People (magazine)

Last updated

People Magazine logo.svg
People Magazine cover.png
Friends 25th-anniversary special edition, September 2019
EditorWendy Naugle [1]
Categories Celebrity
Human interest
Fashion & Lifestyle
Total circulation
3,425,166 [2]
First issueMarch 4, 1974;49 years ago (1974-03-04)
Company Dotdash Meredith
CountryUnited States
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
ISSN 0093-7673
OCLC 794712888

People is an American weekly magazine that specializes in celebrity news and human-interest stories. It is published by Dotdash Meredith, a subsidiary of IAC. [3] With a readership of 46.6 million adults in 2009, People had the largest audience of any American magazine, but it fell to second place in 2018 after its readership significantly declined to 35.9 million. [4] [5] People had $997 million in advertising revenue in 2011, the highest advertising revenue of any American magazine. [6] In 2006, it had a circulation of 3.75 million and revenue expected to top $1.5 billion. [7] It was named "Magazine of the Year" by Advertising Age in October 2005, for excellence in editorial, circulation, and advertising. [8] People ranked number 6 on Advertising Age's annual "A-list" and number 3 on Adweek 's "Brand Blazers" list in October 2006.


People's website,, focuses on celebrity and crime news, royal updates, fashion and lifestyle recommendations and human interest stories. [8]

People is perhaps best known for its yearly special issues naming the "World's Most Beautiful", "Best & Worst Dressed", and "Sexiest Man Alive". The magazine's headquarters are in New York City, and it maintains editorial bureaus in Los Angeles and in London. For economic reasons, it closed bureaus in Austin, Miami, and Chicago in 2006. [7] [8]


Andrew Heiskell, who was the chief executive officer of Time Inc. at the time and the former publisher of the weekly Life magazine, is credited with coming up with the idea for People. The founding managing editor of People was Richard Stolley, a former assistant managing editor at Life and the journalist who acquired the Zapruder film of the John F. Kennedy assassination for Time Inc. in 1963. People's first publisher was Richard J. "Dick" Durrell, another Time Inc. veteran.[ citation needed ]

Stolley characterized the magazine as "getting back to the people who are causing the news and who are caught up in it, or deserve to be in it. Our focus is on people, not issues." [9] Stolley's almost religious determination to keep the magazine people-focused contributed significantly to its rapid early success. It is said that although Time Inc. pumped an estimated $40 million into the venture, the magazine only broke even 18 months after its debut on February 25, 1974. Initially, the magazine was sold primarily on newsstands and in supermarkets. To get the magazine out each week, founding staff members regularly slept on the floor of their offices two or three nights each week and severely limited all non-essential outside engagements. The premiere edition[ clarification needed ] for the week ending March 4, 1974, featured actress Mia Farrow, then starring in the film The Great Gatsby , on the cover. That issue also featured stories on Gloria Vanderbilt, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the wives of U.S. Vietnam veterans who were Missing In Action. [7] The magazine was, apart from its cover, printed in black-and-white. The initial cover price was 35 cents (equivalent to $2.08in 2022).

The core of the small founding editorial team included other editors, writers, photographers and photo editors from Life magazine, which had ceased publication just 13 months earlier. This group included managing editor Stolley, senior editors Hal Wingo (father of ESPN anchor Trey Wingo), Sam Angeloff (the founding managing editor of Us magazine) and Robert Emmett Ginna Jr. (a former Life writer and also a film and television producer); writers James Watters (a theater reviewer) and Ronald B. Scott (later a biographer of presidential candidate Mitt Romney); former Time senior editor Richard Burgheim (later the founder of Time's ill-fated cable television magazine View); Chief of Photography, a Life photographer, John Loengard, to be succeeded by John Dominus, a noteworthy Life staff photographer; and design artist Bernard Waber, author, and illustrator of the Lyle The Crocodile book series for children. Many of the noteworthy Life photographers contributed to the magazine as well, including legends Alfred Eisenstaedt and Gjon Mili and rising stars Co Rentmeester, David Burnett and Bill Eppridge. Other members of the first editorial staff included editors and writers Ross Drake, Ralph Novak, Bina Bernard, James Jerome, Sally Moore, Mary Vespa, Lee Wohlfert, Joyce Wansley, Curt Davis, Clare Crawford-Mason, [10] and Jed Horne, later an editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

