Publisher's Letter

updated 01/22/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/22/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Although PEOPLE'S unique mix of human interest, news and entertainment stories has been winning readers for nearly 16 years, we know that to stay lively means changing and growing. Attentive readers will have noticed that two new departments have found their way into our pages this month: The Insider and Passages.

If you have time to read just a single page in an issue of PEOPLE, we expect that The Insider will be the one. Written by Los Angeles journalist Mitchell Fink, it will give you the lowdown on Hollywood headliners, Manhattan cultural and Washington politicians. More than a gossip column, it will make news. "My challenge is to scoop the dailies with a weekly column," says Fink. "I want The Insider to be irreverent, ironic and ultimately to inform and entertain." This week on page 35 The Insider gets the skinny on, among other things, Meryl Streep's real estate interests and the not-so-funny feud between Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal.

Fink brings to PEOPLE a devoted following from his Page 2 column that ran in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for three years until the paper folded last November. "But The Insider won't have just a Hollywood base," says Fink, who is also seen nightly on TV's Fox Entertainment News.

Born in New York City, Fink spent 12 years at the Herald Examiner, first as a rock-and-roll columnist, then as a news reporter. He has also written for television, including three episodes of St. Elsewhere. "Mitchell is an accomplished journalist with a strong writer's voice," says Landon Jones, PEOPLE'S managing editor. "Our readers will feel his impact immediately."

Also making its debut this month is Passages, a chronicle of notable births, deaths, marriages, divorces, legal actions and other rites (and wrongs) of passage. This week (pages 51-52) finds both Tom Hanks and race-car driver Danny Sullivan in the role of expectant father, observes the death of Chariots of Fire star Ian Charleson at 40 and tells about a different kind of U.S.-Soviet alliance. "Passages will also include some events that might be otherwise overlooked," says Jones. "PEOPLE is a magazine of record; this is our way of keeping our readers in touch with a parade that passes by with almost disorienting speed." Strike up the band, welcome Mitchell and read on.

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