In a surprising (and risky) move, The Hollywood Reporter has hired fired Fox News columnist Roger Friedman.
Friedman, if you remember, was axed from News Corp after he reviewed the pirated copy of Fox’s Wolverine and praised the ease of downloading movies from Bit Torrent sites. He’ll continue his ShowBiz411 blog for THR.com and contribute news stories to the trade as a senior correspondent. The publication’s report also says he’ll play “a key role” in its coverage of the Oscars, the Emmys, the Tonys and the Grammys.
It remains to be seen exactly what that role is, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Friedman serves more as an editorial columnist than a reporter. He’s already alienated 20th Century Fox and by incorporating him too much into their staff, THR risks losing some of its access to the studio. It would be best if THR lets him do his own thing somewhat independent from the paper.
Fox needs THR so it won’t completely stop dealing with the paper. But hiring Friedman could damage THR’s relationship with the studio. The trade publication also risks suggesting that it’s ok with Friedman’s endorsement of piracy. Who knows how this controversial staffing choice will play with the rest of the major studios?
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