Daily Variety Goes From Red Ink To No Ink
After 80 years of publication, Daily Variety will cease to exist as a print edition. Weekly Variety, which first appeared in 1905 to cover vaudeville, will remain in print but will be published on Tuesdays rather than weekends. It will be given a new look on March 26. Variety.com will also be redesigned and the site's paywall will be removed on Friday, March 1. The new publication will have three co-editors-in-chief: Claudia Eller (who has jumped ship from the Los Angeles Times), who will oversee coverage of the movie industry; Cynthia Littleton, who will be in charge of TV industry coverage; and Andrew Wallenstein, who will oversee digital content. Tim Gray, Variety's current editor will remain on staff, but his role was unclear. The announcement of the changes was made Tuesday by Jay Penske, owner of Penske Media Corporation, who acquired Variety from Reed Elsevier for $25 million last October. Penske had previously bought Nikki Finke's Deadline.com, which had grown to become Variety's primary competitor online. In typical feisty fashion, Finke posted an article about the changes headlined: Daily Variety Dead: Names 3 Editors-In-Chief and Turns Weekly ... Can This Failing Trade Be Saved. In the first version of her report, Finke said that Penske had tried to hire 5 to 6 other editors-in-chief for Variety but had no luck. An updated version said later that Penske says he's trying to hire 5 to 6 other editors for Variety to expand its editorial staff. Finke also stated in her original post that she had asked Penske and Eller to respond to rumors that Eller was heading to Variety on Feb. 9. Penske lied to me. Eller declined to comment, she wrote. In her updated account, Finke wrote: Penske says he didn't know if she would take the job. Eller declined to comment. On his LAObserved blog, Kevin Roderick observed that Finke offered no explanation for the updates -- such as on whether she was mistaken this morning, or whether Penske ordered her to change it -- and no way for readers who came in late to even know what she's updating. Bottom line: No more mention of any lies.