How the blogs beat The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter, part E5 Global Media, is to cease daily publication and become a weekly magazine as disappearing advertisers and loss of status in an industry that is dominated by entertainment blogs takes its toll on the once mighty trade press.

The daily paper will turn into a glossy magazine more akin to its stablemates Billboard and Adweek.

According to the New York Times, The Reporter will have a “an aggressive and redesigned web operation” built around breaking news. There will also be  a daily digital edition in a PDF format, distributed to subscribers.

PDF? Wow does that strike anyone as old skool and underscoring the fact that even as editors and publishers take this radical step it is all a little late? Where’s the iPad app?

Richard Beckman, chief executive of e5 Global Media,   told the NY Times: “It’s our negligence — the way we’ve served up our content over the last couple of years has allowed some really poor competitors to emerge. But we are going to rectify that starting right now.”

The changes at The Hollywood Reporter have also hit bigger rival Variety in the same way although it has been behind a paywall for years.  Both have cut dozens of staff members.

Both trade publications struggle against online sites such as Deadline.com, The Wrap and indieWIRE as well as coverage from The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times whose reporters and blogs break what used to be trade news. Traditional B2B publishers have been very poor in competing with blogs as publishers are rooted in a mindset that sees them attempt to protect print publications.

But as the Hollywood Reporter’s fate shows (not to mention endless other B2B titles) by the time they realise they need to act it is often too late.

However, in its favour The Hollywood reporter has stronger online traffic than its rivals. It also has a lucrative news distribution deal with Reuters.

In August its site THR.com saw more than 1.9m unique visitors, according to comScore’s Media Metrix. This compares to 1.2 million for Deadline Hollywood and 450,000 for Variety.