WHAT THE ELLE?: With news of Owen Wilson’s attempted suicide blaring across gossip columns and Web sites since Monday, one outlet that won’t be running a story of his troubles is Elle. Jezebel.com reported Monday the magazine had recently wrapped an interview with Wilson. But Roberta Myers, Elle’s editor in chief, confirmed to WWD exclusively the Q&A slated for its December Hollywood issue was killed.
“Obviously the circumstances have changed significantly,” said Myers. “When we were to be on the newsstand with the story, it would have been quite dated. Obviously, he’s not going to update it for us. Out of respect for his privacy and anything he is going through, we’re not going to run the piece.” A spokeswoman for Wilson had no comment.
The Wilson article was assigned last month, and as of Tuesday, Elle had a transcript of an interview with the actor in Los Angeles but not a complete story. Myers declined to name the writer assigned to the piece, but said it was not contributor Holly Millea, who penned the September cover story on Lindsay Lohan that broke after Lohan was arrested for drunk driving. Millea added a nutgraph about the DUI charges and Lohan’s return to rehabilitation facility Promises Malibu, keeping the story somewhat relevant even though the issue hit newsstands weeks later.
Elle was bullied in the press for choosing to run the story while Lohan was in lockup, but Myers stood her ground. But she says the Lohan piece and the Wilson one are two separate entities. “Their circumstances are completely different,” the editor said. “[Millea] had spent time with Lindsay before. She’d written the [Elle] cover story about her two years ago.”
Bloggers have called the Elle situation “The Elle Curse,” given the personal emergencies surrounding two of its celebrity subjects, similar to the In Style Weddings curse, where cover subjects like “Melrose Place” actress Courtney Thorne-Smith and Drew Barrymore have gotten divorced before the issues hit newsstands. “There’s no such thing,” retorted Myers. “We’ve had 15 consecutive quarters of newsstand growth. That sounds more like a blessing.” Nevertheless, Myers acknowledged celebrities’ aversion to danger is hardly predictable. “Kelly Clarkson,” who appeared on Elle’s July cover. “Did we know that she was going to get into a fight with Clive Davis?” — Stephanie D. Smith
This story first appeared in the August 29, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
ANOTHER WARNING: American Media Inc. appears to have hit yet another financial pothole. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said its previously issued financial statements in its annual report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006, and quarterly reports, ending June 30, 2006, Sept. 30, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2006, “should no longer be relied upon, because the company omitted footnote disclosure containing condensed consolidating financial information.” AMI said it will include this footnote information in its annual report for the year ended March 31, 2007. For what it’s worth, the publisher said it expects to file this report no later than Friday.
— Amy Wicks
NAME CHANGE: The Wall Street Journal is changing the name of the “Pursuits” section in its Weekend Edition to “Weekend Journal,” the same section title that appears on Fridays. News of the name change was first reported Tuesday on Gawker.com. A source close to the newspaper said the section’s name was changed simply to make it less confusing with “Personal Journal” and the “Weekend Edition.” Moreover, some at the paper thought that “Personal Journal,” which runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, was too similar in name to “Pursuits.” However, a Journal staffer said the paper’s upcoming glossy magazine, which will launch next year, will take on the Pursuits title. A spokeswoman at the Journal declined to comment. Another source confirmed the Weekend Journal will have the same content and same editors — at least for now. — A.W.
IN THE BAG: Accessories editors can breathe a sigh of relief — their jobs may just get a bit easier following the launch of Lüprocks, a new Web venture that connects jewelry and accessories designers to the media and stylists. The Lüprocks.com site, a virtual showroom, had a soft launch earlier this month. The Web site is a subscription service in which designers are permitted to show several styles from their collections as well as a company biography. There is no charge for the media, such as market editors, who are meant to browse through in order to find product to suit their trend stories. One special feature is the firm’s “Desperately Seeking” classified ads section in which an editor or stylist can post a specific accessory or jewel they are looking for. Jewelry industry veteran Michelle Orman and Jessica Cohen, an Emmy award-winning set decorator, founded the site. “We’re not saying that you don’t need to go to a trade show,” said Cohen. “We want to make it easy for editors.” One can search specifics such as frame bags, horn sunglasses and lockets. Designers include Carolina Bucci, Alex Woo and Amgad. — Sophia Chabbott