SEEKING A BUYER: Variety is once again on the block, after a failed attempt by Reed Business Information’s parent company Reed Elsevier to unload the Hollywood trade publication four years ago. Mark Kelsey, chief executive officer, said Friday that with the company’s increased focus on digital and the sale of its other U.S. print titles during the past three years, the timing is right to sell the daily. “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,” said Kelsey. Reed Elsevier successfully sold some of its publications, including Broadcasting & Cable, in 2009.
During the past few years, Variety has faced increased pressure as online competitors such as Deadline.com have been launched. Deadline.com founder and editor in chief Nikki Finke didn’t waste any time in addressing the news on Twitter. “Variety For Sale! (Because It Can’t Compete With Deadline Hollywood)”
This story first appeared in the March 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
There are no recent figures for Variety’s circulation, since the title hasn’t been a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations since 2009. During its last audited period by ABC, Variety’s average weekday circulation was 26,472.