I was told yesterday afternoon that Penske Media’s Variety would issue a big announcement. It came this morning with three bullets: (a) the daily print edition is being scuttled, (b) ditto the online edition’s paywall (except it’s been more or less gone for several weeks now) and editor Tim Gray is being shunted aside to international to make room for a new editorial triumvirate of Claudia Eller (film), Cynthia Littleton (TV) and Andrew Wallenstein (digital media).
The only time I’ve even seen copies of Daily Variety in recent years is when I’ve walked by the print-giveaway table at the Sundance Film Festival, or just down the hall from media credentials inside the Park City Marriot. Advertisers attached to the idea of dead-tree exposure are henceforth going to have to be content with Variety‘s once-weekly edition.
The absence of print and paywall revenue means “deep” editorial cuts. Deadline‘s Nikki Finke wrote this morning that “Penske’s idea is to transform Variety into a thumb-sucking weekly about the entertainment business, leaving breaking news coverage to Deadline Hollywood.”