America's celebrity magazines are facing a grave situation: the interest in celebrities themselves is not great enough to move the millions of copies they need to sell. No, all that people really want to see are celebrity babies. That's where the money is these days. But the vital open flow of capital in our national celebrity baby picture market is being threatened by OK! magazine's blatant pandering and deep pockets. Can we accept a bunch of sleazy, credulous Brits winning the first $15 million-plus baby picture auction? It staggers the mind! Here is the nature of the threat:
We hear that OK! publisher Richard Desmond is so set on obtaining the exclusive rights to Brangelina's new baby pictures that he's personally handling negotiations for the photos-which reached $15 million more than a month ago. (Desmond is British and OK! is multinational, meaning that Desmond is helped by both the ability to market these photos worldwide, and the pitifully low dollar). OK!'s editor is ex-celebrity flack Rob Shuter, who is a glorified celebrity wrangler whose only value is his Rolodex and his willingness to do anything to ingratiate the magazine to its famous subjects. One small example: we hear part of OK!'s agreement with Jamie Lynn Spears was to not cover the angle that she is, ya know, a single teen mom. Just the pictures, please!
Add that to what looks like a probable win for OK! in the Brangelina baby bidding war, and it's a clean sweep for the whole month.
US Weekly should be a strong competitor, but owner Jann Wenner won't let them spend what it takes to snag the A-level pictures. And what's the last big baby pic exclusive that People got? Nicole Richie in March, for a mere million bucks:
With a committed publisher, a fat checkbook, and an editor-in-chief who considers "journalism" to be a foreign word, it looks like OK! just may be the only place to turn for your baby pic fix this year. Scary! The only question now is whether the skyrocketing bidding will pay off financially-and if so, for how long. Since we're living in a time when J-Lo can make an amount on baby pictures that rivals her own box office receipts, it seems that OK! will, sadly, only become more dominant the more they win. B-list wedding pictures will never make up the slack.