Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #310: Miscellaneous Money, Media, Movie, & Mourning Related Musings...


Groundbreaking Hollywood business blogger Nikki Finke has sold her site Deadline Hollywood Daily to the Mail.com internet empire.

DHD will reportedly add a New York correspondent, and add a few new features to her site.

I wish her luck. I don't think she "sold out" in the proverbial and pejorative sense. She was basically a one woman show, and the demands of running such a popular site would overwhelm anyone, and would probably eventually effect the quality of the work she does.

That's not saying that there aren't any potential pitfalls, and I hope that Mail.com fully understands what they're getting into.

DHD was founded on a reputation of being the site that bucks the big-media friendly sites who basically just regurgitated press releases under the guise of investigative journalism. DHD got inside dope and put it up, whether the big media companies wanted it up there or not, especially if it was "or not."

That means any attempt to fiddle with the site and its standard of muckraking, would have the immediate effect of driving away first the sources who give the site its precious info, and then the audience that made the site so popular.

My advice to Mail.com, don't screw it up.


I got this question from a reader:
Tony said...
Following your analogy, if Paramount's pending re-rescue is indeed a remake of Gulf + Western's 1966 takeover, how successful it is will depend on if the buyer "gets" what made the source material work, and can get something fresh out of it; if not, just as most current remakes flop, this new Paramount may, if not fold, be as moribund as MGM (even having another studio own its (Second) Golden Age films, as Universal now owns Paramount's First Golden Age features)

That is pretty accurate that anyone who takes over Paramount must truly "get" what made the source material (the company) successful, and putting a fresh spin on it.

Interestingly, what made Paramount successful was pretty much the opposite of what Paramount does now. You see during its first golden age (1920s-1950s) the company was known for hiring top producing, directing, and writing talent at their creative and commercial peak, and then not meddling with them like most studios, simply because if the powers that be didn't trust their judgment, they wouldn't have signed them to Paramount in the first place. Which is why Paramount had such heavy hitters as Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, and others on their roster at various times.

The second revival of the 1960s-1970s was brought on by marrying young film-making talent, with direct high-concept projects that won both commercial and critical success, like
The Godfather (Francis Coppola) and Chinatown (Roman Polanski).

Nowadays they have to figure out a way to bring in top new talent, quality material, and make it in the most cost-effective way possible. Because if they don't, they just might end up like MGM, which is basically a library whose profits get swallowed up to pay corporate debt.


Ed McMahon who was best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick on the Tonight Show, and probably one of the best pitchmen in TV history passed away at the age of 86. I'd rather not remember the last couple of years of his life, plagued by poor health, and bad finances, and think back to the laughs. Like this moment of TV history...

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