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Posts Tagged ‘American Media Inc.’

National Enquirer And Star Make Staff Cuts

Although the company is steadily climbing out of debt, not everything is sunshine and roses at American Media Inc. WWD’s Zeke Turner writes that AMI’s National Enquirer and Star magazine have made cutbacks to their West coast teams and now both titles’ employees will work together under the guidance of New York-based editors.  Among the four total layoffs were three reporters – Star’s Debbie Emery and Sandra Clark and the Enquirer’s Phil Kim.  These reporters will now be able to serve as freelancers.

The two mags will now work together in what Star editor-in-chief Candace Trunzo has dubbed an “AMI news bureau.”  National Enquirer editor-in-chief Tony Frost provided his rationale for the job cuts:

It’s a case of us working smarter and cutting out duplication.

An AMI spokesperson denied that the layoffs had any connection to the publisher’s bankruptcy filings from last November or declining circulation numbers.  No further cutbacks are expected.

AMI To Get Out Of The Red In The New Year

Just 32 days removed from declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy, American Media, Inc. is hopeful that they will have their debt formally wiped away by 2011.  Publisher of major tabloids The National Enquirer and Star as well as fitness mags Shape and Flex, AMI filed for bankruptcy protection in November due to a decline in ad sales and circulation numbers.  According to Mediaweek, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York gave the green light to AMI’s prepackaged financing plan — one which will lower the company’s $855 million debt by $355 million and increase profitability.

AMI chairman, president, and CEO David Pecker comes out as the big winner in all of this as he was awarded a long-term contract from AMI’s principal shareholders.  While AMI still will have to address the challenge of selling their title’s issues in a landscape where print costs are up and ad sales are down, Pecker is optimistic for the publisher’s future:

This will allow AMI to finally capitalize on all the digital opportunities available for our brands, continue to strengthen our print properties, expand our publishing services efforts and ultimately accomplish what my goal has always been — to build a major media company that will be among the industry’s elite.

Apparently the Manhattan Bankruptcy Court didn’t get the memo on the $50 limit for all secret Santa gifts.  $355 million is quite the holiday treat, surely enough to ignore the remaining $500 million of debt.

Bankruptcy on the Horizon for National Enquirer Publisher

American Media Inc., publisher of several titles including National Enquirer, Shape, Star, and Radar Online announced today plans to file for bankruptcy in about two weeks. Last year AMI also took over certain publishing functions for Playboy. Pending approval from the requisite number of creditors, the company will initiate a prepackaged Chapter 11 plan that involves some kind of debt-for-equity deal.

Said CEO David Pecker of the bankruptcy:

The reorganization should not affect American Media’s operations. Publications will function seamlessly, staff will be unaffected by the reorganization and customers should not notice any difference during the 60 day process.

Yeah, this damn well better not affect my Playboy subscription, buster.

Bonnie Fuller Runs A Tight Ship

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Today’s interview with tabloid media queen Bonnie Fuller in the Canadian Globe and Mail is worth reading for a thousand different reasons. For one thing, it’s hilarious. While at American Media Inc. and Us Weekly Fuller gained the reputation of being a harsh mistress to her employees, and apparently things haven’t changed that much now that she’s running her new women-empowered gossip site Hollywoodlife.com:

“They put the wrong headline on the story,” snaps Bonnie Fuller, interrupting herself in the midst of an explanation about her new venture, Hollywoodlife.com…”I’ll be right back,” says Ms. Fuller, 53, as she leaps out of her chair to speak to the editorial team, composed of young women seated in cubicles outside her door.

“It’s supposed to say ‘Taylor Swift. New plaid, three days, three ways,’ ’cause it’s three different days and she wore it three different ways,” she explains.

Someone’s getting fired over Taylor Swift’s plaid ensemble. Amazing. But it gets even better.

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FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: The Year’s Biggest Moves In Media

door.jpgThis year — full of flux and uncertainty about where the media is heading — has resulted in a vast number of job changes and departures across all matter of media companies and publications. In almost every field of journalism, big names have either been fired, promoted, retired, or simply moved on to more lucrative positions. Here, we take a look back at the biggest industry shakeups of 2009.

The Biggest Move in Magazines: Stephen Adler leaving BusinessWeek.
When editor Stephen Adler announced his departure from BusinessWeek this October following the magazine’s sale to Bloomberg LP, he wasn’t just making a statement, he was starting a trend. Soon he was followed by some of his former colleagues, like John Byrne and BusinessWeek‘s president Keith Fox, who decided to stay with magazine’s original parent, McGraw-Hill. (Not to mention all of those who involuntarily left the pub not long after.) It takes a lot of chutzpah to up and quit your editor gig in the middle of this turbulent media landscape, it takes even more to get your coworkers to come with you. Fortunately for Adler, he’s already landed another gig at Thomson Reuters.

Runners Up: Time.com managing editor Josh Tyrangiel comes on board as editor at Businessweek; Marie Claire‘s publisher Susan Plagemann joins Vogue; Nancy Berger Cardone of shuttered Gourmet takes Plagemann’s spot at Marie Claire; Janice Min leaves Us Weekly; Mariette DiChristina becomes Scientific American‘s first female editor-in-chief.

