Jason Binn is one of Miami’s most influential businessmen. After co-founding Ocean Drive Magazine in 1992 with Jerry Powers, he went on to create Niche Media, the lifestyle magazine power house with 12 editions headquartered in New York City. He sold it in 2007 to Las Vegas-based Greenspun Media before joining Gilt Group as the CEO’s Chief Advisor in 2010. Now the intrepid media mogul is hot on a new sort of magazine called Du Jour. Set to launch in September, the digital magazine promises to make Binn a proud papa once again.
So many magazines are launched and fail every year. How do you beat the odds?
I’ve been launching magazines for 20 years and I’ve started about 12 to 15 magazines in my career. I’d like to think that my passion and drive for all kinds of media make it work, but there are a lot of factors. For this project I’ve brought on top talent and really great strategic partners to help make me smarter and more engaged.
Is it strange to leave a company you started?
I sold Niche in 2007 and then I became an employee for five years. When you sell your company… you sell your company. They are great people, they are great friends but Greenspun ran the business [after that]. I really looked up to and admired Kevin Ryan at Gilt and I wanted to go consult for him but Niche Media is my baby, and there’s nothing I want more than see my [baby] go to college one day.
How did joining Gilt come about?
I came on board with Gilt as nothing more than a consultant and I started learning about this new world that Kevin Ryan was creating there. They grew from $15 million to over $600 million in four years. Gilt has a very strong buying audience that obviously enjoys reading content and I wanted to explore the possibilities.
Tell us about Du Jour magazine.
Du Jour means ‘in vogue’ or ‘in the moment’ and this is a monthly digital magazine with a quarterly print edition that will be just that. We’ll be launching in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and seven other top tier luxury markets across the country. There will be gorgeous national content as well as hyper-local coverage of restaurants, nightlife, hotels, culture, art, sports and events. We’re connecting the different key markets because a lot of people in New York want to know what’s going on in Miami and vice-versa. People in Vegas want to know what’s going on in L.A. and so on. With Du Jour, they’ll have access to all of that information.
How do you feel about going head-to-head with Niche Media?
There’s no head-to-head. It’s a quarterly, national magazine with 90 percent digital distribution. We’re not doing any street distribution. Everything will be mailed or on newsstands.
It sounds like you’re breaking ground again.
Data is so much more accessible now than when I started and with Du Jour we can have 3 million Gilt members getting a stand-alone email with a link to the magazine. It’s just really exciting to have this innovative platform that more and more people are looking for.