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.
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.
In an attempt to decipher this flurry of Web traffic information, FishbowlNY spoke with both camps. Via telephone, Finke reminded that Deadline does not do any celebrity coverage and that if all PMC brands (TVLine, HollywoodLife, ENTTV, Variety, etc.) were grouped together, the resulting monthly Web stats would easily exceed THR totals.
Finke explained that her boss Jay Penske, during a phone conversation, said it was entirely up to her whether she chose to share the PMC THR articles list. She also pointed out that there are two different online versions of THR: the content linked at hollywoodreporter.com and a much larger stream that lies beyond that home page, encompassing slide shows and more sensational celebrity items.
Finke’s PMC list is certainly a reminder that under Janice Min, THR has veered far and wide from its former trade purview. But Min would probably be the first to admit that hers is now for all intents and purposes a consumer publication.
We asked Finke to explain the fact that there is ZERO overlap between PMC’s list and THR‘s top 20. “Their response, as usual, is bullshit,” she insisted.
A rep for THR said the data above was culled from Google Analytics (they also use Chartbeat and comScore). ”All of our top search terms are entertainment-focused,” the rep added. “No Kardashians to be found.” (That crack is in reference to the strange, customized logo Finke dropped into her Deadline post.)
Finally, as we waited this afternoon and evening for comments from Penske that turned out to be off-the-record, the following tweets and BuzzFeed article happened. File under “Never a Dull Moment:”