SWITCHING CHANNELS: Inside TV was a latecomer to the celebrity weekly craze, and it has struggled to find an audience since its introduction in April, selling fewer than 200,000 copies per issue. Now comes evidence that its parent company, TV Guide, already is having second thoughts.
Sarah Pyper, a former high-level editor at Us Weekly and In Touch, recently began work as a consultant for TV Guide and Inside TV. Officially, she is working on special projects under the direction of TV Guide editor in chief Ian Birch, according to a spokeswoman. But sources close to Pyper say her involvement appears to be centered on Inside TV, where she has been working closely with the editorial staff. Two veterans of the celebrity magazine world said they understood Pyper is overseeing a revamp of the title, which is to be rolled out shortly after Thanksgiving. That timing would correspond with a planned 25-cent price promotion scheduled to begin Dec. 8.
Sources said the new Inside TV likely would incorporate more celebrity-inspired fashion, shopping and relationship editorial and less tabloid-style news and gossip. If so, that would be consistent with a growing consensus among weekly editors that the gossip market is unsustainably overcrowded.
Unclear in all this is what Pyper’s arrival will mean for Inside TV’s current editor in chief, Steve LeGrice. The two worked together at In Touch, where LeGrice was formerly editor, and also are collaborating on Pyper’s Inside TV project, according to the spokeswoman. But if it’s indeed a relaunch that Pyper is spearheading — and if the new version will be more women’s-service magazine than newsweekly — Pyper would seem the obvious choice to edit it.
— Jeff Bercovici
FROM THE ARCHIVES: By just reading the cover photo credits in the December issue of Vanity Fair, one might assume Kate Moss was shot for the magazine during the height of the drug scandal that enveloped her this fall. A note on the editor’s letter page: “On the cover: Kate Moss wears a top by Chloé and stockings by Wolford … Photographed exclusively for V.F. by Craig McDean.” What isn’t mentioned until page 311 is that the photos were taken almost a year ago, on Nov. 23, 2004. “We shot her for ‘Best of the Best’ last year,” Vanity Fair’s spokeswoman explained. So the only place to find that Chloé blouse right now? A secondhand shop.
— Sara James