With around 10 layoffs at the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, one of the town’s leading trades took another hit, leaving the entertainment industry’s traditional news organizations in reduced circumstances yet again.
The layoffs were the fourth wave of job eliminations in the past year at THR, and cut deep into the organization. Rose Einstein, the associate publisher and a respected Hollywood publishing executive, was among those to leave.
Also cut were art director Deeann Hoff, editors Dan Carlson and Chad Williams, graphic designer Angie Carmen and web staffers Ron Phillips and Tracy Baer.
In addition to the editorial division bearing the brunt of the layoffs, one of the company’s other trade publications, Radio & Records, closed altogether, leaving about 30 staffers out of work.
The media landscape in Hollywood is swiftly undergoing dramatic change, after nearly a century of stability and profitability. (TheWrap being among the newcomers in the digital space.) Variety has had two rounds of layoffs this year alone, while TVWeek shuttered print operations and went solely online June 1.
As advertising revenues — and ad pages — suffer a nearly-unprecedented decline this year, The Hollywood Reporter has been seeking to change its business model away from print.
"Nielsen is looking extremely hard at all of their publications, and they are determining that digital is the way to go," said one high-level source at The Hollywood Reporter. "They are re-evaluating what staff is really needed to do what’s done on a daily basis."
The source also said that the Hollywood Reporter has been having routine discussions about the paper’s publishing frequency. In recent years, the amount of "days off" has increased to what is now set at around 20, with last year’s print-less Christmas-to-New Year’s week signaling a concrete shift toward Web operations during slow times.
In December, a major round of layoffs hit THR, including TV critic Barry Garron and international editor Hy Hollinger. In that round, the film reporting staff was especially hit hard, as was the graphics department and the copy desk.
In June of last year, the paper let 10 staffers go, and in April ’08, 12 staffers were let go at across all Nielsen publications, including Mediaweek and Adweek.
At the time, the cuts came as Nielsen was considering selling its business titles.
As for R&R, all jobs are eliminated immediately, and its website has been taken offline for good.
Radio & Records was founded in 1973 and was acquired by VNU in 2006.
All of Nielsen’s music coverage will now be consolidated into Billboard, a company spokesman said. Nielsen announced to its R&R staff that the current issue is the last.
In a Town Hall setting for R&R staff, publisher Howard Appelbaum told employees that the magazine didn’t work in the current economic climate.
Editor’s note: Eric Mika has contacted TheWrap to say that the comment below signed by "Eric Mika" was not written by him.