Hollywood Reporter (THR) is a multi-platform American digital and
print magazine founded in 1930 and focusing on the
industry, television, and entertainment industries, as well as
Hollywood's intersection with fashion, finance, law, technology,
lifestyle, and politics.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, THR is part of the Billboard-Hollywood
Reporter Media Group, a group of properties that includes Billboard
and SpinMedia. It is owned by Eldridge Industries, a holding company
owned by Todd Boehly, an executive of its previous owner, Guggenheim
Under Janice Min, a faltering THR was relaunched in 2010 as a weekly
large-format print magazine with a revamped, continuously updated
website, as well as mobile and tablet editions.
1.1 Early years
2 Ownership changes
3 Editors and publishers
4.2 On the web
5 Editors and reporters
6 2010 relaunch
7 Lawsuits with competitors
8 Current status and legacy
8.1 Awards season
8.2 Competition with Variety
9 See also
11 External links
THR was founded in 1930 by William R. "Billy" Wilkerson (1890–1962)
as Hollywood's first daily entertainment trade newspaper. The first
edition appeared on September 3, 1930 and featured Wilkerson's
front-page "Tradeviews" column, which became influential. The
newspaper appeared Monday to Saturday for the first 10 years, except
for a brief period, then Monday to Friday from 1940. Wilkerson ran the
THR until his death in September 1962, although his final column
appeared 18 months prior.
From the late 1930s, Wilkerson used THR to push the view that the
industry was a communist stronghold. In particular, he opposed the
screenplay writers' trade union, the Screen Writers Guild, which he
called the "Red Beachhead." In 1946 the Guild considered
creating an American Authors' Authority to hold copyright for writers,
instead of ownership passing to the studios. Wilkerson devoted his
"Tradeviews" column to the issue on July 29, 1946, headlined "A Vote
for Joe Stalin." He went to confession before publishing it, knowing
the damage it would cause, but was apparently encouraged by the priest
to go ahead with it.
The column contained the first industry names, including Dalton Trumbo
and Howard Koch, on what became the
Hollywood blacklist, known as
"Billy's list." Eight of the 11 people Wilkerson named were among the
Hollywood Ten" who were blacklisted after hearings in 1947 by the
House Un-American Activities Committee. When Wilkerson died, his
THR obituary said that he had "named names, pseudonyms and card
numbers and was widely credited with being chiefly responsible for
preventing communists from becoming entrenched in Hollywood
In 1997, THR reporter David Robb wrote a story about the newspaper's
involvement, but the editor, Robert J. Dowling, declined to run it.
For the blacklist's 65th anniversary in 2012, the THR published a
lengthy investigative piece about Wilkerson's role, by reporters Gary
Baum and Daniel Miller. The same edition carried an apology from
Wilkerson's son W. R. Wilkerson III. He wrote that his father had been
motivated by revenge for his thwarted ambition to own a studio.
Tichi Wilkerson Kassel
Tichi Wilkerson Kassel (left) with
Sharon Stone in 2002
Tichi Wilkerson Kassel
Tichi Wilkerson Kassel (1926–2004), took over as
publisher and editor-in-chief when her husband died. She sold the
paper on April 11, 1988, to Affiliated Publications, parent company of
Billboard Publications, for $26.7 million. Robert J. Dowling became
THR president in 1988 and editor-in-chief and publisher in 1991.
Dowling hired Alex Ben Block as editor in 1990, and editorial quality
of both news and specials steadily improved. Block and Teri Ritzer
dampened much of the rah-rah coverage and cronyism that had infected
the paper under Wilkerson. After Block left, former
Variety film editor, Anita Busch, was became editor between 1999 and
2001. Busch was credited with making the paper competitive with
Variety. Tony Uphoff assumed the publisher position in November 2005.
In March 2006, a private equity consortium led by Blackstone and KKR,
both with ties to the conservative movement in the United States,
acquired The Reporter along with the other assets of Verenigde
Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU) which purchased Affiliated Publications
in 1994. It joined those publications with AdWeek and A.C. Nielsen
to form The Nielsen Company.
John Kilcullen replaced Uphoff in October 2006, as 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 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
political 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. Since January 2014, The
Hollywood Reporter has been
led by co-presidents
Janice Min and John Amato.
Guggenheim Partners announced on December 17, 2015 that it would sell
the Prometheus media properties to its executive Todd
Boehly. The company was sold to
Eldridge Industries in
Editors and publishers
Janice Min, THR editor since 2010
THR's editors have included
Janice Min (2010–2017), Elizabeth Guider
(2007–2010), Cynthia Littleton (2005–2007), Howard Burns
(2001–2006), Anita Busch (1999–2001), and Alex Ben Block
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
In June 2007, Rose Einstein, former Vice President, Advertising Sales
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. She left
that position in June 2009. Mika left THR in early 2010.
In July 2007, THR 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. After nearly
running the publication into the ground, Guider left The Hollywood
Reporter in early 2010.
In April 2010, Lori Burgess was named as publisher. Burgess had been
OK! magazine since October 2008. Michaela Apruzzese was
named associate publisher, entertainment in May 2010. Apruzzese
previously served as the director of movie advertising for Los Angeles
Times Media Group.
In May 2010,
Janice Min was named Editorial Director. In January 2014,
she was promoted to President/Chief Creative Officer with additional
oversight of THR's sister brand, Billboard. Lynne Segall, former
vice president and associate publisher, was named publisher and senior
vice president in June 2011.
In February 2017, Min announced she was stepping down from her role as
President/Chief Creative Officer overseeing The
Hollywood Reporter and
Billboard to take on a new role at parent company. Simultaneously, it
was announced that longtime executive editor Matthew Belloni would
take over as Editorial Director.
