THE PRICE OF VANITY: Graydon Carter must be truly head-over-heels for his fiancee, Anna Scott. First the Vanity Fair editor in chief, an outspoken right-to-smoke advocate, gave up cigarettes and now he’s putting in extra hours at the gym to get in shape for his mid-May wedding. Carter is a member at Peak Performance, where he works out with “celebrity trainer” Jay Wright, whose other clients include Claire Danes, Elisabeth Rohm and a slew of models. According to the Peak Performance Web site, Wright “empowers his clients by evolving their attitudes and helping them believe in and achieve their real athletic potential.” Carter, via e-mail, said he has a more prosaic goal in mind: shedding the pounds he gained after quitting smoking in January. “Just trying to get my girlish figure back,” he quipped.
— Jeff Bercovici
REVEALING SECRETS: “Secrets of Celebrity Style” by Dale Hrabi and the editors of Us Weekly goes on sale Wednesday and if that title sounds familiar, it’s because In Style put out the similarly named “Secrets of Style” in 2003. While the In Style book focused on clothes, Us Weekly’s guide is more interested in glossy and uncharacteristically flattering paparazzi photos of celebrities — not exactly shots one would expect to see in the magazine’s back page “Fashion Police” feature.
“I think I conceived it more ambitiously than they intended,” said Hrabi of the soft cover book’s upmarket look. “It was really about taking the Us tabloid look and distilling it down to something more elegant…something that you might keep for longer than a week.”
Us Weekly editor in chief Janice Min added, “I think one of the things I’ve discovered in doing this magazine is that our reader is someone who probably never picked up a weekly magazine before in her life. She’s very used to high-end fashion. All she does is shop. Knowing [that], this seems to fit.”
As for the title symmetry with her former employer, In Style, Min said, “I actually wasn’t aware it was that close.” Right.
— Sara James
This story first appeared in the April 26, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
FIT TO BE TIED: Too much testosterone can be tough on working relationships. Just ask the guys at Men’s Fitness. Adam Campbell, the American Media Inc.’s muscle book’s executive editor, is leaving after months of clashes with his boss, editor in chief Neal Boulton. A source close to the magazine said the two got into regular screaming matches. Campbell, who came to Men’s Fitness from Men’s Health, will go back to writing for that magazine and other Rodale titles after May 18, his official departure date.
Boulton insisted the split was amicable. “Adam’s a brother, a partner, and he always will be,” he said. “He and I are like Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] — we’re very intense guys. But we really never fought.” Campbell declined to comment.
Boulton took over Men’s Fitness last November, having formerly served as creative director. Insiders believe he convinced AMI chairman David Pecker to get rid of then-editor in chief Peter Sikowitz and give him the job, despite his relative inexperience in both fitness and editing. He was also put in charge of Sly, a new men’s title published in partnership with Sylvester Stallone. A person who has worked with Boulton said he has spoken of his desire to be seen as “the James Truman of AMI,” referring to Condé Nast’s former editorial director.
Boulton, while declining to cite numbers, claimed the magazine’s sales performance has justified Pecker’s confidence: “It’s selling higher than it’s ever sold in its history.”
Meanwhile, David Zinczenko, editor in chief of Men’s Health, couldn’t resist taking a dig at the competition. “Adam Campbell spent several years at Men’s Health learning how to put together well-researched, smartly written stories on issues men care about,” he said via e-mail. “I can only imagine his level of frustration at his most recent position.”
MONK MONEY: “Mid-six-figure book deal” and “Shaolin monk” aren’t typically phrases one hears in the same sentence. But that’s exactly what Rodale Books has paid for a collaborative project by Sifu (master) Shi Yan Ming and freelance writer-editor Amy Goldwasser.
The book, set to make its debut early next year, is being described as a selection of teachings on kung fu and Ch’an Buddhism from the 34th generation Shaolin, who defected to the U.S. in the Nineties while touring with — no joke — The Fighting Monks. Since then, Ming has founded the U.S.A. Shaolin Temple in New York and become a spiritual and martial arts guru to the likes of Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo and members of the Wu Tang Clan.
It’s a first book for Goldwasser, who helped engineer “The Strategist” section at New York magazine last year and is currently on contract with Absolute. “My kung fu training starts in earnest this week,” Goldwasser said of the research process. “Next time we speak, I might be adept at swordplay.”
Meanwhile, now that he’s dented the Rodale coffers by acquiring the monk book, executive editor Jeremy Katz is leaving to become an agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Meaning now he can secure, rather than spend, those hefty advances.
— S. J.