It was a little over three years ago that the Onion lampooned the idea of a highbrow quarterly spinoff of Us Weekly. Now, thanks to the American cult of celebrity, this "joke" has finally come true! The celebrity gossip rag is expanding, via an unnamed new publication, into the slightly more highbrow topic of celebrity fashion, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning. Us owner Jann Wenner is chasing the success of People's StyleWatch, which now publishes 10 times per year and circulates more widely than Vogue. Given the "fashion" choices of many celebrities, that's insane. It's also a singular accomplishment: Time Inc.'s In Style and American Media's Star both launched failed fashion spinoffs. Maybe Wenner thinks he can do better. Or maybe he's just trying to jack up the price he'll fetch when the magazine overlord finally sells off (as long rumored) the Us portion of his empire. Notes the Journal:
To many industry watchers, US Weekly remains an intriguing prospect for a sale. Mr. Wenner is perceived to be less emotionally attached to it than to Rolling Stone, which he founded 41 years ago as an outlet for his interest in music, and with which he is as personally and professionally involved as ever.
...And while he periodically floats the idea of selling his magazines, friends and former colleagues say, Mr. Wenner himself says he would like to hand over the business to his sons.
Still, he won't exclude the possibility of a sale. "You always think about it," he said.
And you always think about in such visible places!