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The Influentials: Media


It’s Rupert’s World
You’re just watching, reading, listening, surfing, and singing karaoke in it.

You get up early and switch on Fox News for Your World With Neil Cavuto and catch the end of an O’Reilly Factor repeat; he’s hawking “The Spin Stops Here” golf balls. Flip to Good Day New York, then grab the Post for the subway—check out that “Page Six” item on The Simple Life. At work, update your MySpace page, search for a better job at, then pop to the newsstand for the Times of London, the Sun (National Rugby League scores—sweet!), and the Weekly Standard (to see what Tony Snow’s White House pals are thinking). Your Fantasy Football draft is coming up—study the prospects at Then chat with the cute sales rep from HarperCollins about How I Met Your Mother (using flirting tips from; so much better than The Game). Say, maybe she wants to catch a film: How about The Sentinel? Meh— says it’s a poor man’s 24. So you head home alone—you need to catch up on The Shield anyway. Too bad your DirectTV’s been acting up—it didn’t record M*A*S*H or Boston Legal. Your buddies in England and India never have problems with BSkyB Or Star. You could always rent a flick: Napoleon Dynamite or Alien? Though you should finish Freakonomics, and Mom’s been pushing The Purpose-Driven Life. But you can’t put down Nicole Richie’s The Truth About Diamonds! Finish it, then surf for dirt on next summer’s Halo movie. Whoa, there’s a Website that lets you do karaoke online! Then check the TV Guide Channel: Hey, a Buffy rerun on Channel 9! Wait: Isn’t tonight a new episode of American Idol? D’oh!

The Fuller Effect
Bonnie and her children.

(1.) February 2002: Bonnie Fuller hired as Us Weekly editor. She brings a tabloid–meets–Tiger Beat aesthetic and the epochal “Stars—They’re Just Like Us!” Sales rise 55.2 percent.

(2.) November 2002: Euro mag giant Bauer launches Us’s first imitator, In Touch, featuring “In touch with their real sides!” celeb pics.

(3.) June 2003: Us loses Fuller to American Media, Inc. She remakes the National Enquirer and Star, which now asks, “Stars: Are They Normal or Not?” Circulation at Star jumps over 10 percent.

(4.) The Fuller frenzy: People, still the category leader, unveils a new cover treatment in September 2003 that closely apes Us’s Fullerized design. Life&Style, Celebrity Living, Inside TV, and OK! debut.

(5.) August 2005: Celebs get tab-savvy. Vanity Fair is used to shape tabloid coverage; Jennifer Aniston’s cover interview is virtually reprinted in Us, which blares, JEN TELLS ALL.

(6.) Bonnie’s bubble bursts? Inside TV folds last November, Celebrity Living in April. Newsstand sales at Fuller’s Star slide 8 percent in the most recent quarter. Still, Us’s hot streak continues, with a 12.7 percent circulation jump in 2005.


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