The shocking murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen has occurred at a time when the town’s two industry trade publications are pursuing very different business models.
While Variety‘s quartet of demure Chasen articles, including a pair about the Sunday November 21st memorial service, fit the trade mold and sit behind a pay wall, The Hollywood Reporter‘s coverage tonally reflects the idea that it is now a trade in-name only. At press time, the top three most-viewed THR website stories were Chasen-related, with a fourth consumer-like article – an exclusive interview with Chasen client and friend Dianne Warren (pictured) – appearing in this Wednesday’s edition of the new weekly THR magazine.
Warren paints a picture of a publicist who was “fiercely protective” of her clients. “She really cared, her clients were like family to her,” says Warren. “She’d tell you what to do and people listened to her.”
Burlesque lighting designer Peggy Eisenhauer, another client at the [November 15th] premiere, tells how Chasen instantly set up a picture with the film’s director Steven Antin. “She snapped her fingers and said, ‘One with Steven and Peggy’ and a photographer appeared out of nowhere,” Eisenhauer recalls. “How’d she do that?”
In the long run, Variety‘s pay wall strategy may well turn out to be the cunning, revenue model winner; currently, non-subscribers can register to access five free articles the first month, provided they fill out an online survey. In the short term however, it is THR editor Janice Min and Sharon Waxman at The Wrap who are openly positioned to cater to the broad audience of readers seeking the very latest coverage about this tragically perplexing case.
(Photo courtesy of Oprah.com)