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‘Variety’ to go weekly, drop online paywall

LOS ANGELES – Variety, the venerable trade paper that has covered Hollywood for more than a century, is dropping its daily print edition and replacing it with a weekly publication starting next month.

The publication also will have a new management structure featuring three editors-in-chief and will remove the paywall that was put up on its website three years ago.

“It was an interesting experiment that didn’t work. We look forward to welcoming back longtime Variety readers when the paywall drops March 1,” said Jay Penske, the chairman and CEO of Variety’s parent company.

Variety’s last daily print edition will be published March 18. A Tuesday-only publication will debut March 26 and will be augmented throughout the year by several special editions reporting on the industry’s many awards shows and other topics of interest to Hollywood movers and shakers.

“We remain committed to a print edition of Variety and are excited that it will expand in size and scope of coverage,” the paper’s publisher, Michelle Sobrino, said in a story Tuesday on the paper’s website (http://bit.ly/YVaMUr).

Variety also announced that three veteran Hollywood journalists, Claudia Eller, Cynthia Littleton and Andrew Wallenstein, are assuming the titles editor-in-chief.

Eller joins the paper after 20 years with the Los Angeles Times, where she was most recently entertainment news editor. Littleton was most recently deputy editor of Variety and Wallenstein was the trade paper’s television editor.

Executive editor Steven Gaydos will continue to oversee Variety’s editorial department. Tim Gray, the current editor-in-chief, will remain in a leadership role, overseeing special projects and expansion of international coverage.

Variety has been a fixture in Hollywood since its founding in 1905, but like other traditional print publications has struggled in recent years as news has moved to other formats.

It was purchased last year for $25 million by Penske Media Corp., which also owns the popular Hollywood website Deadline.

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