CHANGE OF PLANS: Things have changed at American Media Operations Inc., now that it has finally released its financials for the quarter ended June 30, 2006 and its restated numbers for 2005. First, the publishing company might not be interested in selling Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Country Weekly and Mira! after all because it is not ready to provide financial statements for those titles. The publications collectively represent total revenues of $20.3 million, as of June 30, 2006.
AMI needs to trim all the costs it can — the company reported a net loss of $27.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2006, compared with a net loss of $3.4 million in the same period in 2005. AMI’s revenues (which include circulation and advertising) were approximately $116 million for the quarter, compared with $124 million during the comparable period in 2005.
In its celebrity publications segment, which includes Star magazine, operating revenue was $28.8 million for the quarter, a decrease of $4.9 million, or 14.5 percent from the prior year’s comparable period. Operating income was also down $7.9 million, or 90.7 percent, to $800,000. The dramatic drop was attributed to increased Star subscription costs required to maintain its advertising rate base, as well as increased advertising related costs.
In explaining its restatement information for the quarter ended June 30, 2005, the company said that for the fiscal year ended March 2005, and quarters ended June 30, 2005 and Sept. 30, 2005, past reported information “should no longer be relied upon.” The company added that it has no intention of amending these statements. — Amy Wicks
TIMELY FASHION: So, does a shaggy-haired rocker feel more pressure to dress up after attending the grand Costume Institute Gala? “Absolutely not,” said John Mayer, who performed at Tuesday’s Time 100 dinner at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall the day after the Met gala. Mayer was also named to the power list of entertainers, politicians, thinkers and financiers that make up Time’s annual roster. Mayer had his long locks trimmed at Sally Hershberger’s salon before the Monday night party and donned black Armani suits to both events. But despite the black-tie grooming, Mayer said he prefers a more relaxed look. “All fashion is about being yourself and being in touch with yourself. I’m trying to bring fashion where I am, and that’s usually horizontal, laying down watching TV.” On Tuesday, he stayed true to his laid-back stance and popped open two top buttons on his shirt. The message to fashion observers? “This says, I’ll play your game only so far,” he quipped. Other attendees included Harvey Weinstein and girlfriend and Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, Cate Blanchett (who stayed briefly and left before dinner), America Ferrara, of “Ugly Betty” fame, Rachel Roy, David Lauren and Lauren Bush and Mayer‘s girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, who dashed in right before Mayer took to the stage. — Stephanie D. Smith
This story first appeared in the May 10, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SWEET NOTHINGS: Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll will expand her reach online to DearSugar.com, the advice site under the Sugar Publishing umbrella that includes entertainment sites PopSugar.com and BuzzSugar.com. Carroll will answer one question a week via video, while DearSugar will link back to both AskEJean.com and Elle.com. The energetic columnist, who’s contributed to Elle for 15 years, admitted she is addicted to PopSugar, and her intern reached out to the site to ask if Carroll could contribute. The twentysomething audiences are similar, and, as Carroll noted, “The Internet is where it’s at.”