NO LONGER 17: Two Hearst titles, Seventeen and Elle, will go head-to-head in May with covers of Miley Cyrus.
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The difference? One is approved, and the other isn’t.
“She’s very, very selective when it comes to magazine covers,” said a source close to her camp. “Miley declined Seventeen and denied being a part of it, completely.”
But Seventeen still pushed for Cyrus and, with or without her consent, will be rolling issues of her onto newsstands everywhere. Because of Cyrus’ unwillingness to participate, the May edition will include stock photos of her as well as a write-around inside its pages — none of which were approved by Cyrus’ team, the source said.
As for Elle, a spokeswoman for the magazine said the subject of the May cover would be revealed this week. But a source confirmed the issue has Cyrus on its cover — with original styling and photography and an interview.
It’s only natural, perhaps, since Elle fits more into Cyrus’ current strategy than Seventeen — that is, to focus on fashion titles. So far this year alone she has appeared on the covers of W and Love and last year on covers of magazines like Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as Rolling Stone.
The reason is simple: She sells magazines. Cosmo’s March 2013 issue featuring her on the cover sold 1.1 million copies on the newsstand. Seventeen could use that kind of boost: In the past year, the title has seen newsstand sales decline 20 percent, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
“Seventeen readers love Miley Cyrus, and we cover her every chance we get,” said a Seventeen spokesperson. “She ranked high on the March issue’s Girl Power List. Our readers asked for more, so we responded as quickly as possible. Miley’s currently on tour promoting ‘Bangerz,’ so what better time than now to celebrate her and give our readers what they want.”
And they clearly want more. “The public’s appetite for her is insatiable,” said Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. “She’s the Tesla of magazine covers. There is a waiting list to get her.”