SHINING STAR: Star has solidified its decision to lower its rate base to 1.25 million in January, after the company lowered its rate base to 1.35 million from 1.5 million as of July. WWD reported last month that parent company American Media Inc. was considering the move, and AMI confirmed the decision Monday.
The move, according to David Leckey, AMI executive vice president, consumer marketing, and John Miller, AMI chief operating officer, comes as Star continues to clean out less profitable subscriptions from its files. Subscriptions, said Leckey, are settling toward their natural home of around 500,000, while single-copy sales have fallen to 750,000, from 900,000 three years ago. But don’t blame new Star editor in chief Candace Trunzo for the drop in single-copy sales — competition from lower-priced titles In Touch, Life & Style and OK! have eaten into some of Star’s newsstand share. And it’s not the only celebrity title being challenged by cheaper competitors — veteran weeklies People and Us Weekly saw softness in their newsstand figures for the first half of 2007.
Since taking over Star in April from Joe Dolce, Trunzo has posted average single-copy sales of 745,000, according to figures reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Previous figures given to WWD by sources with scan data showed Trunzo’s numbers hovered in the 600,000 range. But according to the numbers reported to ABC, Star’s sales under Trunzo have ranged from 574,886 for one issue in May, three issues in the 600,000 range, eight issues in the 700,000 range and two above 800,000. Comparatively, Star’s average from January to March under former editor Dolce averaged 710,000. In July and August, Star’s weekly single-copy numbers have held steady around 740,000, according to AMI’s estimates. “I think she’s had a positive effect on the magazine,” said Leckey. — Stephanie D. Smith
NO LONGER JUST NEW YORK: A hip, downtown address means a grander name for New York and its parent company. The magazine is moving on Monday from its headquarters at 444 Madison Avenue to 75 Varick Street and at the same time will add “Media” to its corporate moniker. No, it isn’t to differentiate itself from the city or state; instead, the loftier name reflects the reach of the city magazine into spin-offs including New York Weddings, nymag.com and its new fashion semiannual, New York Look. Still no word on whether the huge New York red neon sign above their old digs will be moving downtown as well — although without the “Media,” does it really matter? — S.D.S.
MINUS AND PLUS: This month, just as Men’s Vogue goes to 10 issues a year, it’s lost its third staffer and added one. Associate editor Ashley Muldoon followed creative director Russell Labosky and photo editor Mark Jacobson out the door — like them, without another job lined up. A spokeswoman for the magazine said Muldoon was leaving to be a freelance writer, and that Tasha Green, previously assistant to editor in chief Jay Fielden, has been promoted to associate editor. Her arguably unwieldy portfolio includes “grooming, architecture and design.” Corey Seymour, who spent a decade at Wenner Media — including a stint as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant, and later as senior editor at Men’s Journal — has joined Men’s Vogue to be senior editor. “Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson,” the book on which Seymour shares credit with Jann Wenner, will be released Oct. 31.
As for those other empty spots on the masthead, associate art director Courtney Sava has been promoted to art director, “overseeing all art, photo and design for the magazine.” The spokeswoman declined to say whether the magazine would be making more hires in the department.
However, she denied contentions made by sources close to the magazine that the departures reflect growing staff dissatisfaction because the two-year-old title is strained for resources, both human and financial. — Irin Carmon
DRESSING ROOM: Some fashion designers love rooms other than their own closets. Take Marc Jacobs, who admits in the September Domino how much he delights in his regular room in New York’s Mercer Hotel. The creative director of Louis Vuitton splits his time between New York and his home in Paris. His second-floor abode at the Mercer “has a full kitchen, which I enjoy, because I prefer eating breakfast in my room, and a huge bed that’s extremely comfortable. I love to sleep in that bed.” Jacobs and six other designers took a tour of their favorite spaces for a feature in the magazine — Patrick Robinson, now the executive vice president of design for Gap, exposed his boat room in his house in upstate New York, while jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane was photographed in his living room. Domino hits newsstands Tuesday. — S.D.S.