US Weekly editor resigning after six years

Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:03pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Janice Min, the US Weekly editor in chief who directed the magazine's breathless coverage of celebrity derring-do for six years, is resigning next week for what she joked would be "a little Gosselin detox."

Min, 39, told Reuters on Tuesday that her departure was amicable, and was not the result of any discord with her boss Jann Wenner, whose publications have a reputation for heavy executive turnover. Wenner's closely held Wenner Media also owns Rolling Stone and Men's Journal.

She said she had "no idea" what she would do next, but doubted she would end up competing directly with US Weekly, which boasts exhaustive fashion analysis and candid pictorial features like "Stars - They're Just Like US!"

Min is the person to thank if you had never heard of the minor celebrity couple Jon and Kate Gosselin until two months ago. The warring stars of niche cable channel TLC's cult show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" made the cover for what Min believed was a record seven weeks in a row.

"Honestly I took a bit of a flying leap even putting that show on the cover to begin with. It was a show that a lot of people had never heard of," she said.

"Now, there's probably not a person in the country who doesn't know who they are, and probably a lot of people who wish they had never known who they were."

The numbers seem to bear out Min's instincts. In a challenging environment, US Weekly circulation stands at about 1.95 million copies, up about two percent from a year ago, while newsstand sales are flat at about 850,000, according to a magazine spokesman.

Additionally, ad pages were down 10 percent during the first half, compared with a 28 percent drop for the rest of the industry, the spokesman said.

Min will be replaced on an interim basis by executive editor Michael Steele.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Bob Tourtellotte)