Recession rocks Hollywood's showbiz papers

Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:53am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For more than 75 years, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have battled to be the movie industry's top newspaper, but recent layoffs due to the recession and competition from Internet blogs has Hollywood wondering if it will soon become a one paper town.

Publishers of the showbusiness newspapers say advertising has plunged, even during the current Oscar season when movie studios pay well to hype their films with cover page ads.

Moreover, the papers face increased competition from bloggers providing a daily diet of Hollywood news and gossip, such as Nikki Finke's, Tina Brown's and David Poland's

Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter continue to compete vigorously through tough economic times.

"I think it's going to be a battle royale, and there may only be one a year from now," said Jonathan Taplin, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.

On Monday, Daily Variety owner Reed Business Information, a unit of Reed Elsevier Plc, said the economic slump forced it to lay off some 30 workers at the paper and its sister publications.

Those sister papers include weekly Variety, which is the grand dame of showbiz reporting having started in 1905 and spawned Daily Variety in 1933. Last year, Reed put the publications on the sales block.

The Hollywood Reporter was founded in 1930 and is now owned by media research firm Nielsen Co., which provides marketing and other media business information, as well as TV ratings.   Continued...

<p>The famed Hollywood sign is seen September 21, 2001. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File</p>