Recently, Steppin' Up editor Chaunce Hayden got himself banned from tipping Page Six because of an inaccurate item he sorta sent them about a sex tape involving the wife of radio morning show host Opie. Does that sentence confuse and upset you? It should, because there's no fucking reason you should've ever heard of Chaunce Hayden, Steppin' Out, or "Opie," as Chaunce Hayden more or less admits in a Radar profile today. The unread free New Jersey magazine is actually just a vehicle for Mr. Hayden to meet famous (or "famous") women and land his name in the columns.
Today, Steppin' Out has a circulation of around 85,000 and is distributed throughout New Jersey and New York City by a team of 30 drivers. Hayden is the editor, but, more important, also serves as the magazine's de facto publicist: Since no one actually reads it, it's up to him to feed the best material to the various gossip outlets around town, most of which are desperate to fill column space each day.
This is how "gossip" works! Armies of professional tipsters (literally professional, in many cases-some Ron Burkle-owned magazines are known to have piles of cash on hand for these tipsters) who sometimes feed you great stuff and sometimes utter bullshit.
So Chaunce seeks status and publicity for himself, netting himself closer access to the famous and semi-famous who he then sells out to Page Six until one of them then turns on him and Page Six is forced to burn him, the end.
"It's actually not that difficult to get people to appear in the magazine," he says. "I just promise them the cover. Of course, no one has ever seen the damn thing, but publicists have usually heard of it, which is good enough. Everyone's a fame whore in this town."
True! When we first began receiving emails from "Chaunce Hayden" on behalf of Steppin' Out they confused and upset us, but now, sadly, we understand the whole game. And we've still never seen a physical copy of this magazine.