I’m told it cost the Hollywood studios $30,000 a page to advertise, including online placement as well. But now some of those moguls complained to me last night that the Los Angeles Times‘ “Awards Season Preview” printed advertising supplement of The Envelope didn’t appear in large areas of the city yesterday as it was supposed to. “There was some huge mechanical problem. So the section did not get included in newspapers to Big Cheese places like the Westside, which are the very people who we bought ads to reach,” one studio honcho phoned me to gripe. “The LA Times has admitted the flub created delivery confusion and told us there was a production glitch.” This idea to go mano a mano with the trades for awards season advertising was the brainchild of Lynne Segall, the well-connected former vice president and associate publisher of The Hollywood Reporter who in June jumped to the LA Times for the newly created position of VP for entertainment advertising. Goal: to stop the movie ad hemorrhaging at the paper. Result: this oops ain’t gonna help. (Plus, we all saw how her earlier uber-elaborate promo campaign with Universal still couldn’t save The Black Dahlia from being murdered at the box office.) The Awards Season Preview was the first of what’s billed as The Envelope Print Series: still to come are Crafts/Special FX (Nov. 8th), Animation (Nov. 15th), Best Writing (Nov. 22), Best Actor (Dec. 6), Best Director (Dec. 13), Best Picture (Dec. 20), Golden Globes Preview (Jan. 10), Oscar Nominees/SAG Wrap-Up (Jan. 31), Grammys (Feb. 7) and Oscar Award Show Preview (Feb. 21). High-profile Calendar reporters like John Horn and Patrick Goldstein have articles in the advertorial. Surprising, since both Goldstein and Horn correctly turned up their noses when the online version of The Envelope debuted last awards season. This time around, I hear a lot of groveling was involved on the part of editors. “This had to be a huge step for the LA Times,” one studio source told me. “I was surprised the paper felt the need to recruit some of their toughest writers to do advertising filler.” (Now, I understood that quote to be a compliment to John and Patrick, but today I found out they didn’t take it that way. It’s the section, not their contributions to it, which is shredder-worthy.) Don’t confuse this LA Times section aimed at Academy voters with the upcoming holiday movie preview that The New York Times does annually. Also, as I reported in September, David Carr is reprising his Red Carpet role as “The Carpetbagger” for the NY Times beginning any day now.
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