In 1996, Time Inc. launched a Spanish-language magazine entitled People en Español . The company has said that the new publication emerged after a 1995 issue of the original magazine was distributed with two distinct covers, one featuring the murdered Tejano singer Selena and the other featuring the hit television series Friends ; the Selena cover sold out while the other did not. [11] Although the original idea was that Spanish-language translations of articles from the English magazine would comprise half the content, People en Español over time came to have entirely original content.

In 2002, People introduced People Stylewatch, a title focusing on celebrity style, fashion, and beauty – a newsstand extension of its Stylewatch column. Due to its success, the frequency of People Stylewatch was increased to 10 times per year in 2007.[ citation needed ] In spring 2017, People Stylewatch was rebranded as PeopleStyle. In late 2017, it was announced that there would no longer be a print version of PeopleStyle and it would be a digital-only publication.

In Australia, the localized version of People is titled Who since there was already another magazine published under the title People . The international edition of People has been published in Greece since 2010.[ citation needed ]

On July 26, 2013, Outlook Group announced that it was closing down the Indian edition of People, which began publication in 2008. [12] [13]

In September 2016, in collaboration with Entertainment Weekly , People launched the People/Entertainment Weekly Network. The "free, ad-supported online-video network ... covering celebrities, pop culture, lifestyle and human-interest stories", was rebranded as PeopleTV in September 2017. [14]

In December 2016, LaTavia Roberson engaged in a feud with People after alleging they misquoted and misrepresented her interview online. [15] [16] [17]

Meredith purchased Time Inc., including People, in 2017. [18] In 2019, People editor Jess Cagle announced he was stepping down from his role. [19] It was later announced he would be replaced by deputy editor Dan Wakeford, who previously worked for In Touch Weekly . [20] Liz Vaccariello was named the new Editor in Chief on February 23, 2022, replacing Dan Wakeford.[ citation needed ]

On October 6, 2021, Dotdash agreed to purchase Meredith, which still owned People and sister magazines such as Entertainment Weekly , InStyle , and Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Journal, [21] in a $2.7 billion deal. [21] The purchase would be finalized on December 1, 2021. [22]

Teen People

Teen People
Managing EditorNiraj Biswal
Barbara O'Dair
Categories Celebrity
First issueFebruary 1998
Final issueSeptember 2006
Company Time Inc. (Time Warner)
CountryUnited States
ISSN 1096-2832

In 1998, the magazine introduced a version targeted at teens, called Teen People. [23] However, on July 27, 2006, the company announced that it would shut down publication of Teen People immediately. The last issue to be released was scheduled for September 2006. [24] In exchange, subscribers to this magazine received Entertainment Weekly for the rest of their subscriptions. There were numerous reasons cited for the publication shutdown, including a downfall in ad pages, competition from both other teen-oriented magazines and the internet, and a decrease in circulation numbers. [25] was merged into in April 2007. will "carry teen-focused stories that are branded as", Mark Golin, the editor of explained. On the decision to merge the brands, he stated, "We've got traffic on TeenPeople, People is a larger site, why not combine and have the teen traffic going to one place?" [26]

Competition for celebrity photos

In a July 2006 Variety article, Janice Min, Us Weekly editor-in-chief, blamed People for the increase in cost to publishers of celebrity photos:

They are among the largest spenders of celebrity photos in the industry....One of the first things they ever did, that led to the jacking up of photo prices, was to pay $75,000 to buy pictures of Jennifer Lopez reading Us magazine, so Us Weekly couldn't buy them. That was the watershed moment that kicked off high photo prices in my mind. I had never seen anything like it. But they saw a competitor come along, and responded. It was a business move, and probably a smart one. [7]

