HARSH REALITY: It’s not easy to compete in the magazine business these days, and if the gossip surrounding Reality Weekly’s launch is any indication, it gets even tougher in the celebrity weekly category. American Media Inc. has only published a handful of issues so far and official figures won’t be ready for six weeks, but sources claim the first issue sold slightly more than 100,000 copies — even though the title delivered 500,000 magazines to newsstands. Subsequent issues have sold less than the launch issue, as is normal, sources added. A spokeswoman from AMI said the figures are not accurate and are actually higher.
Meanwhile, rival editors are buzzing about what’s happening at OK magazine, a competitor to Reality Weekly that is also owned by AMI. OK has become a particularly easy target these days, due to steady declines at newsstand and ever since WWD reported that the magazine now closes a full four days before any other competitor and six days before it hits newsstands.
This story first appeared in the January 23, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
One industry insider claims the title has averaged less than 200,000 in single-copy sales during the first quarter of 2012. This is due in part to a 160,000 sale for a cover featuring models Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson, talking about “How They Got Their Bodies Back.” If the figure is accurate, it would be the lowest sale in four years for OK. An insider at AMI denied that sales are averaging 200,000 a week, adding that it’s closer to 245,000. This is still far off OK’s heyday of around 500,000 copies a week.