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People magazine

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People magazine

For the Australian magazine, see People (Australian magazine).
Editor Larry Hackett
Categories Celebrity, human interest, news
Total circulation
First issue March 4, 1974
Company Time Inc. (Time Warner)
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 0093-7673

People (originally called People Weekly) is a weekly American magazine of celebrity and human-interest stories, published by Time Inc. With a readership of 46.6 million adults, People has the largest audience of any American magazine.[2] People had $997 million in advertising revenue in 2011, the highest advertising revenue of any American magazine.[3] In 2006, it had a circulation of 3.75 million and revenue expected to top $1.5 billion.[4] It was named "Magazine of the Year" by Advertising Age in October 2005, for excellence in editorial, circulation and advertising.[5] People ranked #6 on Advertising Age's annual "A-list" and #3 on Adweek's "Brand Blazers" list in October 2006.

The magazine runs a roughly 50/50 mix of celebrity and human-interest articles.a[›] People's editors claim to refrain from printing pure celebrity gossip, enough so to lead celebrity publicists to propose exclusives to the magazine, evidence of what one staffer calls a "publicist-friendly strategy".[4]

People's website,, focuses exclusively on celebrity news.[5] In February 2007, the website drew 39.6 million page views "within a day" of the Golden Globes. However "the mother ship of Oscar coverage" broke a site record with 51.7 million page views on the day after the Oscars, beating the previous record set just a month before from the Golden Globes.[6][7]

People is perhaps best known for its yearly special issues naming "World's Most Beautiful People", "Best & Worst Dressed", and "Sexiest Man Alive".

The magazine's headquarters are in New York, and it maintains editorial bureaus in Los Angeles and in London. Due to economic reasons it closed bureaus in Austin, Miami, and Chicago in 2006.[4][5]


The concept for People has been attributed to Andrew Heiskell, Time, Inc.’s chief executive officer at the time and the former publisher of the weekly Life magazine. The founding managing editor of People was Richard B. (Dick) Stolley, a former assistant managing editor at Life and the journalist who acquired the Zapruder tapes of the John F. Kennedy assassination for Time, Inc. in 1963. People's first publisher was Richard J. (Dick) Durrell, another Time, Inc. veteran.

Stolley characterized the magazine as "getting back to the people who are causing the news and who are caught up in it, or deserve to be in it. Our focus is on people, not issues."[8] Stolley’s almost religious determination to keep the magazine people-focused contributed significantly to its rapid early success. It is said that although Time, Inc. pumped an estimated $40 million into the venture, the magazine broke even 18 months after its debut in March 1974. Initially, the magazine was sold primarily on newsstands and in supermarkets. To get the magazine out each week, founding staff members regularly slept on the floor of their offices two or three nights each week and severely limited all non-essential outside engagements. The premiere March 4, 1974 edition featured actress Mia Farrow, then starring in the movie The Great Gatsby, on the cover. That issue also featured stories on Gloria Vanderbilt, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and the wives of U.S. Vietnam veterans who were Missing In Action.[4] The magazine was, apart from its cover, printed in black-and-white. The initial cover price was 35 cents.

The core of the small founding editorial team included other editors, writers, photographers and photo editors from Life, which had ceased publication just 13 months earlier. This group included managing editor Stolley, senior editors Hal Wingo (father of ESPN anchor Trey Wingo), Sam Angeloff (the founding managing editor of Us magazine), and Robert Emmett Ginna (later a producer of films); writers James Watters (a theater reviewer) and Ronald B. Scott (later a biographer of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney); former Time senior editor Richard Burgheim (later the founder of Time's ill-fated cable television magazine View); Chief of Photography, a Life photographer, John Loengard, to be succeeded by John Dominus, a noteworthy Life staff photographer; and design artist Bernard Waber, author and illustrator of the Lyle The Crocodile book series for children. Many of the noteworthy Life photographers contributed to the magazine as well, including legends Alfred Eisenstaedt and Gjon Mili and rising stars Co Rentmeester, David Burnett and Bill Eppridge. Other members of the first editorial staff included editors and writers: Ross Drake, Ralph Novak, Bina Bernard, James Jerome, Sally Moore, Mary Vespa, Lee Wohlfert, Joy Wansley, Curt Davis, and Jed Horne, later an editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

