NEW YORK (Reuters) - High-profile celebrity magazine editor Bonnie Fuller is resigning as executive vice president and chief editorial director of American Media Inc, the publisher of the National Enquirer and Star magazines.
The company said on Tuesday that Fuller will resign effective May 14, and become editor-at-large at Star and serve as a consultant to Chairman and Chief Executive David Pecker.
Fuller, 51, said she was leaving because it is the “right time,” but would not provide more details. She told Reuters that she was not pushed out of the job. “It was 100 percent my decision,” she said.
Fuller is working on a new venture in media, but she declined to provide specifics except to say that it would be launching shortly.
Fuller came to American Media, which also publishes Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines and owns in-store magazine merchandising company Distribution Services Inc, five years ago. In that time, she was responsible for turning Star into a glossy celebrity from a tabloid, and has also redesigned other titles at American Media.
She leaves her post at a time when many magazines are experiencing falling circulation and advertising sales, but she said that Star is having its best year ever.
“I think celebrity newsweeklies are resilient,” she said, adding that Star’s advertising pages are up more than 4 percent year to date, compared to the same period last year.
Single-copy, or newsstand sales, have fallen 4.1 percent to about 713,000 for the last six months of 2007 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to figures supplied by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
In the time Fuller was at Star, however, she raised subscriptions from less than 100,000 to about 550,000, according to figures she supplied. She also grew revenue to a projected $28 million in 2008 from $1 million when she started there.
At a time when many magazines and newspapers are trying to figure out how to build a successful presence on the Internet, Fuller said that Star still prizes its ability to break news in the print edition.
“If there’s something that would be a great cover and we would hold it, we’ll hold it. We’re still in the business of selling magazines,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t break other news on the Web site all the time. There’s a lot of news that’s great news and it will drive the Web site, but it won’t necessarily drive a cover sale.”
Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Carol Bishopric