Deadline recently wrote that The Hollywood Reporter was laying off and/or firing staff because of financial problems. Internal sources at embattled parent company Prometheus Global Media revealed to Deadline this week that the Hollywood Creative Directory employees, comprised of its publishing director of 17 years Valencia McKinley and her staff of three, were laid off and informed that the outlet had been sold. There’s no question that Prometheus is looking to cut costs, especially with The Hollywood Reporter hemorrhaging red ink because of soaring overhead. Two execs from the previous and new administrations say the Hollywood Creative Directory has its own P&L therefore it’s a separate entity inside Prometheus — even though the HCD website reads “The Hollywood Creative Directory is part of the information services unit of The Hollywood Reporter.” That’s apparently only for co-branding purposes. Interestingly, one insider doesn’t even think the HCD was sold. Another believes that was just a cover story so Prometheus’ money problems wouldn’t be made public. There’s also news that another Prometheus publication, Adweek, is suffering declining ad revenue under its redesign with editor Michael Wolff hired last October. But now the high-profile Wolff is considered a goner. So that’s another Prometheus publication in trouble.
Once upon a time, HCD was a vital phone book for those hunting down film/TV/music industry producers, directors, talent reps, and executives who find and lose jobs or deals so frequently. HCD had a virtual monopoly on its biz and its staff worked incredibly hard, providing so much work with so little resources. But now so much of the HCD data can be accessed in many places and more cheaply. The $79.95 seasonal print volume of the Hollywood Creative Directory and the annual subscription for the printed directory ran as high as $179.95. Both were rendered more or less obsolete in the Internet age. Even an annual online subscription to IMDB.pro costs $124.95 (or $15.95/month) vs. the Hollywood Creative Directory’s yearly online access fee of $199.95 (or $19.95/month) while Excel mailing lists topped out at $399.95. Former Hollywood Reporter and Billboard owner VNU Business Media initially acquired the Hollywood Creative Directory as part of its purchase of IFilm Corp. in September 2004.
Deadline had the HCD news on Tuesday but was saving it for Nikki Finke’s upcoming expanded behind-the-scenes biz report about Prometheus and The Hollywood Reporter. [FULL DISCLOSURE: Deadline Hollywood’s parent company PMC is suing The Hollywood Reporter’s parent company Prometheus for copyright infringement.]