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Us Weekly Readies Its Anti-TMZ Competitor to TMZ

What People always thought it was, TMZ is. Breaking stories the moment they happen. Inundating readers with enough photo and video clips and montages to make Madonna’s concert opener jealous. Bringing the world more Harvey Levin. (Okay, so perhaps People never had that in mind.)

So it makes sense, then, that the tabloid magazines are wising up to this Internet craze and realizing, “Hey, they’re stealing our readers! We should do something about that! Oh, what, there are no glossy pages? Well, maybe next year.”

Star tried going bloggy in print, and you saw the field day of punchlines that incident caused. But now Wenner Media’s Us Weekly is teaming up with Veoh – the video sharing site that isn’t YouTube – to create its own celebrity channel.

That the deal also reunites Us-owner Jann Wenner and former-Us-investor-and-current-Veoh-moneybag Michael Eisner is, unto itself, just thrilling. We’re nearly at Defcon 5 here, people.

Meanwhile, the new video channel launches next month and, according to whatever press release they’re issuing, will of course amount to more than just a random smattering of Splash News paparazzi clips and sixth-graders lip-syncing to “Stars Are Blind.” So in tune with You and Your needs and Your wants and Your desires, Us and Veoh are going to let the average person upload a celebrity-related clip to their channel.

According to Janice Min, the editor in chief of Us Weekly, and its Veoh channel will aim at a specific demographic group, rather than trying to directly challenge powerful online establishments like YouTube and TMZ.

???We???re the only celebrity Web site that really speaks to a very specific audience of women in their 20s and 30s,??? she said. ???As more competitors and the Internet cover celebrity, it???s only furthered the interest in celebrity. The appetite seems boundless.???

Seems boundless?” If ever there were last words we ache to make famous, these are them.

But with all earnestness we can muster: Good luck with your little vlogging experiment!

Because unless Wenner quickly learns how to exploit editor Noelle Hancock like ABC News Now is doing Amanda Congdon, we fear the worst.

Jan 22, 2007 · Link · Repond

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