Koones stepping down from Variety post

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UPDATED 10:09 p.m. PT Nov. 28, 2007

In a surprise move, Charlie Koones will step down as president and publisher at Reed Elsevier-owned industry trade paper Variety on March 1.

He will be replaced by Neil Stiles, managing director of the Reed Business Information unit in the U.K. since April 2001. Koones also will leave to Stiles the job of head of the entertainment division of Variety parent Reed Business Information.

After 17 years at the paper, Koones will "pursue ventures in media and entertainment," the trade said Wednesday on its site.

Stiles has served as managing director of the corporate parent's Reed Business Information unit in the U.K. since April 2001. In that post, he has overseen such trade titles as Hair & Beauty, Travel Weekly, Road Transport Group, HR Portfolio, Sales Operations and Utility Week.

Reed said Wednesday that Stiles has managed to build "a booming Internet business," run profitable brands and knows international markets, which are becoming increasingly important for media companies.

He also ran eMedia, the firm's London-based Web marketing firm. Stiles started his career as a U.K. music journalist.

The new Variety boss said his new role "comes at an exciting time as show business, new media and publishing converge." He added that he has known colleagues at Variety for years.

Koones has been credited with focusing on an expansion of Variety's new-media and international offerings.

In the role of head of the entertainment assets of Reed, Koones has overseen such other trades as Video Business, Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News.

"This was not an easy decision, but I know the time is right for me to pursue the next step in my career," Koones said on the paper's Web site.

Koones and Stiles were not available for comment. Koones had missed the Gotham Awards on Tuesday night in New York, with a presenter citing a family birthday that kept him away.

Steven Zeitchik contributed to this report.
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