American Pie 22.04.05

There
is a war going on in the women’s magazine business – and several Brits
are involved. The biggest battle is over the editorship of Us magazine,
which has reportedly been offered to Jane Ennis, editor-in-chief of
Now, after Jann Wenner, who owns Us, flew her to New York for
closeddoor discussions. The official line is that the talks were about
a new magazine that Wenner is planning, but other reports say that
Wenner is looking for an editor to replace Janice Min, whose contract
expires this summer. At the same time Sarah Piper, who has been the
“special projects” editor at Us, has upped and returned to Britain. And
of course there is still speculation over the future of Nicola
McCarthy, who was planning to leave Us to edit the US version of OK!
that Richard Desmond was planning to launch this year. That is until
Wenner, angry at the thought of her abridging her contract, went to
court to stop her – at least until her contract runs out next April. As
for Min, the present editor of Us, she is still “negotiating” her contract.

 

More
evidence of the decline of newspapers – at least in the US. A new
survey by the American Society of Newspaper Editors shows that the
number of full-time journalists working at daily newspapers has
declined by around four per cent, from just over 56,000 in 2001 to
slightly more than 54,000 now. The only encouraging sign – although it
makes no difference to the overall figure – is that the number of
black, Asian or Latin American journalists increased by 0.5 per cent
and now stands at around 13 per cent of the total.

Contrary
to expectations, a demonstrator who tossed a pie in the face of Anna
Wintour (pictured), editor of Vogue, at the recent Paris fashion shows,
was not a member of PETA, the animal rights group which has been on her
case for months for refusing to stop running fur adverts in her
magazine. According to the New York Post the pie-tosser was actually a
disgruntled former member of her staff.

 

The author
of a book just out here, Buried by The Times, The Holocaust and
America’s Most Important Newspaper, claims that Arthur Hays Sulzberger,
who ran the New York Times during World War Two, soft-pedalled news
about Nazi atrocities against Jews – even though the paper reported
atrocities against Czechs and Christians. According to author Laurel
Leff, a former reporter who now teaches at a university, instead of
speaking of Jewish refugees, the Times always used the term “German
refugees”. It also argued against the creation of a Jewish Brigade in
Europe because, the paper said, it might provoke an Arab uprising. Leff
acknowledges, however, that the paper has since recognized its failures.

 

There are still places where raunchy men’s mags are not welcome.

At
least two supermarket chains in Texas, Louisiana and California have
taken FHM off their shelves because, they say, the latest issue – whose
cover features the bare bottom of hip-hop model Vida Guerra – could
offend their customers. Although the ban covers 540 stores, it doesn’t
seem to worry the publishers. A spokeswoman for Emap claimed only 2,000
copies have been banished.

The controversial cover, she added, is
expected to be a best seller – selling perhaps as many as 500,000
copies. That would be a big jump for FHM which last year was selling
under 400,000.

 

Porn publisher Al Goldstein, who made
a mint from his magazine, Screw, in the heyday of sex magazines, but
ended up sleeping in a hostel for the homeless and working as a doorman
at a New York deli, is trying to make a comeback. He has been hired as
“marketing director” of a video-on-demand website called XonDemand – an
internet version of the peepshows that once proliferated around Times
Square. At one time, it’s estimated, he had more than $11m, plus a
mansion in Florida. Ironically he blamed the decline of his publishing
company on the proliferation of porn on the internet.

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