Omni was co-founded in 1978 by Kathy Keeton and her longtime collaborator and future husband Bob Guccione, then publisher of Penthouse. It was published as a print version until 1995, then switched to an online presence for a year before ceasing publication in 1997 following Keeton’s death.
“As Penthouse Global Media enters its second year under new ownership, our driving principle is to put all of the pieces of the brand back together again. As a result of decades of neglect, much of this company’s brilliant legacy was lost … until now,” Penthouse CEO Kelly Holland said in a statement.
“I am proud to announce that one of those casualties, Omni — the magazine of science and science fiction, heralded as one of Guccione’s most iconic brands — is once again a part of the Penthouse family where it belongs,” she said.
“Thanks in large part to Pamela Weintraub, one of Omni’s original editors, who had the foresight to bring the brand back to life by re-registering the trademarks and launching a digital site, she, along with many of the original Omni staff, will deliver the award-winning magazine to newsstands once again.”
Weintraub, who shepherded the magazine’s return in 2016 with two print issues, noted that both Penthouse and Omni were created by Guccione, who died in 2010, and Keeton “as part of their cultural vision for the late 20th century, and since Omni’s founding in 1978, sat side-by-side in the same offices, sharing the same coffee machines and the same editorial support.”
The magazine under Keeton’s guidance was known for Q&As with “thought leaders” like Richard Feynman, Candace Pert and Freeman Dyson, gonzo-style journalism, literary long-form pieces on the sciences, award-winning fiction and futuristic art. Omni published work by George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, William Gibson, Octavia E. Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin and artist H.R. Giger, among others.
The upcoming issue will address “the cultural yearning for science and innovation during a time of political uncertainty,” according to Penthouse.
“As a magazine publisher, I understand the value in acquiring Omni and believe the timing is perfect to go back into print,” Holland said. “In the ’80s, Omni captured the spirit of a culture enthralled with science and its possibilities — one that explored and obsessed over the magic put forth in reality-bending films like `Alien’ and `Terminator’ and `Blade Runner,’ and the technological boon that brought us the space shuttle, flip phones and flourishing test tube babies.
Here we stand in that moment again — in an era of `Alternative Facts’ and climate change deniers, evolution skeptics and flat earthers, where the science of wonder is more relevant and urgent than ever,” Holland said.
“Today scientists and geeks are the rockstars of popular culture. Science fiction continues to be our collective obsession, and, given Moore’s Law, the intersection of fantasy and science is closer than ever.”
— City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!