Woe to the shell-shocked Hollywood Reporter with the news of yet another defection — film business editor Nicole Sperling is leaving to report for Entertainment Weekly out of its L.A. office. Said it before, saying it again — if the Reporter wants to really save itself and not just apply this or that band-aid procedure, it should hire/buy out David Poland and the Movie City News team (a move that Poland himself suggested a few weeks ago). If this happens MCN will be obliged to sublimate its identity as well as its style of writing and reporting to theTHR tradition and also submit to the political checks and balances hanging around that enterprise like an albatross, and this in turn will allow Hollywood Elsewhere to step in like John Wayne and reap the benefits of the resulting online vacuum.
Former THR columnist (and current Variety staffer) Anne Thompson has written that the Sperling departure “leaves yet one more hole for publisher John Kilcullen to fill, and will not help sagging morale at THR‘s Wilshire offices. Kilcullen is already looking to find a new editor to replace Cynthia Littleton, who starts at Variety on Monday. And film editor Gregg Kilday, who finally hired tech writer Carolyn Giardina to replace Sheigh Crabtree after she went freelance (she’s under contract at the L.A. Times, which ought to put her on staff), will now be looking to fill two film department slots.”