Variety (magazine)
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

''Variety'' is an American media company owned by
Penske Media Corporation Penske Media Corporation (PMC) () is an American digital media, publishing, and information services company based in Los Angeles and New York City. It publishes more than 20 digital and print brands, including ''Variety (magazine), Variety'', ' ...
. The company was founded by Sime Silverman in New York City in 1905 as a weekly newspaper reporting on theater and
vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a theatre, theatrical genre of variety show, variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: ...
. In 1933 it added ''Daily Variety'', based in Los Angeles, to cover the motion-picture industry. ''Variety.com'' features entertainment news, reviews, box office results, cover stories, videos, photo galleries and features, plus a credits database, production charts and calendar, with archive content dating back to 1905.


History


Foundation

''Variety'' has been published since December 16, 1905, when it was launched by Sime Silverman as a weekly periodical covering theater and
vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a theatre, theatrical genre of variety show, variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: ...
with its headquarters in New York City. Silverman had been fired by '' The Morning Telegraph'' in 1905 for panning an act which had taken out an advert for $50. As a result, he decided to start his own publication "that ouldnot be influenced by advertising." With a loan of $1,500 from his father-in-law, he launched ''Variety'' as publisher and editor. In addition to ''The Morning Telegraph'', other major competitors on launch were '' The New York Clipper'' and the '' New York Dramatic Mirror''. The original cover design, which is very similar to the current design, was sketched by Edgar M. Miller, a scenic painter, who refused payment. The front cover contained pictures of the original editorial staff, who were Alfred Greason, Epes W Sargeant (Chicot or Chic) and Joshua Lowe, as well as Silverman. The first issue contained a review by Silverman's son Sidne, also known as Skigie (based on the childish lisping of his name) who was claimed to be the youngest critic in the world at seven years old. In 1922 Silverman acquired ''The New York Clipper'' which had been reporting on the stage and other entertainment since 1853, in an attempt to attract advertising revenue away from ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising structure (a billing board), typically found in high-traffic areas such as alongside busy roads. Billboards present large advertis ...
'', following a dispute with William Donaldson, the owner of ''Billboard''. Silverman folded it two years later after spending $100,000, merging some of its features into ''Variety''. The same year, he launched the ''Times Square Daily'', which he referred to as "the world's worst daily" and soon scrapped. During that period, ''Variety'' staffers worked on all three papers. After the launch of ''
The Hollywood Reporter ''The Hollywood Reporter'' (''THR'') is an American digital and print magazine which focuses on the Hollywood film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visua ...
'' in 1930, Silverman launched the Hollywood-based ''Daily Variety'' in 1933 with Arthur Ungar as the editor. It replaced ''Variety Bulletin'' that was issued in Hollywood on Fridays as a four-page wraparound to the ''Weekly''. ''Daily Variety'' was initially published every day other than Sunday but mostly on Monday to Friday. The ''Daily'' and the ''Weekly'' were initially run as virtually independent newspapers, with the ''Daily'' concentrating mostly on Hollywood news and the ''Weekly'' on U.S. and international coverage.


Death of Sime Silverman

Silverman had passed on the editorship of the ''Weekly Variety'' to Abel Green as his replacement in 1933. He remained as publisher until his death later that year, soon after launching ''Daily Variety''. Silverman's son Sidne succeeded him as publisher of both publications but upon contracting
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by ''Mycobacterium tuberculosis'' (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in ...
in 1936 he could no longer take a day to day role at the paper. Green, the editor, and Harold Erichs, the treasurer and chief financial officer, ran the paper during his illness. Following Sidne's death in 1950, his only son Syd Silverman, was the sole heir to what was then Variety Inc. Young Syd's
legal guardian A legal guardian is a person who has been appointed by a court or otherwise has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to make decisions relevant to the personal and property interests of another person who is deemed incompetent, calle ...
Erichs, who had started at ''Variety'' as an office boy, assumed the presidency. Ungar remained editor of ''Daily Variety'' until his death in 1950. He was followed by Joe Schoenfeld. In 1953
Army Archerd Armand Andre Archerd (January 13, 1922 – September 8, 2009) was an American columnist for ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' for over fifty years before retiring his "Just for Variety" column in September 2005. In November 2005, Archerd began blog ...
took over the "Just for Variety" column on page two of ''Daily Variety'' and swiftly became popular in Hollywood. Archerd broke countless exclusive stories, reporting from film sets, announcing pending deals, giving news of star-related hospitalizations, marriages, and births. The column appeared daily for 52 years until September 1, 2005. Erichs continued to oversee ''Variety'' until 1956. After that date, Syd Silverman managed the company as publisher of both the ''Weekly Variety'' in New York and the ''Daily Variety'' in Hollywood. Thomas M. Pryor, former Hollywood bureau chief of ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
'', became editor of ''Daily Variety'' in 1959. Under Pryor, ''Daily Variety'' expanded from 8 pages to 32 pages and also saw circulation increase from 8,000 to 22,000. Green remained as editor of ''Variety'' until his death in 1973, with Syd taking over the role.


