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Posts Tagged ‘Variety’

Variety EIC: ‘Paywall Did Nothing But Severely Limit Our Audience’

At the recent 63rd annual MAGGIE Awards, where Variety won three awards including Most Improved Publication/Trade & Consumer, the 109-year-old outlet’s digital editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein delivered an afternoon keynote about changes in the PMC era.

Although much of what Wallenstein had to say is common knowledge at this point, it’s still rare in the Hollywood trades world to have the opportunity to hear a key editorial team member speak so frankly and in detail about the inner workings of the operation. Wallenstein joked at one point that he does not recommend doing a full website revamp in three months; he said website traffic has increased, since the elimination of the paywall, by 400%; and noted that the company’s new offices in west LA were set up for “year-round video production.”

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Esquire Names Fashion Manager, Variety Adds Film and Media Reporter

A couple moves to note this morning, involving Esquire and Variety. Details are below.

  • Esquire has promoted John Wattiker to international fashion manager. He most recently served as account manager of beauty, grooming and financial services. Wattiker has been with Hearst since April of last year.
  • Brent Lang is joining Variety as a film and media reporter, based in New York. Lang comes to Variety from TheWrap, where he had been for the past four years.

A Questionable Robert De Niro-Tribeca Headline

In bold, headline form, the word “admits” usually infers that someone has: A) Previously denied something, or; B) Been prone to dodging the topic altogether. In the case of today’s Ramin Setoodeh Variety Q&A with Tribeca Film Festival head honchos Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, there is no such prior context.

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Are you click-baitin’ to me? De Niro told the reporter that he is “trying to see them [the movies] now” and that it is difficult for him to find the time. Especially, one assumes, in a young year that included the demands of finalizing a deal to sell 50% of the festival’s parent to MSG.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Paramount Denial Leads to Immaculate Re-Conception of Variety Headline

ShutterstockRussellCroweHWoF_FeaturedIt’s one of the oldest tricks in the digital journalism playbook. Adjust the headline without letting readers know that such an adjustment has been made.

At press time, there is no Editor’s Note or Correction to indicate that a March 17 item by Variety New York film editor Ramin Setoodeh was originally headlined “Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe (EXCLUSIVE).” From a related report in The Hollywood Reporter:

Although Crowe had hoped to meet Pope Francis at the Pontiff’s weekly gathering in St. Peter’s Square, Paramount Pictures is denying a report that the Vatican canceled a planned meeting.

“A meeting was never scheduled,” a Paramount spokesman said. A story posted today by Variety ran under the headline: “Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe.” The original headline did not include the word “Tentative,” which was added after the studio objected.

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The Rocky Musical Reviews Are In

RockyMusicalPosterThe cleverest headline following last night’s Broadway musical debut sits atop the review by NBC New York’s Robert Kahn. It reads: “Knockout Second Act Helps ‘Rocky’ Come Back.”

Like many of his colleagues, including Variety‘s Marilyn Stasio and the Washington Post‘s Peter Marks, Kahn was blown away by the staging of the show’s climax:

The electric final 15 minutes of the new musical based on Sylvester Stallone’s small-town Philly boxer are likely to inspire a heavy outpouring of adjectives: Game-changing. Jaw-dropping. Astounding. All are fair…

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Cover Battle: Sports Illustrated or Variety

Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round features Sports Illustrated versus Variety. For its latest cover, SI went retro. As we noted yesterday, the image was inspired by a 1977 SI cover featuring Larry Bird. Other 1977 things we’d like to see resurrected? Gold lamé jackets.

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Meet the NYC Journalist with a Byline That’s Hard to Beat

In Variety slanguage,” the term “legit” refers to professional live theater. However, given the questionable credentials of many of today’s entertainment journalists, Gordon Cox‘s byline – each time we see it at least – conjures up a second, comical meaning.

GordonCoxBylineCox’s latest item is about the delayed search for New York City’s next film czar. And right there, at the top of the page, it says once again that the article is by ‘Gordon Cox, Legit Editor.’

Imagine the possibilities if the Cox-slanguage byline was carried through to other non-theatrical online realms. All of a sudden, we could be browsing through articles by John Doe, Semi-Legit Blogger and Jane Doe, Anything-But-Legit Gossip Columnist.

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Josh Dickey Ankles TheWrap for Mashable Entertainment Vertical

Josh Dickey will no longer have to wait a week or more to make a Mashable imprint. The LA-based journalist, who has jumped in the past year from Variety (film editor) to TMZ (managing editor) to a second stint with TheWrap (managing editor), is on the move again – this time to Mashable to head up the site’s new entertainment vertical.

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Dickey’s official title is entertainment editor. He will remain based in Los Angeles and starts a little later this month. From this afternoon’s announcement:

“The entertainment world is a great story right now as technology both disrupts the business and creates new opportunities, and there is no better person to lead the Mashable’s exploration of these transformations than Josh Dickey,” said Jim Roberts, chief content officer and executive editor of Mashable. “Josh has been on the frontline of Hollywood’s digital transformation, and his perspective and talent will be a great addition to Mashable as we go heavy into Entertainment.”

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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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