Beckman: THR Needs to Become a ‘Business-to-Influencer’ Title

“If I’m setting the bar at where Variety is … I’m setting the bar too low”

Last Updated: September 13, 2010 @ 7:55 AM

 


Richard Beckman, who in January took over as CEO of Jimmy Finkelstein's e5 Global Media, told TheWrap at the time that his only plan was to "drink from a firehose!" — in other words, listen and learn before throwing his weight around at The Hollywood Reporter.
 
More than three months later, the 24-year Condé Nast veteran has a new publisher in place at The Hollywood Reporter — Lori Burgess from OK! magazine — and a little bit clearer idea about what he wants to do with the place.
 
In a Q&A interview with Daily Front Row, Beckman says he aims to "create a product that is the crack — the drug crack — of the industry," with one caveat: "That they be patient with us while we do it."
 
Here are a few highlights from that interview:
 
On whether there's room enough for two trades: There has been all these years. But if I’m setting the bar at where Variety is — and this is going to sound really caustic — I’m setting the bar too low. … some of the great minds of the dark ages have been running these businesses. Their marketing strategies can be characterized as the bland leading the bland. Completely unimaginative.
 
On the audience he plans to pursue: It’s about becoming B2I — business to influencer — as opposed to B2B. That’s where the real resonance will be created. B2I trades aren’t just for the industry; they’re for the people that shape behaviors, the tastemakers that set the trends in motion.
 
On his comments that the Reporter should be like a hybrid between The Economist and Vanity Fair: Yeah, in terms of a visual package I want it to be as arresting as Vanity Fair while providing the insight of a weekly publication like the Economist. When I read the Economist, no matter how many stories I’ve read about the same thing, I’m smarter, and I think the texture and the back story is something that will appeal to people who follow the entertainment industry.
 
Read the full interview at dailyfrontrow.com.