Read this: Media Masters - Matthew Belloni
Summary: PodcastDownload MP3 www.buzzsprout.comMedia Masters - Matthew Belloni…
Media matters with Paul Blanchard welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media gear in Los Angeles California and joined by Matthew Bellamy editorial director at the Hollywood reporter a former attorney.
He was invited to edit a supplement on Entertainment law for the magazine in 2006 swapping the courtroom for The Newsroom two years later.
He quickly Rose through the ranks before taking the reins as editorial director in 2017 and now oversees the publications online video print and television operations along with a new live event business founded in 1930 the former daily was Hollywood's first entertainment read newspaper and now has an online audience of more than 35 million with offices in Los Angeles New York London and Hong Kong Matt thank you for joining me no problem is your job be kind of glamorous whirlwind of parties and earliest premieres imagine it to be.
There are elements of it that are that you know I do go to the Oscars I do go to Premier the lad.
I know spent the weekend doing around table with Lady Gaga and Nicole Kidman in a bunch of a list actresses when we all do that the degree of my job is I am a journalist editor and I spend a lot of hours here in the office are working with the staff of 150 editorial employees in La New York and around the world and it's a pretty rigorous 24/7 Media lifestyle and then the Hollywood stuff is just kind of phone on top.
What is a typical week then? How do you put in it and issue together because I oversee both print and digital so in addition to the 24/7 news cycle that were in these days, and it truly is a 24-hour a day seven days a week cycle.
We had this.
Behemoth once a week.
We have a print magazine that has been growing in past few years not shrinking like a lot of outlets, so a Weekly magazine has certain deadlines your friends is Monday night is are closing night and we're here often past midnight making sure everything in the magazine is as up-to-date and researched and looks as good as possible for that Weekly magazine bigwigs.
We have deadlines on Friday the lines on Thursday so we have to meet all these different print deadlines during the week while also staying on top of a 24/7 news cycle and where do you spend most of your time because a lot of editors that we speak to you.
Don't do a lot of editing.
It's mainly in hiring and firing a lot strategic stuff.
What what is the actual nitty-gritty of a week for you? I'm a little bit more hands-on.
I think I'll come from our news division.
I roast the ranks there, so I'm involved the little bit more on our news product and what were publishing on a day-to-day basis.
I look at all head.
Find from morning roll out you'll be put together or roller document the end of the day to figure out the kinds of things we have prepared for the next day.
I look at all the headlines and display for all that I'm involved with one of our more Cena riders editing their stories in a way that I think a lot of editors in chief my delegate.
I just enjoy that part of it.
I like doing it, but that said I also involved in more strategic and hiring firing and reviewing pages from print.
I read every single story that goes in the print magazine.
I don't read every story that goes on a website but I read everything and all the layouts and I approve every layout I prove every photo and that goes into the print magazine and I'll be saved with the covers with a creative director every week.
What's the best part of the job? And what's the most challenging aspect of journalism in the 21st Century is very appealing to me.
Instant feedback and what you do.
You know you get to have a series of wins and losses in a given week and I like to win and I think that any good day.
We have a lot of different wins the hard reporter different ways to win.
You can have a story that nobody else has you can have a photo that nobody else? Can you can get access to a newsmaker that others are trying to get and you got it you can just write a better story than other outlets did that are covering the same subject and you can do a cover treatment that blows everything else out of the water and giving we can get a lot of attention for that.
There's a lot of ways to win in this game and it happens so fast in any such a competitive environment that really appeals to me until his homework digital least I know you've had a 50% year-on-year increase incredible Donald Trump
We've never seen in my lifetime.
I had a lot to do with that but the end of me too movement has definitely have a lot to do with that the focus on the behaviour of executives and Talent in Hollywood by a mainstream audience had a lot to do with that but it's a it's a real priority for me as well.
I don't understand these editors who say I don't want to the website guy that means a foreign concept at me.
I've never worked as a professional journalist without the internet and there was an attorney until I was 30 years old, so I don't know world where it's just print that seems like a ancient history to me and I think that editors in this modern age have to have both skills because they are different skills what makes a good point layout in a good print story is often different different from what makes a good web story and you can have to know the difference and you have to be able to execute on on differ.
And you have two separate discrete audiences as it won't answer digital and print every night.
I take the print copy regularly, but I also subscribe to all the various email newsletters gone to the website are my typical you don't we we have a very interesting audience because we have this hyper Insider print subscriber mostly.
That is usually either an industry Insider and someone who is a works in Hollywood or is kind of adjacent to Hollywood and that is the creator of our print magazine and we've expanded that over the years with a lot of lifestyle coverage in the print magazine.
