Last Friday in this space, I posted about the disturbance in the gossip landscape with American Media Inc’s purchase of US Weekly. Yesterday 40 US Weekly staff members were reportedly let go, including Michael Steele, editor in chief, and editorial director Jamiee Zanzinger. US Weekly’s entire Los Angeles bureau has been shut down as well.
AMI also owns The National Enquirer, Star, OK!, and Radar Online. They operate on a “centralized news structure and a consolidated back office” which would suggest that, going forward, US Weekly would be sharing resources with the others. Which, again, means that the US Weekly gossip standard will inevitably be compromised.
US Weekly once ranked the highest in tabloid accuracy. In the last six months, the magazine has been strong on royal gossip, breaking several stories about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, including the fact that Meghan had already met Prince Charles by the time the world found out that she was dating Harry and the fact that they were planning a holiday together around Christmas time, 6 weeks before it actually happened.
In contrast, this is the cover of the new issue of OK!, now US Weekly’s sister publication:
Also: a couple of weeks ago on March 6, Radar claimed that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck had gotten back together.
Three days later, on March 9th, US Weekly confirmed that JLO had actually been dating Alex Rodriguez for weeks. JLO, in particular, seems to have had a strong relationship with US Weekly, as we saw in 2015 when she covered the “Best Bodies” issue and again 6 months later when she told them her “secrets for staying young”:
When you cut staff, you also cut their sources. So… where will the staff take their sources? As US Weekly drops in the tabloid hierarchy and we begin to see a re-shift on the accuracy scale, which outlet will benefit most?
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,