Syfy's Arrival, Timberlake's Book & TMZ's Big Win

cityfile · 07/07/09 12:21PM

• The Sci Fi Channel is now called Syfy. It's pronounced the same way, except it's less science fiction-y, which is why it was changed to begin with. [THR]
• Justin Timberlake has tapped lit agent David Vigliano to sell publishers on the notion that Timberlake is just the person to write a book about golf. [NYO]
• After a heated, two-year battle, big record labels and online radio stations have finally agreed on new royalty rates for streaming music online. [NYT]
• Who says embattled media companies are doing their best to spend money more wisely? The soundstage for Jay Leno's new primetime show will be "specially fitted to accommodate his passion: expensive cars." [THR]
• "Online predators" have hit Twitter. Paging Dateline's Chris Hansen! [LAT]
• A new study finds that kids are spending more time online. Surprise! [AP]
• Equally shocking: Breaking the Jackson story has boosted TMZ's traffic. [AP]

Elle: Too Gay?

Hamilton Nolan · 06/24/08 10:16AM

Fashion magazines have a female target audience. But the look of many fashion magazines is controlled, to a large extent, by gay men. Is that a problem for the magazines? It could be. The interests of the gays and fashion-conscious women overlap, but not perfectly (see the Perez Hilton empire, example A). But is it really possible for a women's fashion magazine to become too gay? A brief perusal of Elle tells us: it just might be!

Hearst, Hachette Chiefs Resign

cityfile · 06/18/08 12:02PM

Not an ideal day to be the CEO of a major magazine publishing company. First Hachette Filipacchi, the parent of mags like Elle and Car & Driver, announced that Jack Kliger was stepping down as CEO and moving to the chairman position effective Sept. 1. (Alain Lemarchand of Hachette's Paris-based parent Lagardere will take over as CEO.) Hours later, Hearst CEO Victor Ganzi, an 18-year veteran of the company, announced he was stepping down after having "policy differences" with the company's board. (Ex-CEO Frank Bennack Jr. will step in as chief in the interim.) We're guessing Victor's mom won't be feeling too sorry for her son this afternoon. Ganzi has the rare distinction of having dragged his 84-year-old mom to court last year.

Hachette's Jack Kliger

Nick Denton · 06/18/08 09:11AM

Surprise, surprise. As we've been predicting for months, the chief exec of Hachette is stepping down. Charming former modelizer Jack Kliger bamboozled the press with talk of a multimedia revolution after taking over the French-owned magazine group in 1999; but the web strategy never moved beyond the stage of rhetoric. After nine years, he leaves behind him a motley group of hobbyist titles and Elle magazine-with neither critical mass in print nor much of a future online.

Out Comes The Hatchet At Hachette

Nick Denton · 05/08/08 04:13PM

When Jack Kliger took over Elle and Hachette's other US titles in 1999, he established himself as one of the magazine industry's few multimedia visionaries. The former Conde Nast publisher pushed Hachette's content onto EchoStar's interactive TV platform; Hachette's Car and Driver teamed up with the USA Network to produce a reality show spin-off of Cannonball Run, the cross-country car-race movie. And, when Hachette closed Elle Girl and Premiere magazines but kept their websites going, Kliger the charmer spun the cost-cutting exercise as an embrace of online media. So how's that going? Try utter disaster. We've been getting reports all day that the group has laid off almost its entire online staff. And here's one good reason: even Hachette's most successful online properties have the reach of a mid-sized blog, according to previously undisclosed web stats. (Oh, yes, and Hachette's Elle is about to lose its cherished role on Project Runway, the fashion-industry reality show.) If the future of magazines is some multimedia magic, as Kliger has been saying for a decade, Hachette has not much of a future; nor the Hachette boss himself.

Kliger's Rat Overlords

Nick Denton · 01/08/08 03:59PM

We wish Jack Kliger happiness in his forthcoming marriage. Because the Hachette boss' job certainly isn't much fun. The magazine group's titles, such as Elle, are mostly also-rans; and the 60-year-old publishing veteran is both starved of funds by the company's French owners, and second-guessed by agents of head office. "I'd heard the French were rats," he's known to complain. "But now I know." This might be the opportunity for the magazine exec to spend more time with the family.

Elle Boss A Modelizer No More

Nick Denton · 01/08/08 11:12AM

Divorced magazine publisher Jack Kliger got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, speaking coach Amy Griggs, according to Jeff Bercovici at Mixed Media. Here's the 60-year-old Hachette Filipacchi boss, who runs a stable of magazines including 'Elle' and 'Premiere', between Griggs and his daughter, at a party in 2006. Apropos of nothing, after the jump, a blind item from Page Six, from three years ago.

Media Bubble: At Least We'll Have Matt

Jesse · 04/11/06 04:25PM

• Matt Lauer adds three years to his Today contract, at $13M per. He'll also receive a footwear allowance, for clickety stilettos. [NYT]
• And Diane Sawyer has lost the game. [NYSun]
• Jack Kliger had to kill ELLEgirl to save it as a website. Or something. [Ad Age]
• First Kurt Andersen calls it, now Variety: We're all tired of celebrities. [Variety]
• Most publications won't accept freebies, Page Six — and David Pogue — excepted, of course. [MB]

'ELLEgirl' Closes; Kliger Spins

Jesse · 04/05/06 01:20PM

ELLEgirl is still shutting down, and its staffers are still confused about why. As FishbowlNY pointed out yesterday, all the mag's numbers were looking good. "We feel that it's inexplicable," a source on staff emailed. "We worked our asses off on a shoestring budget to make — sorry — the best teen magazine out there. The numbers showed it, and so did the content. It's unbelievable."

This Week in James Brady: What a Happy Holocaust

Jesse · 02/09/06 02:35PM

Last time we checked in with Forbes media columnist James Brady — the Parade celeb-swaddler, Page Six creator, and longtime Murdoch factotum — he was, rather generously, praising Bonnie Fuller's "successful" stint at AMI and spinning the time Conde Nast fired her as Bonnie's own decision to leave. This week, prompted by a Romenesko link, we were curious to see what MPA chairman Jack Kilger had done to get Brady to swallow his spiel — magazines have turned the corner! advertisers love them again! — as much as he'd bought into Bon-Bon's blather.

Saddam Hussein: editorial director

Gawker · 03/17/03 01:00PM

Flak Magazine uncovers a "secret memo" from "editorial director" and partial owner of Hachette Filipacci, Saddam Hussein, to CEO Jack Kliger: "First of all, I wanted to apologize for all the fuss about titles (editorial consultant, creative director, father-leader... really, it's all the same to me, as long as the staff knows I'm not just here to chat on the phone and read gawker.com all day). I'm happy with editorial director (like Truman at Conde Nast) if it works for you."
The last hope for peace? [FlakMag]