JOURNALIST Q&A: Brenda You

Brenda You understands what entertains the average American. She spent eight years working her way up the ranks of The Jerry Springer Show from coordinating producer to director. Then she moved on to The National Enquirer. Now she is helming West Coast operations for its sister publication, Star Magazine, where she is helping the revamped tabloid - Bonnie Fuller's latest project in her new job with Star's parent company American Media - finesse its way onto Hollywood's A-list of news outlets.

Brenda You understands what entertains the average American. She spent eight years working her way up the ranks of The Jerry Springer Show from coordinating producer to director. Then she moved on to The National Enquirer. Now she is helming West Coast operations for its sister publication, Star Magazine, where she is helping the revamped tabloid - Bonnie Fuller's latest project in her new job with Star's parent company American Media - finesse its way onto Hollywood's A-list of news outlets.

PRWeek: What kind of reception have you gotten from publicists in Los Angeles? Brenda You: The reception has been very good. It's actually improved very quickly. I was with The National Enquirer before Star, and I notice a big difference. I had a lot of problems approaching celebrities when I was there. If you say, 'National Enquirer,' they say, 'What did I do?' If you say, 'Star,' they are a little less worried. PRWeek: What kind of LA stories are you looking for in the new Star? You: We're looking for news that nobody else has. [The September 4] issue is our first-ever couples issue. We have stories like Angelina Jolie is back dating her old husband. Jennifer Aniston's husband wants her to get a makeover. Demi and Ashton are looking at wedding rings. One of our favorites things to look for are couples updates, celebrity news. That's a major part of our focus. And we're doing a lot more features now, like what stars did during the blackout. PRWeek: What kinds of stories that fit the old Star are you trying to avoid? You: The old Star never did really hard-core sex stories. Those go to the Globe or the Enquirer. Even at the new Star, we will leave that up to the other two tabloids. We'll still do cheating stories. We'll still do scandals. It's just that is has to be something big. We're going more A-list, not C-list. The National Enquirer is investigations and hard news, the murders, the O. J. Simpson stuff. The Globe focuses a little bit more on older stars, classic stars, and they might get a little more tawdry with the details. Star is aimed more towards women. It's got a lot of fashion; a lot of beauty, some diet. PRWeek: Is there a stigma in Hollywood that comes from being a tabloid, or part of a chain of tabloids? You: There can be because we are separate publications, but yet we are all in the same building so people will consider that. They'll say we'll give an interview with Star, but we don't want to see this in Globe. PRWeek: How would you like the Los Angeles publicity and celebrity community to think of Star? You: They should see Star as a new beginning because that's what it really is. It's basically a glossy magazine in newsprint. In fact, there are going to be glossy test runs in November. But it's really not scandal-based. It's much more positive and upbeat. Name: Brenda You Publication: Star Magazine Title: West Coast bureau chief Preferred contact method: byou@starmagazine.com Website: www.starmagazine.com

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