The owners of Washington Dossier yesterday sold a half interest in the magazine to one of the largest publishers in Scandinavia, the Bonnier Magazine Group.
David Adler, the 30-year-old president of Dossier, said the Bonnier group paid a seven-figure amount for an equal partnership, but declined to be more specific. Bonnier group ventures include printing presses, rubber products, furniture, a film company and computer software as well as publishing. At one time several years ago Bonnier had an interest in Esquire.
Adler started Dossier with his family and $6,000 in 1975, the year he graduated from American University. The first issue appeared a month after his graduation. His mother, Sonia Adler, is the editor; his father, novelist Warren Adler, is not involved in the magazine.
"Nothing will really change," David Adler said yesterday. "It's a partnership. They're not putting any people here. We'll be able to take advantage of their worldwide publishing expertise."
Adler said the partners will have to agree on business matters but that the Bonnier group will exercise "absolutely no editorial control."
Adler said he was looking for ways to finance his company's growth. "We want to become a very superb publishing company and get into other products." Dossier, which tracks the Washington social scene, is starting a supplement called Washington Money (it will appear as a supplement to The New York Times on Nov. 4 and then as a supplement to Washington Dossier in February), Adler said. Also under discussion are ideas for a restaurant and gourmet store supplement called Washington Gourmet and an annual biography of senators and their families called Senatorial Dossier.
"The fact that we have a foothold in the community is interesting to them," Adler said of the Bonnier group. "They're not interested in using it as a lobbying tool. We were very careful about that."
Lukas Bonnier, the chairman of the Bonnier Magazine Group, which is headquartered in Stockholm, dined last night with the Adler family. "As a publisher, we've been looking for partnerships all over the world," he said.