When Geoff Boucher clocks in next Monday for his first day as senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, another long-time EW staffer will be settling in at their own nearby new place of employ. On that same October 1, Dave Karger will officially begin his duties as Fandango’s first ever chief correspondent.
Karger’s new boss Hilary Smith, senior vp of digital communications for NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media division, is quoted in the press release as saying that the hire is a “game-changer” for Fandango. She’s absolutely right.
While the now Comcast-owned movie ticket behemoth has been churning out movie-related news, review and interview content for years, they’ve never had a marquee reporter in the mix. The addition of Karger provides Fandango with a name brand already seamlessly plugged in to sister properties such as Access Hollywood, The Today Show and E! Entertainment.
The Karger hire also greatly raises the Oscar season profile of Fandango. For the past two years, their chief correspondent has been the Academy’s official red carpet greeter and for many years more, a leading Oscars prognosticator. Karger’s last day at EW was September 18.
“I was not looking to leave EW at all,” Karger tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “I had gotten some feelers in the last couple of years from some print and digital outlets, and I never really let it go very far. Because as far as I was concerned, I had the best job in print journalism, and I will forever feel that way.”
“When the original phone call for this position came from NBC Universal, I was very intrigued,” he continues, “because I had been interested in changing my career a little bit to more of a broadcasting avenue. And this position to me is the perfect blend of digital and television, and it just seemed like it was tailor-made for me. There was no way I could turn it down.”
Karger says he has not yet heard from the Academy if he will be on the red carpet again in February as the ceremony’s official greeter. AMPAS he says typically confirms a month or so beforehand. But he hopes he can continue in that separate role for decades to come, if possible.
As far as who Karger thinks could capably host the next Oscar broadcast, he has a very intriguing suggestion. “I would love the combination of Paul Rudd and Jason Bateman,” he reveals. “I think they would be the perfect duo. They’re not too young, not too old. They’re friends. They’re funny. And to me, they’re a little out of the box.”
Karger expects to roam a lot for the new Fandango job, not just to sister media outlets but also various festivals and other events. “I’ll go wherever I’m needed,” he enthuses. “I have no kids and no pets, so I’m able to drop whatever I’m doing at a moment’s notice.”
“Forty-one million people went on the Fandango website last month. That is an audience that anyone would kill to have. If we can harness that audience and give them a lot of reasons to think about Fandango in a different way, then we’ve done our jobs. The possibilities are limitless.”