Acquisition by Cahners

In 1987, ''Variety'' was sold to Cahners Publishing for $64 million. In December 1987, Syd handed over editorship of ''Variety'' to Roger Watkins. After 29 years as editor of ''Daily Variety'', Tom Pryor handed over to his son Pete in June 1988. On December 7, 1988, Watkins proposed and oversaw the transition to four-color print. Upon its launch, the new-look ''Variety'' measured one inch shorter with a washed-out color on the front. The old front-page box advertisement was replaced by a strip advertisement, along with the first photos published in ''Variety'' since Sime gave up using them in the old format in 1920: they depicted Sime, Abel and Syd. For 20 years from 1989, ''Variety''s editor-in-chief was Peter Bart, originally only of the weekly New York edition, with Michael Silverman (Syd's son) running the ''Daily'' in Hollywood. Bart had worked previously at
Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film and television production company, production and Distribution (marketing), distribution company and the main namesake division of Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS). It is the fifth-oldes ...
and ''The New York Times''. Syd Silverman remained as publisher until 1990 when he was succeeded on ''Weekly Variety'' by Gerard A. Byrne and on ''Daily Variety'' by Sime Silverman's great-grandson, Michael Silverman. Syd became chairman of both publications. In April 2009 Bart moved to the position of "vice president and editorial director", characterized online as "Boffo No More: Bart Up and Out at Variety". From mid 2009 to 2013, Timothy M. Gray oversaw the publication as Editor-in-Chief, after over 30 years of various reporter and editor positions in the newsroom.


Acquisition by Penske Media Corporation

In October 2012
Reed Business Information RELX plc (pronounced "Rel-ex") is a British Multinational corporation, multinational information and analytics company headquartered in London, England. Its businesses provide scientific, technical and medical information and analytics; legal i ...
, the periodical's owner, (formerly known as Reed-Elsevier, which had been parent to Cahner's Corp. in the United States) sold the publication to
Penske Media Corporation Penske Media Corporation (PMC) () is an American digital media, publishing, and information services company based in Los Angeles and New York City. It publishes more than 20 digital and print brands, including ''Variety (magazine), Variety'', ' ...
(PMC). PMC is the owner of ''
Deadline Hollywood ''Deadline Hollywood'', commonly known as ''Deadline'' and also referred to as ''Deadline.com'', is an online newspaper, online news site founded as the news blog ''Deadline Hollywood Daily'' by Nikki Finke in 2006. The site is updated several ...
'', which since the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike has been considered ''Variety'''s largest competitor in online showbiz news. In October 2012, Jay Penske, chairman and CEO of PMC, announced that the website's
paywall A paywall is a method of restricting access to content, with a purchase or a paid subscription, especially news. Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers started implementing paywalls on their websites as a way to increase revenue after years o ...
would come down, the print publication would stay, and he would invest more into ''Variety''s digital platform in a townhall. In March 2013 owner Penske appointed three co-editors to oversee different parts of the publication's industry coverage; Claudia Eller as Editor, Film; Cynthia Littleton as Editor, TV; and Andrew Wallenstein as Editor, Digital. The decision was also made to stop printing ''Daily Variety'' with the last printed edition published on March 19, 2013, with the headline "Variety Ankles Daily Pub Hubbub". In June 2014, ''Variety'' launched a high-end real-estate breaking news site, ''Dirt'', under the direction of self-proclaimed "Real Estalker" Mark David, which later expanded to its own stand-alone site in 2019. October 2014 Eller and Wallenstein were upped to Co-Editors in Chief, with Littleton continuing to oversee the trade's television coverage. In June 2014, Penske Media Corporation entered into an agreement with Reuters to syndicate news from ''Variety'' and ''Variety'' Latino-Powered by Univision to distribute leading entertainment news to the international news agency's global readership. This dissemination comes in the form of columns, news stories, images, video, and data-focused products. In July 2015, ''Variety'' was awarded a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award by the Television Academy in the Best Entertainment Program category for '' Variety Studio: Actors on Actors'', a series of one-hour specials that take viewers inside Hollywood films and television programs through conversations with acclaimed actors. A second Los Angeles Area Emmy Award was awarded in 2016. In June 2019, ''Variety'' shut down its Gaming section. A significant portion of the publication's advertising revenue comes during the film-award season leading up to the
Academy Awards The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international film industry. The awards are regarded by many as the most prestigious, significant awards in the entertainment ind ...
. During this "Awards Season", large numbers of colorful, full-page " For Your Consideration" advertisements inflate the size of ''Variety'' to double or triple its usual page count. These advertisements are the studios' attempt to reach other Hollywood professionals who will be voting on the many awards given out in the early part of the year, including the
Academy Awards The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international film industry. The awards are regarded by many as the most prestigious, significant awards in the entertainment ind ...
, the Golden Globes and various guild award honors.


