OLD Media Moves

Entertainment biz pub Variety sold to Deadline owner

October 9, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

The Hollywood trade paper Variety has been acquired by Penske Media Corp. and its financial backer, hedge fund Third Point, for about $25 million, in a power shift for the world of show business and a transformation of the industry’s most famous news brand, writes Ben Fritz of the Los Angeles Times.

Fritz writes, “Santa Monica-based Penske already owns Deadline.com, the website that has in just six years become a dominant news source for show business professionals and, together with online competitor Wrap and a resurgent Hollywood Reporter, stolen much of the thunder that belonged to Variety for its 107-year history.

“The fact that Penske, a digital media company headed by Chief Executive Jay Penske, won a nearly seven-month long auction held by Variety’s British owner Reed Elsevier signifies how dominant a force the Internet has become in Hollywood. While Variety competes online, its five-day-a-week daily edition and weekly magazine are no longer the must-reads in Hollywood that they once were.

“In an interview, Penske said he believed Variety had faltered due to complacency, and that he intended to make it ‘absolutely fundamental and indispensable’ to its readers in Hollywood.

“He has not yet determined, however, what key changes he will make, including whether he will stop publishing either or both print editions.”

Read more here.

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