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Guccione to Buy Saturday Review

October 24, 1987|THOMAS B. ROSENSTIEL

Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione announced Friday that he will buy Saturday Review, the once-esteemed former literary magazine that has been on the brink of extinction in recent years.

Guccione, who is best known for publishing magazines whose appeal have largely to do with sex, did not disclose financial details.

When Saturday Review's owners, Manhattan Media Corp., put the magazine up for sale a year ago, however, potential buyers had balked at the $3.5-million asking price. Guccione confirmed in an interview at the time that he had been contacted but was not interested at that price.

Since then, publication of Saturday Review was interrupted.

The once-proud journal, started in 1924 by Henry Luce and Christopher Morley, has been on top of the endangered species list of magazines for most of this decade. Since 1982, it has had three owners and has suspended publication three times.

The investment banking firm attempting to sell the magazine for Manhattan Media said that its current owners, who took over in 1984, lacked capital, and attempts to lure new readers with cover photos of young women and celebrity profiles inside proved unsuccessful.

Both Guccione and Saturday Review Publisher Paul Dietrich, president of a conservative Washington think tank called National Center for Legislative Research, were unavailable Friday.

Guccione, who also publishes Omni science magazine, Four Wheeler magazine and Nuclear Biological & Chemical Defense and Technology International, did not disclose his plans for Saturday Review.

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