New research has revealed that pictures of celebrities’ babies may not have been worth the millions US magazines paid for them last year.
A survey by Media Industry Newsletter of the best and worst covers of 2007 reveals that the best selling issue of People magazine was the one about the suicide attempt of actor Owen Wilson, the star of Wedding Crashers. And the magazine’s top seller so far this year has been the issue whose cover story was the unexpected death of Australian actor Heath Ledger.
But births did do well in some places. The impending birth of a baby by Jamie Lynn Spears was a big seller for the American edition of OK! The magazine hit the newsstands in the US on New Year’s Eve and sold more than a million copies.
Not that the names Spears is automatically such a big draw. The worst selling issues of US Weekly featured the romance of big sister Britney Spears with Isaac Cohen – which in any case turned out to be a short term romance.
Star’s worst issue was the one with the headline: “Angelina Jolie’s Babies in Danger” while the worst for In Touch was the one that featured the mass murder of students at Virginia Tech. It was one of the rare issues that In Touch didn’t feature a celebrity on the cover.
On a different plane Time’s best issue was How We Got Addicted, the inside story of dependence on alcohol and drugs, and at Newsweek it was Exercise and the Brain – two very serious, non-celebrity cover stories.
But reverting back to disaster and death – the two top-selling issues of all time for People magazine are still the World Trade Centre attack in 2001 and the death in 1997 of Princess Di.