Friday, May 02, 2008

Hollywood Reporter makeover all part of Tinseltown going loco over logos
The trade paper's longtime subscribers aren't exactly enthusiastic with its iconic logo being jettisoned


HOLLYWOOD -- April 28th may have been a plain old Monday on your calendar, but here it was officially the Hollywood Reporter Day as proclaimed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

Why suddenly declare a special day in honour of an entertainment industry trade publication that has been around for the past 78 years?

Because the Hollywood Reporter shook this town by its very roots with a dramatic redesign and relaunch that jettisoned its iconic logo -- the one with "Hollywood" in red script superimposed over the black block-lettered "The Reporter."

In its place is a more modern, more generic logo, which, according to the paper's New York-based designer (another sore spot among proud West Coasters) was intended to be "authoritative, accessible and immediate."

While the immediate reaction to the new logo from longtime subscribers wasn't exactly enthusiastic -- there are some who place the old one right up there with the Hollywood sign itself in terms of identifiable branding -- the paper certainly isn't alone when it comes to refreshing one's image.

During the past month, other media also have gone logo loco, including A&E, the History Channel and the Oxygen network.

Still, we wonder what Billy Wilkerson would have made of the brouhaha.

Wilkerson launched Hollywood's first daily showbiz trade paper back in 1930, but also earned his place in Tinseltown legend and lore as the visionary who discovered Lana Turner sitting at that Schwab's drugstore soda counter.

The Sunset Boulevard drugstore is long gone, but there's a new shopping complex in its place that bears the old Schwab's logo, which, come to think of it, looks a lot like the old Hollywood Reporter logo.

Maybe now they'll change that one, too.


Speaking of the Hollywood Reporter, there was a full-page ad in Monday's paper seeking a new home for Jericho, the low-rated, post-nuclear war drama that CBS cancelled.

The network had originally axed the series last season, but passionate fans flooded CBS headquarters with thousands of pounds of nuts (if you had seen the show, you'd know) and it got a reprieve.

But this time around, CBS has said nuts to a second reprieve, which leads to the full-page ad, urging them to sell the series to another network, directing supporters to a web site called

What's curious is that the ad was contracted on behalf of diehard fans by another web site which belongs to the Oakville-based Encore Cinemas chain.

Would that loyal Canadian contingent have anything to do with the future livelihood of series regular (and University of Guelph graduate) Kenneth Mitchell, by any chance?

Just wondering.


Baked shrimp cocktail wasn't the only thing that was blackened on the Off Vine menu Sunday night.

The popular 19-year-old restaurant, which served up low-key charm in a yellow 1908 craftsman house to Hollywood clientelle including Julia Roberts and Madonna, burned down during the dinner hour.

Patrons and staff got out safely, but a few firefighters were injured in the blaze, believed to have been caused by faulty wiring.