In 1996, Time, Inc. launched a Spanish-language magazine entitled People en Español. The company has said that the new publication emerged after a 1995 issue of the original magazine was distributed with two distinct covers, one featuring the slain Tejano singer Selena and the other featuring the hit television series Friends; the Selena cover sold out while the other did not.[9] Though the original idea was that Spanish-language translations of articles from the English magazine would comprise half the content, People en Español over time came to have entirely original content.

In 2002, People introduced People Stylewatch, a title focusing on celebrity style, fashion, and beauty – a newsstand extension of its Stylewatch column. Due to its success, the frequency of People Stylewatch was increased to 10 times per year in 2007.

In Australia, the localized version of People is titled Who because of a pre-existing lad's mag published under the title People.

On July 26, 2013, Outlook Group announced that it was closing down the Indian edition of People.[10][11]

Teen People

Teen People
Teen People April 2006
Managing Editor Niraj Biswal
Barbara O'Dair
Categories Celebrity
Frequency Monthly
First issue 1998
Final issue September 2006
Company Time Inc. (Time Warner)
Country United States
Language English

In 1998, the magazine introduced a version targeted at teens called Teen People. However, on July 27, 2006, the company announced it would shut down publication of Teen People immediately. The last issue to be released was scheduled for September 2006.[12] Subscribers to this magazine received Entertainment Weekly for the rest of their issues in exchange. There were numerous reasons cited for the publication shutdown, including a downfall in ad pages, competition from both other teen-oriented magazines and the internet along with a decrease in circulation numbers.[13] was merged into in April 2007. will "carry teen-focused stories that are branded as", Mark Golin the editor of explained, with the decision to merge the brands, "We've got traffic on TeenPeople, People is a larger site, why not combine and have the teen traffic going to one place?"[14]

Competition for celebrity photos

In a July 2006 Variety article, Janice Min, Us Weekly editor-in-chief, blamed People for the increase in cost to publishers of celebrity photos:

They are among the largest spenders of celebrity photos in the industry....One of the first things they ever did, that led to the jacking up of photo prices, was to pay $75,000 to buy pictures of Jennifer Lopez reading Us magazine, so Us Weekly couldn't buy them.

That was the watershed moment that kicked off high photo prices in my mind. I had never seen anything like it. But they saw a competitor come along, and responded. It was a business move, and probably a smart one.[4]

People reportedly paid $4.1 million for newborn photos of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, the child of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.[4] The photos set a single-day traffic record for their website, attracting 26.5 million page views.[4]

Sexiest Man Alive

The annual feature the "Sexiest Man Alive" is billed as a benchmark of male attractiveness and typically includes only famous people and celebrities. It is determined in a similar procedure to Time's Person of the Year. The origin of the title was a discussion on a planned story on Mel Gibson. A female editor exclaimed, "Oh my God, he is the sexiest man alive!" And someone else said, "You should use that as a cover line."[15]

For the first decade or so, the feature appeared at uneven intervals. Originally awarded in the wintertime, it shifted around the calendar, resulting in gaps as short as seven months and as long as a year and a half (with no selection at all during 1994). Since 1997, the dates have settled between mid-November and early December.

Dates of magazine issues, winners, ages of winners at the time of selection, and pertinent comments are listed below.

As of 2013, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Patrick Swayze are the only winners to have died since winning. John F. Kennedy, Jr. was the only non-actor to win the award.

