A hard Deadline: Reed sells Variety
October 10, 2012
For years blogger Nikki Finke has exhibited great joy in taking Variety to task.
Now her site’s parent company has the task of turning Variety around. Penske Media, which owns Finke’s Deadline.com, purchased the struggling trade publication for the bargain price of $25 million from Reed Elsevier, which had tried several tactics to keep Variety afloat.
Over recent years it had put the publication behind a paywall online and changed the printing schedule, to little avail.
Sites like Deadline, which serves up Hollywood scoop online only, proved difficult to compete with, and Variety’s ad dollars continued to decline.
According to the early buzz, the paywall will come down, though Variety and Deadline will not be merging.
One intriguing possibility, floated by The New York Post’s Keith Kelly, is that former Us Weekly editor Bonnie Fuller, who currently edits Penske’s Hollywood Life site, will become Variety editor, mirroring a move made by another Us alumna, Janice Min, who now edits the trade The Hollywood Reporter, another Deadline rival.
Variety wasn’t the only publication sold cheap this week. Media General offloaded its lone remaining paper, the Tampa Tribune, earlier this week for $9.5 million.
The Revolution Capital Group purchased the Tribune, its first newspaper. It marks the first time in Media General’s 150-year history that it will not own a paper.
Earlier this year Media General sold the majority of its papers to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Tags: berkshire hathaway, bonnie fuller, deadline.com, Hollywood, Hollywood Life, keith kelly, media general, newspapers, nikki finke, online, paywall, Penske Media, Reed Elsevier, tampa tribune, this week, trades, Us Weekly, variety
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