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''Variety'' is an American media company owned by
Penske Media Corporation Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is an American digital media Digital media means any media (communication), media that are encoded in Machine-readable data, machine-readable formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, a ...
. The company was founded by
Sime Silverman Simon J. Silverman (May 19, 1873 – September 23, 1933) was an American journalist and newspaper publisher. He was the founder of the weekly newspaper '' Variety'' in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is th ...
in New York City in 1905 as a weekly newspaper reporting on theater and
vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a of 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: a dramatic composition or light poetry, mixed with songs or b ...
. In 1933 it added ''Daily Variety'', based in Los Angeles, to cover the motion-picture industry. ''Variety.com'' features breaking 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 of 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: a dramatic composition or light poetry, mixed with songs or b ...
with its headquarters in New York City. Silverman had been fired by ''
The Morning Telegraph ''The Morning Telegraph'' (1839 – April 10, 1972) (sometimes referred to as the ''New York Morning Telegraph'') was a New York City broadsheet newspaper owned by Moses Annenberg, Moe Annenberg's Triangle Publications, Cecelia Corporation. It w ...
'' 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
ould Ould is an English surname and an Arabic name ( ar, ولد). In some Arabic dialects, particularly Mauritanian Arabic, ولد‎ (the patronymic A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a based on the of one's father, grandfather (av ...
not 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 ''New York Dramatic Mirror'' (1879–1922) was a prominent theatrical trade newspaper. History The paper was founded in January 1879 by Ernest Harvier as the ''New York Mirror''. In stating its purpose to cover the theater, it proclaimed th ...
''. 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 Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ou ...
'', 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, and website, which focuses on the Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come ...
'' 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 GreenAbel Green (June 3, 1900 – May 10, 1973) was an American journalist best known as the editor of '' Variety'' for forty years. Sime Silverman first hired Green as a reporter A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information ...
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 An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the in ...

tuberculosis
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 Syd Silverman (January 23, 1932 – August 27, 2017) was the owner and publisher of ''Variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (univ ...
, 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 care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward (law), ward. Guardians are typicall ...
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 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'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'', 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 RELX (pronounced "Rel-ex", sometimes written RElX) is a British multinational information and analytics company headquartered in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of Eng ...
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 Peter Benton Bart (born July 24, 1932) is an American journalist and film producer, writing a column for ''Deadline Hollywood ''Deadline'' (also known as ''Deadline Hollywood'' or ''Deadline.com'' and previously known as the news blog ''Deadl ...
, 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 (common : Par) is an American film and television and company and a subsidiary of . It is the fifth oldest in the world, the second oldest film studio in the United States (behind ), and the sole member of the ...

Paramount Pictures
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 (pronounced "Rel-ex", sometimes written RElX) is a British-Dutch multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from mu ...
, 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 Digital media means any media (communication), media that are encoded in Machine-readable data, machine-readable formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, a ...
. PMC is the owner of ''
Deadline Hollywood ''Deadline Hollywood'', commonly known as ''Deadline'' and also referred to as ''Deadline.com'', is an online news site founded as the news blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the numbe ...
'', 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 Jay Penske is an American media and publishing entrepreneur and racecar team owner. He is the Chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corporation Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is an American digital media Digital media means any media (communicati ...
, chairman and CEO of PMC, announced that the website's
paywall A paywall is a method of restricting access to content (media), content, with a purchase or a subscription business model, paid subscription, especially news. Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers started implementing paywalls on their websites ...
would come down, the print publication would stay, and he would invest more into ''Variety''s digital platform in a
townhall Townhall is an American politically conservative website, print magazine and radio news service. Previously published by the Heritage Foundation The Heritage Foundation (abbreviated to Heritage) is an United States, American Conservatism in t ...
. 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 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 (PMC) 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, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., ...

Academy Awards
. 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, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., ...

Academy Awards
, the
Golden Globes The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a no ...

