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NO DELAY AFTER ALL: The brouhaha over People’s iPad app had some at least wondering about the real story behind its delayed release. Well, if there was a mystery, it seems moot now: According to sources at press time, the app’s launch was said to be set for early this morning.
The launch certainly will dispel the speculation — and refutes a story posted Wednesday by The Hollywood Reporter that claimed more than a dozen photo agencies that supply People with celebrity photos came together to withhold their work from the celebrity weekly unless they got more money. The Hollywood Reporter claimed the dispute was what led to the postponement of the app, which was originally supposed to come out earlier this month. A People spokeswoman said Wednesday, “The launch date has absolutely nothing to do with any photo agency discussions.” The $3.99 app will include bonus photos, as well as more video and integrated elements.
This story first appeared in the August 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Amy Wicks
CHANGING HORSES: When Jon Meacham said he’d be stepping down as editor of Newsweek following its sale to Sidney Harman earlier this month, many an eye turned to Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria as his possible successor. He was, after all, the next most recognizable name on the masthead, thanks to a decade spent as a go-to pundit on all-things global, two stints on The New York Times Best-Seller List and a Sunday morning broadcast on CNN. But Zakaria didn’t seem to have any designs on the top job at Newsweek, and on Wednesday Time Inc. may have revealed why. The company said Zakaria will join its namesake magazine (and its Web site) on Oct. 1., where he will contribute a regular column and feature stories as an editor at large. While his jump to a direct competitor surely must sting Newsweek, it makes sense for Zakaria, who will now have both his TV and print operations under the Time Warner roof.
The move is the latest in a string of departures at Newsweek, which has suffered through a summer of uncertainty after The Washington Post Co. put it on the block in May. In addition to Meacham and Zakaria, executive editor Ted Moncreiff split for W, editor at large Evan Thomas moved on to academia and investigative reporter Michael Isikoff landed a new gig at NBC. The newsweekly’s online staff has also seen its share of churn. Newsweek.com managing editor Carl Sullivan decamped for MSN, and senior online editor Mark Coatney, who ran the magazine’s popular and idiosyncratic Tumblr feed, left for a job at…Tumblr.
— Matthew Lynch
TIBI’S NEW TECH: After putting an active social-media strategy into play this year, Tibi took the next logical step and revamped its Web site, tibi.com. Formerly an online portal with bare-bones information, the company unveiled a new Web site Tuesday, complete with a clean and modern aesthetic, e-commerce with real-time “Tibi Fashion Experts” answering questions on sizing, fit and fabrics, and a blog. “We realize e-commerce is currently the fastest-growing portion of the fashion business. Retail outlets are essential but don’t have the ability to speak for the entire collection and overall image we’re trying to portray,” said founder Amy Smilovic. Tibi, which has seen success from recent Facebook contests and the personalized “Obsessions” posts penned by Smilovic, is expanding upon this with a branded blog that all employees will contribute to. The brand also made sure the site had Twitter and Facebook widgets that connect users with the social media outlet of their choice. And in terms of bolstering fans on the social-networking site, Tibi currently has more than 9,225 “likes” on Facebook, nearly quadruple the amount of fans it had on April 30, when it had 2,394.
— Rachel Strugatz