TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘American Media Inc.’

OK! Makes Odd Change to Printing Schedule to Save Money

American Media Inc. (AMI) is taking an unusual step to save some cash on OK!, its celebrity gossip rag. According to WWD, the magazine will now close almost a week before it hits newsstands, a move that sources say has allowed the magazine to emerge from the red for the first time in years. The new schedule — it closes on Thursdays and hits newsstands the following Wednesday — might help the magazine for now, but that’s a huge gap, and celebrities tend to do a lot of stupid things during the weekend.

A Spokesperson for OK! denied that the title would be missing out on anything, insisting that the change was necessary and smart. The person also added that it didn’t matter if competitors like People, Us Weekly, Life & Style and In Touch went to print after the weekend, thus allowing them to stay on top of new stories. OK! doesn’t break news, the rep said, instead, “We take the biggest stories of the week and explore them further.”

Those of you anxious to see how OK! explores the “Teen Mom shocking makeover” blockbuster story further, you’re going to have to wait a lot longer. Or just read it somewhere else first.

AMI Purchases OK! Magazine

American Media Inc. (AMI) has purchased the United States version of OK! magazine, according to The Wall Street Journal. FishbowlNY recently reported on the rumor that Time Inc. was going to purchase it, but it looks like that deal fell through. As for structural changes at AMI, there will be a few:

The U.S. edition of OK!, which is based in New York, will relocate to AMI’s new headquarters in the city. Staffing decisions are still being evaluated. Executives said print-ad sales for OK! and Shape will be handled by a single team but that OK! would retain its distinct tone and celebrity-friendly approach.

Now all AMI has to figure out is how purchasing a money-losing title will help the company. If you have suggestions you should email them. We bet they’re open to any ideas.

AMI’s David Pecker: $50 Million Ready for Acquisitions

David Pecker, the Chairman and CEO of American Media Inc. (AMI), is king of the tabloids, has an excellent mustache, and apparently, money to burn. He tells WWD’s Amy Wicks that AMI makes about $3 million a year from advertising and digital magazines, and that he has $50 million primed for acquiring new titles (specifically Maxim).

Pecker is painting a very different picture of AMI than what has been in the news lately. The company recently emerged from its debt, and rumor has it Pecker is giving big bonuses to execs. However, just last week he asked staffers to take three unpaid furloughs by the end of March.

Don’t let that mustache fool you. There’s something fishy going on at AMI.

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

b22fullerhep1.jpg

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>