Weeklies Score with Weddings, Bin Laden Coverage

Magazines do better when they stick to knitting

Celebrity magazines should stick to celebrities. News magazines to news.

That’s one conclusion to be drawn from mags' royal wedding and Osama bin Laden coverage. People magazine scored with sales of as much as 2.5 million copies of its royal wedding issue, compared to an average of 1.3 million sold from newsstands in a more typical week. That puts the issue up there with some of the celeb weekly's biggest sellers of all time. (It was the biggest single-copy seller since People's 2008 issue with Brad and Angelina's twins, which sold an eye-popping 2.8 million, according to the mag.) 

Meanwhile, OK! Weekly, which did an about face from its usual fluffy celebrity coverage, had a dud on its hands with its cover featuring bin Laden news, according to industry sources with access to figures.

On the other hand, Time’s special issue on the terrorist’s death sold around 500,000 copies—compared to the roughly 80,000 copies the magazine sells on newsstands per week—twice as many as its royal wedding special, which sold around 250,000. (The Time figures are domestic only and represent early, internal estimates.)

It was the first time that Time published three issues in the span of a week. The third was its regularly scheduled issue.