MEDIA PROFILE: Hot, new celebrities get more than 15 minutes from Interview

Every part of Andy Warhol's brainchild is open to pitches, but Interview likes to stay focused on the individual - especially the hot, new talent or personality that gets pitched as an exclusive.

Every part of Andy Warhol's brainchild is open to pitches, but Interview likes to stay focused on the individual - especially the hot, new talent or personality that gets pitched as an exclusive.

Like Andy Warhol, its founder, Interview magazine makes no bones about being all about celebrities. So much so, in fact, that it doesn't bother to filter the words of the stars through an editorial voice. Instead, it presents them, unvarnished, in Q&As, often conducted by other celebrities. Although Interview has remained loyal to the Pop Art master's conception of the magazine, it has broadened its scope of stories to reflect all aspects of contemporary pop culture, making the glossy pages fertile ground for plugged-in publicists. "Every area of Interview is open to pitches," says executive editor Brad Goldfarb. "But what's important is that Interview is more about individuals than trends. If we're given ideas that can be addressed through a conversation with an actor, reporter, politician, or artist, we'll get at the world through talking to them." Since its launch in 1969, Interview has prided itself on having a reputation for giving hot, new celebrities early exposure. Discoveries include Jodie Foster, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Matthew McConaughey. More recent ones are Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Colin Farrell. But the competition in the field of celebrity journalism is rough, and Interview is interested in hot new talent that's pitched exclusively to them. "Pitches are good when they're personalized and bear some thought," Goldfarb says. "We'll want to know we're the only place receiving the pitch, and it's not getting thrown all over the place." With a circulation of 200,000 and readers with a median household income of $73,800, Interview targets young, affluent individuals with a feel for pop culture. Sixty-four percent of its readers are between the ages 18 and 34, but the magazine tries to draw readers from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. The editors are constantly on the lookout for new ideas, and welcome pitches on fresh talent and hot personalities. Ideas can range from movies to music to fashion to art. There is no beat list or editorial calendar available, and the editorial team claims to be very formula-free in its approach to what it covers. While a certain amount of space is held open each month because of the rapidly changing nature of pop culture, there is a hard-and-fast three-month lead time on stories. The key to making your story theirs, as with every publication, is to know its sensibility. "If the person pitching is familiar with the magazine, it reveals itself immediately," says Goldfarb. "Certain pitches don't reflect understanding of our publication or content, and that's wrong. Just a quick study of a few issues will bear out the kinds of things we cover, and will give people a sense of what we want." Pitches should be directed to the editor of the relevant section. More general pitches should go through Goldfarb or managing editor Erik Mears, who will send the idea in the right direction. The editors can be approached in a variety of ways, whether it be via e-mail, snail mail, or phone. Though the editors are out producing the magazine seven days a month and can only be reached by e-mail on those days, they do like conversations to get a sense of the pitch. A visual hook is not vital to the initial conversation, but will be necessary down the road. What's most important is that a pitch is exciting and tailored to the publication, and that it reflects a real consideration for pop culture and the impact the person could have on his or her industry. "We give a lot of thought to who we're covering," says Goldfarb. "We put Jennifer Connelly on the cover for A Beautiful Mind a month before the 2002 Oscars. The story came out of a dialogue we were having with her publicist about her feelings about the film. That was a great story for us, and really launched her career to a new level." ----- Contact list Interview Address 575 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10012 Tel/Fax (212) 941-2900; 941-2934 Website E-mail Editor-in-chief Ingrid Sischy Executive editor Brad Goldfarb Managing editor Erik Mears Creative director Sam Shahid Art director Tony Moxham Senior editor Scott Cohen Music editor Rebecca Wallwork

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