Women’s Wear Daily
04.16.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Cutting The Hems... Revolving Door... Your Job To Party...

American Media Inc. continues to cut back at celebrity weekly Star. Though an AMI spokesman said on March 27 that no more layoffs would be forthcoming after the company cut 12 jobs that week, on Tuesday it bid adieu to a few more staffers.

fashion-memopad/news
CUTTING THE HEMS: American Media Inc. continues to cut back at celebrity weekly Star. Though an AMI spokesman said on March 27 that no more layoffs would be forthcoming after the company cut 12 jobs that week, on Tuesday it bid adieu to a few more staffers — Star's fashion director, Joni Cohen, and its marketing assistant, Josh Liebman. Fashion publicists were tipped off to the change via an e-mail that said that, as of April 4, "there will no longer be fashion in Star or a Star fashion department."

Such a statement seems to indicate a move back to Star's tabloid roots, especially now that new editor in chief Candace Trunzo, formerly editor of sister title The Globe, has taken the helm. But a spokesman for Star said fashion coverage in Star will be "the same or more than before." To fill the gaps, Star's beauty director, Tara Kraft, will become the magazine's fashion director, and Taryn Adler, assistant to AMI editorial director Bonnie Fuller, will become associate beauty director. As for why Cohen and Liebman were let go, a Star spokesman said they were "internal editor decisions" and that both Cohen and Liebman were freelancers. That said, Cohen served two years at Star and previously worked at Vogue and Allure.

Also, as reported by Advertising Age on Thursday, Star cut its rate base by 150,000 copies to 1.35 million, which AMI chief operating officer John Miller attributed to rising postal rates. — Stephanie D. Smith

REVOLVING DOOR: Can one be fired for making too much money for the company? Us Weekly associate publisher Charlie McNiff is leaving the title as of today. A spokesman said his departure comes after management and McNiff "could not come to an agreement on a new contract and decided to part ways." But sources close to McNiff said Wenner Media founder Jann Wenner was increasingly frustrated at how much McNiff was being paid in commissions as the celebrity weekly's ad revenue grew. Last year was the title's biggest ever, clocking in $276 million in ad revenue, according to estimates by Publishers Information Bureau. Sources said McNiff's new contract would have significantly decreased his amount of compensation. Meanwhile, sources also said contract negotiations for Us Weekly publisher Vicci Lasdon Rose over similar terms to reduce her compensation have been discussed. — S.D.S.
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