People reportedly paid $4.1 million for photos of newborn Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, the child of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. [7] The photos set a single-day traffic record for their website, attracting 26.5 million page views. [7]

Sexiest Man Alive

The annual feature the "Sexiest Man Alive" is billed as a benchmark of male attractiveness and typically includes only famous people. It is determined using a procedure similar to the procedure used for Time 's Person of the Year. The origin of the title was a discussion on a planned story on Mel Gibson. Someone exclaimed, "Oh my God, he is the sexiest man alive!" And someone else said, "You should use that as a cover line." [27]

For the first decade or so, the feature appeared at uneven intervals. Originally awarded in the wintertime, it shifted around the calendar, resulting in gaps as short as seven months and as long as a year and a half, with no selection at all during 1994 (21 years later the magazine did select Keanu Reeves to fill the 1994 gap, with runners-up including Hugh Grant and Jim Carrey). Since 1997, the dates have settled between mid-November and early December.

Dates of magazine issues, winners, ages of winners at the time of selection, and pertinent comments are listed below.

As of 2022, former winners John F. Kennedy Jr., Sean Connery, and Patrick Swayze have since died. Kennedy Jr. and David Beckham are the only non-entertainers to have won the accolade.

February 4, 1985 Mel Gibson 29
January 27, 1986 Mark Harmon [28] 34
March 30, 1987 Harry Hamlin 35
September 12, 1988 John F. Kennedy Jr. 28
December 16, 1989 Sean Connery 59
July 23, 1990 Tom Cruise 27
July 22, 1991 Patrick Swayze 38
March 16, 1992 Nick Nolte 51
October 19, 1993 Richard Gere (1)
(Sexiest Couple Alive)
Cindy Crawford [29] 27
(awarded on
November 18, 2015)
Keanu Reeves [30] 30
January 30, 1995 Brad Pitt (1)32
July 29, 1996 Denzel Washington 41
November 17, 1997 George Clooney (1)36
November 16, 1998 Harrison Ford 56
November 15, 1999 Richard Gere (2)50
November 13, 2000 Brad Pitt (2)37
November 26, 2001 Pierce Brosnan 48
December 2, 2002 Ben Affleck 30
December 1, 2003 Johnny Depp (1)40
November 29, 2004 Jude Law 31
November 28, 2005 Matthew McConaughey [31] 36
November 27, 2006 George Clooney (2) [32] 45
November 26, 2007 Matt Damon [33] 37
November 25, 2008 Hugh Jackman [34] 40
November 18, 2009 Johnny Depp (2) [35] 46
November 17, 2010 Ryan Reynolds [36] 34
November 16, 2011 Bradley Cooper [37] 36
November 14, 2012 Channing Tatum [38] 32
November 19, 2013 Adam Levine [39] 34
November 19, 2014 Chris Hemsworth [40] 31
November 17, 2015 David Beckham [41] 40
November 15, 2016 Dwayne Johnson [42] 44
November 14, 2017 Blake Shelton [43] 41
November 5, 2018 Idris Elba [44] 46
November 13, 2019 John Legend [45] 40
November 30, 2020 Michael B. Jordan [46] 33
November 10, 2021 Paul Rudd [47] 52
November 7, 2022 Chris Evans [48] 41
November 7, 2023 Patrick Dempsey [49] 57

Sexiest Woman Alive

In December 2014, People selected its first and only Sexiest Woman Alive, Kate Upton. [50] Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere were declared "Sexiest Couple of the Year" on October 19, 1993.

