Before they get into Middle East peace talks, maybe the Obama administration can try brokering a truce between The Wrap, Deadline.com/Hollywood and The Hollywood Reporter.
Picking feuds is a tried-and-true method of generating traffic, if a rather transparent one. Still, the new management of the Hollywood Reporter — unveiling their long-anticipated become-a-glossy-weekly strategy in the New York Times — used that forum to take a dump on their various competitors as well as the staff that they inherited, many of whom still work for the paper.
Now, when your competitors are busy clubbing themselves over the head, it’s normally wise not to get in the way. But a few observations come to mind, at the risk of straying into the triangular firing squad.
For starters, the old “The trades are soft” canard that the piece advances would have a bit more credibility if the New York Times had consistently adorned itself with honor by providing hard-hitting coverage of entertainment and pop culture, which is hardly the case — and unlikely to be achieved by rotating in wide-eyed new Los Angeles bureau chiefs with frequency, which has been the paper’s pattern.
Looking at the Reporter’s new approach as described, meanwhile — reaching out to “influencers,” whatever those are — it seems like the paper wants to become the print equivalent of Bravo. Tapping that audience would reach a financially well-heeled readership, I suppose, but it almost seems like THR is trading in the niche that it has occupied for one that is even more competitive and treacherous. But hey, go with God.
As much as I love to badmouth other journalists, though, for the most part it should really be done in the privacy of one’s home, and maybe over drinks.
Except for Alessandra Stanley, the New York Times’ TV critic, just because reality TV reviews really shouldn’t reference Renaissance-era poetry.
And the Los Angeles Times’ Patrick Goldstein. That guy bugs me.
But other than that, I don’t have a bad word to say about anybody — at least, not until my kid gets into a four-year college.