Yesterday we took a look at the celebrity glossies' websites, to get a sense of how this weeks issues would cover the Jennifer Hudson story. People and Us Weekly seemed like they planned to devote the most space reporting on the murders of the singer/actress's mother, brother, and nephew. And, sure enough, they were the only two to run the story as the main image on their covers. But what's inside? Us spoke with people who described the inciting incident, a fight between Hudson's brother and the man suspected of doing the killings. That story isn't really featured in any of the other five magazines we looked at, so I guess Us gets the points for that. People's is typically heavy on the personal interest, though surprisingly they didn't set aside a space for other celebrities to weigh in on the tragedy, as three others, Life & Style (they got fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama!), Us, and InTouch, did. They pretty much all have the same photos, especially the terribly cute and just, well, terribly sad photos of Hudson's seven-year-old nephew. So, who wins? Us Weekly, we guess. Though, it also kind of feels like nobody won.
When the celebrity weeklies unveil their new covers tomorrow, we can bet they'll be dominated by coverage of the terrible Jennifer Hudson news story, in which the singer and actress's mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew were murdered on Friday. And we suppose they're right to, it being big news and all. Since the issues went to print yesterday, it's up to the websites to tease what each publication has in store (and to keep up with breaking developments). So what might each magazine be featuring? We took a look at five magazines' websites today to try to see if there were any hints of what their coverage will look like tomorrow. People, the longstanding classy version of the other tabloids, has a story (kinda far down the page, honestly) about Jennifer's bond with her mother, featuring recollections about Darnell Donerson from Jennifer's acting coach and from people in Donerson's Chicago neighborhood. It's the kind of sad human interest story that People has made their name doing. Expect sidebar reactions from American Idol judges (Hudson was a contestant on the show) and maybe one of the bigger gets, like Beyonce, Hudson's Dreamgirls costar. Us Weekly reports at a more breathless, staccato clip, giving us gory details about the number of times Hudson's young nephew was shot and quoting from Hudson's sister's MySpace, in which she mourns her lost loved ones and imagines them as her guardian angels now. In your face awfulness. InTouch, Life & Style, and OK! aren't giving the story as much prominence as Us (their older and more popular sibling). OK! does a small dissection of the dispute that lead to the whole tragedy InTouch covers Idol judge Randy Jackson's reaction to the sad news. And Life & Style has nothing about the incident on their sparsely updated site. So, once again, it looks as though Us Weekly leads the pack toward getting the scoop, though their hand at the necessary quiet, soft-touch pieces is not as nimble as People's. Us ought to get the early lead while People follows up in the coming weeks with a punch-in-the-gut Hudson interview. Or not. Maybe we'll get surprised with a big Exclusive. It could happen.
We're told Bauer Publishing chief Hubert Boehle has grown tired of the never-ending stream of outside editors atop his celebrity fashion title Life & Style. He finds them hapless. The solution: Boehle will bring in Dan Wakeford, executive editor of another Bauer celebrity mag, In Touch, as top editor. "He wasn't given any choice in the matter," our tipster said. With both the fashion industry and celebrity magazines socked by the economy, he's got his work cut out for him.
OK! is the celebrity magazine that is the most willingly manipulated by celebrity flacks, which is really saying something. So it's perfectly appropriate that the magazine just promoted sleazy former celebrity uberflack Rob Shuter to its executive editor position. That's because Shuter is skilled at doing the two things that OK! is most famous for: lying on behalf of celebrities, and losing other people's money. Even he, the great fabulist, couldn't write a more sickening script than this.
It's usually fun when rumored flings between two unlikely stars are proven true, unless one of those stars happens to be serial dater Jennifer Aniston. Last week we reluctantly reported on stories linking Aniston to orgasmic crooner John Mayer, and as In Touch tells us today, the pair spent a long weekend together in Miami, where Jen's filming Marley & Me. Just another doozy of an I'll Believe It When I See It tale? Well, believe it, and see it, after the jump.
The New York Post's Keith Kelly confirms the Feds are investigating an editor at In Touch magazine for taking kickbacks from photo agencies. Not that much new in the piece that wasn't already aired on Gawker on Wednesday. But the allegation is that the celebrity weekly editor assigned lucrative assignments to favored agencies, in exchange for cash payments.
Perhaps Complex magazine missed the juicier side of the FBI's dirty editor investigation: the tabloid editor in question may have been taking bribes to kill stories, not just promote them, according to one former coworker. An English editor based out of In Touch's New Jersey headquarters was, starting four years ago, widely rumored among In Touch staff to have accepted bribes on a regular basis, particularly from a fellow Brit working as a high-profile publicist to a collection of ditzy celebrities. Staff were particularly "horrified" when the editor accepted a rumored $10,000 payment to kill a story involving Jennifer Lopez after her breakup with Ben Affleck, the former colleague said. Though this editor was based on the East Coast, his story helps show why the FBI would be interested in the former In Touch West Coast-based editor on whom speculation has centered.
Famously, Al Capone was brought down, not by charges of racketeering or murder, but by a mundane prosecution for tax evasion. Could it be that's what finally crimps corruption at the celebrity weeklies? According to Complex magazine, federal investigators have tapped phones at In Touch, the also-ran gossip magazine put out by Bauer Publishing. The focus of the FBI probe: payments to at least one editor in exchange for prominent placement of certain B-list celebrities. (For more desirable stories, and baby pictures, the money flows the other way, from magazine to source.) Accepting bribes, while a sackable offense, is not illegal. However, if an editor failed to declare the income, he could be hauled up for tax evasion. News of the investigation has leaked because agents have called in former staffers for interviews over the last few days. In Touch: want to respond? Email and we'll publish. (After the jump, Robert De Niro as Al Capone, slamming the Untouchables for "doctoring up" some income tax violation.)
In an attempt to eliminate their competition, Bauer may be folding Life&Style into InTouch. "L&S would be dunzo come November- all of the L&S newstand pockets would be turned over to InTouch, thus instantly increasing InTouch's presence," a tipster informs us. Genius plan! Except one detail: "InTouch doesn't want anyone from L&S." Well, of course they don't! Those people work at freaking Life&Style.
What's going on with the Englewood, N.J. celeb weekly? Well! Staffers are leaving for Star, of all places, and In Touch keeps insisting that Brad and Angelina are on the rocks, despite all photographic and other evidence to the contrary. And... they're in New Jersey? Yeah. Today, Keith Kelly reported that two In Touch editors, Casey Brennan and Aaron Rasmussen, have fled to the welcoming arms of Star Mama Candace Trunzo—and now senior reporter Cristina Everett has left as well, to become a senior reporter. So in what known universe is Star considered actually a desirable place to work?
As first reported on Friday afternoon, Getty Images sent an email out to celebrity weekly editors hawking photos of Anna Nicole Smith, her newborn daughter, and her son, Daniel. The pictures were taken in the Bahamian hospital where, the next day, Daniel was found mysteriously dead. For an initial asking price of $200K, Getty would provide a handful of the tender! heartbreaking! tragic! images, the only caveat being that the buyer had to refrain from running the photos with any sort of negative press — which may be easier said than done if and when toxicology reports are released.