Thursday, July 2, 2009

Re-Selling Michael Jackson

Just a few months after Barack Obama's newsstand drawing power induced endless (and some unlikely) publishers to put him on the cover and even produce special issues celebrating his election (and, later, his inauguration), now we're clearly in the Michael Jackson magazine era.

Nearly every magazine is finding ways to produce special issues or to slap Jackson's photo on the cover of their regular issues. Samir Husni notes that Time's special edition devoted to Jackson (with a bumped-up cover price) was produced in just 24 hours; Newsweek put the late entertainer and questionable child-supervisor on the cover of its regular edition and also boosted its price. gives a preview of the Time "special commemorative edition."

Of course, had Jackson not died at the same time as actress Farrah Fawcett, then she would be dominating the newsstands these days. At least In Touch Weekly did a quick split cover, featuring both recently deceased celebrities. Competitor People had the better cover photo of Jackson, but it relegated Farrah to a corner box.

Jackson probably will sell better, so in that important way, there are probably few dry eyes in mass magazine publishers' offices these days. Few would be able to resist.
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