Hachette pulls plug on Premiere
Movie magazine shutters after 20-year run
Hachette Filipacchi pulled the plug on Premiere on Monday, confirming widespread rumors that the embattled movie mag would be shuttered.
Many of the company's edit staffers will reportedly leave the company, including editor-in-chief Peter Herbst.
The April issue, which features Will Ferrell on the cover for "Blades of Glory," will be mag's last. Staffers put the issue to bed about 10 days ago.
Premiere publisher Paul Turcotte could be named to another post within Hachette, though there was no official confirmation of a new role.
Magazine, which is pubbed 10 times per year, will continue to exist online.
Specifics on how many staffers would migrate, how often content will be refreshed and how many of the mag's regular features will be maintained were undisclosed.
News of the mag's print demise brings to an end what has been something of a media soap opera for the New York-based title, which employs five print edit staffers in its Hollywood bureau and an estimated several dozen in its flagship Gotham offices.
Hachette and parent company Lagardere were trying to sell the title earlier this year, but bidders were reportedly thin for the troubled pub. Mag saw its ad pages decline nearly 25% in 2006.
Announcement marks the closure of another pub for Hachette, which also shuttered Elle Girl and startup Shock.
The 20-year old Premiere had its heyday in the 1990s, when the appetite for insider movie news grew.
Even today, mag publishes a Hollywood power list and industry scuttlebutt under sections like "Yes It's True: News You're Not Supposed to Know," alongside more consumer-friendly stories, such as a list of overrated movies.
But the trade-flavored pieces Premiere once specialized in have become less relevant as consumer dailies have taken more of an interest in the trade, while sites like Defamer have proliferated on the demand for near-instantaneous industry gossip.
Premiere also faced the challenge of being a long-lead mag in a realm where news moves increasingly quickly. Oscar predictions, for example, can't be made months in advance without running the risk of becoming stale by the time the print edition hits newsstands.
And while interest in celeb news is by many indications stronger than ever, sites like TMZ and PerezHilton have proved more adept at breaking and keeping up with news.
Hachette's new strategy is to move in a newsier direction, offering more timely items on Premiere.com and on mobile platforms -- routes that would also be less costly.
"This step is consistent with our strategy to examine our portfolio of brands to determine the best business plan for each based on its category and the marketplace," Hachette prexy-CEO Jack Kliger said in a statement.
Company will continue publishing international editions in territories such as France, where the mag started in the 1970s.