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MISSING THE TARGET: Star may have more problems. Sources close to the magazine say the title will not make its 1.5 million rate base for the first half of this year, and is considering another rate-base reduction, to around 1.2 million, for next year. This winter, Star sold between 600,000 to 800,000 newsstand copies a week, but since editor in chief Candace Trunzo took over the title in April, sales have hovered in the 600,000 range, according to sources familiar with scan data. American Media Inc. in April said Star would lower its rate base to 1.35 million for the second half of the year, but if sales maintain their current range, the title could miss the lowered circulation guarantee. Sales of celebrity titles tend to pick up in the summer and decline in the fall as folks spend more time in the office or at school, which means single-copy sales — accounting for half of Star's circulation — could fall below 600,000 over the course of the next six months.
Meanwhile, the New York Post on Friday said billionaire Ron Burkle is continuing talks with AMI to acquire the company. Sources close to the deal say Burkle and AMI chief executive officer David Pecker are in deep negotiations, and a deal could be done as soon as the end of next month. A spokesperson for AMI did not respond to questions by deadline. — S.D.S.