Rachel Marsden, the former pundit on the Fox show "Red Eye" who was tossed out for being too crazy, and who then went on to date Wikipedia guru Jimmy Wales before breaking up with him and putting his clothes up for sale on eBay, is now, predictably, unemployed. So she's trawling for jobs on Mediabistro, just like you! Marsden has supposedly applied to be a senior publicist at Maxim [P6]. Negatives: She has demonstrated that she is a serial loose cannon who will probably seduce the magazine's top editors and draw them into a scandalous and embarrassing public affair. Positives: She doesn't really like the Black Crowes, either.
According to Jeff Bercovici, Maxim no. 2 A.J. Baime "quietly returned to Playboy, from whence new Maxim editor in chief James Kaminsky poached him." Maxim is suffering from declining newsstand sales and also that whole flap with the Black Crowes review they made up before hearing the album. Meanwhile, we hear... that former Page Sixer and current Maxim deputy editor Chris Wilson either got canned last week or is the kind of dude who uses the "I just got fired" line to pick up ladies at Beatrice. Update: According to Chris Wilson, Chris Wilson still works at Maxim. "Your spies must have misheard. Maybe I said I'm tired, because it was late."
Maxim writer David Peisner gave specifics on how his editors recently faked up reviews of two albums neither they nor Peisner had heard: deception and chicanery. Who would imagine?! Freelancer Peisner told the LA Times he agreed to write two "previews" of new albums from the Black Crowes and Nas, and handed them in. Then the editors decided to go to town:
In this clip, CNN picks up on Maxim's fake review of the Black Crowes album. But they fail to pick up any anchors who know anything about the Black Crowes. Instead, the anchors just spitball about the band's connection to the "grunge" movement, then, grasping at straws, congratulate them on lasting longer than Nirvana. Which does tend to happen when your lead singer hasn't committed suicide. Click to watch the fun! [Disclosure: We don't know anything about the Black Crowes either].
It appears the Black Crowes are not the only musical act victimized by Maxim's "educated guess preview[s]" now that rapper Nas has come forward to say that he, too, was irked to see the magazine publish a review of the album "Nigger" when he's not even done recording it yet. Like the Black Crowes album "Warpaint," "Nigger" got a decidedly "meh" 2.5 stars out of five. Nas told Page Six: "I don't know what a music rating from Maxim is . . . I don't know what it even means really." What it means, Mr. Nas, is that you've just had the honor of appearing in the premier forum for short musical fiction. (It's past the string bikini spreads, somewhere in the back of the book near the penis enlargement ads.)
In the March issue of Maxim, writer David Peisner reviews the new Black Crowes album, "Warpaint." The verdict: Ehhh. Two and a half stars, out of five. The problem: Maxim didn't listen to the album. Their review, it turns out, was an "educated guess." Um, what? The full story, including the faux-review and the band's outraged response, below.
Important musician Avril Lavigne has stepped up to correct those misinformed rumors about her with an official interview in the new issue of Maxim, an important source of journalism. "Q: NOW IT SEEMS ALL THE BLOGGERS ARE SAYING YOU'RE PREGNANT... A: Remember in high school when people would start fake rumors about you? Well, this isn't high school; it's like, the entire world." AH MAH GAH Avril you are so right! We were just sitting around the blogger table in the lunchroom talking about that. Also, she says she is a "wino." Plus, we are putting some of Maxim's sexy (if that's your type) pictures of her after the jump. Now you don't have to read the story at all!
When professional journalists on deadline need a specific source to nail down a story, they turn to Profnet, which connects reporters and flacks. Like this request, from Maxim: "I need someone who can guess weights via pictures. A carnival barker would be ideal." Don't everybody call at once! Image after the jump.
