After four years on the job, Candace Trunzo, the editor in chief of Star magazine, was fired on Monday, and a new EIC, Radar Online's David Perel, has been brought in. Perel used to work for the National Enquirer, and a source told WWD that Perel would plans to make Star "increasingly anticelebrity and mean."
All staff who are reputable or proper have left. Staff are really worried," wrote the source in an e-mail. "They don't want to work somewhere so negative."
The question, of course, is: How could Star get any meaner? Let's take a look at some recent covers, shall we?
March 9, 2011: "Rock Bottom." This cover story alleges that Christina Aguilera — going through a divorce — has been "numbing herself with booze and food." She's "in denial" and "seriously depressed," and a doctor who does not treat her claims: "She looks about 40 lbs. overweight." There's actually no evidence that Christina hit rock bottom; she looks fairly happy to be on new show The Voice, and if there's a woman alive who hasn't dealt with a breakup by drinking at eating, she is probably a robot clone from outer space.
January 5, 2011: Wasted! Rehab For Angie." Angelina was seen drinking wine, people think she looks tired and weary, so she could go to rehab. But she did not. And, though Angelina hasn't used heroin in years, the mag brings it up and claims the thought of doing it "lingers in the back of her mind." Because they can see right inside her brain!
March 2, 2011: "Stars Lose Fight With Cellulite." When the gossip is slow, Star hauls out a cellulite or "worst" bodies issue. The truth is that the "worst" body is one that is diseased or dying or in pain. If a woman can put on shorts or a swimsuit and enjoy some fun in the sun, then her body is working just fine. Cellulite occurs in 80 to 90% of postpubertal females — be they fat or thin — and is not considered a medical condition. Doctors from prestigious institutions agree that there is no cure. So Star can kiss our dimpled asses.
January 19, 2011: "Kate Drug Shocker!" Katie Holmes is not a glassy-eyed junkie, but in a In a "world exclusive," some former Scientologists tell Star that Scientology treatments have an effect "similar to heroin!" There was no actual "drug shocker," which is probably why Katie sued the magazine for $50 million. We haven't heard any further news about the case, but one has to wonder if it had some bearing on the editor getting fired.
October 6, 2010: "Saying Goodbye." The mag spent most of last fall on a Michael Douglas Deathwatch™. Classy.
February 2, 2011: "Down Syndrom Drama: Truth About The Twins." This has got to be one of the worst covers Star ever printed. A nameless insider tells the magazine that the Jolie-Pitt twins are "taking longer to grasp things" and that "something seems off." The editors decide that the kids have Down Syndrome — and use those words on the cover — even though not one source in the article offers a direct quote or statement like, "The twins have Down syndrome." Morally repugnant and downright embarrassing.
The newsstand is cluttered with celebrity weeklies, and Star's sensationalist cover stories certainly help them grab a reader's attention. When we are grading Midweek Madness, Star often receives high marks, because, when they're not bodysnarking or announcing that perfectly happy couples are on the rocks, the issues are a juicy and entertaining read — though we realize that many of the stories are not necessarily based in fact. Gossip can be fun. We like following celebrities and being informed of stolen kisses, secret lovers' rendez-vous and prissy diva behavior, but mean is not something we need more of, or look for in a magazine. And the thought of a meaner Star is nauseating, in that it would no doubt be sickeninly misogynistic and crass.
The "good news" is that new editor David Perel tells the New York Post that Radar Online is "very celebrity friendly. We're going to bring a little of that over [to Star]." If you say so. We'll be watching.
David Perel Replaces Candace Trunzo at Star Magazine [Fishbowl NY]
Star Editor Out [WWD]
New AMI shake-up: Perel named Star editor [NY Post]