The Buzz

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Someday the Buzz may look back on 2005 as the golden year for celebrity-weekly magazines-one of the last good ones before the bubble popped.

Plenty of people anticipate deflation, at least, even if it doesn't come soon. Advertising Age Editor at Large Greg Lindsay wrote last week in Business 2.0 that the star-gazing surge should remind us of the teen-mag growth spurt of a few years ago: "The collapse of YM's newsstand sales and the subsequent lies its parent, Gruner & Jahr USA, told about those sales inevitably led to its extinction."

In The New York Sun, Myrna Blyth pointed out that celebrity editors like Bonnie Fuller, who drew attention to Us Weekly when she revitalized it, are so over. "Today's successful magazines rely far more on a format or formula" than a high-profile editor in chief.

After Ms. Fuller left Us Weekly, the magazine kept drawing readers under her successor, Janice Min. Its reported paid circulation grew 23.9% in the first half of this year-to total 1.7 million buyers.

With the formula defined and copycats coming running, the celebrity-weekly market turns out to depend, like any mortal category before it, on the interests of readers. So far, paid circulation is rising across the board.

Until enough readers tire of peeping at stars through an ever-expanding celebrity-weekly category, to appropriate the words of De La Soul, "It might blow up but it won't go pop."

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