New Hollywood Reporter Head Richard Beckman Is Going to Shoot Variety in the Chest


As Chris Tennant points out in his interview with former Fairchild Fashion Group CEO Richard Beckman, despite having worked in the rarefied world of Condé Nast in New York for 24 years, the man is well suited to Hollywood. His fast-dealing and aggressive ways that earned him the nickname "Mad Dog" (and got him some bad press after he violently bonked two female staff members' heads together in an effort to get them to kiss) seem well-suited to his new job of running the Hollywood Reporter, trying to change its format to save it, and battling eternal rival Variety. While he says there's still room in Tinseltown for two trade publications, "if I’m setting the bar at where Variety is — and this is going to sound really caustic — I’m setting the bar too low." Ouch. To prove how Hollywood his thinking has gotten, here's how he describes his strategy:

You know, sometimes it’s like the moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Harrison Ford is looking for his girlfriend and he’s running through the market and there’s the guy that does the thing with the sword and he’s like, to hell with this, and just pulls out his gun and shoots him. There’ll be some of that.

It's well-known cinema lore that that scene didn't go as planned: Ford was too sick and weak to go through with the planned fight scene, so Steven Spielberg let him use the gun as an easy way out. Which, judging from the state of the two limping trades, Beckman probably knew when he made the comparison.

Beckman's Big Pitch [Fashion Week Daily]