In a surprising role reversal, Hollywood is about to deliver bad news to the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times and, to a lesser extent, other big-city dailies around the country. Every major movie studio is rethinking its reliably humongous display ad buys in those papers because those newsosaur readers are, to quote one mogul, “older and elitist” compared to younger, low-brow filmgoers — so it makes no sense to waste the dough.
Wait, it gets worse: I’ve learned that at least two Hollywood movie studios have decided to drastically cut their newspaper display ads as soon as possible.
This news couldn’t occur at a worse time for the LAT and NYT, which both receive the lion’s share of those very showy $100,000-plus full-page after full-page movie display ads. At Spring Street, editor Dean Baquet just moved into the power office on Monday, and publisher Jeff Johnson only took over his hot seat on June 1. In Times Square, culture editor Sam Sifton has barely put his stamp on the section since assuming the post in May. Now comes a body blow to their beefed-up cultural coverage.
Some newspapers have had problems recently with inflated readership numbers which has hurt their ad revenue, and the loss in movie advertising certainly won't help their bottom line.