NEW YORK — Liquor baron Sidney Frank, who sold the Grey Goose vodka brand to Bacardi for $2.3 billion in 2004, is getting into the media business.
The mogul is planning a celebrity-focused, high-end luxury magazine in the fall that will rank the trappings of the high life — think Robb Report meets Consumer Reports.
“This will cover Learjets, but it will also cover restaurants and golf courses,” said editorial director and Spy Magazine co-founder Steven Schragis.
Frank’s holding company, Gotham-based Frank Media, will seek to acquire other titles with a near-unlimited budget. The company closed on the purchase of 135,000-circulation Travel Savvy on Friday for an undisclosed sum, and will use the magazine as a platform for the fall launch and for other pickups.
Schragis said he’s been given no limit on the size of deals he can pursue, but he plans to look first at small independent magazines, and even newsletters with a loyal following and the potential to get bigger.
“There’s no fixed budget; if there’s an opportunity, I’m interested in pursuing it,” Schragis said. “(Frank) is looking for a substantial and profitable media company.”
The yet-to-be-named luxury lifestyle title will tap the tastes of Hollywood when creating its lists, which will form the editorial backbone of the magazine. “I would love to know about Steven Spielberg’s favorite small Italian hotels,” Schragis said.
But the “best” won’t necessarily be the most expensive. Frank got rich selling Grey Goose, a premium vodka, for $31 a bottle and made Jagermeister a frat house favorite after acquiring the rights to sell it in the U.S. in 1974.
Now Jagermeister is the best-selling imported liqueur in the U.S.