We’re wondering what Jann Wenner’s reaction was when he found out last week’s Us Weekly – the Jason Priestley cover – moved only 700,000 copies, or fewer than Star, Life & Style, and even OK!. Says one industry source: “This is the first time this has ever happened.”
The breakdown from last week’s issues:
People, ~1.5 million (Lindsay)
In Touch, ~1.45 million (Brad & Angelina split)
Life & Style, ~850k (Angelina & Brad)
OK!, ~800k (Britney meltdown)
Star, ~710k (Nicole & Joel)
Us Weekly, ~700k (Jason Priestley, sexy dads)
At this point, someone might want to sign whatever contract is lying around.
Update: Perhaps Janice isn’t to blame for the Jason Priestley cover. An industry veteran tells us Jann Wenner is BFFs with Jason (which explains how Us landed his first post-race-car-crash interview), and last week’s issue with Priestley on the cover is likely a “Wenner Special.”
“Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop Mondays through Thursdays on MSNBC.com” appears at the bottom of the gossip column that’s always been a reliable source for knowing what’s in the pages of In Touch. But no longer. As we first told you about, Jeannette is leaving her gig to focus on writing books, and today she ran her last column. We’ll miss you, Jeannette. But your first book was so damn good, we’d probably rather you spit out another than hear one more thing about Heidi Montag.
Yale grad, former Rush & Molly junior gossip, heartthrob and current New York Daily News all-arounder Chris Rovzar is, at last, decamping the staid world of print journalism for … online gossiping! We hear Chris is leaving to head up New York magazine’s online Intelligencer column. His last day at the News will be Aug. 1, with his rumored-to-be-16-posts-per-day (though not definite) gig beginning Aug. 6, where the column will focus heavily on “personalities.”
We called Chris for more details, but alas, there was a TV crew that needed him to run his mouth about the Emmys.
It’s worth noting, of course, how the paths of Chris and former R&M stringer Jo Piazza have diverged so greatly. (Also worth mentioning: Jossip ed Debbie Newman used to intern at R&M.)
Because Forbes shines when it’s making lists: People’s $4.1 million payment for Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt’s baby pics tops the bunch, surprise, surprise. Take that, Evan Longoria wedding shots. (Bonus: Ken Sunshine quoted!)
Remember Claudia Cohen? Most everyone hated her when she wore her reporting cap. But then she dies, and everyone suddenly remembers all the fond things about her.
Now, with Nigel Dempster dead (from progressive supranuclear palsy), the Brits have their own version, hooray!
That’s what we’re hearing. Though Jeannette Walls did file a column for today – about Michael Moore and PETA – we’re told by a gossip industry source that The Glass Castle author resigned her MSNBC “The Scoop” gig. As the kids say: developing.
A loose-lipped staffer at the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department is said to be shopping around tales of Paris Hilton’s behind bars experience to the highest bidder. We hear the staffer is looking for a quick $20,000 payday, but the details of Paris’ stay are, well, uninteresting. They include things like “Paris complained about the sheets so much they went out and got her Martha Stewart linens for her bed.”
So who’s buying? One tabloid industry insider says Us Weekly wrote a cheque for the story, but an insider at the magazine assures us that not only is the celeb weekly (which is closing tonight for Wednesday’s issue) not running the story, they were never offered it to begin with.
In the meantime, we’re willing to shell out $14.99. That’s about what those linens are retailing for, right?
How does a hard-hitting newspaper like the New York Times get its feet wet in celebrity spectacles when it’s supposed to remain a high-brow publication (post-Britney Spears’ front page story)? By talking about the impact of celebrities and the tabloids that cover them, of course.
We were, quite honestly, willing to let Janice Min’s fourth straight week of fingering the competition’s errors get a pass this week.
After all, if the Us Weekly EIC (fueled by the rage of Jann Wenner) is intent on making the other tabs look bad while ignoring her own mistakes week after week, who are we to stop the self-humiliation?
