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Michael Cieply was the West Coast editor of Inside.com, an online trade publication covering the media and entertainment industries. Cieply has covered the entertainment industry for 17 years, first for the Wall Street Journal and more recently for Talk magazine. In the 1990s, he also worked as a film producer for Sony and Ray Stark Productions.

Cieply told PBS in May 2001: "I started covering it in 1984 for the Wall Street Journal, and had actually never spent five minutes looking at the business before 1984. I just came in cold, started covering the movies here on the West Coast -- actually movies and television -- and wound up pretty much covering it from that point until now.

"Beginning in about 1978, the movie industry went through a 21-year period when it showed compound annual revenue growth of 12.5 percent. Now, that's almost unheard of. That level of growth, year after year, that's compound in double digits, very serious double digits that that really supported kind of a gold rush mentality. And it opened up through the 1980s into a wonderful sort of rock and roll thing that went on for the executives; I mean, great fun for the executives, because there was just money rolling left and right; they could do no wrong. Their mistakes turned into great successes. That has slowed. That's fallen apart in the 1990s, and really, as of about three or four years ago, hit a point where the whole industry is now growing on a revenue basis at less than half that rate.

"What happened was in the 1980s, because the amounts of money were so large, there was a rationale for allowing them to be [left] alone. So you had a whole group of executives who came up who were kind of very full of themselves and operated as sort of lords of the universe here, who were movie-oriented people. You're talking about the generation -- Peter Guber and Jon Peters and Sid Sheinberg and Lou Wasserman and Barry Diller and Michael Eisner. Now that whole gang, who had just a wonderful time sort of raping, pillaging, taking money out of the business, having lined their own pockets while lining the pockets of corporations, were kind of the last wild radical generation of executives I think this business is ever going to see."

Dennis McDougal mentions Cieply in his 2001 book on The Los Angeles Times: "When reporter Michael Cieply profiled Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub and discovered that the filmmaker had a cocaine addiction, [Times editor Shelby] Coffee held the story for months until the Wall Street Journal published the same revelations on its front page. Only then did the Times publish a watered-down version of Cieply's profile in its business section."

Nikki Finke writes in the 4/24/03 LA Weekly: "Back in the early 90s, after one too many run-ins with then-in-charge Shelby Coffey, known for his Industry cronyism, Cieply left journalism to try a career in movie production. At the time, Cieply told friends that hed rather work for whores who at least knew they were whores, or words to that effect. Based at then-embattled Sony, in the offices of first Steve Roth and then Ray Stark, Cieply eventually found the taste of Hollywood failure to be far worse than any frustration journalism could dish up. He was coaxed into overseeing the L.A. office of Inside.com. When the start-up flopped, he wrote freelance articles for Esquire, The New Yorker and the business section of The New York Times.

"Sources say the Times planned to keep Lyman in place and hire Cieply in a separate-but-equal position in L.A. Then, because of immediate budget pressures and imminent management changes, the new slot was put on hold. Instead, just recently, Cieply decided to rejoin the Los Angeles Times, now under new ownership and administration, as an entertainment editor-writer in the business section."