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Guide to the Time Inc. People Editorial Files
 MS 3009-RG 10

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Melanie Rinehart

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on February 23, 2021
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical / Historical

People magazine was launched as a newsstand-only publication on March 4, 1974, with Richard B. Stolley as the founding managing editor and Richard Durrell as the founding publisher.  People was created under the Magazine Development Group, divesting and becoming its own department by 1978. Because the magazine was so dependent on newssstand sales, Stolley created this guideline for choosing cover subjects: "Young is better than old, pretty is better than ugly, television is better than music, music is better than movies, movies are better than sports, and anything is better than politics."  People magazine exceeded sales of one million copies per issue by July 1974.

For the majority of Time Inc.'s existence, the company maintained a strict separation of editorial from the publishing and business side of each magazine, colloquially called the separation of "church" (editorial) and "state" (publishing). Editorial includes the editors, researchers, and art department. The editorial side reported up to the editor-in-chief and the publishing/business side reported up to the corporate business executive which was the president prior to 1960 and the chief executive officer after. Henry Luce structured Time Inc. this way so that the business side could not (in theory) influence the editorial content of the publications. For example, the advertising sales people could not interfere with a magazine's decision to run an article on the dangers of cigarette smoking, even though it might mean losing millions of dollars in tobacco ads.


Bernstein, Lester. "Time Inc. Means Business." The New York Times Magazine, 26 February 1989.

Hooper, Bill. Email to Holly Deakyne, 10 June 2016.