We have an aspirational luxury Ethos within the magazine and that's designed to serve our readers and expand a little bit beyond the core business readers into people that are interested in more lifestyle coverage, but what we do is we we translate that access in the inside of nature what we do in print to the website in a way.
What is more accessible to a broader audience so it sort of turns that access on its head were serving this ultra elite hyper informed audience in print and we utilise that access to appeal to anyone who is interested in entertainment and we just do it in a way that is more accessible and article and rewrite it in thin sections of Budweiser the axis.
Are we going for a prince story to create separate content for a website sometimes.
It's a straight or it's just the way that stories are presented.
You can do it in a headline.
You can do it in this play you can do it in photos in audio.
You can change up the way a story is presented and how to reach a broader audience online other ways.
We do it is some of the counting that we produce for an inside our audiences actually of interest to people in the real world.
We do one of our more.
Signature franchises is a roundtable series know they started with we've been doing this for almost 15 years now and we started with a very Insider refocus for people in the industry, but what we found is that anybody is interested in 6 actresses talking amongst themselves about their craft and what issues are they are of concern to them because you don't ever see that when people actors and actresses are doing interviews that usually promoting a movie.
They're talking specifically about that movie what they're doing a personal story without talking about their own personalised you very rarely see actresses in a group talking amongst themselves and asking each other questions and interacting in a way that feels as normal as that came with the camera there to be down the deck that kind of counting was really accessible to a wider audience and kind of built around that we know that there was intense interest in celebrity intense interest in.
Television projects companies like Netflix people that interested in how that sausages made and we have that expertise here to deliver it for a sophisticated Insider business audience but also for BN2 just care a lot about the media.
They consume you are right that because you are a trade industry magazine but on the other hand you're not just any old industry if this was a ceramics manufacturing industry magazine 01 you would have far fewer readers because like you say it's interesting do what you call in the real world hybrid trade lottery publication because imprint Ali reporter is a very elevated brand.
We do a lot of fashion and lifestyle coverage dining cars travel.
What are the things that people in the entertainment industry really care about but at the same time.
We're doing hard business stories in things that are or more analytical that you can get elsewhere that you need to get in a print bag.
Ian Taylor for a sophisticated audience and we are making the entire package look beautiful.
That's the goal and we photograph on most everything we do we have to pay as much attention to the visual as we due to the written word and the entire package create an elevated environment so we discussed that the print publication and and the website but you like we've expanded into kind of video television operations in the new live event business.
Could you tell us about those please when I think is new there is reporting more emphasis on elevating I live events to the same level as our printing digital offerings.
We are not there Delilah live events out there now, but we're trying to do it in a way that makes a difference for instance.
I give you an example.
We have a women in entertainment event a lot of Brands have women oriented events.
Jay the great day are they celebrate women Day present up-and-coming women in ways that help them get up eternity's very few these events go beyond talk.
It's a lot of people talking are women in entertainment event has become is a platform for mentorship program that we launched with big brothers big sisters of Los Angeles and we are raising money throughout the year for scholarships that the participants in this program.
Get they sign up the Big Brother's big sisters in Inner City schools around Los Angeles in their paired with industry women top-level executives who then form a relationship with these girls and help them through school and his relationship to last throughout High School and into college and then at this event we award scholarships to some of these girls they really help them so it moves an event like this beyond just talk and interaction and that's what I'm interested in.
Yes, because one of the things that that clearly doing is opening up networks cos like in any industry is often who you know isn't having this is a great way for people who don't know any wanted to get their first rung on the ladder in the industry so important in the entertainment industry.
Everyone always asks, how do I break into Hollywood how do I get that first job in so difficult and it's especially difficult if you come from a disadvantaged background where you're not at Liberty to take that internship for free and to work as some producers assistant for no money for 5 years.
You know love you.
Just can't do that and it was a way that people were self-selected out of Hollywood this program is selecting them in and giving them opportunities that will hopefully translate to a more inclusive and diverse community care about the television.
Yeah, we've had an interesting success story with a round tables which he adapted as a television show for the Sundays at work and that's been a great partnership.
It's a way for.
ASDA proof contend that serves all of our various outlets, we use them in prayer we use them in digital video for a website we now adapt them as a television show for the sun is networking ideas 15 episodes are in the year of the Round Tables and then we also we the second one of those are on Hulu so you can go on Hulu and search close up with the Hollywood reporter and your final round tables.
There are we moving to scripted this past year where we option one of our stories about a very famous figure in Los Angeles name Angeline who is famous for being famous.
She's on billboards.
Are we are now developing that with universal cable Productions and Emmy Rossum the star of Shameless who will hopefully play Angeline so really interested in adopting all of this amazing in the property.
They were created in our reporter into other things whether they're TV shows movies or Unscripted shows that we could do.
