MMC, the company that recently acquired my Deadline Hollywood Daily and my services to run it, is expanding yet again. Love her or hate her, Bonnie Fuller is undeniably a high profile “get” for MMC and its boss Jay Penske. But let me clear up any confusion: I will be running DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com, Bonnie Fuller will be running MMC’s existing HollywoodLife.com, and editorially the two divisions will be absolutely separate but equal. Besides, everyone knows that I don’t do celebrity coverage. (Full Disclosure: I will continue to post MMC’s news only if it relates to Hollywood.):
New York, NY (July 16, 2009) — Media executive and magazine innovator Bonnie Fuller has accepted a position to lead HollywoodLife.com, announced Jay Penske, CEO of Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC), which owns the online celebrity/entertainment site. The new position represents an important step both for Fuller, who has been instrumental in reshaping the magazine industry for more than two decades, and for Hollywood Life. Penske described this hire as “an extraordinary opportunity,” adding: “Partnering with Bonnie allows us to chart a new course for Hollywood Life—to create an exciting and innovative online destination for women.”
As President and editor in chief of Hollywood Life, Ms Fuller will grow the brand, transforming the site into a vibrant, interactive digital destination for entertainment news and style-minded women, ages 18-35. Fuller has been widely credited with sparking the current pop-culture celebrity mania, after transforming Us Weekly into the first celebrity newsweekly and then successfully transitioning Star from a tabloid into a glossy magazine. After that, the celebrity magazine genre grew into the robust category that it is today, with Fuller creating the popular Us Weekly section, “Stars – Just Like Us.”
Fuller also brings to Hollywood Life her deep understanding of the young female audience—following successful stints as editor in chief of YM, Marie Claire (which she launched in the U.S.), Cosmopolitan (where she succeeded the legendary Helen Gurley Brown), and Glamour (where she followed the legendary Ruth Whitney). In each case, circulation at the magazines soared under her editorship. Advertising Age named her Editor of the Year twice. Over the past year–since leaving American Media, where she was EVP and Chief Editorial Director–Fuller transitioned her focus and efforts into the world of digital media, blogging regularly for Huffington Post, NYTimes.com, and Adage.com, as well as creating the three-times-weekly GossipGram for the new Nonstop New York TV channel, with Roseanne Colletti.
Fuller sees Hollywood Life as a tremendous opportunity to engage directly with women in the two-way conversations about celebrity issues that they crave. “Women view celebrities as part of their own circle of friends. They see them as role models for their own love lives and relationships, health, diet and fitness issues, careers and fashion, beauty, and even decor decisions. Furthermore, real women are fascinated by celebrities because they see them as mirrors of their own lives,” says Fuller. “Hollywood Life’s history in covering celebrity style and lifestyles makes it the perfect vehicle to expand on those conversations and develop a deep relationship as we rapidly grow its audience.”
“Bonnie isn’t just an editor, she’s an innovator in the field of journalism,” said Jay Penske of MMC about Fuller and her new role. “Her experience in transforming brands and publications, along with her unique understanding of women and how they consume media, makes her the ideal person to lead HollywoodLife.com. Adding Bonnie to our team radically enhances Hollywood Life’s market opportunity and further fortifies the company’s position as a leading participant in the entertainment space.”
“After spending time over the last few months with Jay, I was impressed not only by his vision for MMC and his talented team but also their focus and ability to create, launch, and acquire such editorially focused and content-rich websites as Mail.com, OnCars.com, Nikki Finke’s DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com, and Movieline.com. I was fortunate to have had many opportunities to consider in both traditional and digital media; but I found that Jay and I shared the same vision in wanting to create the finest online destination for women who seek original content and who want to consume that content in new and exciting ways.”
Fuller will run Hollywood Life offices in New York and Los Angeles and will make additional staff announcements in the coming weeks. The site’s redesign and launch is expected to be complete by mid-fall of this year.