Memo Pad: Shining Star... No Longer Just New York... Minus And Plus...

Star has solidified its decision to lower its rate base to 1.25 million in January, after the company lowered its rate base to 1.35 million from 1.5 million as of July.

SHINING STAR: Star has solidified its decision to lower its rate base to 1.25 million in January, after the company lowered its rate base to 1.35 million from 1.5 million as of July. WWD reported last month that parent company American Media Inc. was considering the move, and AMI confirmed the decision Monday.

The move, according to David Leckey, AMI executive vice president, consumer marketing, and John Miller, AMI chief operating officer, comes as Star continues to clean out less profitable subscriptions from its files. Subscriptions, said Leckey, are settling toward their natural home of around 500,000, while single-copy sales have fallen to 750,000, from 900,000 three years ago. But don't blame new Star editor in chief Candace Trunzo for the drop in single-copy sales — competition from lower-priced titles In Touch, Life & Style and OK! have eaten into some of Star's newsstand share. And it's not the only celebrity title being challenged by cheaper competitors — veteran weeklies People and Us Weekly saw softness in their newsstand figures for the first half of 2007.

Since taking over Star in April from Joe Dolce, Trunzo has posted average single-copy sales of 745,000, according to figures reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Previous figures given to WWD by sources with scan data showed Trunzo's numbers hovered in the 600,000 range. But according to the numbers reported to ABC, Star's sales under Trunzo have ranged from 574,886 for one issue in May, three issues in the 600,000 range, eight issues in the 700,000 range and two above 800,000. Comparatively, Star's average from January to March under former editor Dolce averaged 710,000. In July and August, Star's weekly single-copy numbers have held steady around 740,000, according to AMI's estimates. "I think she's had a positive effect on the magazine," said Leckey. — Stephanie D. Smith

NO LONGER JUST NEW YORK: A hip, downtown address means a grander name for New York and its parent company. The magazine is moving on Monday from its headquarters at 444 Madison Avenue to 75 Varick Street and at the same time will add "Media" to its corporate moniker. No, it isn't to differentiate itself from the city or state; instead, the loftier name reflects the reach of the city magazine into spin-offs including New York Weddings, and its new fashion semiannual, New York Look. Still no word on whether the huge New York red neon sign above their old digs will be moving downtown as well — although without the "Media," does it really matter? — S.D.S.
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