I'm at that's a big buckets for me.
It seems like the some incredibly exciting opportunities on the horizon.
I hope so yeah, just in time.
You know you read about doom and gloom scenarios for a lot of Legacy media Brands this is a brand it's been around about 90 years ago there isn't this is the definition of legacy Media we have been here and chugging away Arabella by the the internet has created a new opportunity for the formerly smallish trade publications and in particular the Hive reporter because we have done this hybrid of serving our core industry audience while also bringing out to serve a larger audience on the on the website and that's really been a nice formula for us and the important thing for me is to make sure the decor ideas is being served and it's been served through print and it's been served through our core business reporting we have a morning newsletter that were proud of cultivating payment which is a one stop.
Sharp if anyone cares about anything and everything when you get one email a day and I'll take you through everything I read it every day and it's a good it's great you.
Can you read every story that in there, but at least you know what's going on in Hollywood you are right to say that though that you guys have really embraced the opportunity that the internet is presented because of the traditional paradigm.
Isn't it of local newspapers needed national newspapers is one of been threatened by the internet it been taking taking readers owain at you know people not wanted to pay for advertising online and yet not buying the paper anymore.
We're not trying to be a mass market title in print and in a lot of the publications that it really been hurt is when they had a print magazine that was the entire model was based on 2 million subscribers, and I just don't think those publications have a strong future because there's not going to be many things other than maybe the New York Times and 3.
Your publications that are going to be able to stay in that number of Prince of scribers, but if you can reach a core subscriber group with a premium product that ultra serves what are interested in and you're not trying to subscribe to get the not a million subscribers.
Are you in 500000 subscribers if we're out between 3:29 anywhere between 70 and 100000 readers and print if you're in that sweet spot was large enough to get a robust advertising business and still serving a niche readership.
I think that is really the sweet spot for Amelia now in print and then that the internet is just as vast opportunity of reaching new audiences and if you have quality content the playing field has been completely leveled if we do a grade storytown we get as much attention as the New York Times does for that's great story because people want to find great content anywhere I can come from any outlet and we have a particular.
Expertise in this area no other outlet has as many journalist pursuing the Hollywood beat as we do and where are you able to Showcase that journalism on a mass Scale Online and it's it's a great equaliser, isn't it? Social media because you are right in my Apple news app will prioritise a story from you equally over the New York Times off from USA to Dave is about entertainment because it knows that I you know often read your articles social media often my colleagues working age is it will share articles from you guys and it because it's of Interest frankly it so that can have shareability.
It is very important and I don't want to 10 times a day, but my point is if we do a great story it can get that same kind of legs as a story New York Times where is 20 years ago when the trades going quote would do a good story no one would see it unless you subscribe to the trade and then maybe the New York Times would you that same story three days later and
So is that that entire world has changed and it's helped niche publications that do what they do very well and what's coming up on the radar of the next few years so guys.
I think everybody in Hollywood as obsessed with Netflix right.
I mean it's the 800-pound Gorilla now.
It's going from nothing to dominating the cultural landscape.
You know they're spending some estimates 13 billion dollars this year on contact and it's completely change the ecosystem insane amount of content.
I've got about 7 shows just queued up waiting to watch on Netflix is great some of it is stuff that you know I think even people in Netflix would agree is not great, but it's all there for a reason it's designed to they want to have one show for everybody so that everybody in the world cares about their Netflix show and many people care about multiple Netflix shows so any different category of of entertainment content.
They're going into Christmas movies they're going into that prestige dramas.
They want to win Emmys they get as many Emmy nominations this year more than hbr and they tied four winds they want to appeal to older women younger men african-american audiences Latino audiences.
They have shows that are designed for each different demo and the idea is to bring in the biggest possible tenth of subscribers account and since so much of the growth is going on overseas.
You're not seeing that global push for Netflix they want shows that can appeal worldwide going into different markets for shows that are specific to those markets in I watch narcos last night nurse is a show that plays very well for them across Spanish speaking countries, can I watch it here because it's your the narration is an English subtitles are fine and it's a great.
Shall I watch fauda day of the week which is an Israeli shown with them and they speak in Hebrew
And it's I I watch the dubbed version are cats on the subtitles, but again a fantastic show generated by Netflix and they have two more shows with the father guys coming out in on Netflix and I'll be watching as well.
Cos I'm a huge fan of those guys and you think Netflix is is going to succeed and another hole the phrase a rising tide lifts all boats or do you think that it will actually take business away from its competitors because at the end of the day.
You've only got one set of eyeballs you going to be watching one thing and if you're going to be watching a Netflix show might you then not be watching it was Westworld what side is absolutely taking viewers away from traditional television broadcasters because what you're seeing is the ratings have collapsed as particularly the cable networks but also the broadcast networks the audience is fragmented.
