A-OK?: The celebrity weekly category is buzzing about OK’s new printing schedule, which will produce the magazine almost one full week before it sees the light of day on newsstands. Moving forward, issues will close on Thursdays and hit newsstands the following Wednesday. This bucks the industry trend for weeklies such as People, Us Weekly, Life & Style and In Touch, which send their issues to the printer four or five days later and have the weekend to gather news.
These titles wait until the last possible minute to close, to stay on top of any breaking celebrity news. For OK, a spokeswoman said the magazine’s focus has never been on breaking news. “We take the biggest stories of the week and explore them further,” she said. Even so, many issues claim to have exclusive stories and never-before-seen images. With the new schedule, it seems OK is leaving the major celebrity weddings, award ceremonies and movie premieres that take place over a given weekend to its competitors.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It’s also unclear, long-term, how advertisers will respond. Year-to-date, ad pages are flat, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
The new printing schedule will result in a substantial savings to OK’s new parent, American Media Inc. OK was losing around $300,000 a week when it was owned by Richard Desmond. Now, insiders at AMI claim it’s making around $100,000 a week. Additional cost-cutting moves include implementing a four-day work week for a majority of OK’s staff. Many of these editors are now coming in on Fridays to work double-duty on AMI’s new title, Reality Weekly, which debuts Jan. 2. “AMI implemented changes to make OK the popular, profitable celebrity weekly it is today,” said the spokeswoman. “We are completely behind the success of OK.”