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KATE VERSUS CHACE: Editors at the celebrity weeklies were abuzz about who has more newsstand sales power — mother of eight Kate Gosselin or “Gossip Girl” heartthrob Chace Crawford. According to sources familiar with the deal, In Touch spent around $75,000 to purchase exclusive photos of Gosselin spanking her kids in public for its cover last week, and the purchase seemed to have paid off. The title’s single-copy sales hit 1 million, according to sources familiar with scan data. The issue was one of In Touch’s strongest sellers of the half, during which sales for the magazine have averaged 800,000 single copies a week. The Gosselin charm comes as little surprise — Monday’s episode on TLC, on which the couple revealed their not-surprising divorce, attracted more than 10 million viewers.
Naming Crawford to the title of People’s Hottest Bachelor, on the other hand, hasn’t been quite the same winner. Sources estimate the double issue so far registered sales of 1.1 million copies. Editors at competing celebrity magazines questioned whether the 23-year-old television star was recognizable enough for People’s audience, or if they should have gone with a bigger name. Past “Bachelors” include Matthew McConaughey in 2007 and “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks in 2006. Both issues sold 1.6 million copies each. (Last year, People bumped its Hottest Bachelor cover for coverage of Tim Russert’s death). Some looked to 34-year-old Bradley Cooper, star of the hit comedy “The Hangover,” as a better choice. “Here’s a guy who’s in the biggest comedy of the summer, he’s 34, single and is dating Jennifer Aniston,” said one celebrity weekly insider, citing a report on People’s own Web site. “That’s someone you want to know more about.” Cooper was named as one of People’s Hottest Bachelors and is included in the issue.
This story first appeared in the June 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A People spokeswoman said it was too soon to discuss estimates and that the issue is on sale for another 10 days, through July 3. “We have every expectation that it will be an above-average seller,” she said.
The rest of the weeklies are reporting mixed results. Us Weekly had below-average sales with its cover on “The Hills” cast member Stephanie Pratt talking about her struggle with bulimia. The issue sold around 750,000, according to early estimates, well below the 900,000 to 1.1 million copies it has sold with covers covering the “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” drama. Life & Style sold 500,000 copies with its cover confirming that “Twilight” stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are dating, which is on par for its first-half average. Star sold around 550,000 copies last week and OK magazine sold about 380,000 copies. — S.D.S.
BULKING UP: Richard Beckman, president and chief executive officer of Fairchild Fashion Group, which includes WWD, has recruited two former colleagues from Condé Nast to join his executive team. Lisa Ryan Howard has been named senior vice president, chief revenue officer for the division, while Marc Berger has been appointed as publisher of Footwear News. Howard worked for Beckman when he was president of Condé Nast Media Group, holding positions of executive director of corporate sales and later vice president, interactive. In between, Howard was vice president and publisher of Style.com and Men.Style.com. She assumes her new position July 13. Berger was publisher of Men’s Vogue until it folded in November, and has been an associate publisher at Details and Cargo, and advertising director at Vanity Fair and GQ. Berger’s hire is effective immediately. “I’ve worked with both of these individuals before and we have a very ambitious agenda,” said Beckman, who joined Fairchild in March. “These two executives represent the vanguard of a new era at Fairchild. Lisa’s multiplatform experience will help us realize that agenda. And Marc is a veteran of Condé Nast — we’re happy to have him back in the organization.” Condé Nast is the parent company of Fairchild Fashion Group. — Stephanie D. Smith
MOVING ON: Tina Brown and Gabe Doppelt are reuniting for the third time, as Doppelt leaves as W’s West Coast bureau chief to join The Daily Beast, founded by Brown at InterActiveCorp. Doppelt, a former editor in chief of Mademoiselle and VH1 producer, began her career as Brown’s assistant at Tatler and was an editor at large at Brown’s short-lived Talk. (She’s also godmother to Brown’s daughter.) “I don’t think Tina’s ever thought I was off the payroll,” said Doppelt. “It came as a surprise to her that I wasn’t still working for her.”
Doppelt will be hiring reporters for the new bureau and will be working out of IAC’s Los Angeles building.
W chairman and editorial director Patrick McCarthy (who also oversees sister title WWD) said in an e-mail to staff that “Gabe, who has been with W for eight years, has done an incredible job and we will miss her tremendously. A successor will be announced in due course.” — Irin Carmon
THE BILL AND JILL SHOW: The New York Times’ top honchos, Bill Keller and Jill Abramson, were on the hot seat Monday night in a Times Talk seminar on reporting the news. Moderated by Richard L. Berke, the paper’s assistant managing editor, this was the first time a Times Talk conversation had turned the spotlight on two of its own top editors. “And it could be the last,” said Abramson, the Times’ managing editor, after they were introduced. Abramson and Keller, executive editor, tackled such topics as the synergistic relationship between the Times’ Web site and newspaper; their complementary management styles (she’s the worrier; he sees the bright side); their decision to keep under wraps Times reporter David Rohde’s kidnapping near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; which newspapers they read first (The Times, to make sure it came out right); the future of newspaper journalism, and how they’ve dealt with competitors and missing a scoop.
Recalling his days as a Times correspondent in Moscow, Keller said: “There was this guy, Remnick,” referring to David Remnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post and now editor of the New Yorker. “He was more prolific than I was, or have ever been. He was scary as hell as a competitor. We’re friends now, but we were friendly competitors then. We were obsessed about the Washington Post. He was the enfant terrible. If Remnick had a story, it made me crazy. I still hate it when we get scooped, but not as much as Jill.” — Lisa Lockwood