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Variety, most famous name in showbiz magazines, is up for sale


By Noel Young | Correspondent

March 25, 2012 | 3 min read

Variety, the famous American entertainment magazine founded 107 years ago in New York, is for sale again.

Variety: 107 years young

UK-based owners , Reed Business Information, part of Reed Elsevier, originally tried to sell it in 2008 but couldn't get their asking price (unstated) because of the financial collapse. Now RBI,owners for 25 years, are trying again.

CEO Mark Kelsey said: “Variety is an iconic title serving the film and entertainment industry for more than 100 years. With RBI’s increasing focus on data services, and the sale of our other US print magazines, it now makes sense for us to sell the business."

Publishers' Weekly and other mags have been sold and Variety is now the company's only US print magazine.

Kelsey said Variety had an incredibly talented team who had successfully innovated and expanded the franchise in industry news.

But observers say it has recently been eclipsed by long-time rival the Hollywood Reporter, relaunched as a weekly glossy in 2010 with former US Weekly editor Janice Min in charge.

The Reporter website "has now far surpassed its competitors, with nearly five million unique visitors in February," says Min, "and we've had a very successful relaunch of the print product."

Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter magazine have struggled as sites such as have attracted readers and advertising.

It was rumoured last April that RBI had talked to Deadline owner Jay Penske about selling him Variety. But Variety Group CEO Neil Stiles called the rumour "nonsense."

Variety has 61,000 combined weekly, daily and online subscribers, and is the only daily showbiz publication .


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