So Shock, Hachette Filapacchi's effort to create a publication that speaks to readers who find words and punctuation too intrusive, continues to struggle for a place in the nation's newsracks. AdAge reports that Tower Records has joined the growing list of outlets that have yanked it from the shelves, although in this case the removal comes because of the ongoing conflict with photographer Michael Yon (as opposed to Rite Aid's rationale, which was that the magazine is crap.) Hachette is understandably aggrieved at the campaign against its publication. President/CEO Jack Kliger says, "There's no question that... efforts to convince retailers that it is consumers who are upset at the issue have succeeded in some cases, even though that's not what the fact is... [T]hese are not complaints being made by Shock readers — these are complaints being made by Michael Yon's followers. There's a big difference."
Sad news for those of you who get your Valtrex prescriptions filled at the Rite Aid: The chain has pulled Shock magazine - Hachette Filapacchi's appeal to the all-important borderline retarded demographic - from its shelves. Surprisingly, the magazine's removal had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict between Hachette and photographer Michael Yon; it reflects an aesthetic judgment on Rite Aid's part. Company spokesperson Judy Cook says, "We did pull it. The content wasn't really what we were expecting and it didn't fit with our product mix." Apparently our nation's Medicare Advantage Plan participants are already getting all the shots of blown-up Iraqi children and celebrity ass cleavage through the mail.
Remember Michael Yon? He's the photographer who blew a gasket when Shock magazine - Hachette Filapacchi's new offering for the recently lobotomized - allegedly used his photo of an American soldier cradling an injured Iraqi child without permission. A reported settlement has fallen through, and Yon is none too pleased about it. Hachette Filapacchi (a French company, and therefore evil) "resorted to delay tactics, equivocation, and the same kind of thinly veiled threat that has characterized their style of doing business." Their greatest sin, however, appears to be having shown disdain for the blogosphere.
Worried you wouldn't get your chance to see photos of Chernobyl victims, self-immolation, and a bearded Val Kilmer making out with Paris Hilton? You can relax. Ad Age is reporting that late Friday night Hachette's new Shock magazine — which contains all those delightful images, plus so much more — reached a deal with photog Michael Yon, who claimed the mag had no right to put on its cover his image of a U.S. soldier carrying a wounded Iraqi child and had demanded all issues be pulled from newsstands.
So Shock magazine, Hachette's attempt to corner the market on readers who find Us Weekly too intellectual, got in a bit of a kerfuffle with Michael Yon, the photographer who took the picture that graces the magazine's first cover. (The picture of the soldier cradling the Iraqi kid, not the one of Jessica Simpson.) Seems that Yon didn't approve the use of the photo, saying in a statement, "I regularly turn down usage requests for this photo — uses that could earn money — because this photo is sacred to me and is representative of the U.S. soldiers I have come to know. It is also representative of the horrors of the enemy we all face." Hachette, for its part, claims to have "obtained publishing rights for the image from a reputable photo agency," and is looking into the matter.
Hachette's Shock magazine hits the newsstands on May 30, but early copies are floating around Mediaville, and a greasy copy has thus arrived at HQ And, dare we say, it's a thing of lowbrow beauty. If the National Enquirer bound and gagged Life and forced it to sift through Rotten.com, it would result in something like this. Cheap ($1.99), low on words (there has to be well under 1000 in the entire issue) and bravely independent of advertising (FishbowlNY dutifully notes a mere 3 ad pages), Shock just might be the perfect publication for happily deranged voyeur within us all.
• Networks sue FCC to make it stand up to Parents Television Council right-wing nutjobs. One can dream. [WSJ]
• Joanne Lipman wants to steal James Stewart from The New Yorker for her new Conde biz mag — which nearly has a name. [NYP]
• More books were sold in 2005 than 2004. A sales uptick for a print medium? How unusual. [NYT]
• Former Conde editorial director James Truman has a prototype for his new Culture & Travel, which is not — not at all, he says — the art mag Si wouldn't let him do. [NYP]
• Mike Wallace once tried to kill himself. [NYDN]
• Hachette to launch Shock mag next week. It's "Life magazine for the new millennium," says founder Mike Hammer, formerly of Maxim and Stuff. We suppose this means its gross pictures — such as one of a rotting human head in the first issue — are shot by Margaret Bourke-White and Alfred Eisenstaedt. [WSJ]
• In his forthcoming bio, Ed Kosner is not very nice to Mort Zuckerman. We're just shocked. [WWD]
• Jack Shafer, de facto Times ombudsman, doesn't care for Howell Raines' new memoir. [Slate]
• NYTer Sharon LaFraniere wins $25K Michael Kelly Award. [Kelly Award]
• Hachette looks to trim payroll costs (huh, feel like we've heard that before someplace); and Time's Jim Kelly throws a party for Joe Klein. [NYP]
• Feeling you haven't been reading enough memoirs lately? (And, really, don't we all feel like that?) Not to worry: There'll be twice as many next year. [WSJ]
• And the newspaper business continues to slowly die. [NYT]
• In new Howell Raines memoir, only two chapters of 43 are about the Jayson Blair saga. [E&P]
• Jann Wenner's longtime assistant is set to leave the company, and, remarkably for that shop, everyone likes her. [WWD]
ELLEgirl is still shutting down, and its staffers are still confused about why. As FishbowlNY pointed out yesterday, all the mag's numbers were looking good. "We feel that it's inexplicable," a source on staff emailed. "We worked our asses off on a shoestring budget to make — sorry — the best teen magazine out there. The numbers showed it, and so did the content. It's unbelievable."
• Nick Lemann has 5,000 words on Bill O'Reilly. Which we'll get around to reading soon. [NYer]
• David Carr thinks VF, underneath all its bullshit, is actually a pretty good mag. [NYT]
• And Jon Friedman thinks that all the other magazine editors are ganging up on poor David Remnick. [MW]
• We always thought Bill Beutel was kind of a little crazy, but that's probably because we only really watched him in his later years. He helped invent Eyewitness News, and he died Saturday. [NYT]
• Bloggers "are the new media darlings," and — shockingly — many hope to get paid gigs with traditional media. [Newsday]
• More breaking insights: An attractive grad student who is raped and murdered makes for great tabloid fodder. [Baltimore Sun]
• No Hachette mags were among the Ellie finalists. Again. [WWD]
Hachette Filipacchi Media, the devish Franco-publishers behind Elle, Woman's Day, Premiere, Car & Driver and a slew of others, has pioneered itself into a spanking-new corporate partnership with Zinio Systems, some techie company that plans to get all 18 of HF's titles online by early 2006. No more lugging around 3 pounds of Elle just to get some monthly sense slapped into you by E. Jean.