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 Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd Str ...
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 East Coast may refer to: Entertainment * East Coast hip hop, a subgenre of hip hop * East Coast (ASAP Ferg song), "East Coast" (ASAP Ferg song), 2017 * East Coast (Saves the Day song), "East Coast" (Saves the Day song), 2004 * East Coast FM, a rad ...
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 ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
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 technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

social media
platforms and channels, including
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...

Facebook
,
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online Broadcasting, broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging. A micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actu ...

Twitter
,
Instagram Instagram is an American photo 396x396px, '' View from the Window at Le Gras'' (1826 or 1827), by Nicéphore Niépce, the earliest known surviving photograph of a real-world scene, made with a camera obscura. Original (left) & Film coloriz ...

Instagram
and
Tumblr Tumblr (stylized as tumblr and pronounced "tumbler") is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online Broadcasting, broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging. A micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that its con ...

Tumblr
, with videos streaming on ''Variety.com'' and on the "Variety"
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
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, songwriter and record producer. Since his mainstream debut in 2012 with '' Good Kid, M.A.A.D City'', Lamar has been regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his gener ...

Kendrick Lamar
,
DJ Khaled Khaled Mohammed Khaled (born November 26, 1975), known professionally as DJ Khaled, is an American DJ, record executive, and record producer. Khaled first gained prominence as a radio host in the 1990s on the radio station , and translated hi ...
, and
Scooter Braun Scott Samuel "Scooter" Braun (born June 18, 1981) is an American media proprietor, media entrepreneur, record executive, and investor. Widely known as the Talent manager#Music managers, music manager for Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, D ...

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, singer, songwriter and model. She had her breakthrough starring as Mattie Ross in the drama Western film '' True Grit'' (2010), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for ...
, 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 Dua Lipa (; ; born ) is an English singer, songwriter and model. After working as a model, she signed with Warner Records, Warner Bros. Records in 2014 and released her Dua Lipa (album), eponymous debut album in 2017. The album peaked at numbe ...

Dua Lipa
and
Bebe Rexha Bleta Rexha (; born August 30, 1989), known professionally as Bebe Rexha ( ), is an American singer and songwriter. After signing with Warner Bros. Records in 2013, Rexha received songwriting credits on Eminem Marshall Bruce Mathers III (b ...
as 2018's Breakthrough Artist and Songwriter of the Year respectively,
BTS BTS (), also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band A boy band (or boyband) is loosely defined as a vocal groupA vocal group in the music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organiz ...

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''. Following his elimination early on, he wa ...

Harry Styles
(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 presen ...

Cannes Film Festival
, MIFED Film Market, and
American Film Market The American Film Market (AFM) is a film industry event held each year in early November. The 2020 AFM took place online November 9–13. The event was moved online due to COVID-19. Historically, more than 7,000 people attend the eight-day annu ...
''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 films A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perception ...
. 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 The headline or heading is the text indicating the nature of the article below it. The large type ''front page headline'' did not come into use until the late 19th century when increased competition between newspapers led to the use of attention-g ...
'') 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 superhighwayThe information superhighway or infobahn was a popular term used through the 1990s to refer to digital communication systems and the Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected co ...
" never caught on.
Television series upright=1.35, A live television show set and cameras A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set A Sony Wega CRT television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly c ...
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 Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The category of articles constitutes a part of ...
''
the ''The'' () is a grammatical article in English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite article in English. ''The'' is the m ...

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 A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that ...

