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Did AMI's Pecker Fire Joe to Pay for Bonnie?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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OFF WITH HER ED Fuller, Dolce (inset) A source inside Star magazine says recently deposed Star editor in chief Joe Dolce was playing the good soldier in taking one for his about-to-be-former boss, Bonnie Fuller, and her $2 million contract.

Other sources describe Dolce as the glue that keeps Star from ripping apart a the seams. "Everyone in the office knows that Joe would be breaking his ass to get out an issue while Bonnie was off doing her thing," an insider says. And some describe Fuller, who recently signed a three-year contract, as having a cavalier attitude toward slumping sales at Star. The glossy's circulation has recently dipped to a record low of about 550,000.

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But the real story, Star insiders say, is that American Media chief David Pecker is scrambling to pay for Fuller and recoup the costs of relocating the National Enquirer from Florida to New York while paying out severance packages of longtime staffers shed during the April 2005 move. In some cases, many of those same employess have been rehired to work in New York: "There is at least one staffer who is being paid severance while being paid a salary," an inside source says.

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