ROUND ROBIN: After getting knocked off the career ladder at Wenner Media, former Rolling Stone publisher Steve DeLuca has climbed back on, albeit at a lower rung than before. On Tuesday, DeLuca was named associate publisher of Maxim, where he’ll report to group publisher Rob Gregory — who, as coincidence would have it, was DeLuca’s predecessor at Rolling Stone. What’s more, Tim Castelli, the associate publisher DeLuca was hired to replace, left Maxim to fill DeLuca’s post at Rolling Stone.
A former associate publisher of Vanity Fair and In Style, DeLuca has been on the job market since February, when Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner declined to renew his contract. He said the Maxim job was attractive enough to justify taking a step down in rank: “In terms of not running my own show, there’s enough work here for me to sink my teeth into and make a difference.” That may be, but sources also suggested he was in line for a quick promotion in a shuffle that would see Gregory elevated, as well. Asked about that scenario, Gregory declined to comment on it directly, saying, “Obviously, somebody of Steve’s experience and talent is going to have opportunities here as we move forward.”
DeLuca’s arrival comes as Maxim parent, Dennis Publishing, faces uncertainty on several fronts. Reports continue to circulate that owner Felix Dennis is exploring a sale, although sources say he is not committed to it. The company has yet to name a new editor in chief for Stuff; the previous editor, Jimmy Jellinek, moved over to Maxim earlier this month after Ed Needham stepped down. And early newsstand projections for the first half of this year suggest Men’s Health could overtake Maxim as the top-selling men’s magazine on the newsstand, a distinction Maxim has held since 2000.
— Jeff Bercovici
OOPS BABIES: Celebrity weeklies have a catholic range of interests — weight gain, plastic surgery, weight loss, infidelity — but nothing excites them more than celebrities having babies. So it’s remarkable to note just how wrong they can sometimes be on the topic.
A recent rash of births offered a rare chance to sort the genuine scoop from the guesswork. Star got egg on its face twice over the long weekend: first, on Friday, when Gwen Stefani gave birth to a boy, and again on Saturday, when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt announced their newborn girl would be called Shiloh. Star had reported in its April 24 issue that Stefani was carrying a girl. As for the Jolie-Pitt offspring, Star’s May 8 issue claimed, “Sources confirm that the baby will be a boy,” and also “revealed” that the child was to be called Africa. Star’s not the only celebrity title to make this sort of mistake, of course. One Us Weekly cover from earlier this year screamed, “Angelina: She’s Due May 2,” and another declared, “Katie: It’s a Boy!” But Us retracted the due date well in advance, and acknowledged its error in print and on the Web after Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise‘s daughter turned out to be a girl. In contrast, Star’s editorial director, Bonnie Fuller, said she didn’t plan to run a correction. “I think our readers have been happy with the coverage we’ve given them, which has been excellent.
“I prefer to look at all the things we got right on this,” she added. “We were right that it was going to be a Gemini, born close to Angelina’s birthday. We were right that it was probably going to be a C-section. We also reported at least two weeks ago the correct clinic she was going to have the baby at.”
Added editor Joe Dolce, “I would say we got two things wrong and about 102 things right.”