More after the jump

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Amanpour Interviews Tina Brown, Harold Evans|WSJ Covers Tiger Woods Scandal, After Keith Kelly|Hearst To Launch New Site Next Year|E&P Still Has A Chance|HuffPost Profiled

CNN: Watch The Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown and her husband, Sir Harold Evans, this Sunday on Christiane Amanpour‘s CNN show.

Wall Street Journal: Media scandal of the day: The Wall Street Journal published a story today about Tiger Woods‘ shady deal with Men’s Fitness publisher American Media Inc. without giving any credit to New York Post columnist Keith Kelly, who broke the story two weeks ago.

WWD: Hearst MagazinesChuck Cordray promises a new digital vertical to launch next year “is not one you’d expect from us.” Also, Hearst is planning to relaunch its teen network over the summer.

Huffington Post: Editor & Publisher editor Greg Mitchell blogs about the demise of his magazine, and says there is a “decent chance” that it will be resurrected.

Los Angeles Times: James Rainey profiles The Huffington Post and the challenge of making money on the Web.

Playboy Promotes Jellinek To Chief Content Officer

playboyhandler.jpgPlayboy Enterprises has promoted Playboy magazine’s editorial director Jimmy Jellinek to the newly created position of chief content officer.

In his new position, the former editor-in-chief of Maxim and Stuff will now oversee the content on all of Playboy Enterprises’ media platforms. This move expands Jellinek’s reach from oversight of Playboy‘s print and online content to all print, online, mobile, TV, film and radio content coming from the minds of Hugh Hefner and company.

Jellinek’s promotion comes less than a week after news broke about Playboy’s deal with American Media Inc., handing over certain aspects of the back-end of the business to the National Enquirer publisher.

Full release after the jump

Previously: Playboy Strikes Deal With AMI

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Playboy Strikes Deal With AMI

9d2d2009d7d44d03dAM5 playboy magazine April  2009.jpgTwo weeks ago, news leaked that Playboy Enterprises was in talks to sell their holdings to London Fog owner Iconix Brand Group Inc. Hugh Hefner‘s publishing empire’s stock has fallen drastically in the last five years, and the recent economic downturn dealt a major blow to the magazine industry, and drew speculation that Playboy was no longer a sustainable enterprise. (In September alone, Playboy‘s ad pages fell 35 percent.) Turns out, the rumors were only half right.

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Ex-Page Six-er Corynne Steindler Talks HollywoodLife On The Menu

mmm_2-3.gifJust one week after launching celebrity and style gossip blog HollywoodLife.com under Bonnie Fuller, senior reporter Corynne Steindler took a few minutes to join the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast with host Jason Boog of GalleyCat and guest host Joe Ciarallo, editor of PRNewser.

Corynne talked about her new job at HollywoodLife as well as her career from the gossipy blog Jossip to The New York Post‘s gossip column Page Six and beyond.

“When I started at Jossip I was reporting a bit but I was mostly musing on the media news that had already been out there,” she explained. “I was breaking stories but not consistently. So when I went to Page Six I really honed those reporting skills and really learned how to break news, get exclusives, report — like really report, not just throw in my opinion on something. And so I think by combining those skills, it made HollywoodLife the perfect place for me to move on to.”

Corynne also let Jason and Joe in on Bonnie Fuller’s role at HollywoodLife. “She’s here every day,” Corynne said about Bonnie, who she once interned under at American Media Inc. “She’s blogging. She’s editing. She’s discussing news stories and ideas with the staff. She’s helping choose photos. She’s totally, totally involved. And I sit right next to her, so it’s pretty awesome. We work really closely together to try to build the site every day.”

Also discussed: Corynne’s advice for aspiring gossip writers, what’s next for HollywoodLife and her craziest celebrity story.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Bonnie Fuller Launches New “Blogazine” HollywoodLife

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We’ve been hearing for months now about how Bonnie Fuller, formerly of Star and Us Weekly, was planning a media comeback with her new gossip blog HollywoodLife.com, poaching Corrynne Steindler from Page Six and Laura Schreffler from New York Daily News along the way.

Now the day has finally arrived: the launch of the “female-focused” blog HollywoodLife.

Billed as a Web site that crosses traditional magazine coverage with “interactive conversation” for women — as well as “feminine bling” from Fuller herself — HollywoodLife has already drawn in huge advertisers (Sony, We television, Old Navy) for the big names it promises to deliver. Of course, their first (and largest) post up right now is about the New Moon premiere in L.A. last night with a streaming video of Taylor Lautner, Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson walking the red carpet.

Full press release after the jump (It’s a must-read, trust us)

Read More: HollywoodLife.com

Previously: Steindler Leaves Page Six To Join Bonnie Fuller, Bonnie Fuller to Announce New ‘Media’ Venture ‘Shortly’, HollywoodLife.com Snags Another NY Gossip Columnist

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