On CNN’s Reliable Sources: Why TheWrap is Working, and a Peek Behind the Scenes (video)

Get a peek behind the scenes at TheWrap with Howard Kurtz for CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday

Last Updated: August 7, 2011 @ 10:19 PM

On CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, host Howard Kurtz took a deep dive into the world of TheWrap. (Full video below)

We let CNN's cameras into our newsroom to see how we do things around here, so you'll get a glimpse of how we shape the daily report. (In this meeting we debate a package about Hollywood reacting to the debt ceiling deal.)

Howie also does a lengthy and uncut interview with me about how TheWrap is run, and throws me a number of curveballs. 

He didn't sugar-coat his questions, nor did I sugar-coat answers. I said that the traditional trades had long ago stopped doing the job of asking tough questions of the industry, and was caught in a complicit relationship of advertising and editorial.

Kurtz asked how we do tough stories if we depend on advertising from the entertainment industry. I said that it is not a conflict for us.

"If you establish a line of credibility at the beginning then you will be respected as a news organization," I responded. "It's not always called for – an aggressive or watchdog stance. This is a creative industry… That doesn't mean we won't write a story that's critical of the network that puts on 'The Good Wife.'

"But because we play fair, because we don't have an agenda, we have a really good relationship with the industry." (Story continues below video)

Kurtz also asked about why we started TheWrap in a crowded news field, and where we've gone since there.

"There was a really big gap in the marketplace for a professional, credible news organization that was geared to the digital age." I added: "Gossip is not our obsessive focus. We serve a news function."

He asked about the TV critics association week and whether they are "spoon-fed" by the industry. I respond that there is some of that, but the event also creates a forum with access to top television executives.

He asked about our aggregating policy, whether we link to other sites. I explain our policy.

He also asks: Does it ever feel to you to be self-indulgent to go to Cannes or Sundance?

I say no. (Howie has obviously never covered a film festival or he wouldn't say that.) "For me it's a total transformation of my life as a reporter. I'm a CEO and responsible for the business of this company. "

This is about as wide-ranging a portrait of our site as has been undertaken since we launched, by the most respected media critic in the country. I'm really glad to share it with you, our readers.