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Deadline

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deadline.com

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When it comes to keeping up with the constantly updating feed of entertainment, film, and TV news, there are more than enough options out there from which you can choose. However, each entertainment news outlet offers a slightly different take than the next. Some are more geared towards the film, some skew more along the lines of reporting on popular TV series, some are more indie-focused, and others have a political or social bent to them as well.

With so many options, it can be hard to decide which is the right one for you. But have no fear, that is precisely why I am here – to help you navigate each one and come to a decision on which is going to be perfect for your unique tastes and interests.

Of course, the idea that you would need a single entertainment news site is a bit of a myth. In fact, some would argue that it would make the most sense to regularly peruse all of the best sources for entertainment news in order to take the most holistic approach to stay informed.

That being said, some sites of this nature are, naturally, going to be better than others. In terms of design, the quality of the content, and what kinds of content gets focused on more than others, there is no denying the fact that some entertainment news sites will be better tailored for your own specific needs. Therefore, having a solid go-to, default entertainment news site is certainly far from a bad idea.

It all depends on what it is that you are most interested in, as well as what you most value in a news site. Maybe you prefer an entertainment news site with a really slick design, one that is very geared towards user experience. Or maybe content is king, in which case you will probably want to be able to depend on a site with the best staff of writers. Perhaps your biggest concern is a site with longevity, like Rolling Stone or People. No matter what your core concerns happen to be, there is a site that caters to your needs better than all the rest. And you’ve come to the right place to try and weed them all out.

Not every authority on entertainment news to be found online started as an in-print publication. Some were, like Deadline, started out as blogs. This means that an entertainment news site such as Deadline will probably be a little bit more in the know when it comes to keeping current – both from a tech/design standpoint, as well as with being in the loop with what’s hot right now.

Deadline, for instance, also tends to have a more modern tone to its articles … they tend to be less involved as the articles in, say, People or Time magazines, and a little shorter in length – perfect for someone who keeps busy but doesn’t want to miss a beat with their favorite shows, movies, actors, and entertainers.

If that sounds like you, Deadline might just be the site you’ve been waiting for. So, without further ado, let us dive in and take a look at where Deadline Hollywood came from, how it functions, and whether it is worth your time.

History

Deadline was created by entertainment news journalist Niki Finke. It found its start, actually, as a series of columns called “Deadline Hollywood” which appeared in the LA Times in June of 2002. From there, Finke turned her columns into a blog, previously known as Deadline Hollywood Daily, in March of 2006.

Met with immediate success, Finke decided to launch a full-fledged website version of the blog, as a constantly updated entertainment news trade site, later that year (2006). By the time that 2009 rolled around, Deadline Hollywood became one of the most followed entertainment news sites on the web, an authority and institution in the entertainment news circuit.

At the peak of its popularity in 2009, the business savvy Niki Finke sold Deadline to the Penske Media Corporation (at the time Mail.com Media) for an impressive seven-figure price tag. In addition to the sale of the site itself, Finke was given a five-year-plus employment contract which was, according to the LA Times, worth millions. This allowed her to continue working on the site once its ownership officially exchanged hands.

In September of 2009, the site’s URL was shortened from deadlinehollywood.com to the simpler deadline.com. The name of the site, however, remained Deadline Hollywood. The publication broadened its horizons, expanding into New York City in 2010 along with the hiring of Variety magazine’s Mike Fleming Jr. as Deadline’s New York editor. Financial Times editor, Tim Adler was also added on to take charge of Deadline London. And Nellie Andreeva was brought on board to manage Deadline’s television coverage alongside Adler.

Finke, however, remained the main editor of Deadline Hollywood until 2013. She left after a reported yearlong dispute that she’d had with Penske over their decision to buy out competitor trade magazine and website, Variety. Deadline still stands today, though, as one of the most influential and widely visited entertainment news sites on the internet.

Design

Deadline Hollywood has largely retained a sort of blog aesthetic. It may just be my personal taste, but I am not a huge fan of the site’s layout. When I go to a news site of any sort – be it entertainment, politics, sports, etc. – I expect a certain air of professionalism. And that is not what I think of when I see a bloglike format.

Instead of offering a sort of front-page trade magazine appeal, Deadline has individual posts that are listed in a sort of table … not unlike a blog would list its posts. They are probably doing this as an homage to Deadline Hollywood’s roots, but I think that it takes away from the site’s overall design. The top maybe 1/8th of the home page, however, does have this more news network-esque layout, but even still it is a little too flashy and cluttered for my liking, with a breaking story popup at the top and a few featured pieces scattered immediately below.

Content

One place that you can’t really argue with Deadline, however, is in its content. They are always on top of the hottest breaking stories. The site is constantly updated, and it is not only entertainment news that gets the spotlight. Deadline occasionally covers politics as well (not as in-depth as a political news site would, surely, but the fact that they do at all is a breath of fresh air for an entertainment rag).

For the rest of the content, the best place to look would be the site menu bar. Visitors can peruse the site by choosing one of the following categories: TV, Film, Awards Line, Box Office, Business, Hero Nation, International, Broadway, or Video (Deadline’s TV video content).

Mobile and Desktop Experience

What Deadline lacks in terms of an in-browser site, I think, it more than makes up for in its mobile app. The app is everything that the site should be. It looks professional, it is extremely streamlined, it is less cluttered, less flashy, and, thus, much easier to navigate and read. It reads much more like a true online publication and less like a blog.

It would seem as if the majority of iOS users would agree with me, too, as the Deadline Hollywood app is one of the highest-rated entertainment news apps available on the Apple App Store. With an average overall rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) from over 2 thousand individual reviewers, the Deadline app could be the best way to receive all of your entertainment news on the go.

Pricing and Plans

Deadline Hollywood is entirely free to use to your heart’s content. There are no paywalls or blocked content to worry about navigating. You will have to put up with the occasional ad, sure, but (pro tip) it’s nothing to worry about with a decent ad-blocker extension for your web browser of choice.

Suggestions that I have for Deadline Hollywood

Well, the first piece of advice that I would give to Deadline Hollywood would be to take another look at their desktop site design. Maybe give it a bit of a makeover, inspired by the sleek and professional feel of the app. Ditch the blog layout for something more news-like.

Secondly, it couldn’t hurt to offer a premium experience of the site for a monthly fee. Say, an ad-free experience, exclusive content, maybe an occasional print version of the magazine? I think lovers of Deadline would easily pay five or ten bucks a month for something like this – some added perks.

Likes & Hates:
Constantly updated breaking news
Great app design
Solid content
Text and video content available
Poorly executed browser site
No premium or pro version offered