Under new editorial director Janice Min, The Hollywood Reporter has been experiencing a surge of online traffic. But the former editor of Us Magazine thinks she can make a go with a weekly print edition, reports the NYT, geared to both the trade and consumers.
Min will add staff in order to take a shot at what is surely an enormous gamble. She seems to be confident that she knows what will make readers buy something on the newstand, and what will make advertisers chase those readers.
When I left Premiere in 2002, I knew that the days of a big print glossy consumer/trade movie monthly magazine were over. Variety's newstand play with V Life flopped miserably. Time/Warner weekly EW makes a go of it by covering music, TV, movies, books and celebrity--which is where Min is heading. I have long believed that both hidebound Variety and the leaner meaner THR should ditch their expensive print dailies and dependence on studio/network print ads in favor of online dailies and weekly print editions (as Screen International has already done). It's smart to get tough and pursue "real" reporting--that's the law of the land on the internet, where urgency, frequency and celebrity rule the day.
At least Min and her boss, THR owner Richard Beckman of E5 Global Media, are smart enough to not retreat behind a pay wall. But even though both are sage magazine vets, investing heavily in a glossy magazine aimed at consumers is still a very gutsy play.