DOWN TO THE WIRE: Jann Wenner certainly likes to cut things close — today is the last working day of Us Weekly editor in chief Janice Min’s contract. As of Thursday night, Min and Wenner Media had not yet reached an agreement, although negotiations continue. Sources close to both Min and Wenner believe the editor will renew her deal with the company. Besides reports in the New York Post quoting Min saying it is “highly unlikely” she would walk away, the editor has been an active participant in the magazine (for example, actively declaring a ban on covering Paris Hilton‘s release from jail in this week’s issue). Her last contract earned her a $1.2 million-a-year salary for two years, but the Post said a new offer worth more than the previous payout is on the table (comparatively, Bonnie Fuller, Min’s predecessor at Us, earns $1.5 million as American Media Inc.’s editorial director). Meanwhile, Wenner was in the office this week as he prepped for his eldest son’s wedding. — Stephanie D. Smith
3-D DETAILS: Steven Klein will be shooting all of Details’ upcoming covers, though don’t expect a major shake-up of the current visual formula. “Given the competitive landscape of magazines, they need to be commercial in order to sell,” said Details editor in chief Dan Peres. “Steven brings real three-dimensional quality to a cover shot and makes it beautiful, but the real aesthetic will come with the images inside the magazine. I wouldn’t imagine you’re going to see a thematic change in what our covers are like.”
WWD reported in February that the magazine ended its relationship with longtime photographer Tom Munro.
This marks a return for Klein, who shot for Details in the early days of its relaunch. “I didn’t understand how to run a magazine at the time, and creatively there were other people involved,” said Peres on why that relationship ended. “It took a while for me to understand what I wanted to do creatively and have control to do that.” He said the move would not mark a return to the more pointed gay themes of that era. “I think there is an erotic — not a homoerotic — nature to Steven’s photographs, whether he’s shooting women or men,” he said. “I agree [with some critics], I think some of those early images probably went a little too far. Over the course of this past year, we’ve had the chance to talk about this, and we’re on the same page.”
This story first appeared in the June 29, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Klein has shot the next three covers, including August’s Daniel Radcliffe one, and is committed to photograph the covers for “the balance of the year,” said Peres. While the editor declined to comment specifically on the cover budget, he did say, “This is not a money job, and if he were looking for a money job, obviously he wouldn’t be shooting for Details. I think he’s doing it out of commitment to what he believes he can add to what we do, certainly not for the paycheck.”
Details, which like WWD is published by Condé Nast Publications Inc., has an overall rate base of 425,000 and sold an average of 76,117 copies on the newsstand in the last six months of 2006, flat with the preceding year. — Irin Carmon
ROCK STAR: Loud applause and shouts of “I love you!” were lavished upon André Leon Talley as he stood in front of the graduating class of the High School of Fashion Industries in New York Thursday morning. Talley had clearly achieved star status among the students and many of them may have given away the reason why: They whispered to each other during his speech that they hoped to one day get a job at Vogue. He told the teens that frustration, paying attention to detail, perseverance and “never being afraid to fail,” are a few of the keys to success. He also recounted stories of his own start in New York in 1975, when he worked for Andy Warhol. Talley warned the students to stay humble and gave examples of the menial tasks he performed for Warhol, such as fetching his lunch and licking stamps. “Have respect for the universe you are about to walk in,” he said. And while students hung on every word of Tally’s speech, it was the school’s principal, Hilda Nieto, who could lead his fan club. “Last night I stayed up and read his entire memoir — again,” she admitted. — Amy Wicks
KARL SHOOTS FERGIE: In an unlikely pairing, singer Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie, has teamed up with Karl Lagerfeld for an upcoming feature in V magazine. On Wednesday, Lagerfeld shot the songstress in Paris for an eight- to 10-page feature in the fall issue. A spokeswoman added it’s too soon to tell whether Fergie will make the cover. Fergie’s camp at Wilhelmina Artist Management put the shoot together. — A.W.
OPRAH, THE STORE: Although it’s hard to believe, Oprah Winfrey has managed to find yet another opportunity for brand extension. Plans are under way for an Oprah store, to be located kitty-corner from her Harpo Studios in Chicago. No, the 4,500-square-foot space won’t be Winfrey’s break into fashion retailing, despite her current love of the designer world. Instead, the shop will sell merchandise now available at the Oprah Boutique on oprah.com, such as a beach tote or “bistro mug.” A spokeswoman would only confirm plans are under way for the store. The store’s name and opening date have not been determined. — A.W.