In 1978, after two attempts at going into the publishing business on his own, the young, London-raised Guccione went to work for Penthouse publisher General Media International, a company owned by his father, Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. By the early 1980s, at which time he was running the marketing and circulation department, he left the company (and purported position as heir apparent) to once again attempt to establish his own brand.
In 1985, with a loan from his father, he launched Spin. In 1987, his father abruptly shut down the magazine after General Media experienced a financial dip which resulted in a long-lasting estrangement between the two. This estrangement ended a few years prior to the elder Guccione’s death on October 20, 2010. The younger Guccione found new investors and relaunched Spin in late 1987. He managed to gather most of the magazine’s old staff, and missed only one month of publication.
In 1996, Guccione and Spin were sued for sexual harassment and discrimination by Staci Bonner, a former fact-checker for the magazine. Guccione was cleared of the harassment charges, but found liable for promoting a hostile work environment and not paying Bonner comparably to a man with a comparable job position.
Guccione sold Spin to Vibe in 1997, and shortly thereafter founded Gear, which published until 2003. In 2005, science magazine Discover was purchased from Disney Publishing and Guccione formed Discover Media, LLC to publish the magazine. In 2007, Guccione was ousted as CEO, in what was described by the New York Post as “a falling-out over philosophical differences with his financial backers about how to run the company.”