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Why the Hollywood Reporter home page was temporarily down

Shown is a screenshot of the Hollywood Reporter's home page on Wednesday afternoon when it was temporarily down.
(Wendy Lee / Los Angeles Times)

The home page for the Hollywood Reporter, a destination for entertainment news, disappeared from the web for several hours on Wednesday.

“Looking for something on The Hollywood Reporter? Sorry, whatever you were looking for is no longer here, or you typed in the wrong URL. Please double-check and try again,” the website read on Wednesday afternoon.

The news outlet had been switching content management systems from Drupal to WordPress, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named because they were not authorized to comment on it.

The error message replaced the content on the Hollywood Reporter’s home page, but links to other parts of the website, such as its TV and movies sections, were working. After the L.A. Times contacted the news outlet, the home page was back up about a half hour later.

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“We experienced a temporary disruption to our home page, which did not affect any other part of the site or any of our content and was resolved quickly,” the outlet’s parent company, MRC, said in a statement.

It was unclear how long the home page was down.

When companies are making major changes to a site, it is common to take it offline or direct them to a mirror site on a different server, said Rob Enderle, a principal analyst with advisory services firm Enderle Group.

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“Usually this is something done in the middle of the night,” Enderle said. “You want to do it when traffic is way down, when people don’t notice.”

The problems with the website come during a period of sweeping changes at the Hollywood Reporter. The outlet named Nekesa Mumbi Moody as its executive editor in April after her predecessor, Matthew Belloni, left following sharp disagreements with the publication’s owners over its editorial independence.

Hollywood Reporter Editorial Director Matthew Belloni is leaving his role after about four years. Belloni had worked at the company for 14 years.

Prior to Belloni’s departure, the Hollywood Reporter’s parent company (previously known as Valence Media) had been working with the Poynter Institute over how to maintain editorial independence and provide ethics training.

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News outlets across the country have grappled with the pandemic, with some advertisers pulling back. The Hollywood Reporter conducted layoffs in April, according to Deadline.


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