STAR MAGAZINE EDITOR BONNIE FULLER SAYS SHE DOESN�T KNOW
WHY PEOPLE DON�T LIKE HER --
ON �60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY� ON CBS
There�s no doubt Bonnie Fuller knows how to sell magazines, but her methods have not won her many friends. Actor Gwyneth Paltrow has called her the devil and New York magazine media critic Simon Dumenco has referred to her as an evil genius. So what does the woman on the front lines of the hottest war in print journalism -- the battle of the celebrity weeklies -- have to say about all the criticisms, the name calling and the �I survived Bonnie� website? 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY Contributor Lara Logan talks exclusively with Fuller, the �diva of celebrity journalism,� who insists she doesn�t know why she�s disliked so much by her colleagues. Logan�s interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY on Nov. 24 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Fuller has held the top spot at six major publications, including Glamour and Cosmopolitan, where she was notorious for her juicy, sex-laden covers. Today, she is being paid millions to transform Star, a former cut-rate tabloid, into the leader of the glossy celebrity pack. The 48-year-old mother of four tells Logan that her personal insecurities have helped propel her to the top of the magazine publishing industry. �You know, I was never the popular girl in the class,� says Fuller. �I was a geeky girl in the class and so you carry that with you. I mean, you can�t completely expunge it, but you can use it in a positive sense�.�
Despite the magazine�s obvious popularity, some question the authenticity of its content. ��I think much of what�s written in publications, including Star -- Star�s not the worst, by the way -- but much of it is made up and their crutch is using people who will lie to them,� says publicist Ken Sunshine, who represents Ben Affleck. �[People] who will say, �Well, I�m a friend of Ben�s and I saw this happening -- he was having sex with a goat and I saw it� -- and they�ll print it.�
But Fuller stands by her juicy headlines and sexy articles. �I think serious journalism is alive and well�We�re very serious at Star about what we do in covering celebrity news,� says Fuller. �Just because it�s celebrity news doesn�t mean we don�t take it just as seriously as any other journalist.�
Fuller has also created a bull market for paparazzi -- photographers who�ll do just about anything to score pictures of the hottest celebrities. The brightest stars in Fuller�s universe are hardly underexposed: in just 12 issues, Star magazine ran a total of 105 photos of Britney Spears -- topped only by 134 photos of Paris Hilton. Fuller�s readers seem to love the paparazzi photos of the rich and famous grown haggard, bloated or emaciated. �I think it actually makes celebrities much more beloved to their followers, to their fans,� explains Fuller, �because when you feel like a celebrity is human, [then you can believe] they have problems just like you�.�
Her strange twist on schadenfreude hasn�t escaped the attention of Dumenco. �I mean, looking at other people and sort of taking pleasure in the fact that they�re doing badly or they photograph badly sometimes, to take pleasure in that and to recognize that that is marketable information, that�s pretty base,� says Dumenco. Logan asks, �That�s why you�ve said that Bonnie has created the magazine equivalent of what?� Dumenco responds, �Of crack [cocaine]�The magazines that she�s created are irresistible. You stop and pick them up. You�re like, �Oh, my God, I cannot believe that picture is on the cover of a magazine.��
Josh Howard is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Steven Reiner is the producer of this report.