Washington Dossier magazine has a new owner. It will be announced today that Ron Haan, 38, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Washington, the owner of Telic Corp., a Maryland-based computer software company, has purchased the 11-year-old magazine. He bought it from its founders, the Adler family and the Bonnier Magazine Group, a Swedish publishing family that bought 50 percent of Dossier in 1984. The magazine has a circulation of about 40,000. The sale to Haan for an estimated $5 million ends weeks of speculation on what was happening to the magazine and the internal family fight. One serious possibility was that Clay Felker, founder of New York magazine, was putting together a purchase offer. One insider said Felker was too slow and Haan came in and bought the magazine before he had an opportunity to enter a serious bid.
The sale puts an end to the internal editorial battle pitting President and Editorial Director David Adler and the Bonnier group against his parents, Warren and Sonia Adler. David Adler and the Bonniers, with the help of Executive Editor Bill Thomas, were moving the magazine away from its traditional thin, frothy coverage of the social scene and giving it more of a city magazine look with profiles and sharper humor. Adler ran into problems with his mother, who had been the magazine's editor from the beginning and who preferred noncontroversial, solicitous coverage of the wealthy Washington social set. When the Bonniers bought in, her influence was eliminated, and she even stopped going to the office. Her name was dropped from the masthead in the March issue.
If Felker had been successful in buying the magazine, David Adler would have remained publisher and Thomas reportedly would have remained as executive editor. Under the new ownership, David Adler is out and Sonia Adler is back as editor. Thomas said last night that he had been fired.
In a brief telephone conversation yesterday, Sonia Adler said she had objected to what the magazine had become, and as editor would bring the focus back to "where it belongs" on the "power shapers" of Washington. Both she and her son declined to discuss the family rift. But during the past few months, the tension between mother and son reportedly caused David Adler to gain 38 pounds. The younger Adler, while disappointed, said he made enough from the sale not to have to worry about a job for a long time. The Adlers founded the magazine on a $6,000 investment. Adler said he is considering the possibility of starting up a Washington morning daily tabloid, something a number of people have contemplated since The Washington Star was killed.
For a long time everyone thought that Debra Winger was going to marry Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey, with whom she spent so much time. Now she surprises us all by marrying Oscar winner Timothy Hutton. The ceremony took place over the weekend at the home of friends in Big Sur, Calif. According to a friend, the two have been friends for several years and suddenly decided to get married. The couple returned to Los Angeles yesterday, but not for long. Hutton, 25, leaves later this week to begin filming "Made in Heaven" in Charleston, S.C. Winger, 30, travels to Seattle in a month to begin work on "Black Widow" . . .
That was Jackie Onassis out in Middleburg this weekend. She stayed at the Red Fox Inn and went riding Saturday with Jimmy Fox, master of the Orange County Hunt. Sunday and yesterday, Onassis went in for a bit of fox hunting, that peculiar sport where a mess of hounds and horses chase down one small fox and if they manage to catch him, destroy the furry animal. It was unusual for Onassis to be staying at the inn. When in Middleburg, she usually stays with the Paul Mellons or the Paul Fouts. Both families are presently out of town . . .
Who would ever have dreamed it? Frank Sinatra is on the upcoming cover of The New Republic magazine in an article about the singer's political evolution. The title of the article is "When Old Blue Eyes Was 'Red.' " Won't Old Blue Eyes love that? The editors must have been a bit nervous about that headline, because the cover headline reads, "When Old Blue Eyes was pink." That apparently is supposed to be less offensive . . .
Entertainer Merv Griffin and actress Eva Gabor won't be at tonight's March of Dimes Gourmet Gala in the Sheraton Washington. Griffin called to say he had throat problems. There will be other celebrities there, including Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, Redskin John Riggins, Sens. Alan K. Simpson, Edward Zorinsky, John Warner and Ted Stevens and television producer Nancy Dickerson. The stars are supposed to be preparing their special recipes. Since they are mostly famous for eating other peoples' cooking, it might be wise to look around to see if there are catering trucks outside the hotel tomorrow . . .