December 25, 2014 Kate Upton [50] 22

Cutest Baby Alive

In 2019, People selected its first Cutest Baby Alive, Andy Cohen's son Benjamin. [51] In 2020, Anderson Cooper's son, Wyatt Morgan, was named the Cutest Baby Alive. [52]

November 13, 2019 Benjamin Cohen
November 19, 2020 Wyatt Morgan

Most Intriguing People of the Year

At the end of each year People magazine famously selects 25 news-making individuals or couples who have received a lot of media attention over the past 12 months and showcases them in a special year-end issue, the '25 Most Intriguing People of the Year'. This series of full-page features and half-page featurettes includes world leaders and political activists, famous actors and entertainers, elite athletes, prominent business people, accomplished scientists and occasionally members of the public whose stories have made an unusual impact in news or tabloid media. [53]

100 Most Beautiful People

People's 100 Most Beautiful People is an annual list of 100 people judged to be the most beautiful individuals in the world. Until 2006, it was the 50 Most Beautiful People.

Julia Roberts holds the record for most times named, with five. [54] Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Aniston, and Kate Hudson have appeared twice.

In 2020, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, and Hudson's daughter Rani made history becoming the first multigenerational cover stars of the Beautiful Issue. In addition, Hawn and her granddaughter concurrently became the oldest and youngest to cover the Beautiful Issue. [55]

100 Most Beautiful People cover stars
Issue dateNameAge
June 1, 1990 Michelle Pfeiffer (1)32
June 7, 1991 Julia Roberts (1)23
May 4, 1992 Jodie Foster 28
May 3, 1993 Cindy Crawford 27
May 8, 1994 Meg Ryan 32
May 8, 1995 Courteney Cox 30
May 8, 1996 Mel Gibson 40
May 12, 1997 Tom Cruise 34
May 12, 1998 Leonardo DiCaprio 24
May 14, 1999 Michelle Pfeiffer (2)41
May 8, 2000 Julia Roberts (2)32
May 14, 2001 Catherine Zeta-Jones 31
May 13, 2002 Nicole Kidman 34
May 12, 2003 Halle Berry 36
May 30, 2004 Jennifer Aniston (1)35
May 8, 2005 Julia Roberts (3)37
April 28, 2006 Angelina Jolie 30
April 27, 2007 Drew Barrymore 32
May 2, 2008 Kate Hudson (1)29
May 11, 2009 Christina Applegate 37
April 30, 2010 Julia Roberts (4)42
April 15, 2011 Jennifer Lopez 41
April 27, 2012 Beyoncé 30
April 26, 2013 Gwyneth Paltrow 40
May 5, 2014 Lupita Nyong'o 31
April 24, 2015 Sandra Bullock 50
April 20, 2016 Jennifer Aniston (2)47
April 19, 2017 Julia Roberts (5)49
April 18, 2018 Pink 38
April 24, 2019 Jennifer Garner 47
May 4, 2020 Goldie Hawn 74
Kate Hudson (2)41
Rani Hudson Fujikawa1
April 12, 2021 Chrissy Teigen 34
April 27, 2022 Helen Mirren 76
April 24, 2023 Melissa McCarthy 52

People Magazine Yearbook

People Magazine Yearbook is an annual publication released by publishers of People Magazine, currently Meredith Corporation. [3] The Yearbook broadly covers all the major events that happened in the year that it covers. This includes socially relevant news events that made headlines around the world in general but more specifically in the United States. Besides the news headlines, it covers celebrity weddings, splits/divorces, births and deaths, and also scandalous events that generated a lot of news when they happened. Over the years, it has covered headlining events in the world of Music (Grammy Awards), Movies (Oscar Awards, The Golden Globe Awards), and Television (Emmy Awards) in a bite sized recap of the event and the award winners. The People Yearbook has had the year (say, 2010) written in Bold accompanying the word "Yearbook" on the front cover since the People Yearbook 1995, [56] although this gradually changed in the more recent editions. Since 2015, the "year" appeared in a more inconspicuous way on the front cover until the 2019 issue [57] and the bold style of writing the "year" made a comeback in the 2020 issue. [58] The Year also appears on the spine.

