democrat," "psychiatrist" and "George Clooney (bearded)." Or maybe "Professional Athlete or...," paired with "longshoreman," "man-child" or "super-max inmate." 



We have lots more, Details, but the ball is in your court. Call us!

Southern Beauty Launches

A new magazine targets Southern women with beauty advice that's appropriate to the region's cultural heritage and climate. Southern Beauty, a bimonthly publication, debuts with a circulation of 100,000 for its January/February issue. It hits the newsstand in select bookstores on Nov. 27. At launch, its advertisers include Dillard's and Christian Dior.

Reminisce Releases 3-DVD Tribute to the 1940s

Reminisce magazine is set to penetrate the booming nostalgia market with a three-DVD tribute to the 1940s, including video clips, photographs, and oral histories from people who lived through the period. Co-produced with the Memory Lane Company, it covers topics like Front Lines, At Ease, Home Front, What We Wore, At Work, At Play, In Love, Driving, Shopping and At Home.

W Launches Its Own Web Site

W magazine is withdrawing its online content from and launching its own Web site. The new site,, is still in "beta," but it should be ready for its official launch by January, according to Conde Nast. The publisher also plans to launch sites for Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Conde Nast Traveler over the next two years.

Reader's Digest Names Peggy Northrop as Editor

The Reader's Digest Association has succeeded in luring Peggy Northrop from Meredith's More to serve as the flagship publication's new editor in chief. Northrop is replacing Jackie Leo. Northrop is considered a chief architect of More's recent success, including its booming circulation and steady growth in ad pages.

Meredith Video Solutions Promotes Kieran Clarke

Meredith Broadcasting Group has promoted Kieran Clarke to the new role of executive vice president and general manager for the division, the company announced this week. While continuing in his role as general manager of several Meredith broadcast affiliates, the elevation also puts Clarke in charge of video production for Meredith's magazine-branded online portals, including and

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