I was the last art director for the original Regardie's which closed down in December of 1992. It was the premier business magazine of Washington, DC owned by William A. Regardie, and which covered money, power and greed.
When I walked in on the first day of the job as a consulting art director, Bill was in an impromptu meeting with his editors in the art director's office—my office to be. His secretary introduced me to the group as his stock broker. She was joking of course. Most of the previous art directors for Regardie's came to work in black shirt, black jeans and black cowboy boots with silver tips. I was dressed in a gray pinstripe, double-breasted Armani suit with an expensive leather brief case—my other clients in DC expected me to appear in business dress.
Bill's initials were W. A. R. which he proudly wore on the cuffs of his shirt sleeves. He sometimes did go to war as the holes in walls of the art director's office confirmed. With one art director, he took a baseball bat to the wall to show his displeasure, with another it was his fist. Despite some artistic differences, Bill gave a lot of freedom and support to his staff. With me, he was a perfect gentleman. He provided a huge office with a 15-foot long balcony overlooking the Potomac River and the Kennedy Center. It had the best view of Washington except for Bill's office, which was right next door.
It was announced shortly before Christmas 1992 that the magazine would close with the November/December issue. I thought it was still a viable magazine even though it had gone from an average of 350 pages to 100 on a bimonthly schedule. I made a pitch to purchase the magazine. At first, Bill and his publisher, Mike DeSemoine, agreed. However, as we started to work out the details of the acquisition, Bill began to have second thoughts.
Over the weekend I courted him with flowers. On Monday, I sent chocolate candy. Price was never the issue. He couldn't let his namesake be published by another. I didn't feel too bad in the rejection since others, like American Express in the magazine's glory days, had also been rejected for the same reason. I bounced back by buying Annapolitan magazine and renamed it Annapolis Magazine.