Just Netflix and Amazon is Hulu it's your DVR it's a video games at YouTube with everything that's taking out his eyeballs away from the traditional television network.
Do I sign on the consumer side? I do believe now on the talent side the side of the equation that makes the context we are in a bum time mean.
There is if you are an actor right now and you were not working.
It's probably because something is wrong with you.
I mean there are so many shows and there so many outlets producing original content that it is just a and that is one that flickers Rise it.
Is is raising or but because Netflix is paying premium dollar sign of these artists other networks in an attempt to compete with Netflix are having to pay premiums to keep their Talent or to develop new Talent and then all of the traditional Studios are trying to figure out there streaming strategy, so you're seeing the Walt Disney company launched its own streaming service and that trimming service needs content so they're producing a whole bunch of new shows to put on that service you're seeing Hulu another competitor really beef up and what they do.
Apple is now entering the original content business and they're trying to get original shows and paying a premium for Amazon all of these different outlets trying to win the Kineton game and the result has been extraordinary spending in the industry and a boom time-frequency call traditional networks like CBS at launching their online platform CBS all access has the Star Trek Discovery show on absolutely a strategic Move by CBS they had this Star Trek franchise in the library and they knew that there is a built-in audience of Star Trek fans that we'll watch a new Star Trek sure whether it is, so they use that as an anchor to get people to pay for a new streaming service from CDs which is a free over-the-air stations that are essentially there turning a free subscriber into a paid subscriber and that is a director consumer business.
That is not going through a cable system or
Or Another a distributor like a satellite service.
This is a director consumer relationship that CDs Now has with their viewers and they put the premium Star Trek show on that service but couldn't all of these providers benefit from a can of an abundance mentality like for example.
I'm from the UK and many years ago.
There was a a satellite format war BSB vs.
Sky at you can only pick one really where is now in Netflix's what's £7 a month in the UK 10 books here I can have CBS all access HBO GO Netflix I could subscribe to separate of these really in still not we had a pocket presume you're doing they are they are selecting what they care about and Tailoring there Media diet accordingly the real question I have is at what point will we see a wee bundling so to speak meaning the cable bundle was what everybody subscribed you for many years that are very expensive because you were essentially paying for a lot of channels.
You don't you didn't watch.
People started cutting the cord and subscribing to these over the top online services, but now it seems so many of those and the contents becoming so fragmented that I think we were headed towards a world where somebody is going to come up with the perfect bundle or different bundled pricing plans were you get Netflix HBO GO Hulu the ESPN streaming service the Disney streaming service offer a flat fee and that marketed correctly and you're going to say ok, maybe I'll subscribe to contend x company that provides all this to me anymore back in the cable bundle.
Just over the internet and you think traditional network said a dead or dying.
I don't know they're dying.
I think the economics of resetting annoying NPCs cbso going to go away but in 5 or 10 years, they will look different and where are you seeing that with the Fox Network the strategy for the Fox never going forward.
It's going to be a quote.
Focusing on Unscripted formats cheaper reality shows sports award shows live content things that are not scripted because they're essentially saying the future broadcast network is to not try to compete with Netflix and with the cable channels that are going into prestige.
They're gonna try to come up with things that people want to watch I want to broadcast network and that won't be DVR and that's sports award shows live events in a reality competitions things like that that are cheaper to produce and can produce a more a bigot Union the night of there and that's a big change from what we've seen over the past 25 years which is been a race to create shows scripted shows that can be hits.
I see that elsewhere at the Bright House networks and that's going to be a big change but I don't think go away is what your personal journey.
If you don't mind, I meet you started off as an attorney how on Earth did you end up director of the Hollywood reporter you had the been an editor McColls newspaper in I was always interested in medium, but I had a choice to make after college.
I decided between going to Law School becoming a journalist tonight with the last goal just because I didn't go out of school.
I probably would never go and I can always become a journalism.
I want to and I went to Law School Los Angeles because I want to practice in the air Ministry as an entertainment lawyer for 5 years.
I worked in a litigation firm that handled cases for Talent I did everything from filing lawsuits over United's of studios in profit participation to getting restraining orders for actresses in threatening media companies and things like that and then the hug reporter actually down me a colleague of mine from are schools that do not there looking to beef up their entity.
Lockeridge, are you interested in this and the more? I thought about it.
It seemed like a good transition job.
I thought at the time I figured I have to go to New York if I wanted to be a serious journalism, but I could get my phone in the door working for an entertainment publication covering what I know a lot journalism was actually pulling me back.
