WHAT’S THE DELAY?: When will Janice Min sign a new deal with Wenner Media? It’s been a month since the Us Weekly editor in chief’s contract expired, but for those familiar with Jann Wenner‘s negotiating tactics, the delay isn’t that surprising. Two years ago, Min let her contract expire, holding out for better perks for her staff, but she signed a deal worth $1.2 million annually a few weeks later. In 2003, Min’s predecessor, Bonnie Fuller, also worked without a contract — reportedly never signing the three-year contract offered to her and subsequently leaving to join American Media Inc. as editorial director.
So what’s the holdup this time? Sources close to Wenner speculate the editor could be holding out for more money. Some have said Wenner has offered her a deal worth as much as $2.5 million a year. Other observers speculate Min might be mulling offers worth even more from competitors in the celebrity weekly category or from major Internet companies eager to build up their media content. Min, meanwhile, has indicated she would like to stay at Us Weekly — if the right deal can be reached, that is. Calls to Min were not returned by press time. — Stephanie D. Smith
LOST IN THE CITY: Pity recently departed intern Katie Baker. Writing in [n]tern, the oddly named annual magazine produced by Condé Nast interns, she recalls being dispatched her first week to Long Island City to run an errand with her editor’s corporate card. As fate (and chick lit) would have it, she went wildly off course and landed in both the Bronx and Harlem, where her wallet was stolen, editor’s credit card included. There’s more: In a twist omitted from the article, the magazine of Baker’s employ, Jane, closed down from under her, sending her to Portfolio.
This year’s [n]tern, spearheaded by the human resources department at Condé Nast — also WWD’s corporate parent — is more properly a magazine than before, with diet, exercise and decorating tips; a feature on the challenges facing print media, and an interview with Gourmet editor in chief Ruth Reichl. It claims contributions from a third of this year’s summer interns, most of whose paradigms of New York City and magazines seem to have been set by “Sex and the City” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” earnestly recast in a cleaned-up Times Square — uptown pickpockets notwithstanding. There’s a poll about where interns live showing “NYU/Union Square” slightly edging out number-two favorite Connecticut. That state’s list of “places that stole our hearts (and our paychecks)” is dominated by Greenwich, where “from Rugby to Saks, you’ll swear you’re in SoHo.” A fashion spread reminds interns that even upon return, “we can certainly bring the great style of the city — and Condé Nast — back home with us.” Until next year. — Irin Carmon
This story first appeared in the August 1, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
STYLISH MAN: Best Life has hired Eric Villency as its style and design contributor to round out the Rodale title’s expertise on home decor and style. Villency, a former model, is president of the Maurice Villency furniture line, which was founded by Eric’s grandfather (the younger Villency also walked around town with socialite Olivia Chantecaille and is now married to Kimberly Guilfoyle, ex-wife of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom). Villency will pen a column, answer reader questions and make television appearances on behalf of the magazine.
Speaking of Best Life, in a chart published in WWD July 20 detailing September ad pages for the major fashion magazines, a footnote stated the title published six issues last year and will publish 10 this year. Best Life, in fact, published 10 issues in 2006 and will total the same number this year. — S.D.S.
BARRY BONDS WHO?: Sports history has been made — in media softball. BusinessWeek has broken High Times’ previous record of a 29-game winning streak. Its 30th winning game Monday night was won, aptly, against High Times, 8-3. Coincidentally, BusinessWeek’s last losing game, in April 2006, was also against the High Times Bonghitters. “Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script,” said BusinessWeek coach Tom Lowry, whose team celebrated over beers. — I.C.