The Envelope redux *

In case you didn't catch enough premature Oscar buzz the first time around, the LAT is publishing the best of The Envelope and other Times coverage as a special tab section tomorrow—eleven days before the actual event. Being a newspaper you'd think they might opt for transparency and have the advertising or circulation VP do the flakkery. Instead, the press release quotes a senior editor—as if the timing and content were actually news or reader driven.

"This special section combines the best of The Envelope with the best of The Times to give our newspaper readers and our online visitors more of what they love: an insider's view of Hollywood's biggest event of the year," said Joel Sappell, executive editor, Los Angeles Times Interactive. "We believe this seamless integration between print and Web is the most ambitious undertaking of its kind by a major U.S. newspaper, one that will benefit all of our audiences."

The release has more. I linked to it this morning, but since it's apt here again is a pointer to the New York Observer's piece today on the reasons for this year's unprecedented Oscar hype, online and in the paper, by the LAT and others. Quote grabs: "Itís almost like watching a ballgame played without the ball"—Janet Maslin. "Weíve also got the phenomena where the L.A. Times basically gets a whole bunch of trade advertising in the movie category, and thatís driven both by the Academy Awards and other awards at this time of year....And expect over time that we will continue to get a really big share of movie advertising"—Tribune Publishing president Scott Smith.

* (3:15 pm) Business Week blogger Jon Fine also weighs in on the orgy of newspaper Oscars "news."


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