As you know, I responded early yesterday to some inaccurate showbiz website’s rumor-mongering. I revealed that, in early December, the new owners of The Hollywood Reporter approached me about becoming editor-in-chief. And that, in January, they made me a very lucrative financial offer. But last night, Richard Beckman, formerly Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group CEO who’s now CEO of THR‘s parent company e5 Global Media, told the trade “there is no truth to the report” that I’d been offered THR’s editor-in-chief.
Huh? I’ve gone over my notes, and let me reaffirm that the offer was real and detailed and made to me by one of Beckman’s bosses during a phone conversation on the night of January 13th. It consisted of: $450,000 annual salary for becoming editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter. Plus a $1 million Malibu home which, I was told, “you can keep whether you stay 5 minutes or 5 years” in the job. (Why this? Because I had said that some day I want to buy a Malibu condo with an ocean view.) Plus a sum “roughly estimated” at $650,000 a year for my share of several cable TV deals which e5 anticipated making for THR. And so on. Other people know about this offer, too.
Let me reiterate that I did not negotiate. Instead, I set in motion a dialogue about mutually beneficial business between my parent company MMC and the new THR owners. That discussion continues.
Now let me add this: at the time, I thought this a lucrative offer but also a ludicrous one, considering how many THR journalists are going to lose their jobs when e5 Global Media transitions the trade from a weekday paper to a monthly glossy magazine, and website operation filled with syndicated content, and cable TV programmer. THR needs a miracle worker. But to justify this money, that person must walk on water.