American Pie 10.06.04

No need to worry. More people may be going to the internet, but most are not cutting down on their readership of newspapers, magazines or other media. That’s the good news from a survey conducted here by the Harris Poll. About a quarter of those polled admitted their use of the internet has reduced the amount of time they devote to other media. Commented research expert Leo Bogart: “The typical Internet user checks the news only once a day for a total of an hour a week. When a big story is breaking they get bulletins on the internet. But for fuller details they check elsewhere.” What do people mostly go to the internet for? Sixty per cent say for the weather, 56 per cent for national news and 44 per cent for international news.

Never tangle with the family that owns your newspaper or magazine. That’s what Harper’s Bazaareditor Glenda Bailey learned after her magazine ran a story about 20 year old Amanda Hearst, who happens to be a granddaughter of Randolph Hearst, the multi-millionaire tycoon who headed the family-owned Hearst Corp until his death four years ago. The story was headlined “What it Costs to be a Socialite” and used Amanda as an example. It suggested Amanda, who is still a college student and part-time model, laid out $22,000 on dresses, $5,000 on fashion accessories such as Jimmy Choo bags and $91,000 on holidays. The story didn’t please Amanda’s mother, Anne Hearst, granddaughter of the legendary William Randolph Hearst, founder of the newspaper empire. She wrote to Glenda Bailey challenging the accuracy of the story – with copies to Cathy Black, who heads the Hearst magazine division and Victor Ganzi, CEO of the Hearst Corp. “I buy Amanda’s clothes and she does not own a $10,000 evening gown” said Mom. So far neither the Hearst Corp nor Glenda Bailey have commented.

For several years it was a secret which writer Peter Evans didn’t even share with his close friends. Now the project has been revealed. It’s a book suggesting that Ari Onassis. the Greek shipping tycoon who married JFK’s widow Jackie might have been responsible for the murder in 1968 of brother-in-law Robert Kennedy. With hardly any pre-publication publicity, but after appearances on a couple of American TV talk shows, his book, called Nemesis, quickly hit the best-seller list. On tv, the veteran Fleet Street newsman suggested that Onassis plotted the murder because of a long-standing feud between the two men. It dated back to the 1950s when the Kennedys thwarted an attempt by Onassis to negotiate an exclusive oil deal with Saudi Arabia which almost cost Onassis his fortune. Another book by a former British newsmen which could sell well is Iain Calder’s memoirs of his 20 years as editor of the National Enquirer. Entitled The Untold Story it’s filled with anecdotes about the celebrities who filled its pages.

Catch ’em young! That’s the new philosophy of Dennis Publishing. It is planning to test later this year a magazine for ten to 13 year olds. It will, it’s said, be Maxim without the sex and violence. A spokesman said: “It will be funny and cheeky, cool and useful. For boys who see girls as telltales or silly sisters .” The tentative title , although this could change, is K-Maxx – short perhaps for Kid Maxim. Its slogan: “It’s Bad – Really, Really Bad” a phrase that Felix Dennis recently officially trade-marked.

By Jeffrey Blyth

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