The Hollywood Reporter
|Editorial Director||Janice Min|
|First issue||September 3, 1930|
|Company||Prometheus Global Media|
|Based in||Los Angeles, California|
The Hollywood Reporter is an American publication founded in 1930 and focusing on the Hollywood motion picture industry. It re-launched in late 2010 as a publication serving the entertainment industry and a consumer audience. The multi-platform brand consists of an oversized weekly magazine, seasonal special reports, glossies, a website, a mobile-optimized site, a digital daily, iPad app and events.
During the last century, The Hollywood Reporter was one of the two major publications focused on Hollywood, the other being Variety. Both publications later expanded to cover what is more broadly called the entertainment industry.
The Hollywood Reporter was Hollywood's first daily entertainment industry trade paper. It began as a daily film publication, then added television coverage in the 1950s and began in the late 1980s to cover intellectual-property industries.
William R. Wilkerson published the first issue of The Hollywood Reporter on September 3, 1930. This daily magazine reported on movies, studios and personalities in an outrageously candid style. He began each issue with a self-penned editorial entitled "Tradeviews", which exposed corrupt studio practices. The upstart publisher also employed hard-ball tactics to solicit advertising. Studios were literally blackmailed into giving their support. If they refused, he ordered a complete editorial blackout on all their material—from press releases to film reviews. The corporate moguls eventually banded together to deal with The Reporter. They refused Wilkerson all advertising support and deprived him of news from their studios. They even hired extra employees to burn The Hollywood Reporter when it was delivered every morning at their front gates. At the height of the battle, his reporters were barred from every lot in town. Wilkerson told them to climb over the studio walls and sift through executives' garbage. These tactics produced a flood of incriminating news, which Wilkerson cheerfully printed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had the paper airmailed daily to his desk at the White House. By 1936, The Hollywood Reporter had become something even the most prescient studio heads never anticipated—a power that rivaled their own.
The Hollywood blacklist 
Wilkerson believed that the Screen Writers Guild was one of the prime Communist strongholds in all of Hollywood. He used his TradeView column to publicize the "Communist Takeover" of the guild dating as early as 1938. Throughout the thirteen-year Screen Writers Guild ban of its members advertising their services in trade papers, Wilkerson would not allow screenwriter credits in The Reporter's film reviews.
On Monday, July 29, 1946, Wilkerson published his TradeView entitled "A Vote For Joe Stalin". It contained the first industry names on what later became the infamous Hollywood Blacklist—Dalton Trumbo, Maurice Rapf, Lester Cole, Howard Koch, Harold Buchman, John Wexley, Ring Lardner Jr., Harold Salemson, Henry Meyers, Theodore Strauss and John Howard Lawson.
Wilkerson soon went after Cole, who was the first Vice President of the Screen Writers Guild. Here, Wilkerson would be the first to ask the two questions that would ring throughout the nation for the next decade: "Are you a member of the Writers Guild?" and "Are you a member of the Communist Party of the United States?" On Monday, August 19, 1946, Wilkerson wrote:
FOR THE PURPOSE of trying to tag the activity of the Screen-Writers Guild generally, and particularly its action proposing to our State Department that the U.S.-French film agreement be renegotiated to give "greater benefit" to the French film writers, we would like to ask Mr. Lester Cole, who authored the motion for SWG passage:
- "Are you a Communist? Do you hold card number 46805 in what is known as the Northwest Section of the Communist party, a division of the party made up mostly of West Coast Commies?"
In an editorial entitled "RED BEACH-HEAD!" on Tuesday, August 20, 1946, Wilkerson took aim at Hollywood writer John Howard Lawson. On Wednesday, August 21, 1946, in an editorial entitled "Hywd's Red Commissars!", Wilkerson skewered John Leech, Emmet Lavery, Oliver H. P. Garrett, Harold Buchman, Maurice Rapf, and William Pomerance. On September 12, 1946, Wilkerson printed "the list" of names that would be plucked by The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) for their 1947 hearings. Wilkerson used two different colors to identify two different levels of participation in Communism. "Red" indicated that the individual was a card-carrying communist. "Pink" meant that an individual simply had communist sympathies. The list included:
- Edward Dmytryk
- John Howard Lawson
- Guy Endore
- Lester Cole
- Dalton Trumbo
- Albert Maltz
- Henry Myers
- Marian Spitzer
- Ring Lardner Jr.
