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BONNIE’S RETURN: Bonnie Fuller has rebooted her career online with Tuesday’s relaunch of celebrity site Hollywoodlife.com. The former editor of YM, Marie Claire, Glamour, Us Weekly and Cosmopolitan has helped create a site for women ages 18 to 35 that speaks to them in the same voice as a girlfriend flipping through Us Weekly on the subway.
While the site includes news and reporting, it’s less focused on the gotcha-esque gossip of other celebrity weeklies — such as Star, which Fuller managed as chief editorial director of American Media Inc. — and more on how readers can apply the fashions, beauty and lifestyles of the stars to their own lives. Oversize photos of the cast of “New Moon” are atop fashion and beauty credits for eyeliner, dresses and hair products the stars use. Products are linked to e-commerce sites for consumers to buy. Coverage also extends to celebrities’ everyday moments and personal struggles: a feature called HollyReal documents celebrities picking up Starbucks, pizza or groceries, for example, and recent news items include how Cindy Crawford is coping after having her nanny’s boyfriend attempt to extort $100,000 from her and her husband, Rande Gerber. According to Fuller, who pioneered the “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” franchise of celebrity journalism, “Every aspect of celebrity life is an opportunity for women to relate to. Celebs seems more glamorous and more fascinating than us, but they have all the same problems in their lives. They have to get gas, pick up their laundry, take out the garbage.” Crawford’s nanny struggle is an example of that. “She’s a great mom and did everything to the best of her ability, but you never know when you hire a nanny what that nanny can exposure your children to,” said Fuller, speaking to WWD from her cell phone as she edited copy with her staff on the morning of the launch.
Hollywoodlife.com gathered about 700,000 unique visitors before its relaunch, which puts it behind people.com (11 million), tvguide.com (9 million), TMZ (7 million) and Us Weekly (4 million), but the site has already partnered with iVillage and AOL Popeater to help drive traffic. Hollywoodlife.com counts Old Navy, Sony and WEtv among its advertisers. Fuller has recruited several seasoned celebrity reporters, including Corynne Steindler from the New York Post’s Page Six, Laura Schreffler from the New York Daily News’ Gatecrasher column and Eunice Oh, a former People reporter. — Stephanie D. Smith