Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Math For Kathie

By some evil machination of the universe, I was subjected to part of the Today Show this morning. Not the real Today Show where they do the three minute in-depth coverage of whoever didn't feel like appearing on Good Morning America, but the one where Hoda Kotb has to turn off her brain to converse with former Name That Tune tart Kathie Lee Gifford.

According to "sources," the price of the first photos of Angelina Jolie's twins could climb as high as twenty-two million dollars. (Jolie will donate the money to charity.) Gifford exclaimed that was ridiculous. She went on to embarrass herself by saying that even if a magazine sold a "gazillion" copies, it would never make that money back.

First, there's no such number as a "gazillion," Kathie. It's a word children use when they want to exaggerate "a whole bunch." Second, have you ever heard of math? At a cover price of $3.99, People Magazine would need to sell just over five and a half million copies. And that's assuming they print that issue without advertisements. Ads make up the bulk of income for any magazine and the cover price paid by consumers is just a small fraction of the fiscal bottom line. Why do you think TV Guide lasted so long under a dollar?

People has an average circulation of 3.75 million and "special" issues usually rack up an extra one- to two-million readers, so they should be OK there Kathie. Now you can go back to worrying how to pay for Cody's therapist.

(Editor's Note: We at the Nation Of Morons do not know if Cody has a therapist. That last line is pure conjecture. Cody is probably a very stable guy with a good moral foundation and we wish him well.)

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