Business, Economics and Jobs

Hollywood trade magazine 'Variety' put up for sale


The over 100-year-old Variety magazine is up for sale by owner Reed Business Information, which said it was selling off its print magazine businesses.


Michael Buckner

Variety, Hollywood's most famous trade magazine is up for sale.

The over 100-year-old magazine's owner Reed Business Information, a subsidiary of Dutch-British conglomerate Reed Elsevier, said that it was getting rid of its print magazines in favor of increasing its data services industry.

"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, according to Reuters. "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."

Reed Elsevier bought Variety 25 years ago and tried to sell the newspaper in 2008 but could not find a buyer during the financial crisis, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Variety has faced serious competition from free internet-based rivals like Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood and The Wrap, in recent years hollowing out its bottom line.

The Associated Press reported that in 2009 the magazine put its online content behind a paywall, a move that saw page views drop by about 40 percent.

Yet, the firm says it is not selling Variety for financial reasons.

Variety president Neil Stiles said in a statement on Friday, according to the Associated Press, that he had "every confidence that under new ownership, Variety will continue to thrive, innovate and provide fantastic insight into the sector."

Variety was started in New York in 1905 as a weekly trade magazine but moved to Los Angeles in 1933.

It covers movie and TV reviews, entertainment sales data and business deals in Hollywood.