Editions

* ''Variety'' (first edition published December 16, 1905) is a weekly entertainment publication with a broad coverage of movies, television, theater, music and technology, written for entertainment executives. It is the only remaining ''Variety'' print publication and is published weekly and delivered internationally. * ''Daily Variety'' (first edition published September 6, 1933 and last published March 19, 2013) was the name of the Los Angeles-based Hollywood and Broadway daily edition. The ''Daily Variety'' brand was revived in 2019 as a Mon–Fri email newsletter presenting the top stories of the last 24 hours. Top stories are also posted on the ''Daily Variety'' page of ''Variety.com''. * ''Daily Variety Gotham,'' (started in 1998) was the name of the New York City-based edition which gives a priority focus to East Coast show-business news and was produced earlier in the evening than the Los Angeles edition so it could be delivered to New York the following morning. * ''Variety.com'' (launched in 1998) is the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...
version of ''Variety''. It was one of the first online newspapers to charge for access when it launched. In June 2010, all content on the website became paywalled. The paywall was removed in April 2013, but access to additional content, such as the archives, requires subscription. * ''Variety On-The-Go'' ''Variety'' is also available as an app on the iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone. This app is an interactive content-driven platform providing entertainment industry updates on the go. * ''@Variety'' is available across multiple
social media Social media are interactive media technologies that facilitate the Content creation, creation and information sharing, sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and Network virtualization, ...
platforms and channels, including
Facebook Facebook is an online social media and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dusti ...
,
Twitter Twitter is an online social media and social networking service owned and operated by American company Twitter, Inc., on which users post and interact with 280-character-long messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like, and ...
,
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
and
Tumblr Tumblr (stylized as tumblr; pronounced "tumbler") is an American microblogging and Social networking service, social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007 and currently owned by Automattic. The service allows users to post multimedia ...
, with videos streaming on ''Variety.com'' and on the "Variety"
YouTube YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. It was launched on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is owned by Google, and is the second mo ...
channel. * ''Variety Hitmakers'' (first edition published in November 2017) is the publication's first music franchise. The annual list recognizes the writers, producers, publishers, and other key personnel behind the scenes "who helped make―and break―the most consumed songs of the year as compiled by BuzzAngle Music".
Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper and songwriter. Known for his Progressive rap, progressive musical styles and Social consciousness, socially conscious songwriting, he is often considered one of the most infl ...
,
DJ Khaled Khaled Mohammed Khaled (born November 26, 1975), known professionally as DJ Khaled, is an American DJ, record executive, record producer and rapper. Khaled first gained recognition as a radio host in the 1990s on the radio station 99 Jamz, a ...
, and Scooter Braun featured on three individual covers of the premiere print issues, with Lamar named Hitmaker of the Year. He, along with Khaled and
Hailee Steinfeld Hailee Steinfeld (born December 11, 1996) is an American actress and singer. She is the recipient of List of awards and nominations received by Hailee Steinfeld, various accolades, including a Peabody Award, and nominations for an Academy Award ...
, was honored at the inaugural Hitmakers awards ceremony held later that same month—the event has continued annually since. Other honorees have included Dua Lipa and
Bebe Rexha Bleta Rexha (; born August 30, 1989), known professionally as Bebe Rexha ( ), is an American pop singer and songwriter. After signing with Warner Records in 2013, Rexha received songwriting credits on Eminem's single "The Monster (song), The Mo ...
as 2018's Breakthrough Artist and Songwriter of the Year respectively, BTS (2019 Group of the Year), and
Harry Styles Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994) is an English singer, songwriter, and actor. His musical career began in 2010 as a solo contestant on the British music competition series ''The X Factor (UK TV series), The X Factor''. Following hi ...
(2020 Hitmaker of the Year). On December 15, 1906, ''Variety'' published its first anniversary number that contained 64 pages, double the size of a regular edition. It published regular bumper anniversary editions each year, most often at the beginning of January, normally with a review of the year and other charts and data, including, from 1938 onwards, lists of the top performing films of the year and, from 1949, the annually updated all-time rental chart. The editions also contained many advertisements from show business personalities and companies. The 100th anniversary edition was published in October 2005 listing ''Variety'' icons of the century. Along with the large anniversary editions, ''Variety'' also published special editions containing lots of additional information, charts and data (and advertising) for three film festivals:
Cannes Film Festival The Cannes Festival (; french: link=no, Festival de Cannes), until 2003 called the International Film Festival (') and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival A film festival is an organized, extended prese ...
, MIFED Film Market, and
American Film Market The American Film Market (AFM) is a film industry event held each year in early November. Historically, more than 7,000 people attend the eight-day annual event to network and to sell, finance and acquire films. Participants come from more than ...
''Daily Variety'' also published an anniversary issue each October. This regularly contained a day-by-day review of the year in show business and in the 1970s started to contain republication of the film reviews published during the year. Older back issues of ''Variety'' are available on
microfilm Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents, typically either photographic film, films or paper, made for the purposes of transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microform images are commonly reduced to about 4% or of the origin ...
. In 2010, ''Variety.com'' allowed access to digitized versions of all issues of ''Variety'' and ''Daily Variety'' with a subscription. Certain articles and reviews prior to 1998 have been republished on ''Variety.com''. The Media History Digital Library has scans of the archive of ''Variety'' from 1905 to 1963 available online.