It was all fun and games in the beginning. Nobody was getting hurt, except maybe the Bauer tabs.
But in the issue that’s been sitting on newsstands for the better part of a week, Janice insisted on not just slamming her rivals at In Touch and Life & Style (and obvious punching bag OK!), but Star as well. (It’s worth noting, however, that the Star cover she chose was last week’s — helmed by new EIC Candace Trunzo, and not her former mentor Bonnie Fuller.)
It’s time to play our new favorite weekly game called “Who Is Us Weekly Picking on Now?” Sure, we may have already ruined the surprise yesterday – when we learned Janice Min was using her third straight week of calling bullshit on other tabloids to once again go after Bauer – but who says there’s no fun in going in depth on two pages of bitchslaps?
Again this week, Us’s ire is directed at In Touch and Life & Style, calling them out on all their baby news mistakes. Like when In Touch’s June 26, 2006, cover declared “Jen Looks Pregnant,” or when Life & Style’s Jan. 1, 2006, cover claimed Angelina and Brad were working on baby number two.
Us is, of course, in the business of refuting pregnancy rumors. Like they did with Christina Aguilera. Or with Reese Witherspoon. Or with Britney Spears. It’s just too bad those “ANGELINA NOT PREGNANT!!%@#^@#!” covers don’t sell as well.
While yesterday’s instance of People.com crediting In Touch for breaking the “Denise Richards and Richie Sambora break up” story may have been one for the history textbooks, it was also an instance of life repeating itself in the tabloid world: In Touch already broke that story — a year ago, in the May 22, 2006 issue.
Meanwhile, it’s worth taking a peek at the bottom of the cover: “Britney Reveals: It’s a girl!” We all know how well that turned out.
Who would’ve imagined Us Weekly would’ve had the balls to show its face – wearing somebody else’s story – on the newsstand today after last week’s blunder in calling out the mistakes of other tabloids while refusing to face its own. But balls they do have! Just flip to p.52 of this week’s issue and you’ll see Janice Min’s low hangers: Another two-pager from Mark Cina on the competition.
This week, he’s focusing exclusively on Bauer’s Life & Style and In Touch, going all the way back to 2005 to call bullshit on some Brad and Angelina cover stories.
But really, should a celeb rag that claimed, with absolute certainly, that Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was at the hotel in Vietnam with papa Brad during the Pax adoption – when she was actually at home in Los Angeles – be pointing fingers?
Seen this week’s Life & Style? The Bauer tabloid’s cover should clue you in on a big somethin’ somethin’: They’ve got major apologizing to do — to Skechers, their high-rollin’ advertiser who scored a plug (”This minute’s hottest sneakers) on the cover as part of a make good. (Click the image for a larger version.)
Why the obvious ethical lapse? Because Bauer is on the verge of losing the account.
Sure, you see Skechers ads in nearly every tabloid (and the walls of subway stations), but their relationship with L&S took a turn for the nearly-ruined when it ran a spread on Ashlee Simpson – otherwise known as The Face of Skechers – in their April 30 issue about the pop tart’s “new look,” with a caption that read: “Ashlee Simpson went back to basics in a comfy pair of black-and-white Vans.” (Click past the jump to see the scan.)
As you might imagine, the shoe company’s account execs weren’t pleased to see: 1) The face of their line wearing another company’s shoes; and 2) The magazine they spend so much cash with touting it.
The only recourse? Answer Skechers’s demands to be made happy again with a carte blanche effort. The mag also popped the regular Skechers ad in a premium fifth page spot. As for between-the-covers editorial plugs, check page 20 (and notice no mention of Vans).
Us Weekly just doesn’t learn. After last week’s very public blow up – printing the mistakes of other tabloids, while refuting its own errors and blatant fictionalized facts – now they’re trying to book execs to explain their side of things. Phones have rang at MSNBC and CNN in the hopes of booking Wenner Media’s talking heads to show how Us Weekly gets it right while the competition gets it wrong.
It’s times like this that we miss Katrina Szish most.