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Penske Puts a Woman in Charge at Variety

This is pretty sweet. After 15 years with Variety, Michelle Sobrino-Stearns can add a new title to go along with sales director, managing director of features, vice president and associate publisher: the trade publication’s first-ever female publisher.

“I’m very excited and sincerely grateful to Jay for this opportunity,” Sobrino-Stearns said. “When he addressed the staff at his first town-hall meeting, he won everyone over and got them excited about the future of Variety. He has terrific plans to take our business to the next level and beyond.”

The promotion was announced today at Penske’s second town-hall, during which he promised more changes are in store. The PMC scion also couldn’t resist taking a shot at Hollywood Reporter editorial director Janice Min, contrasting her initial remarks in the New York Times to the idea of appointing someone at Variety from within.

“Janice said of Hollywood, ‘I like the people here but I don’t have an interest in becoming one of them,’ Penske stated. Exiting publisher Brian Gott intends to focus on philanthropic efforts. TheWrap and The Hollywood Reporter also respectively are currently led by female publishers Stacey Farish and Lynne Segall.

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