Home Celebrity Hollywood Reporter to Own Golden Globes? Conflicts of Interest?

This is weird. I’m in Europe, but back in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter got a “scoop” they posted in the early evening: their parent company, Guggenheim Partners, is in “exclusive talks” to buy Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Golden Globes, American Music Awards, and People’s Choice Awards.

Uh, conflicts of interest?

And the weird part is that Variety and trade blogs like Deadline or The Wrap, haven’t even followed up on the story. They’re either completely skeptical or too crazed to do anything. It’s been several hours, and nothing so far.

But think of it: the three awards shows with the least amount of integrity and the most criticism would be owned by the company that publishes the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, the publications that are supposed to “cover” them. Yikes. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse.

And they really want it: according to the “scoop” in THR, Guggenheim is paying 10% more than asked, to make they complete the purchase.

I felt sorry for Alex Ben Block, the THR reporter made to write that story. He’s one of their few real journalists, a really great guy. Yet, the headline in his story and the first few grafs don’t even acknowledge the Guggenheim relationship. You have to drill way down below the fold for that information. And there’s no mention of Billboard or the American Music Awards, or the creepy People’s Choice Awards. I liked how Alex had to write “Reps for Guggenheim declined comment.” It’s a joke.

That should be a taste of what’s to come.

I can see Guggenheim’s point: if they own all that, the studios will be forced to advertise everything in THR. Bingo! Also: it’s not likely we’ll find any critical reporting about the heinous Hollywood Foreign Press in the Reporter, or anything negative about the other shows.

It might be evil genius. That is, unless someone challenges it in court. But who would that be? Variety is for sale, and its owner isn’t spending money if it doesn’t have to. Maybe Deadline’s Penske Media will take up the charge; they’re very litigious.

But for such a deal to go through–for the company owning the Tinsel Town publications– to own the town’s awards machine– means the end of any integrity ro anyone to take seriously already very trivial enterprises. It would truly be the Day of the Locusts.

Who’s the winner? The ‘real’ parts of Hollywood, like Variety, the Oscars, and the Grammy Awards. At least the public will know, if it’s handled correctly, that they’re the only real standards of journalism and award dispensing in town. They’ll have to hire ten pr firms to get the message out, but in the end, they’d be the beneficiaries of such nonsense.

PS Guggenheim would inherit the endless lawsuit between the Hollywood Foreign Press and Dick Clark Productions.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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