Circulation

The first issue of ''Variety'' sold 320 copies in 1905. Paid circulation for the weekly ''Variety'' magazine in 2013 was 40,000 (Source: BPA Audit Statement, 2013). Each copy of each ''Variety'' issue is read by an average of three people, with an estimated total readership of 120,000 (Source: Ipsos Subscriber Study, 2013). ''Variety.com'' has 17 million unique monthly visitors (Source: Google Analytics, 2015).


Culture

For much of its existence, ''Variety'' writers and columnists have used a
jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The conte ...
called ''slanguage'' or ''varietyese'' (a form of '' headlinese'') that refers especially to the movie industry, and has largely been adopted and imitated by other writers in the industry. The language initially reflected that spoken by the actors of the early days during the newspaper. Such terms as "legit", "boffo", "sitcom", "sex appeal", "payola", and "striptease" are attributed to the magazine. Its attempt to popularize "infobahn" as a synonym for " information superhighway" never caught on.
Television series A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set which can be broadcast via over-the-air, satellite television, satellite, or cable television, cable, excluding breaking news, television adverti ...
are referred to as "skeins", and heads of companies or corporate teams are called "toppers". In addition to a stylistic grammatical blip – very frequent omissions of the definite article '' the'' –, more-common English words and phrases are shortened; "audience members" becomes simply "auds", "performance" "perf", and "network" becomes "net", for example. In 1934, founder Sime Silverman headed a list in ''Time'' magazine of the "ten modern Americans who have done most to keep American jargon alive". According to ''
The Boston Globe ''The Boston Globe'' is an American daily newspaper founded and based in Boston, Massachusetts. The newspaper has won a total of #Pulitzer, 27 Pulitzer Prizes, and has a total circulation of close to 300,000 print and digital subscribers. ''The B ...
'', the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the first and foundational historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a com ...
'' cites ''Variety'' as the earliest source for about two dozen terms, including "show biz" (1945). In 2005, Welcome Books published ''The Hollywood Dictionary'' by Timothy M. Gray and J. C. Suares, which defines nearly 200 of these terms. One of its popular headlines was during the
Wall Street Crash of 1929 The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Crash, was a major American stock market crash that occurred in the autumn of 1929. It started in September and ended late in October, when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange col ...
: " Wall St. Lays An Egg". The most famous was " Sticks Nix Hick Pix" (the movie-prop version renders it as "Stix nix hix pix!" in ''
Yankee Doodle Dandy ''Yankee Doodle Dandy'' is a 1942 American Biographical film, biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owned Broadway". It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and Richard Whorf, and features Irene Manning ...
'' (1942),
Michael Curtiz Michael Curtiz ( ; born Manó Kaminer; since 1905 Mihály Kertész; hu, Kertész Mihály; December 24, 1886 April 10, 1962) was a Hungarian-American film director, recognized as one of the most prolific directors in history. He directed cla ...
's
musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact def ...
biographical film A biographical film or biopic () is a film that dramatizes the life of a Nonfiction, non-fictional or History, historically-based person or people. Such films show the life of a historical person and the central character's real name is used. The ...
about George M. Cohan starring
James Cagney James Francis Cagney Jr. (; July 17, 1899March 30, 1986) was an American actor, dancer and film director. On stage and in film, Cagney was known for his consistently energetic performances, distinctive vocal style, and deadpan comic timing. He ...
). In 2012 Rizzoli Books published ''Variety: An Illustrated History of the World from the Most Important Magazine in Hollywood'' by Gray. The book covers ''Variety''s coverage of hundreds of world events, from the
1906 San Francisco earthquake At 05:12 Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday, April 18, 1906, the coast of Northern California was struck by a major earthquake with an estimated Moment magnitude scale, moment magnitude of 7.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity scale, Mercalli ...
, through
Arab Spring The Arab Spring ( ar, الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in Tunisia in response to corruption and econ ...
in 2012, and argues that the entertainment industry needs to stay aware of changes in politics and tastes since those changes will affect their audiences. In a foreword to the book,
Martin Scorsese Martin Charles Scorsese ( , ; born November 17, 1942) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor. Scorsese emerged as one of the major figures of the New Hollywood era. He is the recipient of many major accolades, incl ...
calls ''Variety'' "the single most formidable trade publication ever" and says that the book's content "makes you feel not only like a witness to history, but part of it too." In 2013 ''Variety'' staffers tallied more than 200 uses of weekly or Daily ''Variety'' in TV shows and films, ranging from ''
I Love Lucy ''I Love Lucy'' is an American television sitcom that originally aired on CBS from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes, spanning six seasons. The show starred Lucille Ball, her husband, Desi Arnaz, along with ...
'' to '' Entourage''. In 2016 ''Variety'' endorsed
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States secretary of state, United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 ...
for
President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United St ...
, marking the first time the publication endorsed a candidate for elected office in its 111-year history.


