In today's media-layoff news, some money magazines deny that they're headed to Russia, all the People in London are headed home, and the Star-Ledger no longer has very many opinions. Or even any. It's a new week in media layoffs, and here's how it has begun:
• Popular national news sheet USA Today is laying off twenty staffers, effective in early December. This is just sad. Who doesn't love that paper? [Romenesko]
• The Star-Ledger of New Jersey is becoming very, very impartial, as all the staffers on its editorial board have taken buyouts. [Editor & Publisher]
• Over the weekend, the Russian press gleefully reported that American money mag Forbes is being sold to a Moscow-based private-equity firm still swimming in money. Today, however, Forbes is totally, totally denying this story, so don't even ask about it, okay?
• Alpha Media, on the other hand, home of Maxim and Blender, which was already sold to a private-equity group only a year ago for a probably regrettable $250 million, is now likely to be handed over to creditors due to plummeting ad-sales revenue. Publisher Felix Dennis, however, has already taken off with the cash and the Tila Tequila cover stories. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]
• People magazine will be feeding the public less scandalous tidbits about the royal family, as its London bureau has been shut down, sending a handful of gossipy expats packing. [Gawker]
• Even-less-reliable gossip title Life & Style isn't faring much better, as its fashion director and deputy art director have departed. [BaconsBlog]