- Jay Gorney
- E. Y. Harburg
- Boris Ingster
- Harold Buchman
- Gordon Kahn
- Howard Koch
- Alvah Bessie
- John Bright
- Howard Dimsdale
- Paul Jarrico
- Francis E. Faragoh
- Frank Tuttle
- Alvin Wilder
- Martin Berkeley
Known in the beginning as "Billy's List", it quickly became "Billy's Blacklist", referring to the color of the publisher’s magazine ink. Wilkerson's list would eventually evolve into the infamous "Blacklist" that became the backbone of the May 8, October 20 and 27 hearings. These hearings led to citations for contempt being issued by the United States on November 24, 1947. Wilkerson's campaign against purported Communists was widely believed to have sparked the Hollywood blacklist.
Wilkerson's son apologized for the newspaper's role in the blacklist in a 65th anniversary article, saying that his father was motivated by revenge for his own thwarted ambition to own a studio.
Ownership changes 
Wilkerson ran The Hollywood Reporter until his death in 1962, when his wife, Tichi Wilkerson, took over as publisher and editor-in-chief. She sold the paper on April 11, 1988 to trade publishers BPI for $26.7 million. Teri Ritzer was the last editor under Wilkerson. She began the paper's modernization by bringing newspaper editors into what was essentially a Hollywood wannabe newsroom.
BPI's publisher, Robert J. Dowling, brought in Alex Ben Block in 1990 and editorial quality of both news and specials was steadily improved. Ritzer and Block dampened much of the rah-rah coverage and cronyism that had infected the paper under Wilkerson. After Ben Block left, former film editor at Variety, Anita Busch, was brought in as editor between 1999 and 2001. Busch was credited with making the paper competitive with Variety. Tony Uphoff assumed the publisher position in November 2005. The Reporter was acquired, along with the rest of the assets of VNU, in spring 2006 by a private equity consortium led by Blackstone and KKR, both with ties to the conservative movement in the United States. Uphoff was replaced in October 2006 by John Kilcullen, who was the publisher of Billboard. Kilcullen was a defendant in Billboard's infamous "dildo" lawsuit, in which he was accused of race discrimination and sexual harassment. VNU settled the suit on the courthouse steps. Kilcullen "exited" Nielsen in February 2008 "to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur." Matthew King, vice president for content and audience, editorial director Howard Burns, and executive editor Peter Pryor left the paper in a wave of layoffs in December 2006; editor Cynthia Littleton, widely respected throughout the industry, reported directly to Kilcullen. The Reporter absorbed another blow when Littleton left her position for an editorial job at Variety in March 2007. Web editor Glenn Abel also left after 16 years with the paper.
In January 2007, VNU was purchased by a private equity consortium and renamed The Nielsen Company, whose properties include Billboard, AdWeek and A.C. Nielsen. Under its new leadership, Nielsen is reported to have made a US$5 million investment in The Reporter.
In December 2009, Prometheus Global Media, a newly formed company formed by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners and chaired by Jimmy Finkelstein, CEO of News Communications, parent of Congressional Journal the Hill, acquired The Hollywood Reporter from Nielsen Business Media. It pledged to invest in the brand and grow the company.
Richard Beckman, formerly of Condé Nast, was appointed the new company's CEO.
Editors and publishers 
In April 2007, industry veteran Eric Mika was named to the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Publishing Director of The Reporter. Having previously served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Nielsen Business Media's Film and Performing Arts Group and, before that, as Vice President and Managing Director for Variety, Mika assumed responsibility for the general management of sales, marketing and editorial for The Hollywood Reporter, as well as the brand's ancillary products, events, licensing business and partnerships.
In June 2007, Rose Einstein, former Vice President, Advertising Sales for Netflix and 25-year veteran of Reed Business Media, was named to the newly created role of Vice President, Associate Publisher to oversee all sales and business development for The Reporter. Mika left The Hollywood Reporter in early 2010.
