KATE VERSUS CHACE: Editors at the celebrity weeklies were abuzz about who has more newsstand sales power — mother of eight Kate Gosselin or “Gossip Girl” heartthrob Chace Crawford. According to sources familiar with the deal, In Touch spent around $75,000 to purchase exclusive photos of Gosselin spanking her kids in public for its cover last week, and the purchase seemed to have paid off. The title’s single-copy sales hit 1 million, according to sources familiar with scan data. The issue was one of In Touch’s strongest sellers of the half, during which sales for the magazine have averaged 800,000 single copies a week. The Gosselin charm comes as little surprise — Monday’s episode on TLC, on which the couple revealed their not-surprising divorce, attracted more than 10 million viewers.
Naming Crawford to the title of People’s Hottest Bachelor, on the other hand, hasn’t been quite the same winner. Sources estimate the double issue so far registered sales of 1.1 million copies. Editors at competing celebrity magazines questioned whether the 23-year-old television star was recognizable enough for People’s audience, or if they should have gone with a bigger name. Past “Bachelors” include Matthew McConaughey in 2007 and “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks in 2006. Both issues sold 1.6 million copies each. (Last year, People bumped its Hottest Bachelor cover for coverage of Tim Russert’s death). Some looked to 34-year-old Bradley Cooper, star of the hit comedy “The Hangover,” as a better choice. “Here’s a guy who’s in the biggest comedy of the summer, he’s 34, single and is dating Jennifer Aniston,” said one celebrity weekly insider, citing a report on People’s own Web site. “That’s someone you want to know more about.” Cooper was named as one of People’s Hottest Bachelors and is included in the issue.
A People spokeswoman said it was too soon to discuss estimates and that the issue is on sale for another 10 days, through July 3. “We have every expectation that it will be an above-average seller,” she said.
The rest of the weeklies are reporting mixed results. Us Weekly had below-average sales with its cover on “The Hills” cast member Stephanie Pratt talking about her struggle with bulimia. The issue sold around 750,000, according to early estimates, well below the 900,000 to 1.1 million copies it has sold with covers covering the “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” drama. Life & Style sold 500,000 copies with its cover confirming that “Twilight” stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are dating, which is on par for its first-half average. Star sold around 550,000 copies last week and OK magazine sold about 380,000 copies. — S.D.S.