Inside Move: Us sees shooting stars

More celeb-friendly Us notches up sales gains

For anyone who thought that Us Weekly without former editor in chief Bonnie Fuller might be as exciting as an unfrosted Mini-Wheat, there’s news to the contrary: The celebrity mag says the eight issues edited by new topper Janice Min are up 25% in newsstand sales compared to the same period last year.

Industryites wondered whether Min, a Fuller protégé, would maintain Us Weekly’s aggressive — and sales-generating — drive to cover stars and their foibles.

While Us is still circling and pointing to celebs’ flaws, Min is giving the magazine a softer touch: “My Favorite Room,” a print version of MTV’s “Cribs,” is now a weekly feature. And a recent story on Ben Affleck called the star — who may or may not have pulled a Hugh Grant in a strip club recently — a “humble hometown guy” who spends time “with family and friends.”

“Ms. Min seems to have more empathy for beleaguered celebs than her take-no-publicists predecessor,” says Lloyd Grove, former “Reliable Source” columnist at the Washington Post, who will begin penning a gossip column for the N.Y. Daily News in September.

Meanwhile, over at American Media, where Fuller fled in June to become editorial director of the Star tabloid, newsstand sales were also up — albeit a more paltry 8% — in the first fiscal quarter.

The real race begins in January, when the Star goes glossy for eight weeks to test the public’s appetite for a more civilized tab.