Robert Joseph “Bob” Dowling, the previous writer and editor in chief of The Hollywood Reporter for 17 years, died December 30 after a brief sickness. He was 83.
Born on on September 16, 1939, on Lengthy Island in New York, Dowling was given up by his beginning mom and spent his first three years in a sequence of foster houses earlier than his ultimate adoption. Dowling believed that the sense of unease this created in him would drive his lifelong capability to instinctively acknowledge motivations and rapidly assess conditions.
Dowling was a pure salesman. As he described in his 2019 memoir “My Life…and Then Some,” promoting grew to become second nature to him as a result of his potential to empathize with these on the opposite facet of the deal.
He entered journal publishing in his 20s and have become editor and writer of a wide range of publications, together with American Druggist, Excessive-Tech Advertising, Menswear and Sports activities Advertising Information. As he was the primary to confess, he knew little in regards to the trade he was protecting on the time. “I used to be at all times launching one thing or enhancing one thing,” he as soon as stated.
Dowling joined The Hollywood Reporter in September 1988 as president earlier than being named writer and editor in chief of what was understood to be the distant second showbiz commerce on the town after Day by day Selection. He moved his household from Westport, CT, to Los Angeles to take the place regardless of having no expertise in leisure or understanding of how the enterprise labored.
Dowling threw himself into the job by taking appointments with leaders from movie, TV, music and stay leisure in his first 12 months on the job. He educated himself from the within, peppering those that ran issues with limitless inquiries to be taught what they knew.
A sequence of improvements, particular editions and occasions spearheaded by Dowling, together with a serious ramping up of worldwide protection, led to THR reaching not merely parity with Selection however in lots of respects the notion of surpassing it, each editorially and financially. A publication that had been in pressing want of an overhaul previous to his arrival generated respect over the last decade-plus of his tenure that led to 2005.
One among Dowling’s proudest achievements was his push to create a web-based presence for The Reporter in 1995 with the creation of THR.com, the primary each day leisure commerce to have its personal such web site a full three years earlier than Selection.com was launched. It reinvented THR and continues to serve tens of millions of distinctive month-to-month customers.
“Bob and I knew one another, and someday after he took over on the Reporter, he referred to as me and requested if he may come converse to our workers,” remembers veteran publicist Stan Rosenfield. “He introduced with him a replica of that day’s Reporter, and a pc. He held the paper, and stated, ‘this was how we reported the information at the moment.’ He turned on the pc, and he stated ‘that is how we’re reporting the information tomorrow.’ After they put the entire individuals who have reinvented the wheel in a single room, Bob Dowling can be in there.”
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A second success of which Dowling remained justifiably proud was THR‘s particular situation revealed on September 12, 2001, the day after 9/11, when the editors pulled out all of the stops to print a 16-page, ad-free paper produced on the fly in the course of nationwide chaos and devastation. There was a single tv within the newsroom on the time.
Dowling possessed ethical character, integrity and kindness and was extensively beloved — particularly by his workers. Whereas working at THR within the late ‘90s, this reporter found he had a closet full of pricey champagne that he had acquired as items. After ogling his largess, I got here within the subsequent morning to discover a bottle of Cristal on my desk with a candy be aware about my efficiency. I’ll always remember him.
Dowling is survived by his beloved spouse of 56 years, Juanita; his three kids and their spouses: Rob (Diane) Dowling, Michael (Gia) Dowling and Matthew (Anna) Dowling; and 7 grandchildren: PJ, Larissa, Lena, Devan, Ella, Miles and Radley.
Memorial preparations are pending.