Speculation has abounded over whether Mike Steele, Janice Min's "acting" successor as editor-in-chief at Us Weekly, is the real deal, or just a temporary space-holder. Wenner Media boss Jann Wenner tried to clear it up in a staff memo yesterday.
Wenner sent out this memo to his staff late yesterday afternoon. It seems designed to quash the gossip and speculation about whether Steele is, in fact, Janice Min's replacement, or just a placeholder until Wenner can find someone he likes better. Though as with all Wenner employees, he's only one Jann mood swing away from doom at any given time.
Dear Us Staff:
I want you to join me in congratulating Mike Steele in his promotion to acting editor in chief.
As you know, Mike has been an integral part of making Us Weekly successful, working side-by-side with Janice for more than five years. He is a quiet and steady presence who has proven adept at both editing and managing, and certainly by this point he's more than used to having the reins turned over to him when Janice is away. Contrary to any speculation out there, Mike is my one and only choice. He has my full vote of confidence.
More important, rest assured, this magazine works, and there are no plans for radical change: We will be reporting newsstand numbers the same as last year's for this half to ABC (a huge accomplishment when all our competitors are down double-digits); additionally, Us Weekly has maintained a very strong ad position in the marketplace. The growth of our website is extraordinary - 6.6 million unique visitors for the month of May. All in all, everything is humming, I have full confidence things will continue on course, and I ask you to join me and Mike in making that happen.
Thanks for all your continued hard work, and I'm looking forward to even more success.