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Thompson on Hollywood

The Industry: Bad Habits of the Entertainment Media

A lot of loss this month. Time Warner is shedding its magazines. Variety is saying goodbye to its daily edition. And Yahoo is finally losing the jerk-off rule that allowed so many people to work from home in the first place. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • By J.J. Hunsecker
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  • March 11, 2013 6:09 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Variety Drops Paywall, Kicks Gray Upstairs, Adds Eller for Editorial Troika

The Variety shoe has finally dropped as media mogul Jay Penske has tapped the L.A. Times' Claudia Eller and Variety staff editors Cynthia Littleton and Andrew Wallenstein as the new editors-in-chief of Variety, charged with leading the 100-year-old trade through its next non-print evolution.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2013 1:09 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Transitions in Media World, from Time Warner Mags to a Variety Reboot; Sragow Returns to L.A.

Sad but true. The march of time continues to bring inevitable shifts in the media world. Newsweek has been swallowed by The Daily Beast. And now Time Warner's publishing arm is considering creating a new joint magazine venture with broadcast giant Meredith Corporation focused on women's titles. Meanwhile Jay Penske, CEO of Variety parent Penske Media Corp, is about to reveal his reboot of Variety amid considerable anxiety at the venerable trade.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2013 7:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment

FilmLinc Daily Adds Contributor Brian Brooks

Indiewire cofounder Eugene Hernandez, now digital director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, is bringing into his expanding FilmLinc Daily fold his long-time Indiewire cohort Brian Brooks, who recently emerged from a staff stint at Jay Penske's Deadline and Movieline.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 5, 2013 6:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Recap: Hollywood's Most Secretive Directors, Cinema's Future, Tina Brown, AMC vs. Dish

Secretive directors: In a world where new posters, trailers, and spoilers are prized and rumors are updated minute-by-minute, remaining a "secretive" director takes willpower and determination. A select few directors manage to keep a tight lid on their projects, and Vulture's Kyle Buchanan posted a list of the most clandestine of these. Hollywood's most secretive filmmakers? Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen, and the Wachowskis...
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 22, 2012 2:35 PM
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Penske Promotes Variety's Sobrino-Stearns to Publisher

Jay Penske has promoted Variety's veteran ad-sales exec Michelle Sobrino-Stearns to publisher of Variety. Never in the showbiz publication's 107-year-history has it been headed by a woman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2012 8:19 PM
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Penske Buys Variety for $25 Million UPDATED

Well, the early reports are true. After seven months of negotiations, Penske Media Corp., backed by hedge fund Third Point, has won 107-year-old trade paper Variety for $25 million. Just months ago Variety was thought to be worth $50 mlllion, which was still substantially lower than its pre-recession peak value. Jay Penske, 33, outbid New York Hedge Fund Avenue Capitol and supermarket mogul Ron Burkle.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2012 12:14 PM
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Facebook Passes One Billion Users [ZUCKERBERG VIDEO]

In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show, Facebook's 28-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that over a billion people are now using Facebook: "It's just this amazing honor. To be able to come into work every day and build things that help a billion people stay connected with the people they care about .... just unbelievable."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 4, 2012 12:54 PM
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'Paranormal Activity 4' Invites Fan Participation

When found-footage movie "Paranormal Activity" premiered in 2009, Paramount digital marketing started engaging with movie fans in a direct way. They encouraged viewers to create their own spoofs and renditions of the D-I-Y film.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 1, 2012 7:01 AM
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Fandango Hires EW Vet and Oscar Expert Dave Karger as Media Front Man

As the LA Times' Geoff Boucher joins ex-USA Today writer Anthony Breznican at weekly magazine EW, 17-year EW vet Dave Karger is moving on. He is heading away from print reporting to a career as a professional video pundit and media front man. He will now grow his media profile at NBCUniversal's Fandango as the online ticketseller's first "chief correspondent." The main lure is increased visibility across NBCUniversal's media outlets.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2012 1:39 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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