Hour Media Lifts 'Absolute' From Its Luxurious Grave

It's true: Absolute magazine will rise from the dead, courtesy of a Hour Media LLC, a small publishing house in the Detroit suburbs. Hour Media subsidiary New York Home & Lifestyles is the official buyer and might be planning its relaunch for the October/November issue; Absolute 2.0 may also share a staff with New York Home.

Randomly, Hour Media is based in the city of Royal Oak — which happens to be, of all places, where half of us were born and raised. Using our special, native knowledge, we can tell you that Hour Media publishes Hour Detroit, the Motor City's "luxury" lifestyle magazine, and their offices are located right next to a Starbucks. How's that for some original reporting?

UPDATE: They've given in and the press release is out; full details after the jump.

Earlier: 'Absolute' Set for Resurrection?

Hour Media and New York Homes & Lifestyles
Acquire Absolute Magazine

NEW YORK Hour Media, LLC, is pleased to announce the acquisition of certain assets of Absolute magazine by one of its subsidiaries, New York Homes & Lifestyles, LLC.

The new company will conduct business under the name Absolute Publishing. Chief Executive Officer Stefan Wanczyk announced that John Balardo will be president of Absolute Publishing, with Debi Brandt serving as publisher, G. Jason Kontos as editorial director, Peter Webster as executive editor, Howard Klein as art director, and Bobbie Dell'Aquilo as managing editor.

Starting with the October/November 2006 issue, Absolute Publishing will produce this spectacular publication on a bi-monthly basis. Wanczyk says the magazine will be published, mindful of the mission statement: The magazine for the most affluent readers in the world's most affluent city.

Balardo adds, "The magazine is the perfect enhancement to the critically acclaimed launch of New York Home, the bimonthly luxury home d cor and design magazine that Hour Media established in 2005. The magazine will remain focused on the luxury lifestyles of affluent New Yorkers," he says. "Our editors are committed to producing a magazine that will deliver the same high standards and principles that readers have come to rely on."

What you'll find inside the magazine is an authoritative look at fashion, beauty and fitness, fine dining, architecture and design, art and collecting, jewelry and watches, real estate, automobiles, and travel. The magazine will target the unique interests of affluent New Yorkers who shape the city's business, social, cultural, and philanthropic circles.

"The editorial framework of the magazine will continue to focus on luxurious lifestyle choices, with a respect for the supreme standard of living shared by a select group of New Yorkers," says Kontos.

"The oversized format, stylish photography, confident editorial, and impeccable design speak volumes about the magazine audience," Brandt says. "Our readers are savvy consumers with high expectations, and we will offer our advertisers a unique opportunity to reach this elusive, affluent audience."

The Staff:

Editorial Director Jason Kontos has been at the forefront of American design journalism for more than 20 years. From his start at House Beautiful magazine, Kontos has worked in senior-level positions at such notable shelter publications as Traditional Home and Veranda magazines. Kontos has also served as editor in chief of both Colonial Homes and Classic American Homes. A lifelong native of the tri-state area, Kontos maintains residences in Manhattan and in the Hudson Valley.

Debra Brandt arrived at New York Home in 2005 from Western Interiors and Design, where she was publisher. At Meredith Corp., she served as the publisher of Golf for Women and as advertising director of Traditional Home. Brandt has held other high-level positions at Wenner Media, Hearst, and Fairchild Publications. A New York-area native, Debra now resides in Connecticut.

Executive Editor Peter Webster's industry experience constitutes a "Who's Who" of high-end design publications. Webster has held prominent editorial positions at Departures, Elle D cor, Homestyle and House Beautiful, and in addition to writing in-depth and informative feature articles on design, architecture, interiors, travel, and the arts for such publications as Travel & Leisure, Interior Design, and Garden Design.

Art Director Howard Klein's career spans two decades in magazines and book design. As creative director for Clarkson Potter Publishers, Howard was a leader in cutting- edge design for home and interior design books. He combines a vast knowledge of photography, from his days as art director of American Photographer magazine, with his affinity for high-end design. A Manhattan resident for 18 years, he now lives with his family in New Jersey.

Managing Editor Bobbie Dell'Aquilo has worked in a variety of magazine genres — from finance to high-tech to lifestyle books. She has written and edited articles on design, d cor, travel, and antiques for Colonial Homes and Classic American Home, among others. Dell'Aquilo, who lives on Long Island's North Shore, is always on the lookout for superior local talent, the finest new products and stores, and the area's most interesting and unattainable addresses to explore.


Serving the affluent New York tri-state home d cor and design enthusiast, New York Home has rapidly become the area's leading source for information about stylish living.

Hour Media publishes the award-winning Hour Detroit magazine, Detroit Home, New York Home, Metro Detroit Bride, and the new DBusiness magazine. Hour Media also publishes the Metropolitan Detroit Guest and Resource Guide, the Metropolitan Detroit Menu Guide, Very Important Promotion (V.I.P.) and Biz Bucks direct mail, and numerous custom publications.