Premiere (magazine)

Premiere was an American film magazine based in New York City and published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. between 1987 and 2010. The original version of the magazine, Première, was established in France in 1976 and continues to be published there.

Cover of the June 2006 U.S. edition, featuring Tom Cruise
EditorPeter Herbst (U.S. edition)
First issueNovember 1976; 45 years ago (1976-11) (France)
July 1987 (1987-07) (United States)
September 16, 1992 (1992-09-16) (United Kingdom)
Final issueApril 2007 (U.S. edition)
CompanyHachette Filipacchi
Hildegarde (current French edition publisher)
United States
United Kingdom
English (French)


The French film magazine Première was launched in November 1976 by Jean-Pierre Frimbois and Marc Esposito and originally published by the Lagardère Group. From 2016, it has been published by Hildegarde.

The U.S. version of the magazine was launched in the United States with a July/August 1987 edition featuring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks from Dragnet (1987) on the front cover. Their mission was to "reflect The Second Golden Age of the Movies".[1] The magazine originally had offices in New York City and Los Angeles and was published by Rupert Murdoch. The founding editor was Susan Lyne. Among those working for the magazine was Peter Biskind, who spent a decade at the magazine as executive editor, later writing the film history Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. He said that, early on, the magazine "gave us a lot of freedom to do hard-hitting, in-depth reporting."[2][3]

Critic Glenn Kenny joined the staff in June 1996,[4] and served as a critic and later as senior editor until it ceased publication.

News Corporation sold the magazine to K-III (later Primedia) in 1991, and Hachette reacquired the magazine in 1995. After Lyne left the magazine, Chris Connelly became editor-in-chief in early 1996, while Nancy Griffin served as deputy editor. Both editors resigned suddenly in May of the same year after publisher Hachette Filipacchi's then president and chief executive, David Pecker, told Connelly to not publish a column about Planet Hollywood because of its ties to billionaire Revlon owner Ronald Perelman, who was also half-owner of Premiere.[2] James B. Meigs was listed as the editor-in-chief from the August 1996 issue.[5]

Premiere's editor, Peter Herbst, was appointed senior vice president and group editorial director for Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2002. From 1995 to 2000, Herbst was editor-in-chief of Family Life magazine.

End of U.S. editionEdit

On March 5, 2007, publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. announced that it was shutting down the U.S. print edition of Premiere and that the magazine would survive as an online-only publication.

The last published issue was released in April 2007 and featured Blades of Glory star Will Ferrell on its cover. The final issue gave readers no warning that it would be the last. In late April, subscribers were mailed postcards advising them of the magazine's demise and telling them the balance of their subscriptions would be fulfilled with issues of the tabloid gossip magazine Us Weekly. Unhappy subscribers responded to the offer by posting negative comments on the magazine website's forum pages, and it was later announced that a cash refund would be made available for those who preferred one.

The online version only lasted for a few years, as the magazine's subscribers showed little interest in its new incarnation, and the magazine ceased all operations in 2010.

Other international editionsEdit


A Japanese edition was launched in 1990, published by Kadokawa Shoten.


In September 1992, a UK edition was released, published by Emap Metro and edited by Barry McIlheney.[6]

The February 1998 U.S. edition published in the United Kingdom incorporated a special UK film section.[7] By the October 1998 edition, this was published as a separate supplement but had ceased by January 1999.[8][9]

Other editionsEdit

Print editions in other countries such as France, Poland and Spain were unaffected by the announcement of the cancellation of the U.S. edition.[10] The Portuguese edition was canceled in October 2007. The last issue of the Czech edition was released in June 2009.

Regular featuresEdit

The U.S. edition of Premiere was released ten times a year, with issues dated February, March, April, May, June, July/August, September, October, November, and December/January. It sold all over the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain, and France.

Each issue of the U.S. edition of Premiere included regular features, such as:

  • The Backstory - An introduction by Editor-in-Chief, Peter Herbst.
  • Letter Box - Letters from readers, which also often included letters from industry insiders.
  • Take One - A series of short features that include:
    • Action - Behind the Scenes & Ahead of the Curve
    • Ask Glenn - Questions posed to film critic Glenn Kenny
    • Scene Stealer - A brief look at three performances from a random actor-of-the-month's career
    • YES, It's True - News You're Not Supposed to Know - Tidbits on Hollywood wheeling and dealing
    • First Look - Dispatches from the Moviemaking Front - Brief visits to films still in production
    • The Slate - Who's Doing What, And With Whom - A quick roundup of greenlit projects
    • David Strick's Hollywood - A candid black-and-white shot from a film set or location
    • Previews - The Movies That Matter This Month - Synopsis and bottom line prediction
    • Reviews - Film analysis and opinion from Glenn Kenny
  • If You Ask Me - A satirical look at Hollywood movies and moviemaking by Libby Gelman-Waxner (Nom de plume of Paul Rudnick), and illustrated by Robert de Michiell. The column offered comical comments on current movies by way of anecdotes about Libby, her Jewish mother Sondra, her gay male friend Andrew, her orthodontist husband Josh, and their "adorable" kids (including teen daughter Jennifer).
  • The Awful Truth - a gossip column by Ted Casablanca that ran until 1996
  • Flavor of the Month - Spotlight on "Hot" Screenwriters
  • Home Guide
    • Video/DVD reviews
    • Movies We Love - Classics, forgotten treasures and just other movies just out on DVD
    • DVD Essential Filmography - Covering the best of a random artist's career on the digital versatile disc format
    • DVD Legacy - What great filmmakers leave behind
    • TechKnowledge - Information on home cinema equipment
    • Idol Chatter - A quick question-and-answer session with actors and actresses by Brantley Bardin
    • Classic Scene - a transcript from a notable film scene
  • Filmographies - a focus on filmmakers and actors including their filmographies.

Annual featuresEdit

  • The Power List - Each year (typically in the May or June issue), Premiere published its list of Hollywood's most powerful people. The list typically contained prominent actors, directors, producers, agents, and lawyers.
  • Women in Hollywood - Each year, the magazine's October issue celebrated some of the most prominent women in Hollywood. Actresses are typically the focus, although the magazine also covered female studio executives and others in non-acting industry professions. A corresponding reception was held in Los Angeles.
  • Academy Awards Coverage - Each year the magazine would cover the Oscars very extensively. A book came out of its coverage written by Steve Pond titled The Big Show.


  1. ^ "The Very Best of Premiere". Premiere. Autumn 1992. pp. 70–79.
  2. ^ a b Welkos, Robert W. (March 10, 2007). "Premiere magazine goes from 'it' read to has-been". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (April 6, 1998). "Once a Renegade, Hachette Magazine Chief Gains Respect". The New York Times. The integrity of Mr. Pecker's various ventures has been questioned over the years, particularly after he killed an article for Premiere on behalf of the Revlon executive Ronald O. Perelman, then a co-owner of the magazine. The article was to examine the business dealings of the actor Sylvester Stallone, including his role in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain. Perelman was planning a venture with the restaurant at the time. Premiere's two top editors resigned over the incident.
  4. ^ "Interview with Glenn Kenny,", accessed February 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Premiere". Premiere. January 1999. p. 12.
  6. ^ "Special Launch Issue". Premiere. Autumn 1992. p. 9.
  7. ^ "Over Here". Premiere. February 1998. pp. UK1–UK16.
  8. ^ "Over Here". Premiere. October 1998. pp. UK1–UK20.
  9. ^ "Premiere". Premiere. January 1999.
  10. ^ "Hachette shuts print edition of Premiere magazine". Reuters. March 5, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2012.

External linksEdit