Former Hollywood Reporter publisher Robert Dowling dies at 83

Tiny on Robert Dowling’s early resume screamed Hollywood electricity broker.

The New York native had worked as a trade publication editor and publisher for American Druggist, Substantial-Tech Advertising and marketing, Menswear and Sports Promoting News. He’d also designed a knack for revitalizing underperformers, which was the extremely definition of the Hollywood Reporter in 1988. Lagging significantly guiding enjoyment sector trade information leader Each day Wide range, the Hollywood Reporter, started in 1930, was losing about a $1 million a year when Dowling was provided the task as president.

“He did not know anything at all about the sector or anyone. But he jumped at the opportunity — he’d usually been a enormous lover of amusement,” his son Michael Dowling told The Instances. “Working in publishing in New York in those times, he saw that the amusement market was evolving to develop into far more of a enterprise.”

Dowling died Friday at his house in Santa Monica just after a short battle with cancer, his son claimed.

The revered former publisher was 83.

Right after Dowling moved his family members to Los Angeles from Westport, Conn., for the career in September 1988, he plunged into his new function with a listening tour and quickly obtained up to pace. He led the Hollywood Reporter for almost two decades, such as 14 several years as publisher and editor in main, aiding to shape the five-day-a-7 days trade paper into a rewarding and formidable competitor to Range and other publications that protect enjoyment.

He boosted the paper with specific editions and events, these kinds of as the yearly Women in Entertainment breakfast, the Essential Artwork Awards system (now known as the Clio Awards), a Future Generation initiative and by launching THR East, a PDF edition for East Coast audience. A person of Dowling’s proudest achievements was forging an online presence with the 1995 start of — a handful of yrs right before Wide range took the digital leap.

The site remains a must-examine in the sector.

Dowling’s tenure spanned a time when reader interest for enjoyment news was surging, although studio publicists more and more tried out to control news and publicity about their stars, films and major executives.

Dowling was sensitive to their considerations. He the moment killed a proposed tale on “The 100 Worst Motion pictures of All Time,” a go that some former workers alleged was prompted by issues by studios, which furnished advertising profits. Dowling acknowledged in an job interview with The Instances that he did kill the tale but claimed it was for philosophical, not economic, reasons.

In a 2001 flap, a few outstanding journalists stop following Dowling pulled a reporter off an investigative story about the paper’s occasion columnist, who allegedly had accepted favors from motion picture studios.

Dowling felt the issue was “best handled by human resources,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Instances claimed in 2001 that THR eventually revealed a brief story, citing a Screen Actors Guild investigation into the columnist’s ethics. The Hollywood Reporter also famous circumstances in which Dowling backed his reporters inspite of pressure from businesses and studios to kill particular tales.

“He at the time informed me that information in the enjoyment industry, any marketplace, was the ante in the recreation,” Michael Dowling claimed. “He arrived to the conclusion that what was going to bring in readers, bring in team and attract advertisers would be respect. So everything he did was about making respect for the paper.”

Subsequent an possession transform that brought a new company lifestyle, Dowling remaining just after THR was obtained by Dutch media big VNU, which at the time owned Nielsen Media Investigate and Billboard journal. VNU wished its U.S.-centered executives positioned in New York but Dowling recognized that would not operate.

Dowling advised The Occasions in 2005 that leaving was bittersweet.

“I did not listen to a standing ovation for me walking out the doorway,” he reported. “But I feel they’re let down.”

His successor lasted considerably less than a calendar year in the work.

Born on New York’s Lengthy Island on Sept. 16, 1939, his early many years were being tumultuous.

Dowling’s mom gave him up at beginning and he put in his early years in a collection of foster houses before being adopted. He would later on say the practical experience assisted him create a capability to instinctively recognize motivations and evaluate conditions.

“That perception of abandonment truly drove him,” his son said. “He stated to me that when he’d go into these foster properties, he had to determine out the setting all over him speedily. He never preferred to do nearly anything that would upset the equilibrium, or draw much too a lot consideration to himself, [out of concern] he may well get abandoned yet again.”

In 1965, Dowling achieved the adore of his daily life, Juanita Rich, and they married. Together they raised a few sons.

Past his spouse and children, Dowling loved covering the leisure field.

“He was moved by the audio and he cared about the total manufacturing of a motion picture — not just the stars or the previously mentioned-the-line expertise,” Michael Dowling mentioned. “He loved the crafts, he beloved the arts. He was so appreciative of the capabilities and skills that persons introduced to their employment.”

Dowling is survived by his wife of 56 decades, Juanita, their kids and their spouses: Rob (Diane) Dowling, Michael (Gia) Dowling and Matthew (Anna) Dowling his 7 grandchildren, PJ, Larissa, Lena, Devan, Ella, Miles and Radley and his puppy, K.C.