Did anyone else catch the latest edition of the Frontline series “News War” entitled “What’s Happening to the News?” Last week’s 90-minute episode depicted that dramatic changes facing newspapers today and the challenges our society must cope with as the number media outlets creating original content dwindles. The rise of blogs has created a lot of commentary, but added very little additional original journalism.
Such is also the case in the entertainment business. I couldn’t help but think about the program today when I heard that Variety had poached two top editors from rival trade The Hollywood Reporter, on the same day that movie magazine Premiere announced it is halting its print publication. In this case, the moves underscore the shifting sands in industry biz and editorial coverage. HR has a legacy of Hollywood coverage and is clearly weakened by the departures after already facing a number of key staff cutbacks recently, meanwhile Variety is pushing heavily onto the internet of late, hiring Dana Harris to lead its site.
The Hollywood trades are facing challenges on two key fronts right now: original editorial from traditional print newsrooms that are aggresively covering the entertainment industry (NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal) and an array of blogs (some by former trade reporters) that offer timely buzz, gossip and opinion. Its going to be fascinating to see how it all plays out.