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Variety Shuffles Editorial Deck, Hollywood Reporter Launches Glossy Weekly

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 3, 2010 at 5:29AM

As newly flush The Hollywood Reporter poses a more robust threat than it ever has to Variety's one-time dominance of the trade space (its first glossy weekly, a fat 156 pages, hits stands Wednesday), Variety is moving its editorial deck chairs. Variety editor Tim Gray has turned to the solid news muscle in the daily bullpen, appointing ex-Hollywood Reporter editor Cynthia Littleton (who returned to Variety three years ago) and Brian Cochrane as deputy editors in charge of news. Thus Variety is not hiring a new editor to replace exiting daily editor Leo Wolinsky, who was let go Monday.
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Thompson on Hollywood

As newly flush The Hollywood Reporter poses a more robust threat than it ever has to Variety's one-time dominance of the trade space (its first glossy weekly, a fat 156 pages, hits stands Wednesday), Variety is moving its editorial deck chairs. Variety editor Tim Gray has turned to the solid news muscle in the daily bullpen, appointing ex-Hollywood Reporter editor Cynthia Littleton (who returned to Variety three years ago) and Brian Cochrane as deputy editors in charge of news. Thus Variety is not hiring a new editor to replace exiting daily editor Leo Wolinsky, who was let go Monday.

Littleton and Cochrane are both respected Variety veterans. In practice, while both put through copy for the daily editions, Littleton has carried more responsibility for the daily with an emphasis on television; Cochrane supervised the weekly. Now both will be in charge of the daily dissemination of news in print and on the web, working with Variety.com editor Chris Krewson "to make sure the delivery of news to Variety.com is faster, more relevant and easier for readers to access amid tech upgrades for the website," reads Variety's announcement, addressing an obvious need to change direction.

Gray is now moving editors Peter Caranicas and Carole Horst from features to oversee the weekly edition, which faces a design overhaul in the new year. Weekly film editor Pat Saperstein is now associate editor and Ted Johnson is now Variety legal editor.

On the award season front, the venerable trades are all competing for premium ad dollars with online dailies The Wrap (Steve Pond's The Odds), Deadline (Pete Hammond) and indieWIRE as well as established media The New York Times (The Carpetbagger blog is coming back the week after Thanksgiving, with Melena Ryzik) and The Los Angeles Times (Tom O'Neil is leaving The Envelope to relaunch GoldDerby.com November 5, while still blogging for The Envelope, as EW's Nicole Sperling and ex-Time reporter Rebecca Keegan join the reporting staff and will contribute to the new Awards Tracker blog). Meanwhile THR is adding a new Oscar column and blog, The Race, as I reported.

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.