Now the wealthy Hamptonite publisher Richard Ekstract, who has launched and sold a fistful of magazines in his time, is coming out with a new environmentally-friendly lifestyle magazine, to be called Verdant, with Editor Sharon Hoge at its helm.
"Green is the new black," said Ekstract, who readily acknowledges he didn’t coin the idea but is jumping on board what he sees as a movement that has suddenly gone mainstream.
The premiere issue hits next week, polybagged with regular issues of Ekstract’s other magazine, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.
Environmentalism is no longer the exclusive domain of left-wing tree huggers, he points out. Humorist Chris Buckley, the author of "Thank You for Smoking," and the son of conservative guardian William F. Buckley, has an article in the debut issue called "The Greening of Me." Actress Bette Midler also contributes "The Divine Miss M’s Green Thumb."
"It is not a soapbox, preachy green publication. "There are too many of those already," said Ekstract. "People are asking, ‘What can I do in my life to make my world a little greener. We’re giving them accessible options?’ "
He expects to begin regular publication next March and eventually wants to hit circulation of 100,000. He said he expects to invest about $5 million to build its paid-circulation base.
The 104-page debut issue has about 20 ad pages and will be printed on paper that contains 10-percent recycled stock. Ekstract said he plans to move to 30-percent recycled stock with regular publication.
Ekstract has seen green in the real estate market, as well. In 2004 he sold his intriguing Sagaponak home to Steve Roth for $8.5 million and now resides in a Bridgehampton compound that opened last year as the Hamptons Cottages & Garden "Idea House," which is estimated to be worth at least $10 million. It has a number of green features, including a thermal heat exchange and soon-to-be-added solar panels on the pool house.