Year Choice Age Notes
Template:Dts/out1 Mel Gibson   29 First person chosen and then an Australian citizen.
Template:Dts/out1 Mark Harmon[16]   34
Template:Dts/out1 Harry Hamlin   35
Template:Dts/out1 John F. Kennedy, Jr.   27 Longest gap between selections: 18 months. Only non-actor to win. First member to have since died (1999). Youngest winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Sean Connery   59 Oldest person to win the title. First winner to have portrayed James Bond. First Scottish winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Tom Cruise   28
Template:Dts/out1 Patrick Swayze   38 Second member to have since died (2009).
Template:Dts/out1 Nick Nolte   51
Template:Dts/out1 Richard Gere
Cindy Crawford
People took a one-year hiatus from Sexiest Man and instead awarded Sexiest Couple.
Template:Dts/out1 Brad Pitt   31 First of two awards.
Template:Dts/out1 Denzel Washington   41 First African American winner.
Template:Dts/out1 George Clooney   36 First of two awards.
Template:Dts/out1 Harrison Ford   56
Template:Dts/out1 Richard Gere   50 First two-time winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Brad Pitt   36 First two-time solo winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Pierce Brosnan   48 Second winner to have portrayed James Bond. First Irish winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Ben Affleck   30
Template:Dts/out1 Johnny Depp   40 First of two awards.
Template:Dts/out1 Jude Law   31 First English winner
Template:Dts/out1 Matthew McConaughey   36
Template:Dts/out1 George Clooney   45 Second win.
Template:Dts/out1 Matt Damon   37
Template:Dts/out1 Hugh Jackman   40 Second Australian winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Johnny Depp   46 Second win.
Template:Dts/out1 Ryan Reynolds   34 First Canadian winner.
Template:Dts/out1 Bradley Cooper[17]   36
Template:Dts/out1 Channing Tatum[18]   32

Most Intriguing People of the Year

At the end of each year People magazine famously selects 25 news-making individuals or couples who have received a lot of media attention over the past 12 months and showcases them in a special year-end issue, the '25 Most Intriguing People of the Year'. This series of full page features and half page featurettes includes world leaders and political activists, famous actors and entertainers, elite athletes, prominent business people, accomplished scientists and occasionally members of the public whose stories have made an unusual impact in news or tabloid media.

For example, the news-makers People named as the "Most Intriguing People of 2010" were:

  1. Sandra Bullock
  2. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama
  3. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
  4. Michael Douglas
  5. Elizabeth Smart
  6. Prince William and Catherine Middleton
  7. Elin Nordegren
  8. Natalie Portman
  9. Nicki Minaj
  10. Sarah Palin
  11. LeBron James
  12. Bret Michaels
  13. Julian Assange
  14. The Chilean Miners
  15. Ricky Martin
  16. Kim Kardashian
  17. Mark Zuckerberg
  18. Heidi Montag
  19. Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift
  20. Ryan Reynolds
  21. Will Smith's kids (Jaden and Willow)
  22. Christina Aguilera
  23. Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez
  24. James Franco
  25. Conan O'Brien

People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People

People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People is a list compiled and published by People of 100 people judged to be the most beautiful individuals in the world. It is published annually. Until 2006, it was the People Magazine 50 Most Beautiful People.

In 1990, Michelle Pfeiffer appeared on the cover of People's first ever "50 Most Beautiful People In The World" issue. She again was on the cover of the annual issue in 1999, having made the "Most Beautiful" list a record six times during the decade. Pfeiffer is also the first celebrity to have made the cover of the annual issue two times, and the only one to have been on the cover twice during the 1990s.[19]

Number Ones of Most Beautiful People

Nr. Year Name
2 1991 Julia Roberts
3 1992 Jodie Foster
4 1993 Cindy Crawford
5 1994 Meg Ryan
6 1995 Courteney Cox
7 1996 Mel Gibson
8 1997 Tom Cruise
9 1998 Leonardo DiCaprio
10 1999 Michelle Pfeiffer
11 2000 Julia Roberts
12 2001 Catherine Zeta-Jones
13 2002 Nicole Kidman
14 2003 Halle Berry
15 2004 Jennifer Aniston
16 2005 Julia Roberts
17 2006 Angelina Jolie
18 2007 Drew Barrymore
19 2008 Kate Hudson
20 2009 Christina Applegate
21 2010 Julia Roberts
22 2011 Jennifer Lopez
23 2012 Beyoncé Knowles
24 2013 Gwyneth Paltrow


^ a: The ratio, according to Variety, is 53% to 47%.

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