Maer Roshan

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Maer Roshan
Born United States

Maer Roshan is an American writer, editor and entrepreneur who has launched several magazines and websites, including Radar Magazine and the entertainment website In 1992, Roshan founded and edited the gay weekly QW, which covered gay politics and the AIDS epidemic. More recently Roshan started, a daily website about addiction, recovery and the drug war. His most recent work is a I-pad publication called Punch!

He has also served as the longtime deputy editor of New York, editorial director of Talk and features editor of Interview. He has written for The New York Times, the Miami Herald, New York, The New Republic, The Advocate, Details and Harper’s Bazaar. [1] He has authored a book on the New York club scene and a biography of Courtney Love.

Early life[edit]

Born in Teheran, Iran on August 13, 1967, Roshan moved to New York in 1979, at the age of twelve, shortly after the Islamic Revolution, when his American-run school was bombed. He attended Ohr Torah High School in Forest Hills, Queens and graduated from New York University with degrees in politics and journalism. He began his media career in 1989 as a police and military reporter at the Key West Citizen and later worked as a stringer for The Miami Herald. He launched his first magazine, the gay weekly QW in 1991, during the height of the AIDS crisis, recruiting writers and editors including Andrew Solomon and David Rakoff. The magazine's coverage of politics and culture earned it a general excellence award from the Alternative Press Association.[2] Soon after, Time Inc. hired him to create a national gay glossy, Tribe.[3]


In 1994, Roshan was hired as Deputy Editor of New York. During his seven year tenure he was responsible for some of the most popular issues of the magazine. Roshan was the first reporter to interview Donatella Versace after the 2000 murder of her brother, Gianni Versace, and he also secured the first post-impeachment interview with Monica Lewinsky.[4]

In 2001, Tina Brown hired Roshan as the editorial director for Talk magazine. Roshan was credited by Adweek with "quickly turning around the struggling publication." Six months into his tenure, he redesigned the title, increased ad pages by 20% and nearly doubled the magazine's circulation, while slashing the magazine's budget by 50%.[5] Brown called him "the only real natural male magazine editor of his generation."[6]

But the magazine's upwards trajectory was interrupted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which effected the advertising market. In January 2002 Talk officially suspended publication. Roshan gathered aides from New York and Talk and started Radar in his living room. [7]

Roshan spent six months writing the business plan for the magazine and another eight months shopping it around to prospective investors.[8] Roshan secured two million dollars from prominent investors including Harvey Weinstein and the attorney Benjamin Brafman, enough to publish two issues of the magazine. Started by a young editor during the depths of a recession and run by a skeleton staff, Radar's launch generated widespread media coverage. The New York Times deemed it "the launch of the decade." BlackTable, an online magazine, published a feature that reviewed Radar's dozens of reviewers.

The magazine's two critically acclaimed test issues sold out across most of North America. But after the seed money was gone, Radar disappeared from the newsstands while Roshan searched for more long-term funding.[9] Fourteen months later he raised an estimated ten million dollars from billionaires Mort Zuckerman and Jeffrey Epstein, and secured further backing from Integrity Multimedia, a company funded by billionaire Ron Burkle. Under Roshan's leadership, Radar became one of the first print publications to include online media.[8] Roshan hired a staff devoted exclusively to producing web content. After attracting 1.5 million unique visitors in the month of its debut,, was cited byThe Wall Street Journal as a new model for print magazines struggling to adapt to a new media environment.[10]

In May 2008, Radar was nominated for a General Excellence award by the American Society of Magazine Editors.[11] A few months later, Radaronline was purchased by American Media, the owner of the National Enquirer and Star for an undisclosed sum. The site currently attracts an estimated ten million unique visitors a month.[12]

In April 2011 Roshan started, a daily website about the drug war, addiction, and recovery that was inspired by his own experience with addiction. The site is the most trafficked addiction and recovery portal in the world, featuring columns by Susan Cheever, Duff McDonald and the first-ever independent reviews of treatment centers across the nation.

More recently, according to The New York Observer, Roshan teamed up with Dany Levy (founder of and David Bennahum (founder of to launch Punch! an interactive general interest iPad magazine that debuted in April, 2012. Its technology has since been absorbed by a new company named Kinja, an educational children's site founded by former Nickolodeon CEO Geraldine Laybourn.

Since 2012, Roshan has been living in Los Angeles, California, where he started a new company called Awesome Projects Inc. which consults on editorial and internet matters for a diverse range of high-profile media companies, including Yahoo!, AOL, Paramount and Disney. He recently teamed up with Cary Woods, producer of Scream, Citizen Ruth and Kids, to start a new production company named Cary Woods Productions. Roshan will serve as Head of Development for the company, which will specialize in dramatic network television shows, online series and documentaries. The company's first projectis a documentary directed by Thenmozhi Soundarajamon about the escalating rape epidemic among the untouchable caste of India.


  1. ^ "Talk of the Town". The Advocate (Here Publishing): 49–50. August 28, 2001. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ Carmody, Deirdre (March 2, 1992). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Gay, Lesbian Press Is Starting to Emerge Into the Mainstream". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ Carmody, Deirdre (January 24, 1994). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Time Inc. Considers Starting a Magazine for Gay Readers". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ Grigoriadis, Vanessa. "Monica Takes Manhattan". New York Magazine. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ Kelly, Keith (May 16, 2001). "BIDS FOR POPE’S BOOK". New York Post. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Wadler, Joyce; Rutenberg, Jim (April 17, 2003). "BOLDFACE NAMES". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Kuczynski, Alex; Fabrikant, Geraldine (January 19, 2002). "Lifelines Cut, Talk Magazine Goes Silent". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Peters, Jeremy W (March 27, 2011). "A New Site Intended to Serve People in Recovery". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Maer Roshan". Cityfile. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  10. ^ Seeyle, Katherine (April 11, 2005). "Reviving a Magazine With Ballast of a Web Site First". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ Davis, Noah (March 19, 2008). "Ellies ’08: Radar‘s Maer Roshan — ‘You Just Gotta Keep Showing Up’". FISHBOWLNY. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ Koblin, John (August 25, 2009). "Where in the World Is Maer Roshan?". The New York Observer. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 

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