Was it where is who is looking for an hour but at some point I realised I didn't want to be a partner in a law firm that life to me Felt pretty boring but just there is less dynamic.
I knew I can a Monday the law firm you can kind of math out your week and you know exactly what's coming in Harrow portion your time and all of your time.
Is it for view the billing system and I found that boring and what I like about journalism is I wake up and I have no idea what my day is going to go.
I have a rough framework and I have asked.
Buy something can drop and blow up even today when I'm in charge and I can delegate a lot of stuff has something happens and it's it's changes your whole day and it's exciting and is those things going on in you know the next great story is just around the corner and this is such a dynamic industry the media and entertainment industry.
The personalities are interesting the issues a player interesting.
It's a culture Industries so it impacts everyone around the world is always been a fascination for me and how important is your personal relationship with a can of the big agents the big Studios the big actors have a balancing act to do with the holiday.
We want to do great journalism and interesting compelling stories, but we also wanted maintain relationships with the people in history.
Who are The Gatekeepers who are the kind of people who get us access to the the people we need to do great journalism, so it does involve a level of balancing and that's off.
My job comes in where I'm doing what we need to do to create compelling stories, but also making sure that everyone we write about we contact me know and they have an idea what we doing when I want to blindside anybody.
I don't want anyone to feel like they weren't heard you know they don't have to like every story we doing many times.
They don't in.
We've been threatened especially around the me too movement Baillieston know what we're doing and they feel like they can participated in a story of they choose not to that's their choice but I want them to a lease feel like we have extended an opportunity to participate in whatever we're doing will come to the meeting moment in a second but when you were dancing then it reminded me of a little bit of the political journalist where they have to hold the government and politicians to account access and they don't to be cut off because that's the sort of venues, so they have to have that delicate relationship where they let you know they have that journalistic distance and objectivity but also.
Make sure that you the answer your calls that is a balancing act, but I also think there's a third element to that's the product itself if you create a compelling product that people like and that people see value in participated in the stories you get a little bit more leeway in terms of the access to people to do good journalism.
Just the A4 magazine or a place where anybody comes to say whatever they want without being question we want to be able to do stories.
I can sometimes become adversarial because of the topics that works boring and I want the US after the freedom to do that and you get that freedom when you produce a product that is popular and has a good audience and people like and respect and that's to me the balancing act that I had to walk every day you mentioned the me too movement there just send tell us how it's changed into string it's completely.
And there is a pre Harvey Weinstein Hollywood any Post Harvey Weinstein Hollywood the Freedom that people feel to come forward with stories that they did not feel the freedom to come forward with before I think is completely different the willinghurst of Media outlets to report on these subjects is completely different your we tried do the Harvey Weinstein story here at the Hyde reporter few years ago with a whiteboard up.
We had names of women who worked at miramax in the Weinstein company.
We were calling around.
We talk to Rose McGowan nobody wanted to come forward on the record it took a watershed story like that in the New York Times and then the New Yorker to open the Floodgates and the Floodgates absolutely have open there is a feeling or within Hollywood that the culture has changed.
I don't know if it's 100% another still at work to do and they're still at her frustrations around town with people.
Explaining that there is still bad behaviour, but there is a different feeling about that behaviour that it that it is not acceptable and that it that is more likely is going to be exposed and has been exposed dozens of times and you think it was just become institutionalized over the Generations that this is what powerful predatory Mail produces.
Did is the exploited actors who was trying to start starting a courier to certain extent but a lot of people ask, how did you know? I didn't know they stop when I hear stories and you hear you know there is like a running job if you watch Entourage you know that there is a culture of abuse people are abusive men and women are abusive to people that are more junior to them in Alloa that sort of it was a joke, but there's sexual abuse.
I was not aware of the extent of the problem and it's really been eye-opening for me and it's really prompting me to listen a lot for someone.
My job, who is a white male and I have been listening a lot but two people internally and externally and I think you have to because you have to listen to the stories and the problem for so many years was that people didn't really listen.
It's incredible how days until recently sexual Predators have been able to hide in Plain Sight as well in and have such prolific offending and everyone that is thought that they were the only one or they thought they were one of a handful.
I know I mean for example in the UK where I'm from Jimmy Savile presented Jim'll Fix it and it was arguably the one of the world's most prolific paedophiles abusing 100 100 of children.
You know one of the most prolific in the world and yet, what did the BBC do they give him the Decades he presented the major children's TV show on network television many people attended the actually created that should just so they can get access to take two children.
It's Apple you look like now you think is there more livable.
Your people kind of knew that Harvey Weinstein with the bad guy and that he know would sleep around and things like that, but the the level of it.
