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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Gray’

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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Pink Slips Coming to Variety Editorial Staffers

With Variety now under the ownership of Penske Media, we figured changes (that means staff cuts) were on their way. Well, unfortunately, those moves are coming in March. According to Deadline, “editorial firings” are being planned.

Even those who survive the cuts won’t have much to cheer about. One staffer told Deadline that Variety has been in a perpetual state of chaos since Penske purchased it:

There is complete editorial disorganization from the top down. No one knows if Variety is supposed to be a breaking news organization, an analytical publication, or some as yet undetermined hybrid. Tim Gray keeps pontificating to editorial that things are going to change and Variety will go in a new direction. But nobody knows what that means. They’re totally demoralized.

Nikki Finke Drops the Hammer on Her Variety Compadres

The honeymoon is over. After various bouts of Twitter love between Variety and Deadline employees in the wake of a PMC deal that brought the two publications closer together, Nikki Finke has let it be known there is trouble ahead for the paywall-ditching trade.

Assuming her information is accurate, the surprise is not that Jay Penske is planning editorial firings in March. Given Variety‘s staff size, senior salary tiers and the general post-acquisition M.O., this was pretty much a given. What’s more unusual is that PMC employee Finke is blowing the whistle on her parent company’s plans, with an end-parenthesis note that reads: ‘No matter what my corporate boss wants, Deadline reports the news.’ From Finke’s brief, pointed item:

“There is complete editorial disorganization from the top down,” a source complained. “No one knows if Variety is supposed to be a breaking news organization, an analytical publication, or some as yet undetermined hybrid. Tim Gray keeps pontificating to editorial that things are going to change and Variety will go in a new direction. But nobody knows what that means. They’re totally demoralized.”

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And Now for Some Variety Rumors

Now that Variety is under the wing of Penske Media, the rumors about the paper’s future are swirling. According to The New York Post, the big news doesn’t concern the print side; insiders claim that Variety’s paywall will be taken down soon. Penske is also expected to expand the paper internationally.

Of course we know what you’re reading this for, you want to know who is getting axed. It’s perverse, but hey, we don’t judge. Here’s what  has been said so far: Neil Stiles and Tim Gray, Variety’s president and editor-in-chief, respectively, are both expected to get bounced. There’s a chance that Bonnie Fuller, current editor of Penske’s HollywoodLife.com, will replace Gray, but really, who knows?

Changes are definitely coming to Variety, so we’ll update as they do.

Nikki Finke Responds to Variety BlogDogger Accusation

Last week, we picked up on an item posted by Variety‘s new watchdog BlogDogger, which alleged some Deadline.com time-stamp funny business. Essentially, the cross-town trade wondered how, the morning after, an item with the same 3:00 am PT posting time as Variety‘s had retroactively appeared.

In an email late last night to Variety‘s Tim Gray, Neil Stiles and film editor Josh Dickey, with a cc: to this reporter, Finke argued that Deadline.com had slow-cooked the same film project news several days before Variety posted their January 5 article. Per Finke’s email:

In actuality, Deadline’s story originated two days before Variety ever published. Mike Fleming originated the story on January 3rd at 15:40 with the facts intact. He worked on the story constantly before he published.

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New Editor In Chief At Variety

vari222.jpgPeter Bart, Variety’s editor in chief of 20 years, has been replaced by deputy editor Tim Gray. The article on the Variety website says Bart is being promoted. Nikki Finke has a different take:

Bart’s new title is “vice president and editorial director of Variety”, but it’s meaningless. He and the company are playing this like it’s voluntary, but Peter has been pushed “essentially up and out” of the newsroom, as one of my sources puts it. But he’ll be allowed to continue as the “face” of Variety in public — which is something Bart cares a lot about. His column and blog will continue.