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FBLA EXCLUSIVE: Us Weekly’s Ken Baker Bringing the Fun to the Internet

bakerken.jpgKen Baker, Us Weekly’s West Coast exec editor, yesterday was named Editorial Director of Usmagazine.com, which makes perfect sense to us. This was the guy, after all, who told us that the secret to the mag’s success was boobs, clothes and celebrity sex. What better platform for all those things than the Internet?

But does the world really need a Wenner-brand version of E! Online, TMZ.com, Defamer, etc.?

Ever the salesman, Baker assures FBLA that his site will be different.

“Us Weekly has thrived by giving readers a TV-in-a-magazine experience,” Baker told us. “I want to give the Usmagazine.com audience the same fun experience of celebrity.”


KEN BAKER NAMED EDITORIAL DIRECTOR OF USMAGAZINE.COM

NEW YORK, January 25, 2007 ­ Wenner Media today announced that Us Weekly West Coast Executive Editor Ken Baker has been named Editorial Director of Usmagazine.com. In this newly created position, Baker will oversee Us Weekly’s digital content for the Web site and mobile devices.

Baker will also be responsible for the content for Usmagazine.com’s newly announced branded video entertainment channel on the Veoh web site. The channel, launching in February in partnership with Veoh Networks, will be the exclusive Celebrity Channel on Veoh and will contain Us’ exclusive content, pulled from celebrity studded parties, Us Weekly events, news stories and features by Us editorial staffers.

“Ken’s expertise and knowledge of the celebrity world is invaluable and I know that he will continue to strengthen the brand in his new role across a variety of platforms,” said Janice Min, editor in chief, Us Weekly.

“As Us continues to evolve and expand its digital offerings, Ken will play a key role in reinforcing Us’ authority as the most complete and credible celebrity resource for sophisticated young women,” said Gary Armstrong, Wenner Media’s chief marketing officer, who oversees all of Wenner Media’s digital services.

“I look forward to bringing the immediacy and vitality of Us Weekly to the Usmagazine.com brand,” Baker said of his new position.

Baker has been Us Weekly’s West Coast Executive Editor since May 2002. In this role, he managed the Hollywood editorial operation for Us, directing a team of reporters, working with the Hollywood talent community and conducting high-profile celebrity interviews. Prior to that, Baker was an L.A.-based correspondent for People, where he covered both entertainment and human-interest stories. Previously, he was a newspaper reporter and began his career in the Washington, DC bureau of ABC News.

Usmagazine.com, launched in the Fall of 2006, is a non stop destination hub for celebrity news and features. The site includes stories from the magazine; web-only features; a non-stop celebrity news blog; red carpet galleries from the hottest premieres and events; an extensive celebrity search engine; celebrity pictures updated several times daily; and, celebrity quizzes and polls.

About Us Weekly Us Weekly, the premiere resource in celebrity journalism, has shown the highest percentage audience growth among all MRI measured titles over the past five years (according to MRI) and average newsstands sales surpassed 1 million copies. Over a two year period, Us Weekly’s newsstand grew 34.9%, according to ABC June 2004 to June 2006. Subscriptions experienced a double digit increase of 15.1% over the previous year, according to ABC June 2006 vs. June 2005. Launched as a bi-monthly publication in 1977, Us Weekly was
acquired by Wenner Media in 1986. The magazine moved from a monthly to a weekly format in March 2000. Privately held Wenner Media also owns and publishes Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal.

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