Office locations

''Variety'' first offices were in the Knickerbocker Theatre located at 1396 Broadway on 38th and Broadway in New York. Later it moved to 1536 Broadway at the 45th and Broadway corner until Loew's acquired the site to build the Loew's State Theatre. In 1909, ''Variety'' set up its first overseas office in London. In 1920 Sime Silverman purchased an old brownstone building around the corner at 154 West 46th Street in New York, which became the ''Variety'' headquarters until 1987, when the publication was purchased. Under the new management of Cahners Publishing, the New York headquarters of the ''Weekly Variety'' was relocated to the corner of 32nd Street and Park Avenue South. Five years later, it was downgraded to a section of one floor in a building housing other Cahner's publications on West 18th Street, until the majority of operations were moved to Los Angeles. When ''Daily Variety'' started in 1933, its offices were in various buildings near Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. In 1972, Syd Silverman purchased a building at 1400 North Cahuenga Blvd. which housed the Daily's offices until 1988, after which its new corporate owners and new publisher, Arthur Anderman, moved them to a building on the Miracle Mile on
Wilshire Boulevard Wilshire Boulevard is a prominent boulevard in the Los Angeles area of Southern California Southern California (commonly shortened to SoCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. s ...
. In late 2008 ''Variety'' moved its Los Angeles offices to 5900 Wilshire, a 31-story office building on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile area. The building was dubbed the Variety Building because a red, illuminated "Variety" sign graced the top of the building. In 2013 PMC, the parent company of ''Variety'', announced plans to move ''Variety's'' offices to their new corporate headquarters at 11175 Santa Monica Blvd. in Westwood. There, ''Variety'' shares the 9-story building with parent company PMC, Variety Insight, ''Variety 411'', and PMC's other media brands, including ''Deadline.com'', ''HollywoodLife.com'', ''GoldDerby.com'', ''Robb Report'' and the West Coast offices of ''WWD'' and ''Footwear News''.


