My arguments with David Poland have gone on and on, but the idea he threw out this afternoon to save The Hollywood Reporter from a really tough competition with Variety down the road, a fight that might eventually prove harmful or even fatal, isn’t half-bad and actually sounds sensible. Poland’s idea is that VNU, parent of THR, would buy Movie City News in order to recreate the Hollywood Reporter.
The Reporter probably does have to do something radical and revitalizing in order “to become a √É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚Äúmust read√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ç¬ù again,” says Poland. “And the only way to do that is to add young, smart talent and to let them have their heads more than a little.
“The [Reporter] website needs to do everything MCN does and more,” he goes on. “The print magazine needs to be a thrill to open every single morning. News is news. Variety will win that fight on points. For a Traditional Media paper like The Hollywood Reporter to truly embrace the crossover to a web-based culture is the paradigm of survival and success.”
“And they don√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t have to piss all over the industry to make that work. (This is a lesson that the reconsidered Los Angeles Times will learn in about six more months.) But they can√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t be sycophantic suck-ups either.
“In short, they need to be what MCN would be if MCN got venture capital, hired a dozen hungry reporters, a few very smart and funny columnists, and launched a print magazine to boot. But THR has a huge head start in that it already has a strong base of 40,000 subscriptions. It goes to every office in Hollywood, read closely or not.”