Cover Story: Reanimating Omni Magazine
Frommer says his daughter, a fan of the Storage Wars television program, asked him to take her to a storage locker auction, where he then bought every available locker. The lockers happened to be in Bergen County, NJ, where Guccione grew up and owned a house, and in one of the lockers was a small cache of his archives. "My gut told me that there was a significant and important archive to be located. The locker gave me perspective on a man that was a very meticulous person—that this was the tip of the iceberg and I wanted to find the rest of the stuff."
Frommer traced the rest of the archives to a creditor in Phoenix, bought them out, and had the archives curated over the next six months.
So why did Frommer dive into the world of publishing, no less to reboot a pre-internet sci-fi magazine? "I'm a proud and happy geek. As we speak I'm wearing a Wolverine sweatshirt. I was a Trekkie when I was a kid. I was a huge fan of Omni. I used to get it delivered to the house. I'm pretty sure my bar mitzvah was in 1981 and someone got me a subscription to Omni."
Frommer's experience is actually similar to a lot of other former Omni readers and shows just how much Omni is a product of a bygone era. Much of the internet buzz around the re-launch has a common theme: fond memories of getting a subscription to Omni as a gift or waiting for the next issue to arrive in the mailbox. A time when fantastic and subversive thinking wasn't as widely available as it is today on the internet, gratification wasn't as instant and physicality counted for something.
This sentimentality, like digging through a box in your parent's attic to find a coveted toy, is surely something Frommer knows will add value to Omni Reboot. But for a businessman, the sentimental alone doesn't drive a project. Frommer thinks Omni Reboot will be a culturally relevant and viable publication in the future. One reason, he says, is the editor he hired to helm the project, editor Claire Evans, formerly a writer for Motherboard, part of Vice Media. In Evans he found "someone who could execute and share the same vision I had to make public the archives of Omni and at the same time reboot the vibe and energy that Omni created."
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.