The weekly print edition of The
Hollywood Reporter includes profiles,
original photography and interviews with entertainment figures;
articles about major upcoming releases and product launches; film
reviews and film festival previews; coverage of the latest industry
deals, TV ratings, box-office figures and analysis of global
entertainment business trends and indicators; photos essays and
reports from premieres and other red-carpet events; and the latest on
Hollywood fashion and lifestyle.
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 website in 1995. Initially, the site offered free news
briefs with complete coverage firewalled as a premium paid service. In
later years, the website became mostly free as it became more reliant
on ad sales and less on subscribers. The website had already gone
through a redesign by the time competitor Variety took to the web in
1998. In 2002, the Reporter's website won the
Jesse H. Neal Award for
business journalism. In November 2013, The
Hollywood Reporter launched
the style site Pret-a-Reporter.
Hollywood Reporter's website, re-launched in 2010, offers
breaking entertainment news, reviews and blogs; original video content
(and film and TV clips) and photo galleries; plus in-depth movie,
television, music, awards, style, technology and business coverage. As
of August 2013,
Comscore measured 12 million unique visitors per month
to the site.
Editors and reporters
Hollywood Reporter has a staff of roughly 150. 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
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
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."
Janice Min and Lori Burgess came on board in 2010, the editorial
and sales staff increased nearly 50%, respectively. Min hired various
recognized journalists in the entertainment industry, most notably
Variety film critic
Todd McCarthy after his firing from Variety in
The 2010 relaunch of The
Hollywood Reporter under then-CEO Richard
Beckman was closely chronicled by the national media. After
purchasing THR from
Guggenheim Partners and Pluribus Capital in 2010,
Beckman recruited Min, the former editor-in-chief of Us Weekly, to
"eviscerate" the existing daily trade paper and reinvent it as a
glossy, large-format weekly magazine.
The Reporter relaunched with a weekly print edition and a revamped
website that enabled it to break news. Eight months after its initial
The New York Times
The New York Times took note of the many scoops THR had
generated, adding that the new glossy format seemed to be succeeding
with its "rarefied demographic". "They managed to change the subject
by going weekly… The large photos, lush paper stock and great design
are a kind of narcotic here."
By February 2013, the Times returned to THR, filing a report on a
Academy Award nominees the magazine had hosted at the Los
Angeles restaurant Spago. Noting the crowd of top celebrities in
attendance, the Times alluded to the fact that many
were now referring to THR as "the new Vanity Fair". Ad sales since
Min's hiring were up more than 50%, while traffic to the magazine's
website had grown by 800%.
Lawsuits with competitors
In 1932, Variety, who at the time were only based in New York
publishing weekly, sued The
Hollywood Reporter for alleged plagiarism
for $46,500 accusing them of copying their reporting by phoning or
wiring the information to
Hollywood after the publication of Variety
in New York on Tuesdays so that they could publish the information
before Variety reached
Hollywood on Fridays.
In 2011, Deadline.com, a property of Penske Media Corporation, now the
owner of Variety, sued The
Hollywood Reporter for more than $5
million, alleging copyright infringement. In 2013, THR's parent
company settled the suit. According to The Wall Street Journal, "The
lawsuit [was] widely viewed in
Hollywood as a proxy for the bitter war
for readers and advertising dollars... The two sides agreed on a
statement reading in part: 'Prometheus admits that The Hollywood
Reporter copied source code from Penske Media Corporation's Web site
www.tvline.com; Prometheus and The
Hollywood Reporter have apologized
to Penske Media.'"
Current status and legacy
Hollywood Reporter published out of the same offices on Sunset
Boulevard for more than a half century. Today, the offices are located
Hollywood Reporter sponsors and hosts a number of major industry
events and awards ceremonies. It hosted 13 such events in 2012,
including the Women in Entertainment Breakfast, where it announced its
Power 100 list of the industry's most powerful women; the
Key Art Awards (for achievement in entertainment advertising and
communications); Power Lawyers Breakfast; Next Gen (honoring the
industry's 50 fastest-rising stars and executives age 35 and under);
Nominees Night; and the 25 Most Powerful Stylists Luncheon.
Entertainment-industry awards receive ample coverage from The
Hollywood Reporter, both in print and online. The magazine handicaps
all the races, profiles the contenders and analyzes the business
impact of nominations and wins. THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg
analyzes and predicts the
Emmy and Oscar races (his weekly Feinberg
Forecast is published from late August up to the Academy Awards
broadcast). THR also offers special print editions, such as its annual
Emmy issues, during respective awards seasons. THR.com
features The Race, an awards-coverage blog, which encompasses Race to
the Oscars, an app dedicated to Academy Awards coverage for iPhone and
Android platforms.
Competition with Variety
Variety was long established as a weekly entertainment trade paper
based in New York City, initially covering vaudeville circles, Tin Pan
Alley and in the city's Theater District, but it was The Hollywood
Reporter that began reporting the film business daily from Hollywood
Variety used to take three days to reach
Hollywood and sued The
Hollywood Reporter for alleged plagiarism in 1932 by taking advantage
of the delay and difference in publication schedules and
eventually started its daily
Hollywood edition, Daily Variety, in
From 1988 to 2014, Variety and The
Hollywood Reporter were both
Wilshire Boulevard along the well-trafficked Miracle Mile.
Staffers often migrate between the papers.
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 enjoyed with its former sister
publication, the Reed-owned Video Business.
In March 2007, The
Hollywood Reporter surpassed Daily Variety to
achieve the largest total distribution of any entertainment daily.
Nielsen Business Media
List of film periodicals
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