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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

MMC’s Deadline Hollywood Goes To Print

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that The Deadline Empire™ will be trying to find advertising dollars in much the same way the LA Times did when Lynne Segall landed there… Special Issues. At LAT, the Special Issue idea became the weekly (and weakly) The Envelope.

For C. Nikki and her Academy team (Hi, Pete!), it will be five, count ’em, five print editions of some variation on the blog. The magazine is currently scheduled to go only to Academy members. (Don’t ask where the list, which the Academy frowns mightily on any outside groups having, came from… everyone already knows. The Wrap has Variety’s list, but couldn’t really figure out how to make it of value last season.)

As this very important document is not yet being printed, we can’t get you the real thing. Really, it’s hard to imagine what someone who has shown so much contempt and so little respect to The Academy might publish. C. Nikki’s only comment was, “They’re going to be interesting and exciting.”

Great!

Perhaps the first issue might look something like this…

(Note: The “EXCLUSIVE” element of this is really meant as a joke, though the story is real. This is the kind of non-story that passes for “exclusive news” these days. I guess there is a grain of news in a blog trying to make money with traditional print. But if it fails, you can be sure that it will not be a publicly discussed event. If it succeeds – which means they print all five and tell the world it was profitable – we’ll never hear the end of it… especially in Old Media, which dreams of being what they fantasize about C. Nikki being in much the same way they dream of being “Mark Zuckerberg.” But it’s only after someone tries to make it work and the industry responds, one way or the other, that it is really worth analyzing. It’s an expensive effort that relies on studios being willing to pay “trade prices” for unsolicited mail going to Academy members. However, The Academy would have a hard time shutting it down, as Deadline doesn’t actually need any of the access that keeps other publications in line. In any case, you can do the “Toldja” yourself when (and if) the magazine starts rolling out.)

(Edit, 10:30p Sun, to correct an errant fact about The Hollywood Reporter’s plans.)

10 Responses to “MMC’s Deadline Hollywood Goes To Print”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Could this be another manifestation of the phenom you referenced the other day while reporting about Todd McCarthy’s joining The Hollywood Reporter? That is: Just as an Old Media star can have more real or pereceived value than even many hot, new and sexy New Media stars, maybe there’s still something to the idea that something printed has more real or perceived importance — more cachet, more weight, more whatever — than something “just” on line? I can only speak from my own experience: No matter how much I might praise a movie in a review that breaks on Variety.com, the first question I’m always asked by the publicity rep (or the filmmaker) — and I mean ALWAYS aked — is, “Will this appear in print, too?”

  2. Matt Palmer says:

    Joe,
    not sure if that’s what Dave meant, but as a journalist, I get that question all the time. For all the old media handwringing about its death, print newspaper is still more read than online by adults, the people that spend money.
    Sure, the dynamics have changed dramatically and the percentages are evening up, but dismissing its value is a mistake.
    Legitimacy still is in print. The stigma of “anyone can write anything on the Internet” is fading, but still a factor with the people in the news.
    There’s a reason why new media people talk of the death of newspapers so much.

  3. Worst kept secret of the last two or three months.

  4. David Poland says:

    The reason why they are doing this is ads and nothing other than ads. They hope to sell very expensive spaced based on the notion that this will get into Academy members’ hands and that they will read it because they are hooked on Deadline.

    But at the same time, the cost of covers at The Trades and the percentage that get sold are dropping like a stone.

    We will see how realistic this Deadline calculation turns out to be.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    Sure, they’rwe doing this to sell ads. But the question is: Do think they can sell more ads — and charge more for those ads — simply because, even now, print has a greater perceived cachet than something on line?

  6. David Poland says:

    You’re thinking about content. Whether the trades or this, it’s not at all about the content. It’s about a print magazine – or trade – sitting out in public or private working space in industry spaces for an extended period, as well as space on newsstands.

    It is more valued than web space, yes. But it’s more because of the lasting nature of print than anything that’s in the magazines.

  7. Sasha Stone says:

    One thing I know for sure about Academy members after all of these years: they don’t respond to high pressure that smacks of desperation. They simply do not.

    One I interviewed told me that when he gets stuff like that he tosses it into the trash immediately. Most of them have been conditioned not to even look at that stuff.

    They’re smart enough to suss out something that is there just to target their demographic; the trick with them is to put ads on things they WANT to read, not things they are herded into a pen and forced to read. That’s my take anyway. It isn’t that they shouldn’t do it, it’s that they shouldn’t do it just to sell ads. That’s the wrong reason.

  8. Kabbe says:

    Deadline just posted this David.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, there is something to be said about “the lasting nature of print.” I have written literally hundreds of free-lance reviews and features over the last 15 years that, for various reasons, have been deleted from websites. Many were written for newspapers that purge all free-lance articles from their sites after a few months (or weeks). Others were written for websites that, evidently, don’t bother much with maintaining extensive archives. And a few more were written for sites that no longer exist. I keep copies on back-up discs, CD-ROMs, on-line file services, etc. But I also keep a file of tearsheets of magazine and newspaper pieces — just in case.

  10. Sasha Stone says:

    Someone should come up with a web archive that does keep all of that stuff. There is the wayback machine but it isn’t that thorough. “He’s a good man. And thorough.”

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