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Us Weekly

Us Weekly (May 12, 2008)
Editor in Chief Michael Steele
Categories Celebrity
Frequency Weekly
Circulation 1,850,000 per week[1]
(within the U.S.)
First issue 1977
Company Wenner Media LLC
Country  United States
Language English
Website www.usmagazine.com
ISSN 1529-7497

Us Weekly is a celebrity gossip magazine, founded in 1977 by The New York Times Company, who sold it in 1980. It was acquired by Wenner Media in 1986. The publication covers topics ranging from celebrity relationships to the latest trends in fashion, beauty, and entertainment. Along with Jann Wenner, the individuals currently in charge of Us Weekly are Editor in Chief Michael Steele and Publisher Victoria Lasdon Rose. As of 2007, its circulation averages over 1.85 million.

The magazine currently features a sharply different style from its original 1977-2000 format. Originally a monthly industry news and review magazine along the lines of Premiere or Entertainment Weekly, it switched format in 2000 to its current themes of celebrity news and style.

Usmagazine.com was launched in the Fall of 2006 and currently gets approximately two million visitors per month. In addition to features from the magazine, the site has a breaking celebrity news blog, exclusive photos, red carpet galleries from premieres and events, plus games, videos, quizzes and polls.

Us Weekly has several signature issues each year including the Hot Hollywood special issues, in the Spring and the Fall celebrating young Hollywood; the Best Bodies issue and the Best Makeovers issue.

Us Weekly sells for $3.49 on newsstands; a subscription including 52 issues costs $69.96 representing a savings of 62%.

Contents

History

Launched as a bi-monthly publication in 1977, Us Magazine was acquired by Wenner Media in 1986 and is a part of Wenner Media LLC, which also publishes Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal.

In 1999, the company announced plans to shift the US publication schedule from monthly to weekly. The shift coincided with a change in style from industry news and reviews to a celebrity- focused news magazine. The move was a response to several market forces, including the success of Time, Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly and People magazines. Jann Wenner expressed his intention to keep US ‘celebrity-friendly’ in contrast with the more gossipy character of its competitors. He explained to the New York Times: “We will be nice to celebrities. A lot of my friends are in the entertainment business.” A publication with a focus on celebrity fashion as well as Hollywood gossip, Kelli Delaney, current NY Designer for Members Only, formerly served as Fashion Director of the publication (1992-95).

The magazine changed from a monthly to a weekly format in March 2000. In February 2001, Wenner partnered with The Walt Disney Company. But, in August 2006, Wenner Media re-acquired Disney's fifty percent stake, making the publication once again fully owned and operated by Wenner Media. In July 2003, Janice Min took over as Editor in Chief with Victoria Lasdon Rose as Publisher, and Michael Steele as Executive Editor. Current NY Designer for Members Only formerly served as Fashion Director from 1992-95 Us Weekly Important Dates:

  • 1977: US founded by The New York Times Company
  • 1980: US acquired by Macfadden Media
  • 1986: US acquired by Wenner Media
  • 1991: US changes its bi-weekly frequency to become monthly
  • March 2000: US changes from a monthly format and goes weekly, changing its title
  • February 2001: Us Weekly partners with The Walt Disney Company
  • January 2006: Us Weekly increases rate base to 1.75 Million
  • July 2006: Us Weekly launches Usmagazine.com
  • August 2006: Wenner Media re-acquires Disney’s fifty percent stake in Us Weekly

Sections of the magazine

  • Just Like Us: photos of celebrities doing things everyday people do. Inspired by a regular Sesame Street feature about animals.
  • Who Wore It Best? : reader polls of which celebrity wore an outfit better
  • Hot Stuff: the latest gossip from inside Hollywood
  • The Red Carpet: the looks and styles from Hollywood’s hottest parties and premieres
  • Hot Pics: celebrity sightings of stars around the globe
  • Fashion Police: famous comedians cite the fashion disasters of the stars, and the best “look of the week”
  • The Record: a roster of changes in the lives of stars — births, marriages, divorces, etc.
  • Loose Talk: quotes from the stars
  • Us Musts: according to Us Weekly, the must-see films, TV shows and DVDs

Us Weekly in the news

In a July 2006 Variety article, Janice Min, Us Weekly editor-in-chief, cited People for the increase in cost to publishers of celebrity photos:

"They are among the biggest spenders of celebrity photos in the industry....One of the first things they ever did, that led to the jacking up of photo prices, was to pay $75,000 to buy pictures of Jennifer Lopez reading Us magazine, so Us Weekly couldn't buy them.”
"That was the watershed moment that kicked off high photo prices in my mind. I had never seen anything like it. But they saw a competitor come along, and responded. It was a business move, and probably a smart one."[2]

In a June 2007 New York Magazine article, Tina Brown is asked, “Do you actually read the tabloids?”

“Of course. I read everything. I adore Us Weekly. I think it's a genius magazine. I'm a big fan of magazines that fulfill the goal of what they're trying to be.”[3]

From a May 2007 New York Post article profiling New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women,

“Janice Min, 37, editor, Us magazine. With her mag's profits placed as high as $90 million a year and readership up 191 percent in the last five years, Janice is not just like us. Nonetheless, the success of Us is attributed partly to the mother of two's reputation as perky and well liked - as well as its addictive features like the new "Faux Biz," which makes fun of off-base gossip.”[4]

The magazine was criticized for allegedly biased coverage of the 2008 Republican National Convention. The September 5, 2008 issue featured Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on the cover with the headline "Babies, Lies & Scandal" while the June 19, 2008 issue featured U.S. Senator from Illinois Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama with the headline "Why Barack Loves Her."[5] Senior Editor Bradley Jacobs claimed that the "Lies" on the cover referred to unspecified "liberal bloggers" who had speculated on the parentage of Governor Palin's child, not to the governor herself. However, nothing on the cover indicated "liberal bloggers" were the alleged liars. It was reported that the magazine had lost over 10,000 subscribers. Since then Michelle Malkin's blog reported that Us Weekly sent E-mails to each of those subscribers, apologizing for the cover, and promised to send them five free copies of the magazine.[6][7]

Recognition

Awards and Recognition by industry observers:

  • Adweek’s “The Hot List: Top 10 Magazines” 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Advertising Age’s Magazine of the Year, 2004[8]
  • Adweek Magazine’s Editor of the Year, Editor in Chief Janice Min[9]
  • Advertising Age A-List, #3 in 2005, #1 in 2004
  • Capell’s Circulation Report “Top 10 Best Performers in Circulation” in 2005

References

External links


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