Top Trades: The Hollywood Reporter

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In the continuing battle with Reed Business' Variety properties, The Hollywood Reporter appears to be gaining momentum. The VNU Business Media magazine saw its ad pages jump 6% to 6,288 in 2004, from 5,937 in 2003.

"The entertainment business really does view itself in some ways as a community. They see the trade papers as a way to connect with one another. We've been around for 75 years, since back in the `30s," said Robert J. Dowling, publisher-editor in chief of the magazine.

Dowling said the magazine has remained relevant by changing with the entertainment industry and the times. "When I first got to the Reporter in 1988, what did we cover? It was film, television and, to some lesser extent, music," he said.

Today, the newspaper has broadened its coverage to include all entertainment intellectual property, including film, TV, music, videogames, radio, magazines and books. This larger editorial footprint has led to a similar expansion in advertisers, Dowling said.

"We have 15 categories of advertisers that we didn't have 15 or 16 years ago," he said. "We are constantly looking to enlarge the universe that is defined as entertainment." He said the magazine has 1,700 advertisers.

The Hollywood Reporter has also expanded itself as a media brand and now includes a daily newspaper, a weekly, a Web site, "THR East" and a ticker on a prominent corner in Los Angeles. The brand offers a "total reach" marketing program that integrates all the various media.

"There are a few publications that are doing this well," said Tom Stein, president-CEO of Stein Rogan + Partners, a New York-based advertising agency. "The Hollywood Reporter does it well."

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