I thought American Media already owned the 37-year-old magazine devoted to soap operas. But it turns out that the company has just been operating it for the last year or so under license from Source Interlink Media. Source Interlink bought Soap Opera Digest in 2007 from Primedia, which bought it in 1991 from News Corp, which bought it in 1989 from Network Publishing Corp, which bought it in 1980 from co-founders Angela and Jerome Shapiro. American Media is just getting around to announcing the deal that it says closed on July 20, and took effect on June 1. Stephanie Sloane remains Editor-In-Chief and David Jackson the Group Publisher. “Soap Opera Digest is a very important strategic acquisition for [American Media] as it fits perfectly in the Celebrity & Entertainment Group,” CEO David Pecker says. That group includes the Star, National Enquirer, OK!, Country Weekly, and Radar Online. The company didn’t disclose financial terms, but says that the weekly magazine has a circulation of more than 200,000. That’s down from more than 1M in 2001.
The Vladar Company and American Media, Inc. have teamed up to pump some iron. The production company and the publishing company are working together on an as-yet-untitled bodybuilding film. The docudrama will follow the world’s leading bodybuilders, like Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Branch Warren and Dennis Wolf, as they train and compete to win the Mr. Olympia title. Vlad Yudin will direct the film, Yudin and his Vladar partner Edwin Mejia will produce. Jerome Gary, Damon Bingham and America Media, Inc. CEO David J. Pecker will executive produce. Gary produced 1977’s Pumping Iron, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had won several Mr. Olympias, and Lou Ferrigno. The Vladar Company is currently in post-production on the thriller Catskill Park and working on an adaptation of the Head Smash graphic novel with Arcana Comics.