In July 2007, The Reporter named Elizabeth Guider as its new editor. An 18-year veteran of Variety, where she served as Executive Editor, Guider assumed responsibility for the editorial vision and strategic direction of The Hollywood Reporter’s daily and weekly editions, digital content offerings and executive conferences. Guider left The Hollywood Reporter in early 2010.
In April 2010, Lori Burgess was named publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. Burgess had been publisher of OK! magazine since October 2008. Michaela Apruzzese was named associate publisher, entertainment, of The Hollywood Reporter in May 2010. Apruzzese served as the director of movie advertising for Los Angeles Times Media Group.
In May 2010, Janice Min was named Editorial Director.
Presence on the web 
The Reporter published a primitive "satellite" digital edition in the late 1980s. It became the first daily entertainment trade paper to start a web site in 1995. Initially, the site offered free news briefs with complete coverage firewalled as a premium (paid) service. In later years, the web site became mostly free as it became more reliant on ad sales and less on subscribers. The web site had already gone through a redesign by the time competitor Daily Variety took to the web. In 2002, The Reporter’s web site won the Jesse H. Neal Award for business journalism.
Later, other The Reporter electronic products include U.S. and European daily e-mail editions, a daily East Coast digital edition, a business podcast and a number of blogs, and a weekly Korean-language newsletter that reached nearly 4,000 subscribers in Korea each day. In June 2007, The Reporter introduced The Hollywood Reporter, Digital Edition, an online electronic replica of the daily magazine, available in 12 languages, that also features text-to-voice conversion into six languages. In October 2007, the publication launched THR Direct, a free application that provides subscribers with immediate delivery of customized news, alerts and video from The Hollywood Reporter to their desktop.
The Reporter itself was slow to modernize. The paper still used vintage IBM-styled selectric typewriters in several departments into the early 1990s and was sluggish in upgrading operations by adding common business equipment such as computers, scanners and color printers to all departments. Archival materials were routinely microfilmed as late as 1998 rather than digitized, even though the system to view it was in storage or broken. Many staff members did not have email several years after its use became relatively common in business.
In late summer 2010, thr.com was completely redesigned and re-launched under Janice Min to become a cutting-edge, one-stop entertainment destination, covering movies, television, music, style, theatre, personal tech, and the business side of the entertainment industry (some content lives behind a pay wall). The site now features HD movie and television trailers, photo and video galleries, and much more social connectivity – with buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Digg and a comment section on nearly every posting.
THR also has feeds on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, in addition to a respected series of blogs that live on thr.com.
Editors and reporters today 
The Hollywood Reporter has a staff of roughly 150. Today[when?], editors and reporters number more than 65, with another 50 staffers scattered in key bureaus around the world. It is interesting to note that during the "golden age" of Hollywood film and television, The Reporter was seldom staffed with more than 20 people. It was chiefly in the media boom of the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that the employee roster increased.
In addition to hiring Eric Mika, Rose Eintstein and Elizabeth Guider, The Reporter hired the following staff in 2007:
- Todd Cunningham, former assistant managing editor of the LA Business Journal, as National Editor for The Hollywood Reporter: Premier Edition
- Steven Zeitchik as Senior Writer, based in New York, where he provide news analysis and features for the Premiere Edition
- Melissa Grego, former managing editor of TV Week, as Editor of HollywoodReporter.com
- Jonathan Landreth as the new Asian bureau chief, in addition to 13 new writers across Asia
However, staffing levels began to drop again in 2008. In April, Nielsen Business Media eliminated between 40 and 50 editorial staff positions at The Hollywood Reporter and its sister publications: Adweek, Brandweek, Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek. In December, another 12 editorial positions were cut at the trade paper. In addition, 2008 saw substantial turnover in the online department: THR.com Editor Melissa Grego left her position in July to become executive editor of Broadcasting & Cable, and Managing Editor Scott McKim left to become a new media manager at Knox College. With the entertainment industry as a whole shrinking, "Hollywood studios have cut more than $20 million from the Motion Picture Association of America budget this year. The resulting staff and program reductions are expected to permanently shrink the scope and size of the six-studio trade and advocacy group." Staffing at THR in 2008 saw even further cutbacks with "names from today's tragic bloodletting of The Hollywood Reporter's staff" adding up quickly in the hard economic times at the end of 2008. "The trade has not only been thin, but only publishing digital version 19 days this holiday season. Film writers Leslie Simmons, Carolyn Giardina, Gregg Goldstein, plus lead TV critic Barry Garron and TV reporter Kimberly Nordyke, also special issues editor Randee Dawn Cohen out of New York and managing editor Harley Lond and international department editor Hy Hollinger, plus Dan Evans, Lesley Goldberg, Michelle Belaski, James Gonzalez were among those chopped from the masthead."
