CHECKING THE FACTS: It’s debatable whether Us Weekly has the right to claim a higher rate of accuracy than its celebrity weekly competitors, but no one seems to have a leg up on the other in terms of the number of fact-checkers. An informal WWD survey of the titles found Us Weekly uses seven fact-checkers, a combination of full-time employees and freelancers, while Life & Style has three full-time fact-checkers and four freelancers. In Touch employs three full-time fact-checkers plus three freelancers during issue closes.
More eyes checking facts may lead to cleaner copy, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to bigger newsstand sales. Us Weekly’s column Faux Biz this week calls out several “fabricated” stories of In Touch and Life & Style. After examining the exact issues of In Touch and Life & Style that Us Weekly writes about, a quick look at newsstand sales from 2005 and 2006 revealed that five of the seven In Touch editions included outsold Us Weekly on newsstands. For example, the Jan. 2, 2006, issue of In Touch, with a cover story on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s “wedding,” sold 1.4 million copies, while Us Weekly’s issue that week sold just over a million. (The other two issues are from the first half of 2007; official figures have not yet been released.) Nevertheless, Us Weekly did consistently outsell Life & Style for the five issues of that magazine covered in the piece. The Bauer title was launched in November 2004. — Stephanie D. Smith
MEMORIAL SERVICE: A memorial for Kathleen Madden, a longtime editor at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, among other places, will be held at The Garrison in New York, on June 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. Madden, who died in February, spent 17 years at Vogue and was considered a mentor by many now-senior editors. “Kathy was our writing mentor,” said former Marie Claire editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour, who worked with Madden at Vogue in the Eighties. “She taught us rhythm, cadence and how to appear jaded in print — even though, of course, we weren’t.” — Irin Carmon