Variety Drops Daily Publishing, Opts for New Weekly Edition

Entertainment trade publication Variety has announced it will end its long-running daily publication schedule after March 19 and launch a new weekly Tuesday edition. The five-days-a-week newspaper and Sunday magazine will both shutter this month. Under new owner Penske Media, the publication’s digital Variety.com edition will also drop its paid-subscription plan and will be offered for free.

“Three journalists, each holding the title editor in chief, will be charged with Variety’s turnaround,” reports The New York Times. “Claudia Eller will leave The Los Angeles Times to oversee film coverage. Cynthia Littleton, most recently Variety’s deputy editor, will lead TV reporting, and Andrew Wallenstein, most recently a TV editor, will oversee digital content, according to Variety’s announcement.”

Penske Media Corporation acquired Variety for $25 million in October. In addition to the editorial staff restructuring, additional layoffs are expected in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with Penske’s plans.

The new weekly magazine will be a 13.5 x 10.5-inch bound publication. Variety is 108 years old and has an estimated 25,000 subscribers.

The changes are similar to those made by rival The Hollywood Reporter in 2010. “Publishing a weekly was considered Variety’s only option, aside from moving entirely online, and The Reporter has shown that it can work,” concludes the article. “Variety’s challenge is that it is losing its competitive edge — a daily print presence — while also arriving late at the retooled magazine party. The weekly Reporter, run by Janice Min and Lynne Segall, already has a solid foothold there.”