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‘People’ Editor Sweating Bullets After Dedicating Next Issue To Alan Alda’s 86th Birthday

LOS ANGELES—Reassuring himself that he only needed to get through the next week without the actor’s demise to avoid another embarrassing blunder, People magazine editor-in-chief Dan Wakeford admitted Friday that he was sweating bullets after dedicating the upcoming issue to Alan Alda’s 86th birthday. “Obviously, the Betty White issue was a total shit show, both for myself and our PR department, which is why I’m really losing sleep over this choice to put out an entire issue toasting Alan Alda as he turns 86,” Wakeford said of the issue, whose cover features a glossy shot of the famed actor and comedian with the tagline “86 Incredible Years (And Many More To Come)” and includes insert photos of his roles in M*A*S*H, 30 Rock, and The West Wing. “We think it’s worth the risk because of all his legendary contributions to cinema and the small screen. But Jesus Christ, I hope he hangs on, or I’m fucked. We don’t even have a backup issue planned. Fingers crossed, I guess.” Wakeford added that if they could just push through the next week without Alda’s passing, the magazine would be on much safer ground with its prewritten birthday issues for Burt Bacharach, Harry Belafonte, and Estelle Harris.

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