The Boston Globe
'', the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary A historical dictionary or dictionary on historical principles is a dictionary which deals not only with the latterday meanings of words but also the historica ...
'' 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 A stock market crash is a sudden dramatic decline of stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all of the shares In ...
: " Wall St. Lays An Egg". The most famous was "
Sticks Nix Hick Pix "Sticks Nix Hick Pix" is a famous headline printed in '' Variety'', a newspaper covering Hollywood and the entertainment industry, on July 17, 1935, over an article about the reaction of rural audiences to movies about rural life. ''Variety'' was k ...
" (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 Kertész Kaminer; December 24, 1886 April 10, 1962) was a Hungarian-born American film director, recognized as one of the most prolific directors in history. He directed classic films from the silent era and nume ...
's
musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), ...
biographical film A biographical film, or biopic (; abbreviation for ''biographical motion picture''), is a film that dramatizes the life of a non-fictional or historically-based person or people. Such films show the life of a historical person and the central cha ...
about starring
James Cagney James Francis Cagney Jr. (; July 17, 1899March 30, 1986) was an American actor and dancer. On stage and in film, Cagney was known for his consistently energetic performances, distinctive vocal style, and deadpan comic timing. He won acclaim and ...

James Cagney
). 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, through Arab Spring 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 and television director, producer, screenwriter, and film historian, in addition to occasionally serving as an actor. One of the major figures of the New Hollywood Th ...
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 A sitcom, clipping Clipping may refer to: Words * Clipping (morphology) In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...
'' to '' Entourage''. In 2016 ''Variety'' endorsed
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th United States secretary of state The United States secretary of state is an of ...

Hillary Clinton
for
President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

President of the United States
, 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 Loews Cineplex Entertainment, also known as Loews Incorporated (originally Loew's), founded on June 23, 1904 by Marcus Loew, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Nort ...
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, extending from Ocean Avenue (Santa Monica), Ocean Avenue in the city of Santa Monica, California, Santa Monica east to Grand Avenue (Los Angeles), Grand ...

Wilshire Boulevard
. 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 Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films and the film medium. The concept is often used interchangeably with that of film reviews. A film review implies a recommendation aimed at consumers, however not all film criticism takes the fo ...
in history. Two reviews written by Sime Silverman were published: Pathe's comedy short ''An Exciting Honeymoon'' and
Edison Studios Edison Studios was an American film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is ...
' western short ''The Life of a Cowboy'' directed by
Edwin S. Porter Edwin Stanton Porter (April 21, 1870 – April 30, 1941) was an American film pioneer, most famous as a producer, director, studio manager and cinematographer with the Edison Manufacturing Company and the Famous Players Film Company. Of over ...
. ''Variety'' discontinued reviews of films between March 1911 until January 1913 as they were convinced by a film producer, believed to be
George Kleine George Kleine (1864June 8, 1931) was an American film producer and cinema pioneer. Biography His father, Charles, was a New York optician who sold optical devices and stereopticons. George joined the family firm, and in 1893 moved to Chicago. Th ...
, 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 A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs ...
("sigs") rather than with their full names. The practice stopped in August 1991. Those abbreviated names include the following: * Abel -
Abel GreenAbel Green (June 3, 1900 – May 10, 1973) was an American journalist best known as the editor of '' Variety'' for forty years. Sime Silverman first hired Green as a reporter A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information ...
, editor 1931–1973 * Anby -
Vincent Canby Vincent Canby (July 27, 1924 – October 15, 2000) was an American film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, fee ...
, 1951–1957, later chief film critic for ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'' * Army - * Bell - Harry Ennis"American Roof"
''Variety'', April 15, 1925, p. 11.
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
, 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 Claude Binyon (October 17, 1905 Chicago, Illinois (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive maps of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , ...
* Cart -
Todd McCarthy Todd McCarthy (born February 16, 1950) is an American film critic and author. He wrote for '' Variety'' for 31 years as its chief film critic until 2010. In October of that year, he joined ''The Hollywood Reporter ''The Hollywood Reporter'' (''T ...
, 1979–1989; film review editor 1991–2010. * Chic - Epes W Sargeant * Drek -
Derek ElleyDerek Elley (born c. 1955) is an American film and music critic and author, best known as the resident film critic for '' Variety'' until his departure in March 2010. With over 1200 reviews to his credit as of December 2014 on ''Rotten Tomatoes'', he ...
* 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 LaitImage:Jack Lait.png, Jack Lait Jack Lait (March 13, 1883 – April 1, 1954) was an American journalist, author and playwright. During a 50-year career he wrote prolifically and became renowned as one of the leading newspapermen of the first half ...

