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Scintillating TheWrap Stats Also Remind: comScore Counts It Differently [Updated]

On January 26, TheWrap will celebrate its fifth anniversary. And when staff gather at the outlet’s west Los Angeles offices for that purpose, there will be extra cause for whooping and hollering.

TheWrapLogoLast month, guided in large part by the astute Web traffic wisdom and knowledge of executive editor Joseph Kapsch, TheWrap lapped rivals Deadline and Variety by a very impressive comScore margin. TheWrap welcomed a little over 3.4 million unique visitors (its highest monthly total yet), compared to around 2.6 million for Variety and Deadline.

There is, per usual and as mentioned in TheWrap item, a wide discrepancy between comScore’s December 2013 numbers and those tabulated by Google Analytics and Quantcast. Which begs the answer to the question – how can the latter two services measure so many more unique visitors for TheWrap (around seven million)?

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New York Magazine Charts Finke-Penske Ups, Downs

BenjaminWallacePicAmong the many fascinating revelations in the New York magazine feature by Benjamin Wallace (pictured) about the evolution of Nikki Finke‘s relationship with Jay Penske is the way she helped her PMC boss drive down the acquisition price of Variety, the property that would eventually prove to be their Deadline Hollywood undoing:

Finke says she advised Penske on how to game the bidding by telling friendly reporters the other bidders were overpaying for it, in order to scare them off. Soon after a Los Angeles Times article to this effect was published, Ron Burkle dropped out.

[Editor's note: Burkle reportedly walked away after his substantially lower offer than Penske's eventual purchase price was rejected.]

Adding to the noteworthiness of this particular New York magazine passage is the fact that the LAT article in question appears to have been written by none other than Patrick Goldstein, author of a Los Angeles magazine profile of Finke and co. that went online last Thursday. In the portion of the Los Angeles magazine article where Goldstein discloses his personal relationships with trade players, he begins the summary of his Nikki dealings with, ‘Finke and I have been friendly for years.’ Apparently so.

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Where Did All Those @Variety Twitter Followers Come From?

That’s a question that caught the attention of Hollywood trade watchers late Friday thanks to Ben Dreyfuss, engagement editor for Mother Jones. He noticed and shared that in late September, the follower count for Jay Penske‘s publishing concern had a “boffo” day.

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What may shock you even more is how cheap something like this is to pull off. Check out for example the prices from this instant-popularity purveyor; they suggest Variety‘s early fall surge could have cost as little as $500.

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Janice Min Takes THR Branding to Whole New LAX Level

We have so many questions…

The Hollywood Reporter store at Tom Bradley International Terminal in LAX.

Will Nikki Finke, on her way back from Hawaii, take a short detour to LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal and shoplift her favorite candy bar? Will some items on the shelf be promoted with a notice that reads “For Your Consideration”? Are they planning to carry those $5.99 mini-Oscar statuettes stocked by every Tom, Dick and Hollywood Blvd. souvenir-shop Harriet?

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The Nikki Finke-PMC Era is Officially Over

DeadlineHollywoodlogoIn a co-bylined post that few would have thought possible just a few months ago, Nikki Finke’s film and TV workhorses Mike Fleming Jr. and Nellie Andreeva announced at 9:26 p.m. ET tonight that their days of reporting to the volatile Finke are over:

Despite attempts by all to have it go otherwise, Nikki Finke will no longer be leading Deadline Hollywood, and she will not be writing weekend box office or filing stories going forward. This is an emotional and painful parting of the ways for us…

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Variety Recommits to Film Criticism

Not too long ago, Hollywood pundits were interpreting the hiring of New York-based Scott Foundas by Variety as a major sleight to the publication’s two other film critics, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge. Time to reverse that punditry.

Variety Studio At Chivas House - Day 1 - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Per an announcement in the trade today, Chang and Debruge have been raised to Foundas’ “chief” tier. Fellow chief film critic Chang will remain based in Los Angeles while chief international film critic Debruge will work from a Paris base:

“We are aggressively stepping up our efforts in film criticism, which has been a hallmark of Variety for many decades,” said Jay Penske, chief executive officer of parent Penske Media Corporation. “We will continue to be the dominant force in this significant arena as we expand our voice in every key territory overseas.”

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Twenty-Four Nikki Finke Hours That Shook the (Hollywood) World

In July 2009, after closing a deal to sell her Hollywood news website to Jay Penske‘s Mail.com Media Corp, Nikki Finke told LA Times reporter James Rainey that “she sometimes wished she didn’t have to sleep, so she could work 24 hours a day.” What a difference four years and a parent-company sideline purchase can make.

Finke told Defamer’s Beejoli Shah Thursday that she has “been inundated with administrative duties” and that Penske is forcing her to work “seven days a week.” She then added the coup-de-hyperbole-grace: “Penske somehow thinks he owns me like I’m his slave.”

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A Tale of Two Lists: PMC vs. The Hollywood Reporter

This morning at 2:50 a.m. PT, Nikki Finke leveled a bunch of Miley Cyrus-like accusations at The Hollywood Reporter. Relying on data compiled by parent company PMC, she claimed that the bulkhead of THR‘s latest monthly uniques and page views connects to the Hollywood trade world’s equivalent of twerking at the VMAs.

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There’s only one problem. Her top-viewed September/October THR articles list (above) is completely different from the one shared in response by The Hollywood Reporter (see below). For example, Justin Bieber appears at both ends, but on the PMC list it’s articles about plastic surgery and the song “Believe” while THR lists a Batman vs. Superman-related post.

So who’s right? The logical assumption is that THR has a better handle on its own Web stats. But we also figured that PMC must be pretty sure about its methodology to tell Finke it was OK to publish this internal data.

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Janice Min Heralds 12.327 Million Monthly Uniques, Eight Promotions and Six New Hires

The memo today from editorial director Janice Min starts with the news that August was The Hollywood Reporter‘s biggest Web traffic month yet. A total of 12.327 million unique visitors came to the site per comScore, putting the publication fourth in its category behind IMDb, EW and TV Guide.

From there, it’s on to the news of THR‘s latest wave of promotions and hires:

Kimberly Nordyke has been promoted to Deputy Editor, THR.com. In her new role beginning today, Kimberly will oversee our news operation in the morning hours, working with our New York and foreign reporters, as well as doing longer-term planning for the site and and the digital rollout of major print projects and packages. Kimberly, who most recently was senior editor, has been with The Hollywood Reporter since 2000. She joined the staff of the magazine as a copy editor before segueing into the position of TV reporter. She writes a mean headline without ever losing her cool, knows the industry inside-out, and I am thrilled she is bringing her 360-degree expertise to daytime.

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Variety Drops F-Bomb on Twitter

The first Wednesday tweet designed to promote editor-in-chief: digital Andrew Wallenstein‘s look at the forces behind some recent Hollywood studio exec shuffles was routine:

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But then… Who knows. Maybe the individual manning the trade’s Twitter account became frustrated at the lack of clicks. Or was ordered to get more eyeballs onto Wallenstein’s piece. Or there were drinks involved. Because five hours later, in the spirit of Nikki “I Should Be Running Variety” Finke, there was this:

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