Variety is tangled a fierce battle for scoops with Nikki Finke, The Wrap and other entertainment blogs. wrangling Hollywood studio publicists and talent agencies
According to Patrick Goldstein at the Los Angeles Times, sources at a number of different studios say Variety editor Tim grey and reporters are telling publicity executives that they will pull big casting scoops from their print editions if they break news to their online competition first.
From Goldstein: When I spoke to grey, he acknowledged the new policy, saying: “We simply said that if you give any of these show business websites the story first, then we’ll put the story on the Web — for the record — but we won’t put it in the print edition.”
As for studio PR people, they seem to shrug at getting involved in the scoop fight.
“It’s a terribly analogue way of thinking in a digital world,” said one studio PR chief. “It’s just a totally unrealistic response, since if we’ve learned anything about the flow of information these days, it’s that it gets out in all sorts of uncontrollable ways. The minute we have a meeting or make a decision, it’s up on someone’s blog. We’re not the announcer anymore. We’re the responder to what someone’s already written. All we can do most of the time is damage control.”
Ha, don’t we know it.
Variety’s tactics simply don’t make sense. The paper needs to stay on good terms with studios, which pay for pricey ads in their pages. If Variety is trying to emerge under sinking ad dollars, not to mention recent PR disasters, this certainly isn’t the right move.
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