Over at HBO, showrunner and co-creator Cynthia Mort is out at the Hollywood blogger series Tilda, after voicing her frustrations with star Diane Keaton and exec producer/director Bill Condon, who stays on. Loosely based on mighty Deadline Hollywood editrix Nikki Finke, HBO intends for the show--which is meant to be a comedy--to go on.
Even with all this PR, including recent Deadline mentions on HBO's Entourage (where Carrie Fisher seems closer to the Finke mark than Keaton), The Hollywood Reporter's traffic has surged ahead of Deadline. See chart below.
According to Comscore, THR 's monthly unique visitors are dramatically up 25% for July, partly due to an onslaught of readers not willing to pay to get behind Variety's pay wall, first erected in December, which didn't go into full effect for several months. THR's uniques surpassed Variety in February, but its ascent spiked in May and has been climbing.
Also credit the celeb-friendly influence of new THR boss and ex-Us Weekly editor Janice Min, who favors enhanced coverage of such hot topics as Jennifer Aniston's latest b.o. dud ("'Switch' A Bitch for Jennifer Aniston") and breathless not-yet-news such as "EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Alba Poised to Star in 3D 'Spy Kids 4.'" The THR home page shows a canny recognition of what consumers actually want to read and watch. Compare it to staid and sober Variety; no wonder THR's traffic is soaring.
At any rate, with their relatively large staffs and resources, the two established trades should be able to easily beat Deadline's traffic. (BTW, indieWIRE has also enjoyed a serious traffic increase since Variety erected its paywall.) But which sites are pulling in the younger generation that will grow into the next tier of industry movers and shakers? Variety is sticking to the familiar: the older strictly inside-the-beltway trade demo.