I think was talking to a lot of people and the fact that can I just ask the Summers actress roundtable yesterday that the women were not talking to each other actresses were not talking to each other in a way that made people feel like they could come forward as a group and you know people did talk, but it took a particular moment and a particular story to get these women to come forward and once they did there was this safety in numbers and and more people came for we look at how many Harvey Weinstein accusers there are over 102 think that these women were all suffering in silence essentially it's horrifying and it seems to have reshaped.
Things like the bit the Hollywood reporter power 100 list already, but many people being removed Franklin entertainment and there were people that have been on for many years that I hate people like that Harvey Weinstein Les moonves price the head of Amazon John Lasseter the head of Disney animation Brett ratner the filmmaker and the list goes on and in many cases those people have been replaced by women and by people of colour and you know that is a sign of the times and then it's been a year sweeping change and if she does seem to be increasingly aware of it.
Not only in terms of preventing it from happening, but also their legal duty of care Netflix example on their cult she has a whistleblowing hotline now with so that you can report any concerns and you are there at the Increasingly more symptoms of sexually intimate scenes now.
There are people many more people on set to actually guard against any form of a
Yeah, that's a new thing.
I think that the studios are hypersensitive to this whether it's out of concern for their people or whether it's out of fear of being exposed.
I don't know probably both, but it doesn't he now doesn't really matter.
Why just not as they're doing it and that's a good thing.
I don't know I don't know that people would say that it's enough you have to be really busy Lizzies issues and when I when I talk to people about how much is changed there is a sense that there's a fear of backsliding that this will all blow over and out in 304 years.
It'll be back to what was normal I actually don't think that will be the case.
I think that these changes are so profound and the shocked the industry has been such a wake-up call that I do think the changes will be permanent but you never know I would it be overly dramatic to say that there's it's a permanent shifting gender power.
Is it worth? I don't know Hollywood is still a very Meldrew
Business it just is you know when I think that that is changing but it's not like you flip a switch and I'll be sending it so women in positions of power domineering that's just not the case.
It would seem more women directors greater diversity.
Ni hao in front and behind the camera women directors.
You know it's the numbers are not great still lent starting with a good position.
You are seeing women get more opportunities a lot of the movies in the Awards race are directed by women this year and you know you're seeing movies that toiled and didn't get made.
They have been male directors are now getting made Glenn Close talked about this on this interview.
I did yesterday were here film the wife was sitting around for 1415 years and finally got made because she believes there's been a change in those more receptivity to female fronted and female stories and I think that's true is Hollywood in good health creatively.
I'm having superhero Blockbuster seem to be crowding out but certainly from to my mind other more thoughtful smaller budget films quite apart from Glenn close's new movies.
I think the creativity level is really suffering because of the franchisor vacation and the disneyfication for lack of a better word of the box office at the box office is way up this year movies are doing well in theatres for all the talk of Netflix in the end of the movie Theatre box office is that but it's up because people are going in record.
Uber to the biggest movies so if you look at the biggest movies of the year it's black panther in Avengers its Mission Impossible it's been all these movies that are pre branded and come into the marketplace with a boil built-in following Halloween is another one you know the Grinch these movies that are already there already have plans before they even spend a dollar of marketing.
What is really getting left behind in movies are the smaller movies that once were able to break out and get to a real audience in these days.
If you don't have asked her attention.
It's really hard to break out as a smaller mid mid level drama and one of those movies are going to digital Netflix is in that business success this year with romantic comedies these movies Z1 fluid you know a younger audience to the theatre.
Not seen them on Netflix and you can argue whether that's a good thing or bad thing because there's movies are gay.
Made they just not going in theatres now on the television side is never been a more creatively third all-time in television ever before every single weekend.
There's something new to watch and you know you're seeing big stores like Julia Roberts and in a Reese Witherspoon and all of these huge stars doing television and not a new thing for the past five years.
He just did not see that before and creatively this shows a great if you look at the Emmys all the shows that were nominated for outstanding drama this past season probably would have won if they have been released 10 years ago and then are there are competing with each other to the boy with The Handmaid's Tale great show last this year is incredible because like you said you know even a decade ago and actor doing television would have been seen to be at a career backwards stepwise now.
It's not seem like that at all.
It's just and format it can be seen as a positive.
They can also produce their shell so they get to make more money.
They get to have more creative input.
They're not just an actor for hire if you look at that homecoming Julia Roberts new show for Amazon does an executive producer and shout Reese Witherspoon in big little lies.
She helped put that entire project together with Nicole Kidman and mothers and that's the real Power in that and it's a great creative endeavour for these actors to get to come in until this kind of story in a limited fashion.
It's not signing on the television show for 7 years.
