“The Hollywood Reporter has really hurt their credibility. I don’t understand how they could write that stuff. It isn’t true,” Time Warner told me. The strong denial was about a July 11th THR article claiming that Time Warner chief executive Jeffrey Bewkes recently asked Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry Meyer to remain on the job beyond his scheduled December 2013 departure date – and the veteran executive declined. THR hangs it on “a knowledgeable source”. Time Warner explained to me, “This story is a complete fabrication. We could not lie about it. Why would we lie about this? Because it’s going to come out one way or the other. Everybody who talked to the Reporter explained that no part of this is true – but they kept writing. How ridiculous.” As for who replaces Barry Meyer, that is if anyone replaces him, “There’s not even any need to make a decision at the end of 2013.” My own opinion is that the three Warner Bros division heads who make up the Office Of The President — Jeff Robinov, Bruce Rosenblum, Kevin Tsujihara (in alphabetical order) — could continue comfortably like that reporting to Bewkes for years.
One of the main reasons The Hollywood Reporter has lost many millions of dollars (informed sources even put the figure as high as $10 million since it got into business with Guggenheim Partners) is that it’s no longer trusted by the Hollywood community. That’s what happens when a celebrity outlet can’t report accurately by printing rumor as fact or spinning bullshit as news. [Full Disclosure: Deadline’s parent company is suing the owners of The Hollywood Reporter for copyright infringement.]