A spokeswoman for the Media Group said this year's "Fashion Rocks" supplement will have more edit pages than last year's edition. Sources said Jennifer Lopez will be on the cover, though Beckman said he was unable to discuss it. — Irin Carmon
SO LONG, FAREWELL, ADIEU, AUF WIEDERSEHEN: "The Sopranos" is known for being unerring and deliberate in its cultural references, so the magazine world couldn't help but notice the prominent role Departures magazine played in the penultimate episode of the show, which aired Sunday. In the episode, Tony Soprano peruses a copy at his therapist's office, ripping out a recipe for a Basque beef marinade, only to be lambasted by his psychologist for doing so. The sheer number of times Departures was mentioned seemed too obvious — did it speak to paid product placement? Was it indicative of the distant corporate relationship between Time Warner-owned HBO and Departures parent American Express Publishing, which publishes in partnership with Time Inc.? Apparently, none of the above. A spokeswoman for HBO said the show never has product placements and that the corporate connection was irrelevant. (In past seasons, Soprano also has been seen reading The Robb Report and Yachting magazine.) Richard Story, editor in chief of Departures, said that years ago, he had received a letter from David Chase, the show's creator, praising a particular article, though Story's subsequent offer to write for the magazine was declined for lack of time. And indeed, Chase himself wrote the scene in question, the HBO spokeswoman said. At press time, Story had not yet seen the scene, having missed it by a few minutes. But, like a few online critics, he speculated the repeated use of the word "departures" wasn't a coincidence in an episode that involved many grisly ends. "That's the brilliance of 'The Sopranos,'" he said. "A cigar is never just a cigar." And Basque beef is never just Basque beef? — I.C.