Jack Lait
* Ley -
Joe Leydon Joseph Patrick Michael Leydon (born August 22, 1952) is an American film critic Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films and the film medium. In general, film criticism can be divided into two categories: journalistic criticism w ...

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 Simon J. Silverman (May 19, 1873 – September 23, 1933) was an American journalist and newspaper publisher. He was the founder of the weekly newspaper '' Variety'' in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is th ...
, 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. * Syd -
Syd Silverman Syd Silverman (January 23, 1932 – August 27, 2017) was the owner and publisher of ''Variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (univ ...
, 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 af ...
'' (1907–1996). Film reviews continue to be published in ''Variety''. The other two periodicals are ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'' (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 w ...
'' (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 wee ...
'' (1919–1962) in 15 volumes). In 1992 ''Variety'' published the ''Variety Movie Guide'' containing a collection of 5,000 abridged reviews edited by
Derek ElleyDerek Elley (born c. 1955) is an American film and music critic and author, best known as the resident film critic for '' Variety'' until his departure in March 2010. With over 1200 reviews to his credit as of December 2014 on ''Rotten Tomatoes'', he ...
. 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 An obituary (obit Obit may refer to: *Obituary An obituary ( obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. ...
(1905–1986) was reprinted as ''
Variety Obituaries ''Variety Obituaries'' is a 15-volume series with facsimile reprints of the full text of every obituary published by the entertainment trade magazine ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' from 1905 to 1994. The first eleven volumes were published in 19 ...
'', 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 An obituary (obit Obit may refer to: *Obituary An obituary ( obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. ...
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 tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertopImage:Kitchen 050918 154652.jpg, A stainless steel countertop A countertop, also count ...

box office
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: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications deliv ...

media
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 The IBM System/360 (S/360) is a family of mainframe computer A pair of IBM mainframes. On the left is the IBM z Systems z13. On the right is the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper.">IBM_LinuxONE.html" ;"title="IBM z Systems z13. On the right is the ...
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 ''The Love Bug'' (sometimes referred to as ''Herbie the Love Bug'') is a 1968 American comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to sim ...
" 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, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., ...

Academy Awards
,
Emmy Awards The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the television industry. It is considered one of the four major entertainment awards in the United States, the others being the Grammy The Grammy Award (stylized ...
,
Tony Awards The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre Broadway theatre,Although ''theater'' is the generally preferred spelling in the United St ...
,
Grammy Awards The Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or just Grammy, is an award presented by the Recording Academy, the US Recording Academy to recognize "Outstanding Achievement in the music industry" of the United State ...
and
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
. 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 Peter Cowie (born 24 December 1939) is a film historian and author of more than thirty books on film. In 1963 he was the founder/publisher and general editor of the annual ''International Film Guide'', a survey of worldwide film production, which ...
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 Business Intelligence

''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. The database uses ''Variety''s existing relationships with the studios to get information. The ''New York Observer'' identified the main competitor as Baseline StudioSystems. In 2014, Variety Insight added Vscore, a measure of actors' cachet and bankability. In 2015, they partnered with ScriptNoted, a social media website for film screenplay, scripts.


See also

* ''
The Hollywood Reporter ''The Hollywood Reporter'' (''THR'') is an American digital and print magazine, and website, which focuses on the Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angeles, California. Its name has come ...
'' * ''
Deadline Hollywood ''Deadline Hollywood'', commonly known as ''Deadline'' and also referred to as ''Deadline.com'', is an online news site founded as the news blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the numbe ...
'', sister competing entertainment trade news publication also under ownership of
Penske Media Corporation Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is an American digital media Digital media means any media (communication), media that are encoded in Machine-readable data, machine-readable formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, a ...
* 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 A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
{{Authority control Variety (magazine), 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