Nerve.com hits paper

Site adds glossy to its virtual media world

NEW YORK — Since Web zine Nerve.com first trumpeted its motto “literate smut” in 1997, co-founders Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field haven’t disguised their ambitions to give Hugh Hefner’s media empire a run for its money.

But times have changed. Nerve.com has become a diversified media company, spinning off Nerve books, Nerve Radio and the first Nerve Film project (David Schisgall’s swingers docu “The Lifestyle”) before launching a print venture. Edited by former New York mag senior editor Susan Dominus, the 120-page glossy, which boasts just 20 ads, hits newsstands today in a modest print run of 50,000 copies.

“I think people are crazy to launch an untested print magazine today,” Griscom told Daily Variety. “It’s much more sensible to start online.”

After several rounds of financing, Nerve is capitalizing the venture with a seven-figure investment — a meager sum for a magazine launch. But Griscom noted that promotion is all being done for free via the Web site, which receives 800,000 unique visitors a month.

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