Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Penske Buys Variety for $25 Million UPDATED

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 9, 2012 at 12:14PM

Well, the early reports are true. After seven months of negotiations, Penske Media Corp., backed by hedge fund Third Point, has won 107-year-old trade paper Variety for $25 million. Just months ago Variety was thought to be worth $50 mlllion, which was still substantially lower than its pre-recession peak value. Jay Penske, 33, outbid New York Hedge Fund Avenue Capitol and supermarket mogul Ron Burkle.
0
Variety logo

Well, the early reports are true. After seven months of negotiations, Penske Media Corp., backed by hedge fund Third Point, has won 107-year-old trade paper Variety for $25 million. Just months ago Variety was thought to be worth $50 mlllion, which was still substantially lower than its pre-recession peak value. Jay Penske, 33, outbid New York Hedge Fund Avenue Capitol and supermarket mogul Ron Burkle.

For much of its recent history the venerable daily and weekly Variety raked in millions at the top of the trade media heap. Today, Janice Min's The Hollywood Reporter, which also prints a weekly, and Deadline, launched by blogger Nikki Finke six years ago before Penske Media acquired it in 2009, dominate what is now an online niche. Variety used to look down its nose at both.

Jay Penske, 33, told the LA Times that he intended to turn Variety, which has a staff of about 120, back into a must-read that is "absolutely fundamental and indispensable." He did not detail what he wanted to do with the paper, but said that for now Variety and Finke's Deadline will proceed to operate separately with some possible overlap in writers. "Before we make any substantial changes, we need to spend more time with the current team," he emailed the LAT. "We need more data...We see an incredible opportunity for future collaboration while remaining editorially independent."

Finke is on vacation and not available for comment. "What Nikki has architected at Deadline is simply amazing," Penske told the LAT. "To alter or change the chemistry of Deadline would be in our opinion a huge mistake."

He added that he planned to build Variety and reduce its dependence on print revenues. That's easier said than done.

At least Variety President Neil Stiles, who designed Variety's current economic model, will leave the scene. Under former editor-in-chief Peter Bart and Stiles, Variety became a hidebound institution that kept its distance from the traffic-chasing economics that Penske lives by. He is well-versed in online media (he also owns Bonnie Fuller's HollywoodLife, Michael Ausiello's TVLine and Movieline). He is not a print animal.

Variety is a print trade with an online site that is behind a pay wall. That is what the people who work there fundamentally believe in. They see themselves as newspaper men and women. They live and breathe in a universe of copy editors and proofreaders and paper stock and print deadlines--and chasing print ads which have been declining at a rapid rate.

Variety has never taken much stock--aside from a few younger news hounds--in the outside online world. They don't understand it or study it or think that it's important. They practice insider-industry-friendly trade journalism. Everything the hard-charging Finke stands for is loathesome to them.

This article is related to: Media, New Media & Technology, News


E-Mail Updates