TIME’S UP: Time Inc. shocked roughly zero people Wednesday with its announcement that Teen People’s Amy Barnett was stepping down to make way for a new managing editor. The magazine’s newsstand sales have been evaporating this year, and, as WWD reported last month, a number of high-ranking editors from outside Time Inc. were recently called in to interview for a job that sounded suspiciously like Barnett’s. As her parting gift, Barnett, who joined Teen People in 2003, was handed a corporate post in magazine development, working under Isolde Motley.
What did surprise many observers was her replacement: Lori Majewski, former executive editor of Us Weekly and, before that, entertainment director of Teen People. In a way, her hire makes perfect sense, Us having kicked off the celebrity weekly craze that has played a large part in Teen People’s declining sales. But while Time Inc. may think it has scored a newsstand mastermind in Majewski, she has yet to establish a track record.
Of course, Majewski could have realized that her rise had peaked at Us, where she had a close relationship with editor in chief Janice Min and her role has been described as “Janice’s comfort blanket.” After all, Us owner Jann Wenner went and hired Nicola McCarthy and Sarah Pyper to run the magazine while Min was on maternity leave. (That didn’t stop Majewski from sitting in Min’s seat during editorial meetings while she was out, however.) After Pyper and McCarthy left Us earlier this year, Wenner further indicated that Majewski would never have the top job by promoting Michael Steele to co-executive editor. Majewski apparently had a different view of her potential, and so, evidently, did Time Inc.
— Jeff Bercovici
GETTING PERSONAL: “I cannot go to a gym without cringing, watching the idiotic, ineffective and downright dangerous exercise routines personal trainers put their clients through,” Men’s Health editor in chief David Zinczenko writes in his September issue. Zinczenko goes on to describe a friend, “65 years old and about that many pounds overweight,” who showed up to lunch complaining that a workout had left him with a sore neck, and left in an ambulance, “felled by a massive stroke. Did the workout kill him? It’s possible.”
Anyone familiar with the world of men’s magazines will easily recognize Zinczenko’s lunch companion as Art Cooper, the longtime GQ editor in chief, who ate with Zinczenko at the Four Seasons on the day he suffered the stroke that killed him several days later. In fact, several of Cooper’s former staffers did recognize him, and pointed out the article to Adam Zickerman, the fitness guru who helped Cooper lose 60 pounds not long before he died. Zickerman, reached Wednesday, confirmed he had worked with Cooper the day before his stroke, but vehemently rejected any suggestion that his training methods were at fault. “The whole technique that I teach was born out of safety considerations,” he said, adding that Cooper had failed to tell him, or his doctor, that he had been suffering from dizziness and fainting spells.
Zickerman also noted that, assuming it was Cooper whom Zinczenko was referring to, several elements of his account were incorrect, including how overweight Cooper was when he died and the type of exercises he would have performed. Zickerman said he did not know Zinczenko personally, but believed Cooper had recommended him as a possible columnist for Men’s Health. “He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t know the workout,” he said. “Why didn’t he just call me up?”
Zinczenko, through a spokesman, declined to confirm that Cooper was the subject of his anecdote. “I’m not blaming any individual trainer,” he said in a statement. “I’m asking a question that all people who are thinking about using personal trainers should ask in order to ensure that they don’t put their bodies and their health in the hands of someone who isn’t totally qualified.”
LAW CRAWL: Page Six busted WWD on Wednesday for forwarding an e-mail containing paparazzi pictures of a nude Jude Law, taken while Law was vacationing with his mother in France. But WWD wasn’t the only publication circulating the buff shots this week. The photos also bounced around at many of the monthlies, from Harper’s Bazaar to Vanity Fair to Seventeen, with stops at Jane, Elle, Absolute and W along the way.
One theory explaining how the pics entered the media stream: a magazine staffer pulled them off paparazzi service Bauer Griffin’s Web site, which many fashion editors use to stay current on what celebrities are wearing. (Or in this case, not wearing.) Bauer-griffin.com posted Law’s pics on Aug. 12, and the company is still said to be shopping them with the major celebrity magazines. (Curiously, no weekly tabloid editors turned up in the fashion editor e-mail chain this week.)
While Page Six quipped about Law’s “meager manhood,” one fashion editor who viewed the photos but didn’t forward them said, “I think it just looks weird because he’s uncircumcised. I’m sure it’s fine when erect.”
— Sara James
STRIKING GOLD: People has a new chief for its West Coast bureau, one who hopefully won’t provide quite as much fodder for the gossip columns. Elizabeth Leonard, an eight-year veteran of the weekly and deputy bureau chief since 2001, has been promoted to replace Todd Gold, who is on leave writing a book about the Laci Peterson case. Several reports earlier this week suggested that Gold’s indefinite absence from the bureau was connected to complaints by a female reporter there. People did not comment on the situation, except to acknowledge that the employee, who was not identified, was transferred to another title.