I used to have to do you can come in and do want to see Michelle not get a huge audience make a lot of money Windsor Mary's and you might be able to tell me who I need to complain to about this is this is one of my pet hit with Hollywood films is I like my action films and one of the things that really annoying me is the sequel to become less and less violent and listeners true to their to the essence of the original because the you know if they can go from Ann Arbor
8918 certificate in the UK as it's called to a pg13 they get the teenage boys are watching it in the make my money.
So you look at say taken Liam Neeson really kicked ass in the first one by taken 3.
There was no blood no swearing and even when he raises his fist 2 on the Bad Guys you don't actually see him punch him clearly that's driven to increase the audience but this just seems to be a dilute of the Essence creative leave some of these action films true Movies designed to get the largest possible audience and you know as a studio hair if you Greenlight an R rated movie there is a computer model that shows you what the trajectory of the box offices for an r-rated film typically vs.
PG 13 but on the other side is and the comedy Fran I think you're seeing more people willing to experiment with the r-rated comedies.
Because people in my opinion.
I think people are looking for something as an excuse to go to the theatre and if something feels a little bit raunchy.
It feels a little bit more like an event how I can only see that the theatre to watch that one TV even that you can Netflix be out, but there's been a lot of success with these already common is the past 4 years I think that's the reason you get to go to the Oscars you lucky thing.
Do you think that there tomorrow? Is it not will ask about that the second but you have clearly been attempts of late by the Academy to make it more relevant.
How do you think it's going what you think? They need to do over Easter is the fact that the Oscars is so boring is a colossal failure in my opinion on the Academy's party mobile ring when you attend bristlenose 24 categories most of which the average person does not care about and they are presented with the exact same fanfare in the exact same time allotted to each one of them to the point.
Where is actor.
By the time they get the best picture and they're just running through it to get it done because they're already laid crazy to watch the edited highlights the day after the one-hour version 2 all this amazing Talent and there's just been this formula that they've adhered too and I don't understand there's somebody more fun things I could do other than than present 24-hour wards in Shorncliffe montages.
Why they're so resistant to change them because of the the governing body of the Academy represents all the different branches of the Academy and they've been unwilling to move away from that and I haven't had to because until the past 304 years the ratings have been fine but over the past few years the ratings of going to a crisis point where ABC the network that airs the show in the in the US has essentially said to him guys.
You gotta do something here.
This is a show that airs on our network and it's bad and nobody's.
So that's partly from the other part of the problem.
Is that the Academy increasingly has been nominated films that fewer people are saying you know you don't see as many of the Titanic or even the like a gladiator style movies that win best picture anymore.
It's smaller films.
It's films in niche audiences a three billboards, which I watch the good films and dad film when I was going to be the hardest when that one but I don't like Long Island City say that im in a 5 million hours, but it was up against moonlight witch Maiden nothing so I was the winner of best picture where the infamous infamous envelope gay.
There was a crazy night, but but because he Academy nominated such an itch films.
There is lots of incentive for people.
To name because they don't feel like they have a horse in the race to listen to you, then I mean in terms of you've been vocal about the changes that are necessary to do with popular ask her which was a complete tobacco.
Cos they didn't really articulate what that meant they just said over going to have a new category.
There's somebody best picture and then there's going to be the popular Oscar and everyone kind of SE28 II isn't best picture of the popular Oscar it supposed to be the best movie what is popular means that mean not good not good movie like there is no clearly they finally abandoned it.
They eliminate some of the categories from the show which I think is a Smart Move I don't know that you have to know banish them completely adding with the going to do it just announce who won and not had the Fall fanfare and acceptance speeches for every category.
That's the Smart Move but I'll but we'll see what they actually replace it with because if they just make the short the show shorter and you're actually do anything to make him more entertaining that doesn't really give people an added layer tutu name I'm hoping.
Use the opportunity to do something fun and unique and creative with the time that they save and you know that there was the Oscars so white controversy there's obviously criticism in in terms of gender.
No, no there isn't a best female director and a best male director.
Why is it like that practices and what used to be called actresses? Is it worth? Do you think the economy is going to listen to this month things like that the diversity front the membership of the Academy has dramatically changed over the past 3 years.
They're invited in a wildly more diverse group of people and way more people than they typically do I need unless explicitly to diversify the group it was overwhelmingly older white men and it had been that way since the dawn of the Academy so by expanding the ranks of the Academy and inviting in more boring diverse and female members.
They have succeeded in diversifying a little bit they release the numbers but still there.
Great, but they have diversified someone and not a direct Response to the Oscars so white controversy consider yourself to have competition that I mean like a competitive with writing for example business, then I have lots of friends that used to work here so I I I like them but these days were competing with a lot of different outlets that you might not even expect we on the news from we compete with daily national newspaper as we compete with every job well with a Blog who is Renee running casting news we compete with an email international outlets that are reading stories on on the world that we cover everybody cares about entertainment so most doubtless have an entertainment and they're all trying to have unique stories on the magazine front we computer light.
