Celebrity Media: EW Not Celeb Mag; TMZ As Diet Of Life; Microfame

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
As we prepare for our EconCeleb conference next month, some interesting stories are popping up about celeb media:

-- EW is not a celeb magazine: So says Scott Donaton, the publisher of Entertainment Weekly, the Times Inc magazine. He said in this AdAge interview: "Our brand identity got a little lost in the marketplace with the explosion of the celebrity-tabloid category. Our goal with everything we've been working on in the last six months has been to totally set ourselves apart...We're not a celebrity magazine; we're an entertainment magazine."

-- Celeb getting into media: Not celeb media, but celebs getting into online media and related ventures...a detailed story from Times UK. along celeb investors and operators: Will Smith, Will Ferrell, Robert Plant, Nelly, MC Hammer, Ashton Kutcher and others.

-- The Microfame Game: How to guide from NY Mag on how to parlay your "talents" into celebrityhood online. "The lines between empowerment and self-promotion, between sharing and oversharing, between community and cliques, can be blurry. You can judge for yourself whether the following microcelebs represent naked ambition, talent justly discovered, or genius marketing. The point is that renown is no longer the exclusive province of a select few. Nano-celebrity is there for the taking, if you really want it. "

-- Harvey Levin on TMZ's importance: In an interview with THR, Levin talks about TMZ's role in the celeb universe: "[I]s what we do life changing? No. Is it comparable to economic policy? No. Is it comparable to foreign policy? No. Is it comparable to the front page of the New York Times? No. We are part of the diet of life. It's a part that a lot of people like. It's not the center of their universe for most people but it's just a fun part of their universe. "

-- Role of Celeb Media: Debated on a panel at Guardian's internal conference, mainly from UK perspective.

Our EconCeleb conference on July 23rd in LA will discuss these and other issues. Go here for more details.

By Rafat Ali