Shake-up at ‘Us Weekly’

Longtime photo director out

Us Weekly has had a shake-up high up on the masthead. The celebrity weekly’s longtime photography director, Brittain Stone, whose contract was not renewed, has left the post.

Jennifer Halper was promoted from deputy photo editor to replace him.

Stone was at Us for 14 years, adding the title of photography director of Wenner Media nine years ago, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Photo director is a key role at the picture-heavy Us, which depends on its cover image to move its significant newsstand volume. Like the rest of its category, Us has struggled on the newsstand lately. Its overall circulation rose 1.4 percent to 1.9 million in the first half of 2011 thanks to higher subscription sales, but single-copy sales fell 17 percent to 646,685, per the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Stone isn't the only recent high-level departure for Us. Catherine Romano earlier this month stepped down as executive editor for a job at Glamour.

People with knowledge of the situation said Stone was well liked, and that while he got along well with the previous editor in chief, Janice Min (now editor of Adweek corporate sibling The Hollywood Reporter), who left in 2009, he didn’t mesh with her successor, Michael Steele.

A company rep wouldn’t give a reason for Stone’s departure, and Stone declined to comment.