TheWrap, one of the few Hollywood trades not currently owned by Jay Penske, will publish a new luxury magazine, edited by former W magazine editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi. TheWrapBOOK, a coffee table-style biannual, is set to debut in February 2024 and will be dedicated to “art and cinema,” Tonchi told me. Tonchi will also consult TheWrap’s new online style vertical. Alexandra von Bargen, a longtime ad sales exec with experience across mass, niche and B2B publications, has been recruited as publisher and managing director of fashion and luxury accounts.
Dear reader, you’d be forgiven if TheWrapBOOK strikes you as a slightly unusual business tangent for a Hollywood trade—and if Tonchi, a creature of the last vestiges of Condé Nast town car culture, seems like an unusual practitioner of said trade arts. After all, TheWrap was founded around 14 years ago by Sharon Waxman as a responsible alternative to the late Nikki Finke’s nuts-but-extremely fun Deadline, which in turn had been founded to poke a thousand holes into Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, both sinful dens of favor-trading. Since then, Penske Media Group vacuumed up everything but TheWrap, which Waxman told me is profitable and cash-flow positive, despite this year being tougher than most.
Tonchi and Waxman first met in 2003, when both were in line to get their headshots taken at The New York Times. Back then, she was covering Hollywood, and he was the new style editor of the magazine. Stefano would eventually go on to launch T, a luxury supplement that became a nicely profitable business and a paradigm for many news publishers who saw an economic play in glossy media.