Out with the Hollywood Trade Wars, In with the Hollywood Newsletter Wars!
Once upon a time in Hollywood, Variety ran the table when it came to covering entertainment industry news. Then, in the 2010, The Hollywood Reporter, revamped as a glossy weekly, ruled the roost for a while. Now these old trades (which are both now owned by Los Angeles media mogul Jay Penske) seem about as relevant as Linotype printing presses. The action nowadays is in one’s inbox, where a slew of competing newsletters and pay services are engaged in a great and growing battle over the town’s elite subscribers.
The latest entry into that war is The Ankler, show biz columnist Richard Rushfield’s small but influential Substack newsletter, which just announced a major beefing up. Former THR editor Janice Min — the publishing powerhouse who reinvented THR as a slick weekly — is joining Rushfield in an attempt to grow Ankler into a more formidable competitor against Puck’s Hollywood newsletter (run by Min’s one-time No. 2, Matthew Belloni) as well as Business Insider’s new Hollywood subscription service (run by Alison Brower, one of Min’s THR deputies) and WrapPro (run by former Washington Post reporter Sharon Waxman). The newly-formed Ankler Media — Min will become co-owner and CEO; Rushfield will serve as editorial director — will be adding more newsletters and branching out into podcasts and live events.
“I was an Ankler addict first–and then became dazzled by its list of subscribers, a real who’s who of power in entertainment,” said Min after the news was announced. “The Ankler is authentic, smart, and unafraid to say what is actually on people’s minds. Richard has nailed that sweet spot between insight and levity. We intend to use that DNA to deliver information that meets the needs of a new entertainment economy whose reach extends far beyond traditional Hollywood.”
Added Rushfield, “This is about making entertainment entertaining through the stories, professions, and personalities at the real center of the industry. Janice is one of the only people on Earth with the leadership qualities, fearlessness, and media experience needed to make this succeed. And we are both fanatical about making the story of entertainment entertaining.”
The revamped Ankler, complete with a podcast and additional newsletters, will launch in January.