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Posts Tagged ‘Leslie Iwerks’

Hearst Documentary Highlights Life, Legacy of California’s Greatest Media Baron

This weekend, the “H” in William H. Macy will stand for not just “Hall” but also “Hearst.” That’s because the Oscar-nominated actor does a very capable job as narrator of the feature documentary Citizen Hearst, opening Thursday at Laemmle movie theaters in Beverly Hills (Music Hall), Pasadena (Playhouse 7), Encino (Town Center) and Claremont (Claremont 5).

After highlighting the life exploits of William Randolph Hearst, the movie really hits its stride once it gets to the post-World War II era and success of magazines like Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan. It’s fun to hear interview subjects recall how Helen Gurley Brown‘s stewardship hit town “like a thunder clap.” Here for example is a recollection in the film from Kate White, Cosmo editor-in-chief from 1998 to 2012:

“Helen’s first cover is still an inspiration to me, it’s so sexy. The woman, a blonde, buxom. The little hint of Brigitte Bardot… One of my favorite all-time [first cover] lines is, ‘THE NEW PILL THAT PROMISES TO MAKE WOMEN MORE RESPONSIVE.’”

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‘Citizen Hearst’: An Inside Look at the Hearst Media Empire

Ahead of its premiere at two New York City theaters next week, FishbowlNY attended a screening of Citizen Hearst Monday at the SoHo House. The documentary, directed by Academy Award nominee Leslie Iwerks and narrated by William H. Macy, celebrates the 125th anniversary of the company, interviewing current and former executives for an inside look at the company.

The documentary traces William Randolph Hearst‘s career trajectory from college-dropout publisher of the San Francisco Examiner to the founder of a media empire that boasts 51 newspapers, 300 magazines and 29 television stations. In an interview for the documentary, Dan Rather calls Hearst a “reformist journalist” who just “wanted to make a difference.”

Citizen Hearst features interviews with editors of some of the company’s top magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Town & Country and Esquire. Several generations of Hearsts were interviewed, along with several major media personalities including Oprah Winfrey, Bob Iger, Leonard Maltin and Heidi Klum. The film also investigates how major events like the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have impacted the company.

The documentary will be shown at two NYC locations — the Chelsea Theatre and the 1st & 62nd Theatre — on March 14.

Citizen Hearst also featured an interview with the architect of the Hearst Tower in Manhattan, which MediabistroTV got a tour of last year. Watch it after the jump. Read more

Hearst Documentary Screens in San Francisco

Following a splashy private screening at Hearst headquarters in New York City and a public world premiere earlier this month at the Hamptons International Film Festival, feature documentary Citizen Hearst has come home to roost. Commissioned by Hearst and narrated by actor William H. Macy, the film will debut in San Francisco tonight at a Legion of Honor event sponsored by the Chronicle.

The movie was co-produced and directed by Leslie Iwerks, who previously took a look at another west coast media giant in The Pixar Story. The parade of on-screen interviews includes Oprah Winfrey, Dan Rather, Mark Burnett, Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger and a number of William Randolph Hearst descendants.

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Hearst Turns 125

Hearst has a reason to celebrate. This week marks the media company’s 125th birthday.

It grew from a single San Francisco newspaper acquired by William Randolph Hearst in 1887 to a New York-based global operation with more than 20,000 employees.

Here are a few highlights from its history:

  • Good Housekeeping Research Institute
  • Launch of Cosmopolitan
  • Connecting viewers of WBAL in Baltimore to color TV in 1952
  • Launch of Motor
  • Invested in Pandora
  • Recent acquisition of 100 magazines (including ELLE) from Lagardère
  • Expansion into healthcare industry companies with the likes of First DataBank

CEO Frank A. Bennack, Jr. wrote a note looking back at Hearst’s history, fifty years of which he’s been a part of. Here are some excerpts:

In this very special year, there can be no more perfect connection between legacy and the future: Our revenue will be nearly equally split between print and electronic media, and digital revenue will approach the company’s total revenue in our centennial year, 1987.

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