Nobody beats The Hollywood Reporter when it comes to covering the politics of Hollywood, from the Oscars to the Emmys to the jockeying for the executive suite. But this year, THR threw its hat into the ring as an authoritative voice on real-world politics as well, with contributing editor Tina Daunt and West Coast business editor Paul Bond leading the charge. Daunt spells out what Tuesday's results signify for Hollywood.
Bond, a 13-year veteran of THR, often breaks the million-uniques mark on THR.com with exclusive stories like his Sarah Palin interview and coverage of the conservative 2016: Obama's America, the biggest political documentary of all time behind Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Industry conservatives pass around his piece on Hollywood's underground Republicans at political events to reassure themselves they're not alone. Bond also reported on THR's poll that found that 52 percent of Republicans avoid movies because of the political views of stars such as Matt Damon and George Clooney.
Speaking of whom, when Clooney hosted the biggest presidential fund-raiser in U.S. history -- a dinner for 150 Obama fans at his home -- Daunt had the exclusive scoop in THR. Throughout the frantic campaign, Daunt kept readers on the inside track with breaking news and savvy analysis. As Romney closed the gap on Obama (with help from pals like Jon Voight), Daunt showed how Jeffrey Katzenberg crucially rallied Hollywood liberals, joining Steven Spielberg and others to fund the super PAC that had a huge impact on the race. Besides chronicling the industry's influence on the election, Daunt gave readers the lowdown on how the candidates would influence its bottom line -- such as the seven specific ways Romney would change Hollywood and the causes the town cares about most. (Hint: Gay marriage and on-air wardrobe malfunctions would be out, but his policies on taxes and piracy would bring a few smiles even to Democratic faces.)
As we go to press, it looks like the smiles will be mostly in the Obama camp, while Romney strives to believe it was an honor just to be nominated. But neither man will know what the election means to Hollywood until he reads about it in THR.
Editorial Director, The Hollywood Reporter
Happy 2nd Birthday to THR
Half of a presidential term. Twice the life span of Fox's Terra Nova. In the real world, two years can go by in the blink of an eye, but when you're covering the people, business and style of entertainment -- as The Hollywood Reporter has been for a steady 104 weeks and counting since its relaunch -- it's almost daunting to take stock of everything that has transpired. Our inaugural weekly issue debuted Nov. 4, 2010 (admit it -- you were skeptical at first!) and ushered in our awards coverage with a roundtable of Oscar-ready actresses: Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Annette Bening, Hilary Swank, Helena Bonham Carter and the eventual winner, Natalie Portman.
Like pets or children or Jonas brothers, it's hard to pick favorite issues, but here are a handful that stand out as particularly exemplary of the new THR and demonstrate the access, breadth and journalism experience our staff wields. The Legends Issue (Dec. 20, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011) brought together a host of Hollywood royalty, like cover subjects Halle Berry and Sidney Poitier -- the first African-American best actress and best actor Oscar winners -- while the Cannes Issue (May 18, 2012) was a hat trick from executive editor Stephen Galloway, who wrote the Marion Cotillard cover story, a making-of feature on Kristen Stewart's On the Road and a retrospective piece on Mike Nichols. "I interviewed Cotillard on a Friday and Nichols on a Sunday," recalls Galloway. "To talk to two people so interesting and complex in a couple of days -- when I usually think of nothing else but one interview subject for weeks -- was challenging and fascinating."
Our "Tragedy at the Movies" cover story (Aug. 3, 2012) was born not of preparation but of grim provocation. When a gunman walked into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., and opened fire, it prompted a dramatic rethinking of what would be on the cover -- creative director Shanti Marlar opted for a haunting illustration by Edel Rodriguez -- and how we would tackle such a sensitive story. By examining the event from every angle -- emotional, financial, critical -- we were able to deliver coverage of which the entire staff could be proud.
In two years, we've reinvented The Hollywood Reporter and redefined entertainment journalism by giving an indispensable 360-degree view of the industry -- including fashion, travel and the fun stuff -- while never forgetting where we came from.
Thanks for joining us for the evolution.