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Looking for equity, in 1929 he briefly partnered in a Manhattan trade paper covering the entertainment business but soon realized that an L.A.-based publication -- out in Hollywood, where the real action was -- would fill a market void. (Variety would not follow from New York until 1933.) The Hollywood Reporter launched inauspiciously just as the Great Depression got under way. But within a few years, thanks in large part to hardball sales tactics (such as withholding news coverage unless a deal was made), it was packed with studio advertisements, and Wilkerson branched out to other ventures that directly served the industry. These included a liquor-importing business, top nightclubs Ciro's and Cafe Trocadero (where Judy Garland got her start) and a slew of Parisian-style, star-studded restaurants including Vendome, L'Aiglon and LaRue, as well as the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas. (Wilkerson's larger-than-life playboy adventures have interested Johnny Depp and Graham King, whose production companies are developing a biopic with Lifetime.)

A freelance production accountant has filed a defamation lawsuit against Prometheus Global Media, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, claiming that her career and reputation were destroyed by…


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Guggenheim Partners is spinning off significant media assets — including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard Magazine and Dick Clark Productions — into a new company that will be under the majority…