Ask Chris: What Does TMZ Stand For?

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Q: What does “TMZ” stand for?

A: That abbreviation, which predates the obnoxious Web site and TV show, is shorthand for Thirty Mile Zone, an area in which production companies are exempt from having to pay overnight travel expenses when on location. An earlier Studio Zone, established in 1934, covered a six-mile radius stretching from the corner of West 5th Street and Rossmore Avenue. In 1971, the zone—extended to its present size—was drawn around the intersection of Beverly and La Cienega boulevards, where the headquarters for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers was located.

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