Hello! boosts print run for Pitt baby scoop

Weekly celebrity magazine Hello! is increasing its print run by almost two-thirds this week, in a bid to take on rival OK!, as it carries exclusive pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s baby.

The magazine, which has also pushed its publishing date back from Tuesday to Wednesday, will increase its print run from 380,000 to 600,000 copies.

The exclusive story in Hello! features the first pictures of the celebrated Hollywood couple’s baby, Shiloh Nouvel, and is expected to reinvigorate sales of the magazine, which have been languishing since 2001 when it was selling more than 842,000 copies every week. Hello!’s current circulation is less than 400,000 copies per week.

According to the July to December 2005 Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, Hello!’s weekly sales are 390,622 – a long way behind Richard Desmond’s OK!, which sells 649,777 copies.

Helped by its coverage of Jordan and Peter Andre’s wedding last year, OK! displaced IPC’s Now to become the market leader in celebrity-led weeklies.

Hello! has also fallen behind other celebrity magazines including Closer, Heat and New!

Hello!’s publishing director Charlotte Stockting says: “We had to battle it out with Desmond and the American title People to obtain the exclusive rights to first pictures of Brad and Angelina’s baby. This is our biggest scoop since the turn of the century and we are hoping for a massive lift in sales as a result.”

The 12-page feature plus cover will be rolled out in all seven editions of the magazine around the world. In the US, People will carry the exclusive story and pictures.

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