Friday, July 27, 2012

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...

Managing Editors
Matt Belloni/Eriq Gardner

You all know how I fell about these cats. so I won’t slobber (too much) on them anymore. Great reporting on THR Esq., they bring eyeballs, they understand the audience, they are mature, they are respected, they are connected. If I were to start a trade today, I would want all of that in my leaders…and they would be my leaders. I have no idea if they could run an entire ship, but my money is on them. They’d report to me. J

Film Editor
Borys Kit

When I started Trade Fools, I didn’t quite know what I would find when it came to his urgency, mainly. So while the prevailing wisdom is that other film reporters are hotter, that’s just not true. I find Borys to be the most steady, responsible, clean and plugged in guy out there. I like how he moves and what he writes…and I find him to be stand-up, a pro and someone I want out there for me. He could lead the team nicely.

Film Reporter
Mike Fleming

Still the gold standard for surprise scoops. Though I have noticed an inconsistent schedule at times, and, truth be told, sometimes he’s just lucky that Deadline has such a following. Because Variety and THR have good items too, but for some reason…when they are on Deadline, they get so much more play. So ya know what -- I credit that to him as well, for building such a wonderful legacy. He’s my choice here…not leading the troops, but the hotshot soldier.

TV Editor
Nellie Andreeva

I mean, what a machine. Now – honestly, she needs to clean up the copy. But as the boss of this department, there would be nobody better. And maybe it would be good for her to stop writing so much and start guiding a team. She's on constant call. Always there. Never doing anything else. Would probably be very kind and helpful to her colleagues. A real mentor. Very few things get by her, and the town loves her. So as the leader, she’d be the one. 

TV Reporters
Lacey Rose/Mike Ausiello

Lacey’s got the perfect balance of youthful enthusiasm, news hound-ness and social media aptness. A perfect fit for this kind of grind … and she will cover anything well. And while it’s strange to consider Ausiello a “reporter” instead of a leader, he’s another one, I think, who’s just great at doing his own thing, so I’d put him here. What a traffic generator…a beast.

Social Media Editors
Josh Dickey/Jeff Sneider

Not just for reporting at my new trade. I need someone to push stories, get followers, bring mojo and be freakish ambassadors… and something about these guys works for me -- even the immature stuff. Basically, they totally engage their readers. They are especially good at teasing upcoming stories, which is ideal for the trades in 2012. I would definitely ask them to cool it on their reactions (sometimes premature!) to movies (stop pissing off the advertisers!) and would probably wipe away the occasional profanity (in order to up the professionalism)…but still…I like what they do to make Variety exciting…as I have previously noted.

Awards Editor
Pete Hammond

I break this out, because I think it’s the only hardcore editorial subcategory needed. I don’t think any of the trades need a business editor…or a theater editor…or a digital editor. But I think Oscar needs its own person, and Hammond is just way better than anyone. So in tune with the Academy, its history, its future, its legacy and its quirks/nuances. He’s also the only choice for reaction pieces, obituaries, festival color, etc.

Box Office Editor
Nikki Finke

A very niche category, to be sure, but I would blow the coverage out to be all-encompassing and every day. And she's the gold a million miles. No matter what haters think.

Kim Masters/Josef Adalian (Vulture)

Honestly, none of the traditional columnists blow me away. I never sense any "millions-of-eyeballs" controversy from anyone, which is what’s needed here. So I’m going to throw a curveball. Kim is obviously such a good reporter now, but if she migrated to the columnist world, I think she’d kill it once someone gave her free reign to be in attack mode regarding the business of film. She’s not crazy; instead, she’s grounded and sourced. The trades really need a voice. She’d be one of them. The other would be Josef Adalian, a guy who would rock the TV industry with a proper trade voice -- and a big following -- full of opinion and criticism that straddle both the consumer and business fence. I don't see that anywhere now. 

Grierson & Leitch (Gawker)

Sorry, trades, old-fashioned reviews don’t do it for me anymore. But the way these guys handle criticism makes me happy. Just take a look at their Rock of Ages review. Perfect.

Red Carpet
Amy Kaufman (L.A. Times)

Man, I like what she brings to the L.A. Times. She does celebrity journalism very well. She’s perfect for premieres/events as well as interviews and features. Great with new world journalism (from Twitter to photos). Also…not stodgy or angry…like some LAT folks.

Later, tater tots...

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