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Clownfish of the Week: Valerie Latona

Yesterday, the TelePictures blog revealed the text of an apology email circulated to several dozen readers of Shape Magazine by editor Valerie Latona. Apparently, this group was extremely displeased with the publication’s October 2010 cover photo of LeAnn Rimes in a red bikini, along with the teaser tag ‘How Working Out Saved Me,’ a reference to her extramarital affair with CSI star Eddie Cibrian.

Wrote Latona:

Please know that our putting her on the cover was not meant to put a husband-stealer on a pedestal-but to show (through her story) how we all are human. And this woman in particular found strength in exercise in what she said was her most difficult personal moment.

Today, Latona was trying to soft-pedal her remarks to USA Today, suggesting that the email had been “taken out of context” and that she was simply paraphrasing “the words of the few unhappy readers who wrote in.”

Latona is breaking not one but two golden rules of the email apology art form: 1) Never try to deny what’s written on the electronic page once it has been revealed; and 2) If you are going to try and deflect the damage of what’s been circulated, whatever you do, DON’T blame your readers.

Fun times at a publication created by Woodland Hills based Weider Publications, purchased in 2003 by American Media.

Update – 11/17/10: Latona is being replaced as Editor-in-Chief by Tara Kraft. Per Keith Kelly’s “Media Ink” column in the New York Post, Kraft officially starts on Friday, November 19th.

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