Esquire readers are older and poorer than those of five other, less classy men's mags. The Esquire reader's median household income is a pathetic $53,783, compared to $76,865 for Men's Journal and $65,614 for Maxim. It seems that pictures of ladies in their underwear are somehow more popular with affluent young men than George Clooney! [Folio]
"Ink-on-paper magazines" are having a "long slow sunset," according to Felix Dennis, fun-loony former Maxim owner—but they're not making up the cash on the web, in part because publishers just won't lower their standards far enough. Time Inc., the Economist says, "has stuck to its big magazine brands with People.com and with SI.com, its website for Sports Illustrated. The price, competitors say, is that Time Inc cannot do the sort of sarcastic, bitchy celebrity gossip that people like on the internet for fear of tarnishing the brand of People, and therefore cedes first place for entertainment to TMZ.com (also owned by Time Warner), which excels at it." Well, that doesn't mean they're not gonna try to take on TMZ! After all, not only did People hire Alyssa Shelasky, Glamour's former dippy blogette, they hired David Caplan, the mad ungenius behind the now-defunct 24Sizzler, the worst celebugoss site to ever tarnish the internots. So surely they're up to some secret standard-lowering project?
Today Kent Brownridge, Jann Wenner's former right-hand man and the honcho of new Alpha Media, the former Dennis Publishing, shouts the praises of media headhunter Karen Danziger. She's the exec vice president of Howard-Sloan-Koller Group, and she was the one who suggested somewhat frightening former Rolling Stone guy Jim Kaminsky as the new editor of Maxim. Brownridge tells Portfolio: "Karen Danziger, the only headhunter in the editorial world that I think is worth anything, and she's worth a lot — I love her; she's my sister, shrink, priest, whatever — she gives me a list of people that I should go see, and on it is Jim, and I think, oh, well, Jim." Heh. That's how we felt about Jim too—but then Kent got all frothy on him, and hired him. We've met Karen—she's fun, mouthy, doesn't like idiots, and she dresses like the high-end version of a sharp Long Island lady. But is she all that? Your experiences sought, anonymity guaranteed.
Multiple sources confirm that Maxim editor in chief Jimmy Jellinek has been canned by his new boss, Kent Brownridge, and his newly christened Alpha Media Group. Furthermore, a source tells us that it happened right before the 4 p.m. start of the Alpha Media Group launch party at the Cellar Bar at the Bryant Park Hotel. Ouch. UPDATE: Former Men's Journal editor Jim Kaminsky, who used to be Maxim's executive editor and was formerly deputy managing editor at Rolling Stone, will be the new EIC.
We understand that four people—and not necessarily Brits, either—were "let go" from Maxim today. The most surprising firing was #2 James Heidenry, who had been there from the magazine's start. A correspondent reports, "James' reward for 11 years of loyal service? All the higher-ups (including [Maxim EIC] Jimmy Jellinek) were conveniently out of the office when he was let go—the dirty deed was done by an HR assistant. Classy new ownership!" Yikes.
Hey, it's nearly 1 p.m.: If you work at Stuff magazine, that means you're supposed to be at your desk, according to the HR department. Mass firings are so much easier than one on ones. Sorry, guys. From the mailbag: "Saw that email from a Maxim source, and wanted to comment. One third of the company has not been let go. The Stuff staff wouldn't even make up a fifth of the company, probably... and they haven't been let go. But the passport fears are true. Turns out they fired all the work visa employees first. In fact, the first firing on the edit side happened yesterday afternoon. A couple of designers at Maxim—and Ian Robinson, Stuff's art director and the longest-tenured employee at Stuff, was let go without severance. His visa was for a foreign company on US soil, which was obviously complicated by the Dennis sale (to American ownership). Damian Wilkinson married his girlfriend when news of the sale hit. Now it's even worse. Sitting around waiting to get fired is obviously not fun."
From the mailbag: "A little bird told me today that the Maxim people are freaking. 1/3 of the company's staff has been cut (the Stuff side) and most of the editors who have UK passports have already been informed that their visas will not be renewed."
Kent Brownridge's acquisition of the Felix Dennis lad titles is finally complete. As mentioned before, Stuff will be folded into Maxim. No word yet on layoffs or whether they're shopping Maxim editor Jimmy Jellinek's job, but the press release, which you can find below, does indicate that stuffmagazine.com "will continue to be a digital destination," presumably because there are enough people who are still willing to jerk off to it.
"The future owners of Dennis Publishing's men's titles plan to fold Stuff as a standalone magazine in the fall and make it a section in flagship Maxim, sources told Mediaweek. The move is effective with the November/December issue of Maxim. No word on the fate of Stuff's staffers. John Lumpkin, publisher of Stuff, said a change in Stuff's publishing schedule is news to him. 'There's been no discussion of suspending publication,' he said." [Mediaweek]