“The only reason anyone pays much attention to Variety, critically, is not because Todd McCarthy is the greatest critic in the world, but because studios, steeped in The Past, have continued to allow Variety to act as though they have a unique position in the industry and to review first. That has drawn much of the traffic they have had.

“And Variety — and Todd McCarthy — have held onto that long antiquated idea of how to handle review embargoes closely to their hearts. It has been their lifeblood, however absurd on its face, as ‘the trades’ have been published on the newswires and as consumer content on the search engines for years.

“So how, having fired McCarthy, slashing the number of reviews in the paper and online, and going all-freelance with reviews, how could any studio continue to allow Variety to own a space that it does not earn and for which it now shows clear contempt?

“In other words…it’s over.

Variety will not go out of business. But it will be a brand, eventually sold off, still trying to figure out how to balance print and online in a way that gives the title any distinction at all in the marketplace. Same with The Hollywood Reporter. As such, the title may someday disappear completely. We’ll see. The discussion and ambition will continue. But for now, long live Variety, Variety is dead.” — from David Poland‘s 3.8.10 Hot Blog column.