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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Wallenstein’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Kal Penn Joins Fusion for Midterms | SoftBank, DWA Talks Cool

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Kal Penn Named Special Correspondent of Fusion’s Midterm Mayhem (TVNewser)
Actor Kal Penn is joining Fusion as a special correspondent for its midterm election coverage. Fusion’s election coverage plans include a nightly primetime program Midterm Mayhem: The Ultimate Political Smackdown hosted by Fusion’s Nando Vila. FishbowlDC In addition to its television broadcast, the program will be livestreamed. Midterm Mayhem will be hosted by Vila with contributions from anchors Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez and Fusion’s Alice Brennan and Romina Puga. Capital New York Fusion is still modestly distributed, with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV among the major distributors that don’t yet carry the channel. The livestream — which will only apply to the month-long midterm election series — is a chance for viewers who don’t get Fusion to sample its programming, with the goal of getting them to lobby their pay-TV provider to carry the channel. The channel held a similar stunt tied to its coverage of the 2014 World Cup from Brazil. THR Penn is known for his roles in the Harold And Kumar trilogy, The Namesake, House and How I Met Your Mother. In 2009, he took a break from acting to work as an associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, serving as the Obama administration’s liaison to young Americans. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The show aims to “bring viewers all the essential political news of the day and answer questions of fundamental importance to Fusion’s audience,” the network said in a release. It premieres Sunday, Oct. 5, at 9:30 p.m. and runs until Election Day.

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Variety Shuffles Its EICs

Moving from editor-in-chief, television to managing editor, television is not exactly a promotion. So, reading between the lines of today’s Variety announcement, we’re assuming this shift was something Cynthia Littleton was willing to accept in exchange for relocating (earlier this year) from LA to New York.

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The PMC publication is still very much a west coast-driven concern. The move means Variety now has two rather than three EICs – Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein.(pictured). A couple of other portions of today’s announcement caught our eye.

1) The PMC PR folks might have been a tad too effusive when they dropped this sentence in:

Variety continues to be the leading provider of entertainment news around the world.

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Variety EIC: ‘Paywall Did Nothing But Severely Limit Our Audience’

At the recent 63rd annual MAGGIE Awards, where Variety won three awards including Most Improved Publication/Trade & Consumer, the 109-year-old outlet’s digital editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein delivered an afternoon keynote about changes in the PMC era.

Although much of what Wallenstein had to say is common knowledge at this point, it’s still rare in the Hollywood trades world to have the opportunity to hear a key editorial team member speak so frankly and in detail about the inner workings of the operation. Wallenstein joked at one point that he does not recommend doing a full website revamp in three months; he said website traffic has increased, since the elimination of the paywall, by 400%; and noted that the company’s new offices in west LA were set up for “year-round video production.”

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Variety Drops F-Bomb on Twitter

The first Wednesday tweet designed to promote editor-in-chief: digital Andrew Wallenstein‘s look at the forces behind some recent Hollywood studio exec shuffles was routine:

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But then… Who knows. Maybe the individual manning the trade’s Twitter account became frustrated at the lack of clicks. Or was ordered to get more eyeballs onto Wallenstein’s piece. Or there were drinks involved. Because five hours later, in the spirit of Nikki “I Should Be Running Variety” Finke, there was this:

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An Historic Hollywood Trades Panel

We’ve attended many Digital Hollywood’s and similar conferences over the years. For the life of us, we cannot remember another time when editorial representatives from all four Hollywood trades participated in the same panel discussion.

The May day confluence will occur tomorrow afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey. Moderating “The New Digital Age of the Hollywood Trade Press” will be Rick Markovitz, president of Weissman/Markovitz Communications. And participating:

- Andrew Wallenstein, editor-in-chief, digital, Variety
- Chis Krewson, editor, THR.com, The Hollywood Reporter
- Dominic Patten, reporter, Deadline Hollywood
- Joseph Kapsch, deputy managing editor, TheWrap

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Two Trade Publication Staffs Walk Into a Westwood Office Building…

Among the various Twitter wise-cracks posted in response to the news that Variety, Deadline (and other PMC Web publications) will soon be sharing the same LA westside digs was this one:

More like reality TV show. Especially since one of the floors being leased at the Westwood high rise will feature “a full video production studio and three green-screen rooms.”

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Variety Makes Steven Gaydos a VP

Last week, Variety announced the appointment of three new editors-in-chief – Andrew Wallenstein, Cynthia Littleton and Claudia Eller. Today, the trade has made another big move on the “advertorial” side, promoting executive editor Steven Gaydos to the additional role of VP.

The expanded, double title would seem to reflect that Gaydos has the full confidence of new owner Jay Penske, running a features department where most of the money will be. From this afternoon’s announcement:

Gaydos will oversee all editorial for features, events, creative partnerships, custom publishing and other special projects…

Gaydos has been responsible for nearly 200 reports and related events each year, directing the multi-platform production of territorial surveys, film, TV, digital and music reports, business-oriented personality and corporate profiles. In addition, he created and directed the “10 to Watch” program and oversees various initiatives such as brand’s Impact Lists, Hollywood’s New Leaders, Dealmakers and the Billion Dollar series.

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Variety Gets Three New Editors-in-Chief

They are Andrew Wallenstein, (digital), Claudia Eller (film) and Cynthia Littleton (TV). Colleague Tim Gray is not going away but rather will remain in a “leadership role.”

What’s most intriguing here is that Jay Penske is continuing a pattern of promoting female staffers (Littleton) to heretofore male-dominated editorial roles. Last fall, he appointed Michelle Sobrino-Stearns associate publisher. From this morning’s announcement:

The installation of Eller and Littleton as two of the three editors-in-chief marks the first time in the brand’s storied history that women have served in the top editorial role.

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YouTube Content Creators Enliven Variety Film Summit Panel

At today’s fourth annual Future of Film Summit at the Sofitel Hotel presented by Variety and Digital Media Wire, the seating arrangement for the “Trendsetters of the New Platforms” panel placed Brian Robbins next to Michael Gallagher. Which was doubly perfect, because these two dominated the discussion with their tales of two very different paths to YouTube content creation success.

Robbins revealed that Runaways, a series on his Awesomeness TV YouTube channel now into its second second season, costs less than ten percent of what he used to spend on a network TV show like One Tree Hill. Robbins, whose other credits include Smallville, started out in the YouTube business by self-funding a ridiculously successful crossover TV movie starring early sensation Fred.

“I am a father of teens and tweens, and I saw what was happening,” Robbins recalled. “I realized that TV is coming to an end, at least for this audience. So instead of fighting it, I decided, ‘Let’s dive in,” and made the movie with Fred.”

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PGA Rolls Out Another PRODUCED BY Conference

The admission prices for this weekend’s fourth PRODUCED BY Conference on the Sony Pictures lot are steep. But given the level of talent participating in the Producers Guild of America sponsored confab, attendees are willing to put forth boffo coin.

Speakers include everyone from Mark Cuban and LA Times entertainment reporter Dawn Chmielewski to Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein and produce Patrick Ward. Alongside a plethora of Saturday-Sunday events are something called Mentoring Tables. For a separate  fee of $100 per, participants get to sit down – Hollywood press junket style – and glean some more private, targeted words of advice.

If FishbowlLA was paying for an MT, we would be inclined to opt for either Snag Films CEO Rick Allen tomorrow afternoon or producer-director Gale Anne Hurd after lunch on Sunday. Organizers tell us that all but four of these ten-seat sessions have sold out.

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