Sure enough, Brit entertainment trade Screen International went in-house and promoted Head of Content Wendy Mitchell to succeed Mike Goodridge as editor. Mitchell, who started at the trade publication as a UK reporter in 2005, is Screen's first woman editor, and will run both monthly print magazine Screen International and ScreenDaily.com. Goodridge will become CEO of Protagonist Pictures in August.
Mitchell reports to Conor Dignam, managing director of Screen International.
Before her move to the UK, Mitchell was a respected New York journalist, holding gigs as staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, managing editor at indieWIRE, assistant editor at Rolling Stone Press, and news editor at CMJ New Music Report.
Mitchell answered some questions about her plans for Screen going forward:
AT: What changes do you have in mind as you take the helm? I'm not planning any major changes for Screen at the moment. We're in great shape and have a strong editorial team. It's a leaner team than we've had sometimes in the past, but everybody on staff is really committed and working well together. Jeremy Kay as U.S. editor (in LA) and Liz Shackleton as Asian editor (in Hong Kong) are hugely important to the plan. And we'll hire a new news editor to replace the news duties I had been doing. That person will be based at our London headquarters.
As far as changes go, we've started a new ScreenTech newsletter that covers more 3-D technology, digital production and exhibition, and interviews with below-the-line creatives. There seems to be a real appetite for this so far, since we kicked it off about two months ago.
New talent spotting is big for us. On Monday our UK Stars of Tomorrow issue comes out, with 30 of the hottest British actors and filmmakers -- these people quite often work in Hollywood (our past picks include Emily Blunt, Andrew Garfield and Robert Pattinson), so this list is important outside the UK too. I'd like for us to do even more new talent focuses in the future on other territories and sectors in the industry. For example, people responded well to our Future Leaders special in Cannes for rising sales and acquisitions execs.
How important are your film festival dailies? Our market dailies in Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, AFM and Hong Kong Filmart are pivotal to us and we'll continue to push them, as well as eyeing more festivals for dailies (either print or online).
How challenging is the economic climate for entertainment trades as you make the transition to digital? Yes, it's tough times for all the trades--in fact, the whole publishing industry--but Screen is in good shape in terms of subscribers and advertising because we offer something unique: that international perspective. Which as we all know is becoming more and more important. Even for the U.S. studios, the outlook beyond the U.S. is so vital. That's something that Screen was built on; we've got more than 20 international correspondents feeding into that knowledge of local markets. That also helps us covering international finance, especially keeping tabs on all the local tax incentives and soft money schemes around the globe.