Back when Janice Min was editor of US Weekly, she seemed like a general in the celebrity-industrial complex’s war on culture.
Now that she’s editor of Prometheus’ glossy L.A. trade magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, she says she was always more of a mercenary.
“I found growing the business interesting, but I didn’t find the actual content interesting,” she told Nick Axelrod in an Elle profile this month (that doubles as great media business read). “I didn’t want to be the Us Weekly lady for the rest of my life.”
Like any self-respecting overachiever, she gave it her all anyway. Mr. Axelrod writes:
Min’s commitment to the job was all-consuming, as evidenced by the tale of her spending the entire weekend before giving birth to her first child [...] negotiating coverage of the surprise wedding of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. The cover story on the nuptials closed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and by 7:50 a.m., Min was dishing withToday’s Matt Lauer about J.Lo’s intimate, 40-person reception in the backyard of her Beverly Hills home—“absolutely the anti-Bennifer wedding,” she noted. (Though, of course, J.Lo and Anthony announced their very Bennifer breakup this summer.) Afterward, Min left Rockefeller Center to see her doctor, who told her that her water was breaking. She went to the hospital that afternoon and gave birth to her son, Will, two days later. The issue sold 1,009,217 copies on newsstands. It was Min’s first million-plus seller.
And she did it all while looking out for number one, of course. Elle reports she brought in $2 million a year thanks to her “politely relentless negotiating prowess.”
We were happy to learn that her years in celebrity wrangling weren’t for naught. Industry execs are just as press-hungry and vain.
The Reporter, is more Chaucer, less Dante, busy chronicling (and in part creating) characters who, while they may make dumb, even craven, moves, are never villains. It’s all for one and one for all in the magical world of Min’s Hollywood. And playing nice, or at least nicer—certainly the Reporter’s glossy cover, now coveted promotional real estate, is an appeal to the town’s vanity—is not without tangible benefits. Last November, the producer of ABC’s hit Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre, shone on the front of the Reporter, and a few months later the website broke the story that Ashton Kutcher would take over Charlie Sheen’s role on the show. In July, a January cover boy, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, called the Reporter with this nugget: He was replacing the show’s three biggest stars—Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer—after the fourth season. Coincidence, or good old-fashioned reporting, combined with the clout that comes with fulfilling peoples’ narcissistic needs? Does it matter?