Don’t bother querying or pitching celebrity, news or music magazines this week; editors are scurrying around to put out commemorative issues on Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett, and deciding such weighty matters as: “Do they put Michael Jackson on the cover and have a large inset at the top of Farrah Fawcett, or do they put out two different covers for different parts of the country?” as one editor at a celebrity title asked crainsnewyork.com.
Both OK! and PEOPLE had the good luck to move up their closing dates because of the July 4th weekend, so OK! will hit newsstands Tuesday with a full tribute, ahead of rivals IN TOUCH and LIFE & STYLE WEEKLY, which will have to wait until Wednesday. People, which typically publishes on Friday, will also publish Wednesday.
ROLLING STONE will put out a newsstand-only Michael Jackson tribute issue on July 10, with more than 100 pages of photos and commentary, and no advertising.
American Media Inc, publisher of STAR and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, will also be rushing out a commemorative newsstand issue. A million copies will drop the middle of next week, and the publisher will distribute an additional 500,000 in Europe.
“This is as big as when Elvis Presley died,” AMI CEO David Pecker said.
LIFE is planning a “bookazine.”
But the first magazine out of the gate will be TIME. Today, Monday, it will publish a special issue that will include photos, stories on Jackson’s music and reminisces from celebrities and companions. Time last published a special edition in between its weekly issues in the days following September 11, 2001. It sold more than 3.2 million copies.
UPDATE JUNE 30: Newsweek had to turn its regular issue into a pseudo-Jackson commemorative issue in 24 hours. The planned feature was books and what to read but the editors added a 9-page Jackson section and a new cover. And hiked the price a dollar to $6.95.
UPDATE JULY 3: If you haven’t maxed out on Michael Jackson editions, journalism professor and magazine expert Samir Husni has found 15 (and probably counting.)