THR ‘Most Powerful Women in Hollywood’ Is a PR Free-for-All

First, here’s Joel McHale and Hoda Kotb “roasting” NBCUniversal chairman Bonnie Hammer at this week’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment Breakfast:

We do appreciate Kathie Lee’s ability to take a joke and E’s insistence that McHale use every opportunity to remind viewers how terrible it really is.

Now here’s Hammer’s winning profile piece and here’s the New York Times article detailing the PR battle that precedes the event.

More inside baseball stuff below.

First, check out this lede:

In the fall, corporate publicists send elaborate dossiers that lay out the wonderfulness of their bosses. By the end, sometimes flat-out begging and pleading occur.

One of the most fearsome competitions in show business involves landing in the right spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual ranking of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment. For certain executives, agents and producers, this has become a blood sport.

Do tell us more!

Hollywood executives are every bit as insecure as the actors who help their studios run, and they need constant reassurance. The campaigns that industry PRs run to promote their bosses are also more than slightly insane:

An NBCUniversal communications executive, Cory Shields, along with an independent publicist, Simon Halls, last year visited The Reporter’s offices to press for Ms. Hammer, complete with PowerPoint slides.

“I know people probably think it’s silly, but these lists have value,” said Joe Quenqua, who runs the entertainment practice at DKC Public Relations. “You’re not just positioning the person, you are angling to elevate a business or a division.”

This particular event is even more heavily scrutinized because it honors women — who are still underrepresented in the entertainment industry — and, as one executive put it, “Being ghettoized as some sort of special-needs group is not helpful to me.”

In summary, Entourage wasn’t much of an exaggeration after all. It was just bad.