One of today’s big entertainment-industry news stories hits mighty close to home for us at Entertainment Weekly: After 20 years, the curtain is falling on Premiere magazine. And, with all sincerity, we bid it a heartfelt farewell.
The news is bitter, to be sure, for those of us who once worked there, who once wanted to work there, or who have friends who were just laid off from the publication. Premiere wasn’t just a formidable adversary to EW (and, indeed, its website will continue to battle EW.com) — in the years before EW, it really was the one and only magazine destination for hardcore movie fans. Quite simply, for so many of us, Premiere helped get us to where we are today. And thinking of all the personalities and articles that have appeared in its pages, from its first issue (with Tom Hanks’ Dragnet on the cover) to April’s final installment (featuring Will Ferrell’s Blades of Glory), brings back fond memories: the Hollywood underbelly exposed by Easy Riders, Raging Bulls author Peter Biskind; the hilarious movie reviews of bawdy columnist Libby Gelman-Waxner (a.k.a. In & Out screenwriter Paul Rudnick); those juicy exposes on Arnold Schwarzenegger and New Line honcho Michael DeLuca and Scientology; serving as a career launchpad for TV and movie exec Susan Lyne and TV entertainment reporter Chris Connelly; Ben Affleck interviewing himself (in the Feb. 2000 issue, pictured); and so on. Great talents and great stories.
In recent years, however, publishing a feature-oriented, “long lead” monthly proved problematic in a world where movie trade news became the province of weekly magazines, daily newspapers, nightly entertainment news shows, and instantaneous blogs. There’s no shortage of movie love out there, but there’s no monthly magazine anymore that can keep up with an industry that’s mutating as rapidly as Hollywood. In that way, the end of Premiere marks the true end of an era. We’ll miss it. Will you?