ICYMI: Our New Hire; Writers' Reckoning; the VF Profile
What's new and our recent best
A few fun things today. Today we’re excited to announce that Elaine Low is joining our small team from Insider (fka Business Insider). One of the industry’s most probing and enterprising reporters, Elaine has been superb in covering the evolution of Hollywood’s business model and work culture in the streaming age. More on Elaine further down…
This week, Vanity Fair unveiled its profile by Joe Pompeo of our little shop as part of its annual Hollywood issue, alongside an LA noir photo shoot from the great Martin Schoeller. Fun fact: we learned on set that VF’s delightful stylist, Samantha Evan Gasmer, is the daughter of former William Morris agent Alan Gasmer, whose decades-old trench coat was thrown onto Richard for one of the shots amid the Chanel and Cartier.
Wrote VF’s Pompeo:
“I read it the second I see it pop up,” says Richard Plepler. “They have a little bite, but their bite is always within the bounds of fair play. People read it, people respect it, serious people send it around.” Imagine’s Brian Grazer told me, “People in Hollywood like it. They think it’s titillating and find it largely truthful.” The Ankler’s About page boasts raves from Bret Easton Ellis and media analyst Rich Greenfield. Other satisfied customers include David Zaslav, Patrick Whitesell, Kathleen Kennedy, Donna Langley, and Maureen Dowd, who told me, “I just think Min and Rushfield are smart.”
Okay, now on to more bragging (sorry, back to humblebragging next week).
We hit 42,000 subscribers this week. And we believe Elaine Low will be a big part in continuing our rapid growth. At Insider, she uncovered the dramatic shift in Netflix's corporate culture leading up to its surprising wave of layoffs in 2022. She also examined how the pandemic's economic impact on support staffers and young industry workers may have produced a "lost generation" of Hollywood creatives. Recently, she joined The Ankler podcast as a guest to discuss her reporting on Greg Peters, Netflix’s new co-CEO.
For nearly five years before that, Elaine was a senior reporter for Variety, and a reporter and producer for Investor’s Business Daily on the media, retail and personal finance beats.
You can meet Elaine at our NXStream Global summit at UTA on March 8, featuring Tony Vinciquerra, Tom Ryan, Rita Ferro and Jeremy Zimmer. To request to attend, and see some of our big new additions to the program, click here.
Now on to Topic A: the possible strike. Richard’s column and the podcast (featuring an extensive breakdown of it) both had Hollywood talking this week:
70 Days to the Abyss Richard asks, is anyone paying attention as the last stand of Hollywood as we know it approaches? What’s on the line and the tabulations on some early odds on whether this all goes down
Pod: Richard Rushfield's Star Prom Date The macro forces and mini rooms leading us to a WGA strike; more revelations from our VF profile and what now for Warner Bros. Discovery
Also this late-breaking correction: Richard’s Crossroads classmate Jay Sures, as mentioned in VF and elaborated upon in our pod, did not drive a Sirocco in high school. That was future L.A. mega-realtor David Offer. Clearer memories recall UTA’s Sures drove a… white Supra like this. We regret the grievous error!
Sean McNulty joined CNBC once agin this week, this time to chat about Meta’s new verification service, when he wasn’t delivering daily analysis of the headlines.
IP Picks🔎: Wingnuts, a Wrexham-Style NBA Team; a Forgotten Mutiny Plus, a twisty-turny women-led mystery
Top European IP Found at Books at Berlinale Breaking down the 11 titles featured at this week's literary bazaar, run in tandem with the Berlin Film Festival