Last night TheWrap‘s Sharon Waxman reported about a seemingly horrific atmosphere at the Hollywood Reporter. The new guys — i.e., the gossipy chip-chippies hired by new honcho Janice Min, formerly of Us magazine — are talking only amongst themselves while the trade-wise old guard are suffering in morose isolation.
“The outward changes at the new Hollywood Reporter have led to an estrangement inside the newsroom between Janice Min and the staff she has brought in, and the veteran journalists who take orders from the newbies and are otherwise ignored,” says Waxman.
“The alienation has become so severe that the legacy staffers have a secret name for the new team: ‘The Others,’ according to several insiders.
“The pre-Min journalists live in a strange purgatory” — Gregg Kilday, we feel your pain! — “where they have little say and less contact with the new team. The painful word from inside the newsroom at THR is that Min (above, left) has little to do with them — doesn’t speak to them, or look people in the eye.”
I’ve been through similar newsroom vibes (such as when I worked at Entertainment Tonight in ’98 under Linda Bell Blue), and there is nothing worse in the entire world that to be on the wrong side of these henhouse dynamics. It’s all about politics and closed doors and Rasputin-like plotting and acute psychological terror. It’s awful.
“As WaxWord has written about recently, Min has started to implement her plan to take THR to a more consumer, celebrity-focused publication.
“Min has not bothered with diplomatic niceties with the staff that was previously in place, and is not winning any friends among them either. (Said one: ‘She didn’t even introduce herself to numerous key people,’ and hasn’t acknowledged them since arriving)
“Min did not respond to emails and two phone messages seeking a response.
“While Elizabeth Guider is still technically the editor, she currently functions as a ‘glorified reporter,’ as one person put it, with no management or editorial decision-making power.
“Instead, all headline and important editorial decisions are made by Min and her team, communicated via email to managing editors Mike Barnes and Todd Cunningham.
“But word is they are looking for a new managing editor, presumably to report to Owen Phillips, the former editor of the Wall Street Journal‘s glossy magazine, who is now Min’s executive editor. Most think that the ME job is likely to go to another former Us Weekly staffer. Min continues to add those people to her team.
“Meanwhile a new Human Resources director, installed by Min, has an office off the newsroom instead of where the administration people sit. Even that executive talks not to colleagues on the floor, but to Min — and gives the strong impression that she’s taking notes about what’s going on around her.”
“Change is tough all around, but the split editorial personality at THR noted by many is apparently borne out in the day-to-day of the newsroom.”