When Women's Wear Daily broke the news Friday that Maer Roshan's Radar was perhaps set to be resurrected once again, the paper cited Maer's new patron as California supermarket magnate and Democratic moneybags Ron Burkle. But there was a potential partner in that investment, WWD wrote: "none other than the family of Jesse Jackson." One of our spies even reported that Maer and Jackson's kid were taking some meetings around town about the rerelaunch. Which raised the question: Why was the civil-rights leader's family suddenly so interested in the twice-failed magazine?
Then a reader pointed us to an old Chicago Tribune article that perhaps explains:
In 1995, Rev. Jesse Jackson asked his friend Ron Burkle to "look out" for Jackson's grown children if the billionaire supermarket tycoon saw a financial opportunity for them, Burkle recently recalled....
By 1998, with Burkle's encouragement, Busch handpicked Yusef Jackson, then 28, to be the majority owner of a lucrative Budweiser distributorship on Chicago's North and Northwest Sides, making him one of the youngest such owners in the country.
And, while we assume Jackson's request was for good financial opportunities, which makes Radar not the most obvious investment, this also helps make sense of a FishbowlNY Michael's lunch sighting from Feb. 15:
22: Maer Roshan with pals Remy Stern and Youssef.
If we assume FB's lunching "Youssef" is in fact Yusef Jackson, and if we assume Yusef Jackson is the Jackson kid investing money with Burkle in Radar, it seems they've been talking for an awfully long time for there to still be "no there is no official plan to restart" the magazine, as Maer told Women's Wear last week.
Then again, if there were "no official plan to restart," we'd also imagine Maer wouldn't yet be making new job offers. But he is.