Every Wednesday in Midweek Madness, we dissect the celebrity tabloids, exposing half-truths, lies, manipulations, and deceits. And the general public might be catching on: Circulation numbers for these celebrity magazines are reportedly "particularly dismal."
In Keith Kelly's column in the New York Post today, he writes that People's newsstand sales were down by double-digits in the first half of this year. "And in a sign of how difficult the environment has become, the 10 percent newsstand tumble by People, while bad, was the best performance by a title in the category." (Emphasis ours.)
In Touch is estimated to have fallen 16 percent to 650,000 while subs are flat at about 30,000, which means it missed its 800,000 rate base by more than 100,000 copies. Life & Style fell an estimated 22 percent to 335,000, and even with 15,000 additional subscriptions, it is also more than 100,000 copies off its rate base.
OK! also had a newsstand decline of more than 20 percent.
But aren't we still in a celebrity-obsessed culture? Don't we still want to know all the different ways the stars are just like us? Yup. But now there's this thing called the internet. You get gossip faster, and often straight from the source. John Harrington, editor of The New Single Copy newsletter, tells Keith Kelly: "Facebook and Twitter are having an impact… All the celebrities tweet and have Facebook accounts where you can pick up a lot of the information." Not to mention the hundreds of celebrity, gossip and entertainment-related websites.
I'd also argue that although the celebrity weeklies often have juicy gossip on the inside, the covers are often straight-up lies. When folks are spending their hard-earned cash on some fun plane/train/beach/bathtub reading, don't they deserve a little more respect?