Monday, July 30, 2012

Are Trade Journalists Overdoing The Free Tickets, Booze And Creme Brulee Provided By The Places They Cover?


Is it out of hand, folks? On any level?

I'm just asking. Not being passive aggressive. Not being smarmy. I seriously would like to know your thoughts, and measured responses are welcome.

Cool new site thenativeangeleno.com has a post up that kinda dances around it, and I think it is actually very important. They start to poke the eye of everyone that has called themselves an entertainment journalist while -- constantly, always and non-stop -- reveling in the food/drink/parties/etc. that are prevalent as hosted by networks, studios, etc.

The TCAs are the most recent example of constant fun time. And ComicCon, of course. And it was really evident when the Los Angeles Kings battled for the Stanley Cup. So many of you were “thankful for the tickets” and “thrilled to be in the NBC box” or whatever.

So many folks bitch (strangely) about Nikki never being seen. How do you know she doesn't go out? Just because she doesn't mix with you at parties hosted by the people she wants to blast? That's actually probably a good policy. It has served her well.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Can't Believe That This Is My 100th Post

Thanks for reading. I've had so much fun. I appreciate the love that comes my way. And the hate. Anyway -- everyone's great at their jobs, and I'm just having fun. Let's all laugh at ourselves. We all need to chuckle. Because we're in a fun space.

Peace and joy and smiles.

Drudge Passed Over A Great Variety Exclusive In Favor Of A Copycat; Is The Paywall To Blame?

Variety landed a great exclusive today. A bona fide, hot, wonderful exclusive that should be available to millions of readers all while showcasing the place as a great breaker of big entertainment news. 

Paul Thomas Anderson's uber-controversial film “The Master” is coming earlier. It certainly is a notch on Jeff Sneider's belt...and SHOULD mean the world to Variety leadership. But beyond that, it should be worldwide...a major attention-grabber.

But the paywall has quite possibly scared Matt Drudge off so much in the past, that he took that bona fide, hot, wonderful exclusive -- the one he would have posted for the globe to see -- and discarded it…for Roger Friedman’s complete -- but free to access -- rip-off story.

So there ya go. Friedman's Xerox copy is getting plenty of readers, and the Variety exclusive is now just...there. I assume everyone in editorial is pissed off now. I would be.

The Staff Of A Lifetime: Building The Perfect Trade



I know what I’m talking about, so don’t complain about these hypothetical hires for my hypothetical publication. I study all of your work all of the time, and I’m totally fair. While I’m sure everyone not on this list will chuckle and make fun, I challenge anyone to reject these sound choices.

Now, all I need is $5 million to start something, and I’m sure we’d all be very successful.

OK, turn the page to see my chosen peeps...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Hollywood Reporter's Print Edition Is Very Good This Week ... And It's Time To Give Them Full Credit For Reviving Their Brand

If there’s any doubt left anywhere that THR has not completely revitalized itself, then that’s now officially stupid. Their recent print issue is great. Not so much because of the Aurora coverage, but because they managed to look like there’s an abundance of care, organization, effort and overall pride in the product…and in a brand that was once chided for punting their daily edition and was always second-fiddle to Variety. No more. Re: Aurora, the responded well on deadline, with good opinion pieces. But that aside, it’s just the overall meat of the issue -- some informative, some goofy, some serious, some fun -- that makes this one of their defining chapters. With a striking and controversial cover that some will pick apart, the whole issue just feels, well, exactly what a weekly should feel like. Relevant, mainly. And great images as always. So as they continue their rebirth, this issue takes them to a new place. Congrats, gang. Your plan to rewire your legacy has worked. And not too get too overly goopy, but on a day when Newsweek waved the white flag, this looks even more impressive. You certainly have a staff that loves what they do, isn't tired, isn't hamstrung and obviously contributes new ideas non-stop in a changing media landscape. It all shows.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Embargoes Are Destroying You ... Don't You See That?


Work together on this one, folks. Because today should be a watershed moment. 

I will NEVER pick on a publication for breaking an embargo. 

Let me clarify ... if a journalist promised to abide by one and then blindsided the source, then that's a major problem.

But let's talk about the very nature of embargoes in the first place. 

I will not chastise Variety for the Toronto snafu this morning. Because it wasn’t a snafu. You actually get an "attaboy" from me. Maybe not in execution, but certainly in results.

Now, everyone will harp on me. “You don’t know how it works.” Or … “easy to preach, but let’s see YOU do it.”

Blah, blah, blah. Trade journalism has become the bizarro world. Everything is opposite. The news reporters are supposed to dictate the rules. Not the news creators. But look around, and it’s such a joke, because it's NOT what the profession is supposed to signify. Competing reviews are being sent out together -- because studios have told them what time is OK. Rival journalists are conspiring to appease TV showrunners by breaking news in unison. It’s actually horrifying. (The same kind of thing happened last night. IMAX numbers showed a record for "The Dark Knight Rises," but the company apparently didn't want any mention of it... while some people apparently acquiesced, Variety had it right.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bravo To The L.A. Times For This One About Flops And Budgets And Blockbusters And Haves And Have-Nots

Specifics, data, on-the-record quotes, point-of-view, perspective and rational thought. From Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman. I like this.

Breaking News Scorecard: Aurora News Needs Urgency And Updates...So How's Everyone Doing?

4:07 UPDATE:

Variety has redesigned their homepage (for good?) to add some weight to the events. The new look suits them.

2:00 p.m. UPDATE: 

THR ... 22 stories
Deadline ... 19 stories
The Wrap ... 13 stories
Variety ... 7 stories

NOON: I'll talk quality later, but in the meantime, the Aurora tragedy gives outlets -- even entertainment ones -- a chance to do what they all claim to do best: fast journalism. So alongside all the chatter is the very real business of news ... so do what these numbers whatever you wish. (Standard box office stories are not included unless they have been reworked with appropriate news relating to the shooting.)

Based on what I easily saw at noon sharp, here's the tally (if I am wrong, let me know...some of the stories are tucked away):

Deadline ... 19 stories
THR ... 18 stories
The Wrap ... 10 stories
Variety ... 2 stories

Monday, July 16, 2012

'The Dark Knight Rises': Variety And The Hollywood Reporter Have The Earliest Reviews Among All Newspapers -- So Why Can't They Find A Way To Monetize That Going Forward?

Let's say there are 650 companies that do the same thing -- they all sell widgets. But two of them have a widget nobody else has. Pretty great, right? It's only natural that those two companies would be in a terrific position ... pushing, selling and marketing those special widgets in order to get more customers/make more money...you would think.

That's the case we have with THR and Variety, but in an industry in dire need of capital-driven ideas, they don't seem to know how to sell their special widgets. Or want to.