PUMP AND DUMP: Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t the only aging muscleman with whom American Media Inc. might be severing its relationship. The company also appears to be ending its ties with Sylvester Stallone. After publishing three issues of Sly, a lifestyle title for men over 40, AMI has stopped work on number four, according to sources. While the first two issues sold well enough on the newsstand to meet their 125,000 rate base, ad sales apparently did not meet expectations.
A spokesman for AMI insisted the final decision on Sly will not be made until sales for issue three can be analyzed, sometime after it goes off sale in September. The spokesman also noted the plan for Sly was always to publish three test issues and then evaluate whether to go ahead with the launch.
But while the official kiss of death may be weeks away, AMI has clearly opted not to waste resources on a project with no future, say insiders. Perhaps it’s for the best: Among the images being considered for the cover of issue four was one of Stallone and Schwarzenegger posing together.
— Jeff Bercovici
DOMINO DEEP CLEAN: Vogue editors send their clothes out to be cleaned, but Domino editors? They offer to wash other people’s dirty laundry for them.
In terms of a sweepstakes, it’s not exactly a shopping spree with the editors of Lucky, or a meal cooked by the editors of Gourmet, but on Thursday, the first 20 New York City residents to e-mail Domino at firstname.lastname@example.org after 9 a.m. will have their laundry cleaned for free, and the washing will be done by Domino’s editorial staff. (Like WWD, Vogue, Lucky, Gourmet and Domino are owned by Advance Publications Inc.)
For one day, Domino will remove all of the commercial machines at the New Waves Laundercenter at 178 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea and replace them with home-use washing machines to test them for an upcoming story on the best front-loaders. Editors will see how the machines tackle uniform stains before tossing in items belonging to the 20 strangers.
“You don’t think anyone will bring anything weird or personal, do you?” editor in chief Deborah Needleman suddenly asked, upon realizing what a free wash-a-thon for New Yorkers might entail. According to the magazine’s spokeswoman, while many Domino staffers already have volunteered to fold clean laundry, none have yet to come forward to load any dirty clothes.
In other Domino news, as expected, after banking more than 300,000 subscriptions and achieving a sell-through of about 50 percent on newsstands for its debut, the magazine’s rate base will go up starting with the January/February issue, from 400,000 to 450,000. The second issue of Domino, with Ione Skye on the cover, just hit newsstands.
— Sara James
SELF-LESS: Just when VH1’s “Celebreality” programming had become comfortably synonymous with drunken midgets, clock-wearing rap stars and the Danish chain-smokers who love them, the cable music channel’s news division has gone and produced a program with celebrities that’s actually…noble.
On Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. EST, VH1 will air — without commercial interruption — “Tracking the Monster,” a documentary about AIDS in Africa produced by VH1 and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Shot in Madagascar with Ashley Judd, a global ambassador for YouthAIDS, and Kenya with India Arie, the program examines how the two areas are affected by the disease.
On Monday at Manhattan’s Bryant Park Hotel, Judd, who is on the cover of the September issue of Self as one of the magazine’s most inspiring women of the year, attended a screening for the film. Also there were Self editor in chief Lucy Danziger, VH1’s Michael Hirschorn and his former partner in the Internet venture Inside.com, Kurt Andersen, who made a single lap during the cocktail hour before ducking out the nearest exit.
The on-point Judd told WWD, “This was a case of three different organizations [VH1, YouthAIDS and the Global Fund] coming together and setting aside their very American competitive tendencies to effect real social change.”
“It was more emotional than anything we’d ever worked on,” added VH1 executive producer Brad Abramson. “It changed us. You came back and wanted to do something about this, to tell people about what’s going on and what they can do.”