The the monthly magazines for covers in a we want the first cover with Angelina Jolie for her new movie will be competing with a Vanity Fair or a logo women's magazine for that.
We really try to enforce an exclusivity window on when we do cover stories like that you know for fan news we compete with and him a weekly and those types of Alice in her morphine oriented but but the format that we have allows us to compete in a lot of different sand boxes without fully categorise ourselves.
I'd like to think the wee wee our own category of kind of hybrid trade in business and lifestyle publication and that that the goal of that is to to be able to compute on multiple fronts.
What's on your to-do list at the moment.
Tell me not in terms of like today and tomorrow and you not get the bread and cereal at like in terms of the medium-term.
Where do you want to take the
The Brandon and the type and the website futurism everybody is now inviting a audio system into their home whether it's it's Google or Alexa or one of those and I think there's going to be a real demand for authoritative information delivered the other sources and we can be a player in that I'd like to do that.
We are I'm excited about our brand in the television space weather is the stuff I described that scripted or creating different versions of what we do for television.
I am excited about the live event space.
I'm excited about different platforms in digital for expanding our journalism whether it's Apple or whether it's different delivery mechanisms for phones or four.
And I just think that they're brand like this in a in a connected world has a lot of growth opportunity because we're not a localised niche brand anymore.
We can be a global brand since you joined.
What is what are the stories of the initiatives that you've been involved in that you've enjoyed the most of many most proud.
I'm a program.
That's making a real societal difference when we have we have plans to grow that as well.
Hopefully will reveal certain things I'm proud.
I'm proud of the growth of our roundtable franchise the great move into the newsletter space as I mentioned would I be doing more of that were expanding our style vertical to do more in the style space for the newsletter end in o?
Overseas opportunities are great for us to creating more not localise content be counting that's more relevant to different different territories around the world end in leveraging the strengths of the brand to expand more into those territories.
What makes a good Hollywood reporter story story that is rooted in the world of entertainment but touches on issues that are important to everybody and I'll give you a good example one of them one of my favourite colour.
Is that we have done and my 10 year was the first sit down with Billy Bush after the Donald Trump access Hollywood grab them by the pussy and all of us and it was of Interest because he's up a figure from our world, but that was an international story because everybody cared.
Why Billy Bush said what he did didn't.
Push back on the president what you've been up to and it had a lot of business implications for the industry to because everyone is trying to figure out how how do you know act Media wise and the Donald Trump universe so that was a win for us because it was a story that was rooted in our world, but applied everybody there is a bunch of different examples are covered this week is the first look at the Dick Cheney movie vice and that's a story that is again rude in the world of entertainment but anybody who cares about global Politics of the last 20 years is going to care about this movie and it's going to care about how the director of The Big Short takes on Dick Cheney so that that's it.
That's the kind of story.
I'm looking for that is something people will share and we'll talk about but also has credibility within the industry, so do you get excited as editor when you know stories on was going to be bigger than your industry?
Yeah, I think you want to travel and you want them into to make noise do they speak but I'm equally excited about something that hits that target of an industry story in a way that im that I know make an impact.
You know when I hear people talking about things within the industry and as you know we did Astoria couples to go back out Talent agencies are moving more into ownership of shares very controversial within the industry and we got lot of people talking about that issue.
That's not a story that the world cares about everyone is within Hollywood care very much about that story and those stories are great too and it could be a great holiday Porter story in a week.
We broke the news of the present of ESPN step down last year and everyone wondered why he stepped down and we're able to get a sit-down interview with him where he revealed that he was being blackmailed by a drug dealer.
That's a pretty crazy story an executive some people in the real world.
You know outside of the industry may not care that much about it, but the head of us being said he stepped down from his job because he was being blackmailed by his drug dealer speak that's a wild story like who would have ever thought that I'm so sorry that Dad to get me excited.
They are the kind of story that we can do because we have that savvy expertise and the access to those newsmakers, what advice would you give to someone who listening to this wants to be the next editorial director of the Hollywood reporters also sit in your chair a ticket for an hourglass colour and Nautica its first and foremost takes an obsessive personality you have to really care about it.
Cos you kept that you are there are generalists or good journalism and savvy Media people that can go anywhere be successful.
I think to be in this world.
You have to care about it and you have to process over the world and and
Find it fascinating and I definitely have ever since I was a kid.
I was always interested in the stuff.
So I think that beat you just have to immerse yourself in that it's been a hugely enjoyable to podcast in association with big things Media
Lots more recommendations to read at Trends - ukfree.tv.
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