COCKED AND LOADED: It looks like Hearst will win the race to bring a British-style weekly men’s magazine to the U.S. At a focus group this week in New York, participants were shown two different prototypes for a new title called Bullet. According to a source who saw one of the prototypes, the editorial content consisted of photos of scantily clad women, real-life action stories, sports news and TV listings. It did not, however, feature any nudity — a staple of Nuts and Zoo, the successful men’s weeklies started last year in the U.K. “It was very Maxim looking,” said the source — hardly surprising, given that the project is being headed up by Keith Blanchard, Maxim’s former editor in chief. Collaborating with him on it is Todd Detweiler, another Maxim veteran who most recently worked in Rolling Stone’s art department. The focus group members were asked how willing they would be to buy Bullet at two different price points, $1.99 and $2.99.
Another former Maxim editor in chief, Mark Golin, is said to be working on a weekly men’s title at Time Inc. (which publishes Nuts through its U.K. subsidiary, IPC). According to two sources familiar with that project, it is nowhere near a launch, but another start-up Golin is overseeing — a Web site that would be aimed at the same audience of young men — is close to getting the green light.
— Jeff Bercovici
OVERSHARING: Bonnie Fuller is not much for long-form journalism, but long book titles are apparently another story. As of this week, her long-awaited memoir-slash-self-help volume not only has a publication date — April 11, 2006 — but a new title: “The Joys of Much Too Much: Go For the Big Life — The Great Career, The Perfect Guy and Everything Else You Ever Wanted (Even If You’re Afraid You Don’t Have What It Takes).” Including the part in parenthesis, which will appear on the cover but won’t be part of the book’s official title, that comes out to 33 words — three longer than its original working title, “From Geek to Oh My Goddess: How to Get the Big Career and the Big Love Life and the Big Family — Even If You Have a Big Loser Complex Inside.”
This story first appeared in the July 21, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Fuller started work on the book, which will be published by Simon & Schuster’s Fireside imprint, shortly after leaving Glamour in 2001. Since then, she has changed jobs twice, becoming editor in chief of Us Weekly, then editorial director of American Media. “I draw from my own experiences, and I talk about the experiences of some other women I know, too,” said Fuller of the manuscript.
Two words that won’t appear on the cover are Pat Mulcahey — the name of the book’s ghostwriter. According to a Simon & Schuster source, a draft that Fuller and Mulcahey turned in last year was edited “from top to bottom.” A spokeswoman for the publisher declined to comment on the editing process, saying, “The book that we’ve got now is the book we’ve always wanted.”
THE SEDUCTION CHRONICLES: On Wednesday in London, Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper’s, took the stand as a witness for the defense in Roman Polanski’s libel action against Vanity Fair. The case, which started on Monday and is set to last five to seven days, is the first in the U.K. where a claimant is taking part in a libel trial by video link from outside the country.
Lapham had originally told VF in a 2002 article about New York restaurant Elaine’s that Polanski had made certain sexual overtures to a Norwegian model a few weeks after his wife Sharon Tate’s murder in 1969. On Wednesday in London’s High Court, Lapham replayed the night in question, saying Polanski walked into Elaine’s, sat down at his table, and started talking to model Beatte Telle. “He began to talk to her in a forward way,” Lapham told the jury. “At one point he had his hand on her leg and said to her: ‘I can put you in the movies, I can make you the next Sharon Tate.’” Lapham said he remembered the words because they were “tasteless and vulgar.”
Polanski testified from Paris earlier this week refuting the story, and on Tuesday, Mia Farrow corroborated his version of the events. While Polanski has refused to appear in court for fear of arrest and extradition to the U.S., he and his lawyers made a wise choice of country in which to sue. The U.K. libel laws are far more stringent than those in the U.S., and favor the plaintiff rather than the defendant.
— Samantha Conti