Could US Weekly be on the market?
It certainly seems that way, but the real question may be whether anyone is in the market for a celebrity glossy.
Wenner Media has been actively looking to offload the weekly gossip magazine, according to multiple reports. Wenner Media declined to comment.
There is speculation that American Media Inc. is interested in adding Us Weekly to its stable of gossip titles, which includes the National Enquirer, Radar Online and Star. According to multiple sources, the price is rumored to be in the range of $85 million to $100 million. AMI doesn’t comment on rumors, a spokesman said.
One company that never has expressed interest in the magazine is Vice Media, a fact that was confirmed in an “exclusive” report by the New York Post last month.
Times have been tough for Wenner Media, which includes Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal, as well as Us Weekly. In addition to the industry-wide problems facing print publications, the company has had to contend with the fallout from Rolling Stone’s 2014 “Rape on Campus” story, which ended up costing the company millions of dollars in lawsuits — not to mention the harm to its journalistic reputation.
Last September, Rolling Stone publisher and cofounder Jann Wenner bit the bullet and sold a 49 percent stake in his flagship music and culture title to BandLab Technologies, a Singapore-based social media and retail company. Wenner’s 26-year-old son, Gus, has been taking on more responsibilities for the publication since he began overseeing the web site in 2013, weeks after he graduated from Brown University.
But Wenner Media is hardly alone in experiencing shakeups. As WWD reported in January, consolidations at AMI’s men’s fitness group resulted in the exit of Dave Zinczenko and around 16 layoffs at Men’s Fitness.
AMI chief executive officer David Pecker is a longtime friend of President Trump, and, during the election, the National Enquirer was one of the very few media outlets to endorse the Republican candidate. This week, Us Weekly ran a somewhat controversial cover, featuring the Trump kids posing playfully.