Glamour is having an unusually slow year, WWD is reporting. Apparently, we ladies just aren’t grabbing the Condé glossy off of newsstands as frequently as we used to. Editor-in-Chief Cindi Lieve told WWD that her and her editorial team are “1,000 percent focused on it.” They even had a big off-site meeting to try to “wrap their heads around it.”
Their conclusion? It’s all about the cover–and not the headlines–because women only spend an average of 1.7 seconds looking at magazine covers and that is not enough time to read headlines. Their focus is on the cover stars, and, so far, reality TV stars = newsstand sales. Lauren Conrad‘s May 2010 cover was their biggest selling of the year and Kim Kardashian is the best seller of 2011 so far.
However, Lieve believes Glamour‘s upcoming July issue, for which Blake Lively graces the cover, might even outsell the Kardashian. “I have hopes that Blake Lively’s nude picture scandal will put her over the edge. Just kidding, Blake.” Of course, Lieve is probably right and not kidding at all.
This trend of tabloid fodder selling magazines is not unique to Glamour and is just another example of how much the magazine industry has changed since models graced their covers and the only relevant reality TV show was The Real World, whose cast members would fall back into anonymity when their seasons ended, not date famous athletes or launch clothing lines. For whatever reason, people are now more interested in reading about people who are essentially famous for doing nothing. Lieve recognizes this change, saying, “If you look at what works for us, it’s not the same stuff that used to work for us.”
As Reese Witherspoon commented at last night’s MTV Movie Awards, in what sounded like not-so-subtle dig to Lively herself, “If you took naked pictures of yourself on your cell phone, you hide your face, people! Hide your face!” Witherspoon seemed to be suggesting that people can attain her MTV Generation Award-warranting level of success without being the subject of scandal. This may be true, but that’s not to say scandal doesn’t sell magazines.