LOS ANGELES, March 23 Hollywood trade
paper Variety, one of the oldest and most respected sources of
information for the entertainment industry, is being put up for
sale, owners Reed Business Information said on Friday.
The unit of business publishing company Reed Elsevier said
it was selling Variety as part of its efforts of the past three
years to divest its U.S. business magazines.
"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," Reed Business Information Chief Executive
Mark Kelsey said in a statement.
"Variety has an incredibly talented team who have
successfully innovated and expanded the franchise in industry
news and analysis. I have no doubt the business will continue to
thrive under new ownership," Kelsey added.
Variety started life in New York in 1905 as a weekly
entertainment-trade magazine and went to a daily edition based
in Los Angeles in 1933. It now also has a website and covers TV
and movie reviews, box-office data, and business deals in the
global entertainment industry.
But it has faced increasing competition from trade rivals
like The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood and The Wrap, as
well as general entertainment websites offering news for free.
In late 2009, Variety put its online content behind a
paywall but saw page views drop some 40 percent, according to
figures from Nielsen.
Advertising is a large source of revenue for the daily trade
paper, particularly during Hollywood awards seasons when movie
studios take out large ads promoting actors and films for Oscar
A source close to Reed said the decision to sell had nothing
to do with the state of business at Variety itself.
The publication is also known for its insider jargon,
including terms like "skeins" for TV series, and "toppers" to
describe corporate leaders.
Variety president Neil Stiles said in a statement on Friday
that he had "every confidence that under new ownership, Variety
will continue to thrive, innovate and provide fantastic insight
into the sector."