Time: May-June 2007
Place: United States, especially middle America
I have some characters on the run. One is a relatively minor celebrity (think: Harrison Ford's son Ben), and he's violated probation by running. In the past, he's been featured in the fandom's equivalents to the National Enquirer and People Magazine for his minor juvenile delinquent exploits, and he's appeared on Larry King one time.
What is the lead time between a minor celebrity doing something humiliating/criminal and a cover story showing up on People magazine? I'm looking at a time period in late May 2007. Britney had shaved her head in February; Paris was facing jail time for violating her probation in early June; and Lindsay got drunk and ran her car off the road (and was shipped off to rehab).
Let's look at Lindsay. Her incident with the car occurred on 5/26/07. In looking at the People covers from around that time, the first one to feature her was June 11, 2007.
I'm actually relying on the intense press scrutiny on Paris and Lindsay as a plot device that lets my marginally famous characters slip away unnoticed, because if they were the *top* story on Access Hollywood or ET, they wouldn't remain undiscovered for long. My characters skedaddled right before Lindsay had her DUI/car accident, which took some of the pressure off, much to the dismay of the people chasing them. However, I do want some press coverage of their misdeeds...eventually.
But what is the actual timeline between a celebrity event and when it would show up a) on the cover of People, as either the lead story or the sidebars; b) inside People in a short story, perhaps even as a short blurb in a news roundup; and c) on the cover of a rag like the National Enquirer? I don't need the breakdown of how a story is reported, written, edited, typeset, etc., just a ballpark of time to newstand: 7 days? 14 days? 21 days?
And I am assuming that a bigger story can be rushed into print, but I would say that my story would not be, because they are not big celebrities, and their crimes were not titillating enough to merit "stop the presses". Of course, there would be Internet coverage, on TMZ, Perez Hilton, and The Smoking Gun. I'm just wondering what would be available on your typical newsstand in middle America, and how long it would take to get there from the time of their crime.
I'm assuming a paper like the NY Post would get a story like this on the front page in a day (with an egregious pun), but I doubt the NY Post would be interested in this particular character's transgressions, and I think local newspapers in middle America would typically have at most a small blurb with a tiny photo buried in the entertainment section.
Thanks in advance.
I really need to start reading trashy magazines, I guess.
I've googled things like: "typical magazine publishing schedule" "People magazine timeline publishing" etc. etc.