The Buzz

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TIME INC.'s `Teen People' was the first "other" entrant into the teen-girl magazine category back in 1998-those bygone, pre-boom days when Britney was an ex-Mouseketeer looking for her next move and the sector was dominated by the traditional troika of Seventeen, YM and the now-defunct Teen. This status makes it a natural for it to be the first of the new breed to suffer growing pains, namely a serious hiccup in newsstand sales (down 13.6%) in the first half of this year, resulting in a rate-base miss, as well a rate-base decrease from 1.6 million to 1.5 million effective with the February `04 issue.

Which brings us to new Managing Editor Amy Barnett, plucked from Vanguarde Media's Honey, and the redesign the title sports with its October issue, out this week. "We turned up the volume of the celebrity coverage," Ms. Barnett says, ditto adding the requisite "a lot more humor and more irreverence." Also a lot more depending on its self-recruited army of teen "trend spotters," judging from the emphasis Ms. Barnett placed on them in an interview. The net of all this makes Teen People, despite the indelible presence of its own DNA (most notably the emphasis on celebrity, and more of a nod to the urban market) simultaneously sassier than anything at Time Inc. this side of Entertainment Weekly, but also a little bit more like the rest of the teen-title world.

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