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Posts Tagged ‘Variety’

Variety Grabs Newsweek/Daily Beast Vet

Ramin Setoodeh, who spent a combined 11 years at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, has moved over to the Hollywood trade side. As Variety‘s New York film editor, he will be based here alongside a small but growing staff.

From this morning’s announcement:

Setoodeh will also produce videos, webcasts and make regular television appearances on news shows to talk about the film industry. He reports to Claudia Eller, editor-in-chief, film…

A fearless and industrious journalist, Setoodeh once went undercover and auditioned for American Idol, and launched several Web series — one featuring Channing Tatum and Chris Evans candidly discussing their early acting jobs. His 2010 theater review of Sean Hayes in Promises Promises went viral, sparking a major debate about gay actors in Hollywood and eliciting responses from such high-profile players as Ryan Murphy, Aaron Sorkin and Kristin Chenoweth.

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TMZ Vet Daniel Goldblatt Now at the Helm of Variety.com

Very few people can point to longer terms of service with TMZ than Daniel Goldblatt. He started with the Harvey Levin operation way back in June of 2005. Roughly six months before the site opted for an original, breaking news voice and eventually found its way to a monstrous Mel Gibson scoop.

After eight years with TMZ as a producer and coordinating producer, Goldblatt has shifted over to New York City and the position of managing editor for variety.com. This may be purely coincidental, but in recent weeks, we’ve been noticing more variety.com linkage on The Drudge Report.

Almost everyone’s a cubicle star in one way or another if they work for TMZ. But it was away from the 24/7 office that Goldblatt clocked one of his more infamous LA moments.

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Josh Dickey’s Tenure at TMZ Lasts All of Three Months

TMZ founder Harvey Levin can be a demanding boss. His ability to ferret out stories, sources and exclusives in a telephone manner that is second-to-none creates exceedingly high expectations for all those who work alongside him in the 24/7 newsroom.

Did the Levin horizon of journalism deliverables have something to do with the exit in late June of Josh Dickey (pictured), hired as TMZ.com managing editor just a few months earlier? Probably.

This morning, just as TheWrap provided a friendly, familiar home for fired Variety film reporter Jeff Sneider, it is now also the new place of re-employ for Sneider’s old boss. Dickey has rejoined Sharon Waxman‘s operation as managing editor, bumping Joseph Kapsch up to Lisa Fung‘s vacated executive editor slot.

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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.

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.

Variety Purchased by Penske Media for $25 Million

Variety has finally been purchased. According to The Los Angeles Times, Variety has been acquired by Penske Media, and its financial baker, Third Point, a hedge fund. The price? A cool $25 million. As with any major media purchase, there are bound to be some changes at the 107-year-old paper. However, Jay Penske, CEO of Penske, didn’t have many details to share about the future of Variety and its staffers.

“”We are not buying Variety to gut the newsroom,” Penske told the LA Times. “We are buying the business to build it. Are there going to be changes? Yes. Do we want to reduce our dependency on print revenues? Yes. How quickly that can happen, we’ll know more in the coming months.”

The buy is sort of ironic, given that Penske operates brands like Deadline.com and The Hollywood Reporter, which seemed to have sped up Variety’s downfall.

Variety Sold to Deadline.com Owner Penske Media

After months of courting offers, Variety has finally settled on a buyer. Penske Media, backed by private equity firm Third Point, will acquire the trade publication for approximately $25 million.

Jay Penske told the Los Angeles Times that Nikki Finke will not be involved in running Variety, and that the publication will be operated separately from Deadline.com, though staffers may contribute to both. TheWrap hears from insiders that Finke is “having a major tantrum” because Penske will not give her a role in running Variety.

Variety‘s remaining 120 staffers are undoubtedly concerned about more layoffs, but the Chief Executive was vague about his plans when speaking to the LAT:

“We wouldn’t be buying this business if we didn’t have a plan to correct the recent deterioration of both revenues and profit,” Penske said. “We are not buying Variety to gut the newsroom. We are buying the business to build it. Are there going to be changes? Yes. Do we want to reduce our dependency on print revenues? Yes. How quickly that can happen, we’ll know more in the coming months.”

Penske also said that no decision had been made concerning the fate of the print versions of the trade. Variety publishes both a weekly edition and a daily edition on the weekdays.

Variety to Sell for Less Than $30 Million

You know print is on its way out when a newspaper like Variety is having trouble being sold. There was a time when the title was a big brand, but those days are long gone.

According to The New York Post, Variety’s parent company has been forced to cut the asking price below $30 million. This comes after both finalists in the bid to acquire the paper — Penske Media Company and Avenue Capital — balked at the initial price tag of between $30 and $40 million. Variety’s parent is also offering seller financing in the hopes that it will coax one of the companies into buying.

The leader to buy Variety was once thought to be Avenue, but now the Post says it’s Penske. Seems like neither one actually wants the paper, doesn’t it?

Avenue Capital, Part Owner of AMI, in Lead to Buy Variety

The New York Post is reporting that Avenue Capital Group, the investment firm whose holdings include American Media Inc. (AMI), is the lead bidder for Variety. The paper’s parent company is rumored to have accepted Avenue’s bid of between $30 to $40 million, and a deal could be announced as early as this week.

If Avenue indeed does end up with the over 100-years-old Variety, it would likely contract out the paper’s back-end operations to AMI.

From there who knows what will happen. It’s worth wondering if Variety would eventually be blended into another AMI brand, which include the National Enquirer, Star, Men’s Fitness and Shape.

Variety’s Buyer Better Have Deep Pockets

The price tag for Variety has been estimated at about $40 million, but according to experts, it’s going to end up being way more than that once it’s bought. PaidContent spoke to several people who had access to Variety’s books, and the results aren’t pretty:

That $40 million is a pretty considerable amount of money, but the problem is you’re not done at $40 million. You’re buying a property that’s had a decade of deferred maintenance. Whoever underwrites this is going to have to do this with a plan of investing significantly post-purchase.

Yikes. Here’s another:

There’s always a bunch of risks when you don’t have a balance sheet that takes the parent company out of the equation.

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