CUTTING THE HEMS: American Media Inc. continues to cut back at celebrity weekly Star. Though an AMI spokesman said on March 27 that no more layoffs would be forthcoming after the company cut 12 jobs that week, on Tuesday it bid adieu to a few more staffers — Star’s fashion director, Joni Cohen, and its marketing assistant, Josh Liebman. Fashion publicists were tipped off to the change via an e-mail that said that, as of April 4, “there will no longer be fashion in Star or a Star fashion department.”
Such a statement seems to indicate a move back to Star’s tabloid roots, especially now that new editor in chief Candace Trunzo, formerly editor of sister title The Globe, has taken the helm. But a spokesman for Star said fashion coverage in Star will be “the same or more than before.” To fill the gaps, Star’s beauty director, Tara Kraft, will become the magazine’s fashion director, and Taryn Adler, assistant to AMI editorial director Bonnie Fuller, will become associate beauty director. As for why Cohen and Liebman were let go, a Star spokesman said they were “internal editor decisions” and that both Cohen and Liebman were freelancers. That said, Cohen served two years at Star and previously worked at Vogue and Allure.
Also, as reported by Advertising Age on Thursday, Star cut its rate base by 150,000 copies to 1.35 million, which AMI chief operating officer John Miller attributed to rising postal rates. — Stephanie D. Smith
REVOLVING DOOR: Can one be fired for making too much money for the company? Us Weekly associate publisher Charlie McNiff is leaving the title as of today. A spokesman said his departure comes after management and McNiff “could not come to an agreement on a new contract and decided to part ways.” But sources close to McNiff said Wenner Media founder Jann Wenner was increasingly frustrated at how much McNiff was being paid in commissions as the celebrity weekly’s ad revenue grew. Last year was the title’s biggest ever, clocking in $276 million in ad revenue, according to estimates by Publishers Information Bureau. Sources said McNiff’s new contract would have significantly decreased his amount of compensation. Meanwhile, sources also said contract negotiations for Us Weekly publisher Vicci Lasdon Rose over similar terms to reduce her compensation have been discussed. — S.D.S.
This story first appeared in the April 6, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
YOUR JOB TO PARTY: Sources say Maxim associate publisher Steve DeLuca is joining Condé Nast Traveler as associate publisher, beginning Monday. Once he settles into his new office, one of his first duties will be to mix and mingle in at Traveler’s Hot List Party April 19 at the new Bowery Hotel. The party is one of several events at the just-opened hotel that week, including the Gap and Council of Fashion Designers of America bash on April 17 to launch a new line of pieces designed by Doo.Ri, Rodarte and Thakoon. Grandmaster Flash, fresh off of his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will be the celebrity DJ at the Traveler event. — S.D.S.
A FOLLOWER OF FASHION: As they rush to tap new ways to generate ad revenue, newspapers just can’t stop launching fashion supplements these days. The latest is London’s Sunday Telegraph, which is introducing ST Fashion, a biannual luxury fashion magazine published in association with London contract publisher Show Media. The title will launch in September, and is aimed at women between the ages of 30 and 50, said The Telegraph Media Group. Peter Howarth, managing director of Show Media and a former editor in chief of Arena and British Esquire, will edit the publication, while the fashion director will be Daniella Agnelli, who is also fashion director of the Telegraph Magazine.
“It’s early days, but I want it to be very elegant,” said Howarth. “I’ve been looking at Harper’s Bazaar from the Fifties and Sixties for inspiration. The fact that it comes as part of the Sunday Telegraph package, and is not on the newsstand, frees us editorially to create something sophisticated and intelligent.”
Last year, Howarth launched Style Journal, the men’s luxury magazine from The Wall Street Journal Europe, which also is produced by Show Media. A spokeswoman for the Telegraph group said specific editorial content and advertisers had not yet been confirmed. The company said ST Fashion would complement the Sunday Telegraph’s existing offer of weekly magazines, which include Stella, a fashion title, and Seven, an entertainment and listings magazine. Over the past 18 months, the Telegraph group also has launched the biannual titles Men’s Style and Food & Drink, and the quarterly magazine Ultra Travel. ST Fashion is entering a crowded British market, however: The London Sunday Times has a regular style supplement, while the Financial Times rapidly has developed its How to Spend It fashion supplement into a monthly title. — Lucie Greene