Dax Holt and Adam Glyn’s “Hollywood Raw” podcast has broken major stories by not playing the give-and-take game and simply just listening
Holt’s and Glyn’s recent success has come from disrupting the traditional celebrity news model.
For decades, the relationship between celebrities and the media was a lopsided give-and-take, with stars granting “exclusives” to publications like People or Vanity Fair in exchange for exorbitant photo rights fees or guaranteed covers.
TMZ flipped that model in 2005 with its quick-hit, gonzo/gotcha journalism that fueled a website and later a syndicated television show. While magazines showed celebrities at their groomed best, TMZ often showed them at their unfiltered worst.
Then came Twitter and Instagram, putting the power back in celebrities’ hands. A star would no longer have to tip off the paparazzi to snap her new engagement ring or negotiate photo rights with a magazine (although any and all coverage was always welcomed). No longer would she stress over an editorially selected cover or headline; she could release the photo or story of her choice when and how she wanted.
Social media allowed celebrities to create and publish their own news. Most would say that’s a good thing; readers would get the news straight from the horse’s mouth. But typically, those stories and images would be curated — published with a positive spin or literally filtered so that the celebrity would be shown in their best light. After all, celebrity is driven by promotion, and who better to do that than celebrities themselves?
But something’s been lost in the TMZ quick-hits and social media self-promotions; there’s no time to ask for elaboration or clarification, no reporters to ask the hard-hitting questions. Questions that Holt and Glyn — two longtime journalists and self-proclaimed celebrity fans — sought answers to.
On top of that, there’s the ongoing pandemic. There are no clubs or parties where stars can be “papped” entering and exiting. There are no glitzy movie premieres with long, packed press lines extending down Hollywood Boulevard.
For Holt and Glyn, the “Hollywood Raw” podcast was the solution — a safe way to engage with celebrities who might not have a project to promote but have strong followings, desire to stay socially relevant and stories to tell.
Holt and Glyn had built a Rolodex of contacts from their years at TMZ. Holt was a clearance manager, Glyn a senior field reporter, and both appeared frequently on-air. But contacts weren’t enough for “Hollywood Raw.” They knew they had to break from other publishers and offer something different.
As Holt told TheWrap, they set out to reveal the “fourth wall of Hollywood,” including set-up paparazzi shoots and the behind-the-scenes negotiations for access and stories. Rather than going for A-listers (and through their gatekeepers), they sought people in their orbits, like