Created on: March 01, 2013
Variety, a 108-year-old trade and entertainment daily newspaper, confirmed that it will end operations and production of its daily print edition as of Mar. 18. The outlet will keep its weekly magazine and transition from a weekend publication to Tuesdays. Variety.com will officially end its online paywall and become a free-to-access website.
Tim Gray, Variety’s editor, will remain on staff, but his role in the publication will change. Three new editors are being brought to the publication, which has been lauded because of the growing and changing media landscape: Claudia Eller, Cynthia Littleton and Andrew Wallenstein
A spokesperson for the magazine, which has roughly 25,000 daily subscribers, said the new weekly will be a larger size (13 ½ inches by 10 ½ inches) and will be bound.
First established in 1905 in New York and launched in Hollywood nearly three decades later, the company was last year by Penske Media for $25 million. Jay Penske, chairman and chief executive of Penske Media Corporation stated in an announcement that he is looking forward “to welcoming back longtime Variety readers.”
“When PMC purchased Variety last year, we committed to the digital evolution of this great brand,” said Penske in the announcement. “We're accelerating this strategy by heavily investing in our editorial staff, technology, video production and responsive design - all with the goal of providing the best experience for our dedicated readers.”
It has been noted that with the abolishment of the online paywall and “the end of an error,” editors and writers may be relieved that now they have the opportunity to publish content for a larger audience. Since the paywall was implemented, traffic was on the decline, according to figures from Alexa.
“Throughout its 100-plus years, Variety has been led by remarkable journalists dedicated to covering the entertainment business in an informative and entertaining way,” stated Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos, who will remain on staff and continue to direct all editorial elements of the publication’s feature sections.
Many were stunned to find that the outlet was purchased for $25 million because it was once reportedly offered more than $300 million. However, over the past few years, the company has had to impose layoffs and some of its freelance reporters have said they have not been paid since November, according to the York Times.
On the day Variety.com launched its revamped, it was reported that the redesign has led to broken and missing image assets, reports Verge. At the time of this writing, all errors have been fixed and the redesign appears to be a success.
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