Early years

The People Magazine Yearbook was first published in the Year 1991 by The Time Inc. Magazine Company and it was called "Private Lives". [59] This issue did not mention any year conspicuously on the front page or the inner page but the front flap of the hardcover version of the magazine described Private Lives as "People's chronicle of an extraordinary year - 1990", clearly describing that the events covered inside were from 1990. Next Year, the 1992 sequel to Private Lives was published and it was called "Private Lives Volume II". [60] The first page had an additional tagline that described the magazine as The Year in Review: 1991 Private Lives. In 1993, there was another change in the publication and also its cover title. The year was added on the cover for the first time and this annual issue was called "Private Lives 1993". [61] The "Year" appeared in Bold on the front cover. The first page described the publication as Private Lives The Year in Review: 1992. Next year, in 1994, People Books released Private Lives 1994 [62] with the first page that said Private Lives Year in Review: 1993. The year 1996 ushered in the single biggest change in the magazine title. The title was reworked and found a new moniker - It was called "People Yearbook 1995". [56] Previous title of "Private Lives" was dropped completely and the publication was defined as a "yearbook" for the first time.

Changes over the Years

In all the years since its inception, People Magazine Yearbook has covered events from the previous year and not the year on the front cover, and this is true even from the time period when it was called Private Lives. For example, People Magazine Yearbook 2008 covered events of 2007. [63] And People Magazine Yearbook 1998 covered the events of the Year 1997. [64] 2014 was the last year for this to happen. The 2014 yearbook covered events of 2013. [65] In 2015, a shift happened in the magazine that changed for the first time the year it actually covered within its pages. Instead of covering the events of 2014, this issue covered the events of 2015 and arrived on the stands towards the end of 2015. [66] To make the shift properly understood, the first page of this yearbook included a tagline "The Most Memorable Moments of 2015". With this move, People Magazine Yearbook changed its own 25-year-old tradition. This shift, however, resulted in the year 2014 never being covered by the People Magazine Yearbook and 2014 became the only year not to be covered since its inception in 1991. Since then, the People Magazine Yearbook has been covering events of the same year that are on the Front Page. Another typeface change was experimented for two years when People Magazine Yearbook 2013! [67] and People Magazine Yearbook 2014! [65] had an exclamation mark following the year. This was dropped in the 2015 Yearbook and the publication discarded the exclamation mark. However, this issue dropped the Bold writing of the "Year" on the front cover and replaced it with a more inconspicuous style and it was like that until the 2019 issue. [66]

The 2016 Yearbook was a special "flip cover" issue wherein it combined a special edition memorabilia to cherish the memories of people that died in 2016. [68] The list included Prince, David Bowie, Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman, Doris Roberts, Muhammad Ali etc. The special edition could be accessed by flipping over the magazine. In November 2017, Meredith Corporation announced that it would acquire Time Inc. for $2.8 billion. [69] The acquisition was completed on January 31, 2018. [70] Time Magazine, People Magazine and also People Magazine Yearbook are now published by Meredith Corporation. The copyright of the 2018 Yearbook was described as belonging to Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation and published by People Books, an imprint of Time Books. [71] [72] This issue included the tagline, "The Most Memorable Moments of 2018" on the cover. However, in the 2019 Yearbook, the copyright was described as belonging to Meredith Corporation, without any prominent tagline. [57] The prominent bold writing of the "Year" on the front cover made a comeback with the 2020 Yearbook, along with a tagline saying "Our Extraordinary Year Together". [58] The trend continued with the 2021 Yearbook, along with a tagline saying, "When We All Got Together Again". [73]

Television spinoffs

The magazine has inspired the television series People Magazine Investigates, a true crime series which debuted in 2016 on Investigation Discovery, [74] and People Puzzler , a crossword puzzle-themed game show which debuted in 2021 on Game Show Network. [75]

An earlier TV version of the magazine began as an entertainment news program, hosted by Alan Hamel, Pat Mitchell and Phyllis George, with Peter Stone as an occasional substitute and it was produced by Time-Life Television, aired on CBS in the fall of 1978, and lasted for a few months. [76] [77] [78]

See also

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