When Janice Min and Lori Burgess came on board in 2010, the editorial and sales staff have increased nearly 50%, respectively. Min hired some of the most recognized journalists in the entertainment industry, most notably scooping up veteran Variety film critic Todd McCarthy after his firing from Variety in March 2010.
Beckman and Burgess created a dedicated sales staff in New York to sell non-endemic advertising into the post re-launch print weekly, and beefed up the LA-based staff to better cover the endemic business.
Current status and legacy 
In November 2007, The Reporter launched its Premier Edition, a new day-and-date edition of the publication with daily morning delivery to subscribers in New York and key cities across the East Coast. As a result of the move to regional printing, the Premier Edition is also available on newsstands throughout Manhattan each morning from Monday through Friday.
The Hollywood Reporter's conferences and award shows include the Key Art Awards, which aim to recognize the best in movie marketing and advertising. Its annual Power Women in Entertainment issue and event ranks female entertainment executives. Its annual "Next Gen" special issue and event honors 35 up-and-coming executives in entertainment that are 35 years or younger. Throughout the year, THR publishes a 'roundtable' series in conjunction with many of the tent-pole award shows, including the Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmy's. The paper's celebrity marketability rating system, Star Power, has ceased publication.
The Hollywood Reporter has a suite of products that include a daily PDF edition, an oversized weekly glossy magazine, an iPad app, international newsletters and festival dailies.
Competition with Variety 
Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both are located on Wilshire Boulevard along the well-trafficked "Miracle Mile". Staffers often migrate between the papers. Variety was long established as an entertainment trade paper in vaudeville circles, Tin Pan Alley and in the Theater District of New York City, but it was The Hollywood Reporter that began covering the developing film business in Hollywood in 1930. Variety did not start its Hollywood edition until 1933.
The Hollywood Reporter maintains a business association with the home entertainment trade publication Home Media Magazine, which is owned by Questex Media Group. The alliance includes an exchange of stories when the need arises, and gives The Reporter access into the home entertainment trade, which Variety enjoys with its sister publication, the Reed-owned Video Business.
See also 
- Wilkerson III, W.R. (2000). The Man Who Invented Las Vegas. Ciro's Books. pp. 4–9. ISBN 0-9676643-0-6.
- Holley, Val (2007). Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1552-6.
- Wilkerson, William (1946-07-29). "A Vote For Joe Stalin". The Hollywood Reporter. p. 1
- Wilkerson, William (May 1966). "The physician's liability in suicide and homicide.". Medico-legal bulletin (Free full text ) 15 (5) (1946-08-19 page=1). ISSN 0025-8164. PMID 5948797
- Baum, Gary; Daniel Miller (Nov. 30, 2012 (Online Nov. 19, 2012)). "Blacklist: THR Addresses Role After 65 Years". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Wilerson III, W.R. (Nov. 30, 2012 (online Nov. 19, 2012)). "Blacklist: Billy Wilkerson's Son Apologizes for Publication's Dark Past". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Hollywood's Version of Trade Wars
- Folio Magazine
- (MediaBistro, November 6, 2007)
- Nielsen press release April 23, 2007
- Nielsen press release, June 25, 2007
- Nielsen press release, July 30, 2007
- press release July 18, 2007
- Press release October 29, 2007
- PaidContent, April 9, 2008.
- Deadline Hollywood, December 4, 2008.
- Broadcast & Cable, July 8, 2008
- "Hollywood studios' trade group faces leaner budget". Reuters. March 3, 2009.
- By NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief. "UPDATE: Layoffs Gut Hollywood Reporter; Variety's Stylephile Victim Of Recession - Deadline.com". Deadlinehollywooddaily.com. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
- ABC Publisher’s Statement, as compared to Variety and Daily Variety, March 2007