The essential question for the Hollywood trades going forward: to print or not to print? Print ads still generate far more money, as the NYT’s David Carr reminds in this week’s must-read media column. Variety is hanging onto print ads for dear life (along with trade shows, which are also The Wrap’s strategy for raising cash) and that’s why even though The Hollywood Reporter’s traffic is surging, they are still doubling staff to fill pages in a large-scale glossy weekly edition to sell on newstands.
In a long-expected move in the wake of Janice Min’s appointment as editorial director of THR, ex-Variety staffer Elizabeth Guider has officially stepped down as editor. She has spent much of the last few months tending to family concerns out-of-town, but her statement below is revealing:
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to lead The Hollywood Reporter’s newsroom during such interesting, if challenging, times. I wish our new owners and managers great success with their plans to take the brand to new heights and to a broadened readership.”
Guider is very much a representative of the traditional print trade order; like her old boss Peter Bart, she has relationships, and knows how things work in the film industry, but she has little feel for the fast-paced online breaking news cycle that Min manipulates as easily as breathing. UPDATE: Following Guider, digital media editor Andrew Wallenstein is also departing the trade.
Meanwhile, Deadline is actually adding five special print editions aimed at Oscar voters. This is clearly the work of ex-THR and LATimes Envelope sales exec Lynne Segall, yet another high-salary hire at Deadline (along with ex-Variety staff editor Michael Speier). Segall knows how to land premium print Oscar ads, targeted directly to Oscar voters during the November-January award season corridor. Oscar blogger Pete Hammond will help with the content, as he did at The Envelope. But how many of these stories can we all read? Is this what former Academy-baiter Nikki Finke wants to do as Deadline editor-in-chief? How many ads are there to go around? Who’s going to feel the pinch? That’s the trouble with expanding overhead–everyone has to justify their salaries and it’s tough to pay all the bills out of online revenue.
David Poland is not thrilled, and Finke was sufficiently amused by his spoof Oscar ad (above) that she posted it on her site too.