Following weeks of speculation about OK! and Reality Weekly editor in chief Richard Spencer’s future at American Media Inc., the company is implementing a series of editorial shifts that keep Spencer at AMI, albeit in a new post.
Spencer is leaving his daily duties at both titles while becoming editorial director of the newly created Celebrity Magazine Group, which includes OK!, Reality Weekly, Star and Soap Opera Digest, the company's remaining soaps weekly. Spencer reportedly is hoping to broaden Star’s editorial coverage and make the magazine more female-friendly.
Spencer’s elevation created a string of other editorial changes throughout the group. Editor in chief duties at OK! and Reality Weekly will be taken by Ryan Pienciak, formerly the executive editor at OK! Leah Ginsberg, a onetime editor at OK! and Bauer’s Life & Style, will replace Pienciak.
Over at Star, James Heidenry, who spent the past four years editing Modern Luxury’s Manhattan magazine, is replacing David Perel as editor in chief. He becomes Star's third editor in chief in a little over a year. (Perel was upped to vice president of digital media at AMI earlier this week.) Star's West Coast bureau chief Tim Plant was promoted to executive editor, succeeding Dylan Howard, who left the magazine last month to become editor in chief at BuzzMedia.
Heidenry comes on board as editor of Star as the weekly has had a bumpy start on the newsstand (along with the rest of the industry). Six of the first nine issues of the year fell short of their circulation guarantee to advertisers of 850,000, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Rapid Report. OK! has fared somewhat better; it missed its 500,000 rate base on four out of nine issues.