HOLLYWOOD REPORTING — Much static this past week about the intended (???) serious-overhaul of The Holllywood Reporter; one of tinsel town’s three major trade outlets.
Shredded might be a better word.
I guess the first thing to remind is that one-other trade-rag, Variety, used to have a daily edition called Daily Variety. Even the Reporter used to be daily. These two trades promised a daily inside look at the workings out there in Hollywood. As demographics changed and they were eventually sold to conglomerates; clearly out of Hollywood – their needs changed. Daily Variety became weekly Variety, as did The Reporter; but,The Reporter was re-born as a slick glossy … with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Lizzo on the covers.
Daily Variety’s chief ace-in-the-hole was their columnist Army Archerd, whose column Just For Variety was a mainstay and necessary for any true leverage in Holly-town. Army Archerd was a family friend, so I was well aware of his clout and expertise in Hollywood and I stayed in touch with him till the end … retirement and then passing several years later.
Army even announced my daughter’s birth there … he was a mensch and a brilliant writer. But, when Army left, everything changed … and, not for the better.
The consolidation of Reporter started some years back with the installation of Janice Min as editor, who had helmed a very successful re-launch ofRolling Stone (and, yes, Wenner still owned it). Her vision was a consumer-cum-trade publication and she basically succeeded.
She left five or six years into her task, but, interestingly has not resurfaced. Rumors abounded at the time she was headed for Conde Nast; GQ and Vogue-land … but, it never happened.
Matthew Belloni was her replacement and did really an exemplary job in continuing her legacy, but last week he was fired. Rumors spread that he was done kowtowing to the owners request to go easy on their other investments, like Dick Clark Productions.
Clearly, Belloni had enough and the owners seized on this opportunity to clean house. Publisher Lynn Seagall was let go, as was chief film critic Todd McCarthy. The Reporter reportedly was losing $10 mil a year.
The owners of The Reporter also own Billboard and there was a slew of people let go there as well.
The dust has not yet settled, but as one wag said to me: to be let go during this pandemic speaks volumes. Stay tuned.
BRIAN DENNEHY RIP — Every movie or TV show Brian Dennehy was in … he most certainly stole the show. Dennehy passed this week at 81 and was just a towering actor. From Rambo to Cocoon to stints on Broadway (where he won two Tonys) he was just a mesmerizing performer.
We also loved him as Rev. Bill Proverb in Miami Vice eons ago; and, he was sensational in Cocoon as well as Righteous Kill, with DeNiro and Pacino.
RIP Brian! Well done!
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz’s chat with Alec Baldwin, for his Here’s The Thing podcast gets aired next month. Meanwhile, Billboard this week had a terrific article on Micky and the new LIVE Micky and Micky CD. Check it out here:https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/9358153/the-monkees-tour-interview?fbclid=IwAR0B19R5crkGG1ceG8eJWPcxaD_JOoC3vg658Htglr0kereVgWRyDEX70yo … How about NBC’s Good Girls using The Monkees “As We Go Along” in their episode Nana two weeks back? Nice surprise … This weeks New Amsterdam finale was pretty terrific.
This is a great show and if you haven’t caught it -with Ryan Eggold- you should The closing scene featured Jose Gonzales’ “Down The Line,” a huge favorite around these parts …
After more than 30 years, Lucky Strike — one of the oldest members in the Keith McNally collection of French-American bistros, and a hip predecessor to more well-known hangouts like Balthazar and Pastis — has become the latest restaurant to permanently close amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The beloved Soho institution opened in 1989. McNally confirmed the closure of the restaurant at 59 Grand Street, near West Broadway, citing the economics of running the restaurant as a reason for shuttering it: “Unfortunately, it’s true. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, I was unable to find a way to make Lucky Strike work financially. This decision was particularly difficult since many of Lucky Strike’s wonderful staff have worked for me for over 20 years, and some of the customers have been coming since the day we opened: 31 years ago.” In a 2016 interview, the restaurateur said that Lucky Strike didn’t make “any money,” a fact he said was also true of Cherche Midi and Schiller’s Liquor Bar. When asked why he kept them open, he said he did so because, “I like them and I like the staff…I am fond of all of them.” Schiller’s closed in 2017, while Chercheended its run a year later. Lucky Strike outlasted them both. In a 1989 column, New York Times critic Bryan Miller described the venue using language that wouldn’t feel any less apt for a new McNally joint. “Lucky Strike has the congenially grungy feeling of an ancient haunt in Les Halles in Paris,” he wrote, pointing out a “derma of pallid yellow paint, a bonhomous bar, tightly arranged tabloid-sized tables, vinyl banquettes and overhead fans.” The menus, Miller wrote, were “scrawled on mirrors in the dining room.” While it might seem inappropriate to grieve for a restaurant these days, I must admit that Lucky Strike was my #1 restaurant spot in NYC. The food and atmosphere was absolutely perfect … and, at night, they had a DJ. I will miss this spot for sure … I first met LA-gunslinger Paul Cooper when he was heading up Atlantic Records’ West Coast office. A friend dubbed him the concierge of LA and they were right on the money. Reservations; tickets; limo? Call Paul and he’d deliver. I lost track of him this last decade, but we’d often touch base via email One of the last originals for sure. RIP Mr. Cooper.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Shay Smith; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Keith Girard; Gary Graff; Steve Marinucci; Bruce Goldberg; Steve Leeds; Randy Alexander; Tyrone Biljan; Donna Dolenz; Andrew Sandoval; Tony Mandich; Brad Waddell; Heather Moore; and, BELLA!