BLOGDOGGER enjoys when New York media swoops in and does the usual
shallow, condescending, vapid, anonymously sourced thorough, deep and insightful coverage of Hollywood journalism (see: David Carr's column on The Hollywood Reporter, some months ago).
Case in point: This story in the New York Observer, casting trade reporting as the province of Deadline Hollywood Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood Life and The Wrap. That's interesting, as none of those sites seeks Hollywood as its audience. THR's much-ballyhooed relaunch was all about finding a mythical business-to-consumer audience.
The Observer article cites Quantcast tracking numbers, as if gaining huge traffic gains means money in the bank. That was true in the Web's early years, when advertising rates were closely tied to online traffic numbers. Yet a quick glance at all the sites mentioned shows most of their advertisements are bought through networks for pennies on the dollar -- "remnant ads," in the parlance of the Web industry.
Live by the pageview, die by the pageview.
What the article seems to posit is that the larger-than-life personalities of Bonnie Fuller, Janice Min, Nikki Finke and Sharon Waxman and their bold websites have sidelined the former market leader, Variety -- which is, writer Hunter Walker almost begrudgingly adds, has been adding paid subscribers and remains solidly profitable.
The Observer notes archly that BLOGDOGGER's master has "largely disappeared from the conversation."
"'In Variety’s case, it’s almost that we don’t even know it exists anymore,' a THR writer bravely told the Observer
on the record or not. 'We don’t even care.'" (ORLY, THR? Then why are you constantly following Variety's scoops?)
It's no wonder THR's staff isn't worried about Variety. They're probably wondering who's keeping the lights on after former Conde Nast exec Richard Beckman -- mastermind of that abovementioned B-to-C strategy -- was shoved aside in July, just one month after trade veteran (and Finke smear victim) Lynne Segall returned to her former home as publisher.
Turns out there's not all that much gold at the end of the consumer rainbow for weekly magazines with minuscule paid circulation. (Prometheus learned this at AdWeek, firing its controversial new editor and reverting to a back-to-trade-basics approach.) After all, without those big consumer dollars, how is THR's owner going to afford all those big-ticket editorial hires?
That's probably enough for everyone at THR to be worried about.