New job for Schwarzenegger: magazine editor -- The multitasking actor-turned-governor will top the masthead at two fitness mags

By Gary Susman
Updated March 05, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Robyn Beck/AFP/NewsCom

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new job gives new meaning to the phrase ”flex time.” In addition to his duties as chief executive of the most populous state in the Union, the multitasking movie star will somehow find time to moonlight as the executive editor of two magazines: Muscle & Fitness and Flex. Schwarzenegger tells USA Today his magazine salary will be ”petty compared to the movies. You don’t do it for that reason. I want to promote physical fitness.”

Actually, the salary will be pretty good for a job that requires Schwarzenegger to do almost nothing. He’ll still write a column for Muscle & Fitness, as he has done for 10 years, but nothing else, he says. (He’ll be more of a walking endorsement for the titles, as he is for the Hummer he drives, he explained.) In addition to his editorial wages, the magazines will donate $1.25 million over the next five years to the California’s Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Schwarzenegger has a relationship with Muscle & Fitness (and its 21-year-old spinoff Flex) going back 36 years, when publisher and bodybuilding guru Joe Weider first put him on the cover. The magazines helped propel his rise to fame in bodybuilding circles, and he has appeared on the cover of both magazines a total of 50 times. Last year, the Weider family sold the magazines to American Media, publisher of such tabloids as the National Enquirer, but kept a seat on the American Media board. Some observers of last year’s California governor’s race accused the Enquirer of going easy on Schwarzenegger, at a time when other media outlets were reporting his alleged history of groping female colleagues, because of the publisher’s ties to the candidate. American Media CEO David Pecker has denied the favoritism claims, according to the New York Post.

Schwarzenegger’s double duties have already been a source of mirth in his office. Earlier this week, several of the governor’s staffers taped a top 10 list for David Letterman’s ”Late Show,” taking turns reading off ”The Top 10 things Gov. Schwarzenegger’s assistants say in a typical day.” Sample items: ”Why does this place always smell like baby oil?” ”The governor will answer a few questions now and then show off his abs and delts.” And: ”You gave up a $25 million salary to do this?”