Content


Film reviews

On January 19, 1907, ''Variety'' published what is considered the first film review in history. Two reviews written by Sime Silverman were published: Pathe's comedy short ''An Exciting Honeymoon'' and Edison Studios' western short ''The Life of a Cowboy'' directed by Edwin S. Porter. ''Variety'' discontinued reviews of films between March 1911 until January 1913 as they were convinced by a film producer, believed to be George Kleine, that they were wasting space criticising moving pictures and others had suggested that favorable reviews brought too strong a demand for certain pictures to the exclusion of others. Despite the gap, ''Variety'' is still the longest unbroken source of film criticism in existence. In 1930 ''Variety'' also started publishing a summary of miniature reviews for the films reviewed that week and in 1951 the editors decided to position the capsules on top of the reviews, a tradition retained today. Writing reviews was a side job for ''Variety'' staff, most of whom were hired to be reporters and not film or theatre critics. Many of the publication's reviewers identified their work with four-letter pen names ("sigs") rather than with their full names. The practice stopped in August 1991. Those abbreviated names include the following: * Abel – Abel Green, editor 1931–1973 * Anby –
Vincent Canby Vincent Canby (July 27, 1924 – October 15, 2000) was an American film criticism, film and theatre criticism, theatre critic who served as the chief film critic for ''The New York Times'' from 1969 until the early 1990s, then its chief theatre c ...
, 1951–1957, later chief film critic for ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
'' * Army –
Army Archerd Armand Andre Archerd (January 13, 1922 – September 8, 2009) was an American columnist for ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' for over fifty years before retiring his "Just for Variety" column in September 2005. In November 2005, Archerd began blog ...
* Bell – Harry Ennis"American Roof"
''Variety'', April 15, 1925, p. 11.
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, ...
, San Francisco, California. Retrieved July 28, 2019. Both of the trade publication's reviewers Harry Ennis ("Bell") and Ed Barry ("Edba") are identified in the cited source.
* Besa – Peter Besas * Bige – Joe Bigelow * Bing – Claude Binyon * Cart – Todd McCarthy, 1979–1989; film review editor 1991–2010. * Chic – Epes W Sargeant * Drek –
Derek Elley Derek Elley (born c. 1955) is an American film and music critic and author, best known as the resident film critic for ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' until his departure in March 2010. With over 1200 reviews to his credit as of December 2014 on '' ...
* Edba – Ed Barry * Gene – Gene Arneel * Har – James Harwood * Hawk – Robert Hawkins * Herm – Herman Schoenfeld * Holl and Hyho – Hy Hollinger, 1953–1960, 1979–1992 * Jolo – Joshua Lowe * Lait – Jack Lait * Ley – Joe Leydon * Murf – Arthur D. Murphy, the principal film critic from December 1964 until October 1978. * Pry – Thomas M. Pryor, editor of ''Daily Variety'' from 1959 until his retirement in 1988. * Rush – Alfred Greason * Sid or Skig – Sidne Silverman, ''Variety'' publisher and Sime Silverman's son. * Sime – Sime Silverman, founder of ''Variety'' and the first to write a film review for the paper. * Sisk – Robert Sisk, formerly a writer of "news letters" for '' The Sun'' in Baltimore, Maryland. * Strat –
David Stratton David James Stratton (born 10 September 1939) is an English-Australian award-winning Film criticism, film critic, as both a journalist and interviewer, film historian and lecturer and television personality and producer. Life and career Born ...
* Syd – Syd Silverman, Sime Silverman's grandson * The Skirt – Hattie Silverman, Sime's wife * Ung – Arthur Ungar, first ''Daily Variety'' editor * Whit – Whitney Williams


Reprints of reviews

''Variety'' is one of the three English-language periodicals with 10,000 or more film reviews reprinted in book form. These are contained in the 24-volume ''
Variety Film Reviews ''Variety Film Reviews'' is the 24-volume hardcover reprint of feature film reviews by the weekly entertainment tabloid-size magazine ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' from 1907 to 1996. Film reviews continued to be published in the weekly magazine a ...
'' (1907–1996). Film reviews continue to be published in ''Variety''. The other two periodicals are ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
'' (as ''The New York Times Film Reviews'' (1913–2000) in 22 volumes) and ''
Harrison's Reports ''Harrison's Reports'' was a New York City-based motion picture trade journal published weekly from 1919 to 1962. The typical issue was four letter-size pages sent to subscribers under a second-class mail permit. Its founder, editor and publisher ...
'' (as ''
Harrison's Reports and Film Reviews ''Harrison's Reports and Film Reviews'' is the 15-volume reprint of the complete run of the weekly magazine ''Harrison's Reports'' from its founding in 1919 to its demise in 1962. Volumes 1 through 14 are facsimile reprints of the more than 2,000 we ...
'' (1919–1962) in 15 volumes). In 1992 ''Variety'' published the ''Variety Movie Guide'' containing a collection of 5,000 abridged reviews edited by
Derek Elley Derek Elley (born c. 1955) is an American film and music critic and author, best known as the resident film critic for ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' until his departure in March 2010. With over 1200 reviews to his credit as of December 2014 on '' ...
. The last edition was published in 2001 with 8,500 reviews. Many of the abridged reviews for films prior to 1998 are published on ''Variety.com'' unless they have later posted the original review.


