Us Magazine losing readers after anti-Palin story

MSNBC’s The Scoop reports:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Three celebrity weeklies — OK!, People and Us Weekly — featured Sarah Palin on their cover, but one of those magazines is reportedly losing subscribers because of it.

Us Weekly, which unlike People and OK!, chose a rather caustic cover line (“Babies, Lies and Scandal”) is said to have lost thousands of subscribers in just the first 24 hours following the printing of the issue.

“I’m hearing it’s 5,000, maybe more” says one well-placed source in the industry. Another source claimed that as many as 10,000 readers have already cancelled their subscriptions. A spokesperson for Wenner Media, which publishes Us, says “it is completely false that we are losing 10,000 subscribers.” As for the 5,000 estimate, the spokesperson only said “that is false, too” but wouldn’t comment further.

Five thousand might not seem like a large number at first glance, but it’s significant in the context of Us’ printing schedule. The magazine goes to press Monday night, which means subscribers don’t receive their issues until Friday or Saturday. In other words, the cancellations are coming from subscribers who, in many cases, haven’t even gotten their hands on the actual issue.

“When Us went to print Monday night, it looked like the ticket was falling apart,” says one magazine editor. “They went to print thinking Palin was dead in the water, and their mistake was thinking everyone who reads Us is a Democrat, when they’re not. Readers are loyal, but the base of a political party is more loyal. They don’t need to read the magazine when there’s so much press around it to know to be upset.”

Upset might be an understatement: One Us advertiser has admitted that they’ve received calls from angry former subscribers threatening to boycott their products. “(Us publisher) Jann Wenner supports Obama, Wenner media decided to follow the buzz around Palin before her speech, and now subscribers feel like a vote has been cast on their behalf,” says another magazine editor. “It’s going to be tough to bounce back from this one. Especially if the advertisers get involved. If they get nervous, that can hurt all of us.”

Warner Todd Huston responds:

This speaks to the arrogance of the left leaning media establishment. They were so darn sure that they could successfully destroy Sarah Palin that they counted their chickens before they were hatched. They assumed that by the time they printed and shipped their magazine, they would have succeeded in forcing McCain to boot her from the ticket.

They didn’t know how tough Sarah Palin really was, nor how outraged their readership would be.

To appropriate a saying, arrogance goeth before the fall. And “Us Weekly” just took a tumble.


I wonder how the controversy over the Us magazine cover (and story) will translate at the check-out counters?

In related news – via QandO – TMZ reports that the rock band Heart has filed a “ceast and desist” letter against the McCain campaign for their use of Heart’s “Barracuda” song as a theme song for Gov. Sarah “Barracuda” Palin. What a couple of bratty, spoilsports.

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