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People’s Robin Williams Issue a Best Seller

cover-435Proving that everyone loves a sad story about a complete stranger, People’s August 25th edition — honoring Robin Williams’ life and tragic death — was its number one selling issue of 2014.

Adweek reports that 1,169,800 copies of People’s Williams issue were sold. On the flip side, People’s June 16 edition, with Hillary Clinton on the cover, was its worst selling issue. It sold only 503,890 copies.

Williams’ death was also the big seller for another gossip rag — InTouch. Its August 25th edition moved 571,780 copies, making it InTouch’s best selling issue of the year.

InTouch‘s worst seller of 2014 was an issue that featured The Bachelorette’s Ashley Hebert announcing that she was pregnant. Congratulations! No one cared.

The Week Closes Comments Section

The Week is shutting down the comments section on its website. Ben Frumin, editor-in-chief of, explains that when it comes to comments on articles, essentially, a few bad apples often spoil the bunch.

“Too often, the comments sections of news sites are hijacked by a small group of pseudonymous commenters who replace smart, thoughtful dialogue with vitriolic personal insults and rote exchanges of partisan acrimony,” states Frumin.

Even if you don’t find that to be true (it is), it’s hard to argue with Frumin’s second point — that the best place to debate pieces is via social media, not comment sections:

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Gift Subscriptions Boost The Week

The Week’s best salesmen just might be its subscribers. According to The New York Times, the news roundup magazine is getting quite a boost from current subscribers who send someone a subscription as a gift.

This year alone, 110,000 subscribers to The Week purchased 165,000 subscriptions. Over the past five years, gift subscriptions have jumped 35 percent, even with The Week increasing its subscription price by 30 percent. A subscription to the title runs anywhere from $40 to $60.

Sara O’Connor, The Week’s executive VP for consumer marketing, told the Times that part of its strategy is to “make our subscribers our advocates.”

It sure sounds like they’ve got that covered. Maybe this year you’ll get a subscription to The Week instead of holiday-themed hand towels. Again.

Athlon Slashes Parade Magazine Rate Base, Ad Costs

It’s always fascinating to be afforded a precise look at the ad rates charged by major monthly and weekly print magazines.


Case in point - Parade. Outgoing NYT advertising columnist Stuart Elliott got the advance tip about a series of new measures announced today by Athlon Media Group. These changes include the following adjustments:

Reducing the rate base — the circulation of Parade guaranteed to advertisers — to 22 million from 32 million through measures like concentrating distribution in larger, urban markets. Ad rates for Parade, costly for print media, are also being reduced; for instance, a common type of ad known as a one-time, four-color page will fall to $667,165 from $924,209.

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Condé Nast Folds Magazine

Did you know that had a print counterpart? Probably not. And that’s one reason why Condé Nast has decided to fold just two years after launching it.

From the beginning, seemed doomed. The name was terrible and the content was even worse; often articles that appeared on were duplicated in There really was no reason for anyone to buy the magazine. In the end, Condé wisely decided to shut the operation down. With a positive spin, of course.

“Since the relaunch [of] in early September, the site continues to exceed growth expectations,” a Condé spokesperson told The New York Post. “To continue that momentum, we’ve made the decision to focus 100% of our efforts on our core digital business.”

Rest in peace We hardly knew ye.

Time Photo Director Recalls Spending Thanksgiving in Liberia

PaulMoakleyPicIn 2008, Paul Moakley, the deputy director of photography and visual enterprise for Time magazine (pictured), curated the first New York exhibit of photos of the Liberian Civil War taken by Tim Hetherington. The photographer was killed in action there three years later.

In explaining what went into the visual end of Time‘s 2014 Person of the Year package, Moakley writes that the exhibit and his dealings with Hetherington made him think he was destined to eventually travel to Liberia. That trip came together this fall and started in earnest here in New York on the Friday before Thanksgiving:

I woke up early so I’d be the first person at the Liberian consulate. It was totally empty and I sensed they were surprised that someone wanted to apply for a visa. I was afraid they would deny it to me if I said that I was a journalist looking to cover Ebola. And, of course that was the first question the administrator asked me.

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Which New York Times Magazine Kissing Couple is Your Favorite?

Thanks to another well conceived, well shot and exceedingly well cast New York Times Magazine interactive feature, our headline is a question we imagine many more will be asking. This particular batch of bonbons, titled “9 Kisses,” features the publication’s A-list riff on those recent viral videos of strangers meeting and kissing.

The San Francisco Chronicle zeroes in on the fact that two of the nine celebrity couples chosen for the kissing vignettes are same-sex: Rosario Dawson-Jenny Slate and Timothy Spall-David Oyelowo. Here at FishbowlNY, much like Kevin Frazier at Entertainment Tonight, the one we can’t stop watching features Steve Carell and Laura Dern.


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The Dog-Eat-Cat World of Pet Magazine Publishing

Just the other day, we joked that Cat Fancy was planning a lewd Kardashian cat cover to keep up with the Paper‘s and DuJour‘s of the human world. In light of recent changes at the publication, they may seriously want to consider that idea.

CatFancyOctober2014In case you missed the recent announcement, Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy are being downscaled and replaced by Irvine, California-headquartered I-5 Publishing. In place of those two respective regular runs, there will now be alternating bi-monthly issues of Catster and Dogster. Even if you think cats are nothing more than man’s fickle friend, there’s plenty to enjoy in Abraham Rieseman‘s New York magazine autopsy. Including a couple of very unusual twists: staff is not being cut and I-5 plans to throw more money at these new issues in the form of better paper stock, higher-grade binding and so on:

Extensive interviews with writers and executives have suggested an answer [to why I-5 is shutting down the 49-year-old feline magazine]: Cat lovers killed Cat Fancy. In their defense, they had no idea they were doing it. But in recent years, the nature of cat adoration (and I must offer full disclosure here: I am the parent of two cats) has changed radically. Though Cat Fancy tried to adapt, it never totally broke free from its origins in a different era of cat enthusiasm.

Read more and Share Floor at One WTC

Staffers for and are getting cozy. WWD reports that the teams will share the 29th floor at Condé Nast’s new headquarters, One World Trade Center. We know. This is a bit much. It’s a story only a media reporter could love. Okay, maybe “love” is too strong. This is a story a media reporter could give a hearty handshake.

Initially, the plan was for Vogue’s staff — both digital and print — to occupy the 25th floor. This would’ve been a change for Vogue, which had kept digital and print staff separate at 4 Times Square. But in a dramatic change of events, and staffers recently learned they would both be taking over the 29th floor.

The change makes sense. In November we learned that’s brass would be reporting to Vogue’s brass.’s publisher Matt Rice now reports to Vogue’s publisher Susan Plagemann, and’s editor Dirk Standen now reports to Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour. Might as well combine the two websites’ teams too.

[Image: Instagram/Condé Nast]

More Holes in Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story

Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story continues to unravel. According to The Washington Post, the three students in the story told by “Jackie” — “Randall,” “Andy,” and “Cindy” — all dispute the account that was laid out by Rolling Stone’Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

The three students claim that Jackie told them that she had been forced to perform oral sex on five men. In the Rolling Stone article, Jackie said seven men in the Phi Kappa Psi frat pushed her onto a glass table and then raped her. Randall, Andy and Cindy all told the Post that they urged Jackie to go to the police, but she declined. In the Rolling Stone piece, the trio of friends are described as telling Jackie not to tell the police because they feared it would hurt their social statuses.

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