Obituaries

The complete text of approximately 100,000 entertainment-related obituaries (1905–1986) was reprinted as '' Variety Obituaries'', an 11-volume set, including alphabetical index. Four additional bi-annual reprints were published (for 1987–1994) before the reprint series was discontinued. The annual anniversary edition published in January would often contain a necrology of the entertainment people who had died that year.


Charts and data

''Variety'' started reporting
box office A box office or ticket office is a place where ticket (admission), tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through a hole in a wall or window, or at a Wicket gate, wicke ...
grosses for films by theatre on March 3, 1922, to give exhibitors around the country information on a film's performance on Broadway, which was often where first run showings of a film were held. In addition to New York City, they also endeavored to include all of the key cities in the U.S. in the future and initially also reported results for ten other cities including Chicago and Los Angeles. They continued to report these grosses for films until 1989 when they put the data into a summarized weekly chart and only published the data by theatre for New York and Los Angeles as well as other international cities such as London and Paris. As
media Media may refer to: Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass el ...
expanded over the years, charts and data for other media such as TV ratings and music charts were published, especially in the anniversary editions that were regularly published each January. During the 1930s charts of the top performing films of the year were published and this tradition has been maintained annually since. In 1946 a weekly National Box Office survey was published on page 3 indicating the performance of the week's hits and flops based on the box office results of 25 key U.S. cities. Later in 1946 a list of All-Time Top Grossers with a list of films that had achieved or gave promise of earning $4,000,000 or more in domestic (U.S. and Canada) rentals was published. An updated chart was published annually for over 50 years, normally in the anniversary edition each January. In the late 1960s ''Variety'' started to use an IBM 360 computer to collate the grosses from their weekly reports of 22 to 24 U.S. cities from January 1, 1968. The data came from up to 800 theatres which represented around 5% of the U.S. cinema population at the time but around one-third of the total U.S. box office grosses. In 1969, they started to publish the computerized box office compilation of the top 50 grossing films of the week based on this data. " The Love Bug" was the number one in the first chart published for the week ending April 16, 1969. The chart format was changed in 1989 to reduce the list to a top 40 and display a summary of the sample city theater grosses rather than publish the theater grosses separately. The sample chart was discontinued in 1990. Arthur D. Murphy, who joined ''Variety'' in 1964 and worked there until 1993, was one of the first to organize and chart domestic box office gross information that became more available during the 1980s and report it in a meaningful form setting a standard for how film box office information is reported today. Murphy used the weekly sample reports to estimate the total US weekly box office compared with previous annual totals which was reported in ''Variety's'' US Boxoffice Report each week. The sample also allowed Murphy to estimate the Market Share percentage rankings of distributors. In 1976 the Variety Box Office Index (VBI) was launched where each month's actual key city box office tally, after seasonal adjustment, was simultaneously expressed as an index number, with 1970 as a whole being used as the base initially. The current month's VBI expressed the monthly box office performance as a percentage change from the base year. The index was published until 1991 giving a history of comparable monthly and annual box office performance for the past 20 years. During the 1980s, ''Daily Variety'' started to publish a weekly chart of the domestic box office grosses of films as compared to the Top 50 chart in ''Variety'' which was based on a sample of key markets. ''Variety'' started to publish this weekend box office report together with the sample Top 50 chart (later top 40) until they discontinued the sample chart in February 1990 with the weekend box office report being their main source of box office reporting. In 2009 ''Variety'' launched a chart showcasing the top performing film trailers ahead of theatrical release in partnership with media measurement firm Visible Measures.


