Janice Min: Free Lunch or Free Agency

Us Weekly editor Janice Min and Wenner Media agree on what she should be paid: $1.2 million per year, according to a source familiar with Min’s contract negotiations. But they don’t agree about what she can serve for lunch.

Owing to an impasse over staff perks–including catered meals–Min’s contract expired last week before a new one could be signed. Though the New York Post reported last month that the two sides had settled on a deal, Min is now a free agent.

So if your publication needs punchier cover lines, try meeting Min’s price–and bringing some cold cuts. On July 4, Whole Foods delivered lunchtime sandwiches to Us staffers who were spending the nation’s birthday at the office. The workers also got catered breakfast and dinner. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Min wants make such holiday meals a permanent perk at the magazine. She also wants to fill three currently vacant staff positions and to allow staffers to expense cab rides home after 9 p.m.

This is Min’s first contract negotiation since she moved atop the masthead in 2003, after Bonnie Fuller decamped to American Media. Circulation is up nearly 13 percent under Min, and revenue shot up by 59 percent last year.

Min declined to comment. Wenner Media, though declining to discuss terms of Min’s contract, said they have offered their award-winning editor a generous package.

“More than anyone,” said Kent Brownridge, Wenner’s general manager, “we believe Janice is one of the best and most valuable editors in the world. And we very much want to keep her. We have done everything necessary to keep her interested in staying at Wenner for a really long time.”

–Gabriel Sherman