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Premiere magazine to shutter

The April issue will be its last. The brand will live on online, the parent company says.

March 06, 2007|Lorenza Munoz | Times Staff Writer

Premiere magazine, one of the first entertainment news magazines to cover the inner workings of Hollywood, will fold.

On Monday, Jack Kliger, chief executive of publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., announced that the April issue of the Los Angeles-based magazine would be the last print edition. Hachette plans to provide daily Hollywood news, interviews and access to video trailers through Premiere.com and Premiere Mobile. The monthly magazine suffered as the number of outlets covering celebrity news mushroomed, both on the Internet and at the newsstand.

"In a transition like this, which is propelled by changes in consumer behavior and the marketplace, it is unfortunate that the necessary adjustments include the discontinuation of the magazine," Kliger said in a statement.

Added Marta Wohrle, senior vice president of digital media at Hachette, "Our advertisers have increasingly expressed a desire to be a part of this type of digital environment."

Editor in Chief Peter Herbst will leave the company, according to the statement, which did not disclose how many people will be laid off. The U.S. closure does not affect the magazine's international divisions.

Launched in 1987, Premiere grew in fame with its annual Power List, which caused a frenzy among agents and executives who jostled for the top spots. Premiere also did in-depth interviews with studio chiefs, features from the sets of movies and celebrity interviews.

The magazine broke new ground with its serious examination of celebrities. "We were perceived as impertinent to even be asking the kinds of questions we were asking," said Kim Masters, a former writer with the magazine who is now a correspondent with National Public Radio.

But the magazine began losing ground several years ago because of increased competition. In 1996 the magazine suffered a major blow when its two top editors, Chris Connelly and Nancy Griffin, resigned in protest over pressure to kill a controversial story about Planet Hollywood, which had ties to financier Ronald Perelman, a co-owner of Premiere.

The editors had been wary about the direction of the magazine, which Hachette executives wanted to reposition as a fan magazine without in-depth investigative stories.

lorenza.munoz@latimes.com

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