Other ''Variety'' products

In 1937 ''Variety'' compiled and published a Radio Directory compiling a record of events in radio such as program histories, ratings and popularity polls. It published an annual edition for the next three years which are available on the Media History Digital Library. In 1981, ''Variety International Showbusiness Reference'' was published, which they claimed was the first book to contain a complete list of all winners and nominees for the
Academy Awards The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international film industry. The awards are regarded by many as the most prestigious, significant awards in the entertainment ind ...
,
Emmy Awards The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are an extensive range of awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international television industry. A number of annual Emmy Award ceremonies are held throughout the calendar year, each with the ...
,
Tony Awards The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual cer ...
,
Grammy Awards The Grammy Awards (stylized as GRAMMY), or simply known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize "outstanding" achievements in the music industry. They are regarded by many as the most pres ...
and
Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature, and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, who had made hi ...
. The following year they published ''Variety major U.S. showbusiness awards'' containing just this award details and a revised edition, called ''Variety presents the complete book of major U.S. show business awards'', was published in 1985. In 1988, R.R. Bowker, a Reed Reference Publishing Company, part of Reed-Elsevier, PLC, a "sister" company to ''Variety'', published ''Variety's Video Directory Plus'', a CD-ROM subscription product, updated quarterly, containing metadata about 90,000 home video products and full-text film reviews from ''Variety''. Peter Cowie joined ''Variety'' in 1989 and his ''International Film Guide'', which had been published annually since 1964, became ''Variety International Film Guide'' with reports from countries on the year in cinema as well as information of film festivals. It continued to bear ''Varietys name until 2006. In 1990 ''Variety'' published a 15-volume set of its television reviews (including home video product) from 1923 to 1988. Additional supplements were published covering 1989–1990, 1991–1992 and 1993–1994. In 1999 Cowie published ''The Variety Insider'' with detailed information on the year in entertainment as well as historical information. A second edition followed in 2000.


''Variety Studio: Actors on Actors''

In November 2014 ''Variety'' premiered ''Variety Studio: Actors on Actors'', a co-production with PBS SoCal that featured two actors discussing their craft and thoughts on Hollywood, which subsequently went on to win three Emmy awards, including a Daytime Creative Arts Award in May 2019. In January 2017 they launched the Variety Content Studio, creating custom content for brands.


Variety Insight

''Variety'' established its data and research division, Variety Insight, in 2011 when it acquired entertainment data company, TVtracker.com. Its film database was announced in December 2011 as FlixTracker, but was later folded into Variety Insight. ''Variety'' positioned the subscription service as an alternative to crowd-sourced websites, such as the
IMDb IMDb (an abbreviation of Internet Movie Database) is an online database of information related to films, television series, home videos, video games, and streaming content online – including cast, production crew and personal biographies, p ...
. The database uses ''Variety''s existing relationships with the studios to get information. The ''
New York Observer New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartn ...
'' identified the main competitor as Baseline StudioSystems. In 2014, Variety Insight added Vscore, a measure of actors' cachet and bankability. In 2015, it partnered with ScriptNoted, a social media website for film scripts.


Variety Australia

Variety Australia is a website owned by Brag Media, published under license from Variety Media, LLC. It covers film, TV and music around the world, but with a special focus on the Australian and New Zealand industries. The main writer is Vivienne Kelly.


See also

* ''
The Hollywood Reporter ''The Hollywood Reporter'' (''THR'') is an American digital and print magazine which focuses on the Hollywood film A film also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick is a work of visua ...
'' * ''
Deadline Hollywood ''Deadline Hollywood'', commonly known as ''Deadline'' and also referred to as ''Deadline.com'', is an online newspaper, online news site founded as the news blog ''Deadline Hollywood Daily'' by Nikki Finke in 2006. The site is updated several ...
'', sister competing entertainment trade news publication also under ownership of
Penske Media Corporation Penske Media Corporation (PMC) () is an American digital media, publishing, and information services company based in Los Angeles and New York City. It publishes more than 20 digital and print brands, including ''Variety (magazine), Variety'', ' ...
* List of film periodicals


References


Citations


Bibliography

* Peter Besas, ''Inside Variety'' (Madrid: Ars Millenii, 2000) The 563-page book gives a detailed history of the newspaper (it was never called a "magazine" under the Silvermans) from its birth in 1905 to its sale in 1987. * Sime's Site http://simesite.net/ (web page run by pre-corporate (Silverman era) employees of ''Variety'')


External links


Variety.com website

''Variety'' magazine (1905–1963)
fro
Media History Digital Library
!-- A free online resource, featuring millions of pages of books and magazines from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound, led by Eric Hoyt at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. --> at the
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, ...
{{Authority control 1905 establishments in New York City Film magazines published in the United States Music magazines published in the United States Weekly magazines published in the United States Entertainment trade magazines Magazines established in 1905 Magazines published in Los Angeles Magazines published in New York City Penske Media Corporation 2012 mergers and acquisitions