End of an era for Hollywood as Daily Variety goes weekly

 

Every weekday for 80 years, Daily Variety has brought the latest film news to the doorstep of Hollywood’s great and good.

Yet, Tuesday marked the end of an era as the industry bible printed its last daily edition, with a trademark headline written in the industry jargon it pioneered, jargon that would often leave outsiders scratching their heads.

The front page of the final edition, with its famous green masthead, ran with the language typical of its reporting of departing studio executives: “Variety ankles daily pub hubbub”.

Jay Penske, who bought Variety in October with backing from hedge fund Third Point, is to overhaul the weekly magazine while the website was relaunched at the beginning of the month, a move which included taking down the paywall.

In its final edition, it said: “This marks the last official print version of Daily Variety, which reported what happened yesterday. For news of what happened two minutes ago, keep going to Variety.com.”

Variety was set up in New York in 1905 covering vaudeville acts, and 28 years later the daily edition was launched becoming required reading for studio bosses, production teams and acting talent. The jargon it uses is dubbed “slanguage”.

Penske Media Group and Third Point bought the Variety stable in October for an estimated $25m from publishing house Reed-Elsevier. It brought in three editors-in chief, Claudia Eller, Cynthia Littleton and Andrew Wallenstein to oversee a reversal in the publication’s fortunes.

Mr Penske also owns Deadline, a free news website which has muscled in on Variety’s turf of breaking casting news, ratings and box office numbers.

Variety had about 320,000 unique users a month around the time it was sold, while Deadline had 2.4 million. Daily Variety had about 28,000 daily subscribers, while the weekly has a few thousand more.

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