The Wall Street Journal carries a gossipy feature story on rumors related to a coming changing of the guard at People Magazine.
People is the most profitable magazine in the U.S., and contributes more than a third of all Time Inc.’s earnings, executives there say. It carries enough clout on the newsstand to support many of the publisher’s other titles. Arranging a succession to Ms. Wallace, who has been at her post for five years, would be “enormously problematic,” says Peter Herbst, editor in chief of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.’s Premiere magazine. Mr. Herbst, who worked at People in the mid-1990s, adds that the title “is bigger than most magazine companies.”
Since this seems to be Time Inc. magazine history day, I’ll throw in a mention of the most legendary magazine person I’ve ever had the opportunity to hear describe over dinner how he was beaten up covering a news story in my home state.
Richard Stolley, the founding editor of People, would be on a magazine Mt. Rushmore if there was such. He’s famous for the quote about People Magazine covers, “Young is better than old. Pretty is better than ugly. Rich is better than poor. TV is better than music. Music is better than movies. Movies are better than sports. Anything is better than politics. (and, later added) Nothing is better than the celebrity dead.” He’s still active as a senior editorial advisor at Time Inc. and is still a voice to be heard.