Us and She: Wenner Might Sell But Fuller Cashes In

In today’s New York Post, Keith Kelly reports that Jann Wenner may be trying to sell US Weekly to Condé Nast for $750 million.

That’s a lot of scratch for pictures of Katherine Heigl getting Starbucks, but according to Kelly, the magazine is not only "lucrative" (he uses the term twice), but profitable as well:

With weekly paid circulation of more than 1.8 million—and the lucrative newsstand accounting for 1 million of that total—Us Weekly is highly profitable, with an operating profit last year estimated to be around $75 million.

"Us Weekly is one of the more remarkable success stories in recent publishing history," Mr. Kelly writes.

Not mentioned in the story is Bonnie Fuller, the editor who helped reposition Mr. Wenner’s People clone into a pink and day-glo weekly juggernaut. No fear: Ms. Fuller got her own lengthy profile on Sunday in The New York Times ‘Business’ section. (Though The Times points out that much of Us Weekly‘s phenomenal growth occurred under Ms. Fuller’s successor, Janice Min.)

Writer David Carr checks in with Ms. Fuller—who left Wenner Media in 2003—after her recent departure from AMI and finds that she’s on the cusp of becoming her own brand like Oprah—or Ron Popeil. According to Mr. Carr, Russ Pillar, "a former head of the interactive division of Viacom,"

[I]s seeking to raise ‘tens of millions’ to back Ms. Fuller as a brand: she has created a company called Bonnie Fuller Media, based in New York. He says the start-up will be heavily digital and offer a variety of femme-friendly products that will include, but not be limited to, gossip, fashion and romance.

As Ms. Fuller tells Mr. Carr, "It’s going to be media by, for and about women … I’d really like to take advantage of all different forms of media including Web, mobile, blogging and discussion boards to communicate with women."

  Us and She: Wenner Might Sell But Fuller Cashes In