MEDIA PROFILE: Premiere finds its light in remaining focused solely on movies

Forget about fashion, fads, makeup, and who's dating who. Save it for Us Weekly. The rule for pitching a story or front-of-book item to Premiere magazine is it has to be about film.

Forget about fashion, fads, makeup, and who's dating who. Save it for Us Weekly. The rule for pitching a story or front-of-book item to Premiere magazine is it has to be about film.

Targeting a pitch for Premiere should be pretty simple, since the magazine only covers a single topic: film. But the number-one complaint from editors at the book is the abundance of story suggestions that focus on other aspects of entertainment. "I get people pitching things from ballpoint pens to opera singers, and we don't do that," says deputy editor Rachel Clarke. "Movies, movies, movies. That's what Premiere is about." Within that narrow niche, Premiere has carved out a reputation as the intellectual film magazine. Bypassing the stories featured in more lowbrow, celebrity-driven fare such as Us Weekly or even Entertainment Weekly, Premiere strives to fashion features that explore and explain the business of movie making, directing, and acting. The book carefully avoids the star-pandering that is common to other Hollywood-focused publications, and will unceremoniously dump pitches about fashions, fads, and who's dating who. "A lot of times, we'll cover similar people as Us Weekly, but we're really not interested in what lipstick someone is wearing," explains Clarke. "The story for us is the choices an actor or actress is making in terms of work." Recent examples of that film-aficionado fare include a short feature on the screenwriter of Training Day that explores his South Central Los Angeles upbringing, and a feature by writer Jeremy Arnold on the interesting intersection of people who gather at Hugh Hefner's media room at the Playboy mansion for screenings of classics like Casablanca. Premiere's front-of-the-book sections offer the best chance for article placements, since they usually run on a shorter lead time and have a wider range of topics. The magazine starts with a preview section detailing upcoming releases. While the studio's high-profile offerings will always be covered, the magazine also prides itself on knowing about smaller, but worthwhile projects as well. March's edition, for example, features The Guys, the Sigourney Weaver/Anthony LaPaglia film about a fire captain and a journalist writing eulogies for men lost in the Twin Towers. Action is the next pitch-friendly section of the magazine, offering the pages most open to PR ideas. The tag line - "Behind the scenes & ahead of the curve" - explains the cutting-edge, informed viewpoint the editor is pursuing. The section always begins with a one-page profile of a hot, but still rising, star. March features Kelly Hu, the female lead in Cradle 2 the Grave. Along with new talents, the section looks for quirky, clever trends and events that are creating cocktail chatter in Los Angeles and New York - or will be once Premiere writes about them. Recent examples include a chart of injuries sustained by actors on set, and 10 ways to lose a guy in LA, by the authors of the current hit film How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. A great place to fit a piece of gossip is the "Yes, it's true" column, which offers previously unpublished nuggets of news. Last month featured a bit on director Brett Ratner announcing his next project as the helmer of a new Superman flick by sending out Christmas cards featuring himself garbed as Clark Kent's alter ego. The First Look section (formerly called In the Works), edited by senior editor Jill Bernstein in New York, takes readers on set for films that are currently in production. While Premiere is certain to know all about the latest Tom Cruise flick, including how to get on set, this is a great place to pitch productions filming in unusual cities, or smaller films that have a strong hook. (Maybe a star willing to write a personal diary?) While Premiere may not be the best-known magazine focusing on Hollywood, it is doing exceptionally well in this tough economy. The February issue was up 39% in advertising pages, and a recent redesign of the book added 10 editorial pages, and increased the trim size. ----- Contact list Premiere magazine Address 1633 Broadway, 41st Floor, New York, NY 10019 Tel/fax (212) 767-6000/767-5450 Address 5670 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel/fax (323) 954-0500/954-4848 Web E-mail Editor-in-chief Peter Herbst Executive editor Katherine Heintzelman Deputy editor Rachel Clarke West Coast editor Sean Smith Senior editors Jill Bernstein, Tom Roston

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