If the Hollywood Reporter as I have known it for more than 60 years is gone, it must be noted that three of its recent editorial heads were among the finest in its history. In fact, they are among the finest in the annals of Hollywood coverage. Yes, I’m alluding to Elizabeth Guider, Alex Ben Block and Robert Dowling.
Other top-notch Hollywood Reporter heads included Tichi Wilkerson, Frank Barron, Don Gillette, Jim Powers, Howard Burns and Hal Bates. Its memorable daily columnists included Mike Connolly, Herb Stein, Jim Henagan, Robert Osborne and Hank Grant.
I used to drive founder Billy Wilkerson’s kids around (as 20th-Fox PR director Harry Brand’s junior publicist), used to deliver news items to Hollywood Reporter columnist Edyth Gwynn (one of Billy’s ex-wives) and I read the Hollywood Reporter movie reviews by Jack Moffatt even though, during WWII, Wilkerson forbade Moffatt from ever showing the name of the writer of any movie, because he believed that all Hollywood scripters were Communists.
It must be recorded that the present HR staff, though too small, is the equivalent of all its thoroughly competent predecessors. Also to be noted are Tichi Wilkerson’s contributions, such as her founding and funding of Women in Film and the Key Arts Awards, the early staging of which I attended at her home on Sunset and at Exposition Park.
Well, the new Hollywood must now live without the usual Hollywood Reporter, without its recently deceased Steve Brennan, without Variety’s daily friend Army Archerd, without agreement-reacher Nicholas Counter, without solid thespian and Academy president Karl Malden and the joys of happier days.
We’ve had enough of this sort of thing…