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Have Celeb Magazines Peaked? Kurt Andersen Hopes So

Has America's seeming insatiable appetite for celebrity finally begun to cool?  It's a provocative question, even if the answer is a definitive "maybe."  And few magazine writers do provocative better than Kurt Andersen, the industry vet who, despite his bleats to the contrary, seems enamored of the celebrity whirl.  He's got a fine piece in this week's New York magazine in which he suggests Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie and hundreds of other pop-culture stars may have seen their best days, at least insofar as magazine and TV coverage are concerned. Andersen: "I have a hunch that the glut [of celebrity mags and shows] has finally reached a saturation point. The fever may be breaking. The Nielsen ratings for this year’s Oscars were down 8 percent, and for the Grammys 11 percent. During the last half of 2005, the Enquirer’s newsstand sales were down by a quarter and Entertainment Weekly’s by 30 percent. The American OK! is said to be unwell, the magazine Inside TV was launched and killed last year, and a magazine called Star Shop was killed before it launched. Like other American social tides, the fascination with celebrities has been cyclical, and after several decades of rising (as it also did from the twenties through the forties), perhaps it will now (as in the sixties) ebb." It's doubtful Andersen is right about this, but one never knows.  And, in any case, the discussion is worth having if one works in, or with, popular media.





Read the whole story at New York mag »

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