The newly formed e5 publishing conglomerate — which recently acquired trade titles including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, AdWeek, Backstage, and MediaWeek — is hoping to rope in another asset. They’re wooing Richard “Mad Dog” Beckman, CEO of Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group, to come and lead their team. Beckman was just promoted last year by Si Newhouse to run Fairchild, which includes Women’s Wear Daily, and has worked at Condé for over twenty years. He’s so valued by Newhouse that the aging chairman has overlooked some of his, er, faults.
Recall this incident, as recounted last summer in Steve Fishman’s New York profile of Newhouse:
One tipsy evening in 1999, Beckman, then publisher of Vogue, smashed the heads of two young female Vogue staffers together, suggesting he wanted them to kiss. One of the girls, says a friend, “looked like she’d been in a car wreck.” At another company, the incident would surely have ended Beckman’s career. Newhouse, though, loved the kingdom’s rambunctious egos, especially if they produced, and Mad Dog, as Beckman was known, performed well. Newhouse stood behind him, paying a reported seven-figure settlement to the girl, and eventually promoted Beckman to head of corporate sales.
An announcement about e5’s new CEO is expected soon, according to Keith Kelly. Those Backstage people aren’t even going to know what hit them. Update: It’s already a done deal. WWD reports Beckman’s already announced his departure.