OK!, Life & Style, In Touch and Star stood by their stories when WWD called for comment, and a spokesman for Star further challenged the article. "I find it amusing that Us Weekly and [editor in chief] Janice Min thinks they are above all else in the celebrity category of weekly gossip magazines. How can she point fingers when [The New York Post's] Page Six had to run a retraction from picking up her stories in the last year?"
A Wenner spokesman responded to the Star spokesman: "We don't say that we don't make mistakes; that is the nature of any news gathering operation. What we don't do is wholesale fabricate stories to sell magazines." — Stephanie D. Smith
LITTLE CUTIE: One of the May cover stars of Vanity Fair has a book deal, and it's not Leonardo DiCaprio. The Berlin Zoo has signed away international publishing rights to Knut, the baby polar bear who was digitally united with DiCaprio for the magazine's green issue, to Turtle Pond Publications. A spokeswoman declined to discuss the terms of the deal, but the chief executive officer of the Berlin Zoo said some of the proceeds would go to educational initiatives for the environment. Scholastic will publish the first Knut book, to be written by best-selling children's author Craig Hatkoff, this fall, and a Web site will follow next year. — Irin Carmon
IS IT A GOOD THING? In an unlikely pairing, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is working with Costco to sell frozen and refrigerated food in Costco locations across the country. And while it's unlikely that Stewart will put her own spin on the Hungry Man dinner, the food line will start appearing in stores later this year or in early 2008. Chief executive officer Susan Lyne mentioned the launch Thursday while also providing remarks on the company's first-quarter results. On that note, revenues rose 12 percent to approximately $40 million in the publishing division, thanks to higher ad pages and rates. Ad pages jumped 7 percent at Martha Stewart Living and 14 percent at Everyday Food, while total ad sales grew 20 percent to $21.4 million during the quarter. Lyne added the company expects a net investment of $8 million this year for Blueprint and an additional $1 million to purchase photo rights and test additional magazine concepts, which were not disclosed. Looking ahead, Lyne forecast $45 million to $46 million in publishing division revenues during the second quarter and 14 percent ad page growth at Living and 18 percent growth at Everyday Food.