Do you listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast? I go in and out of it, depending on the guest. Last week his guest was Janice Min, now Co-President and Chief Creative Officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group and formerly the editor of US Weekly, in its prime. Janice left US Weekly to revive THR. The entire interview is worth your time, not only because Janice revisits some of US Weekly’s best stories (the Brange decade) but also because it’s work porn. She’s one of the most powerful women in entertainment media. She has a golden touch. Her career trajectory has coincided with some of the biggest celebrity stories of the last two decades.
I thought about Janice as I was reading Ronan Farrow’s latest Harvey Weinstein piece for The New Yorker. Ronan has already written extensively about many of Harvey’s victims. Now he’s focusing on how Harvey intimidated them, recruiting private investigation firms and corporate intelligence agencies, with former spies as employees, to gather compromising information about his accusers. Former military spies were trailing the women Harvey Weinstein once harassed, assaulted, and or raped. They were using false identities to get close to them to gather intel. Reporters were also being followed. This is deeply f-cked up sh-t and it illustrates, yet again, the vastness of Harvey’s power network.
Part of that network includes The National Enquirer and Dylan Howard, the Chief Content Officer of American Media Inc (AMI) which owns the Enquirer, Star Magazine, OK!, Radar, and now… US Weekly. If you’ve been reading this site consistently over the last few months, I’ve written several times about US Weekly’s new ownership and the impact that would have on the magazine – and on the gossip landscape. According to Ronan Farrow and The New Yorker, Harvey worked with Dylan Howard, using the Enquirer’s reporters, to investigate the women making claims against him, similar to how the Enquirer, during the election, dug up information on Trump’s opponents in order to discredit their campaigns. Not surprisingly, now that everybody hates Harvey, Dylan Howard is trying to distance himself from the connection. But the connection has now been made.
When AMI initially acquired US Weekly, it insisted that each publication’s brand under its umbrella would maintain its distinctive personality. They’re all in the same family though. And the US Weekly we know now is definitely not what it was in the time of Janice Min.
Click here to read Ronan Farrow’s latest piece in The New Yorker. And click here to listen to Janice Min’s interview with Bill Simmons. I especially love the part where they talk about The Hollywood Reporter’s famous “lists”. Like the power list, or the agent list, or the stylist list and how much these lists, and people’s placement on them, matter to the Hollywood players who show up on them.
Yours in gossip,