'Variety' Parent Puts Trade Paper Up for Sale

5:53 PM PST 03/23/2012 by Alex Ben Block
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Last of the Reed entertainment business publications goes on the block.

The entertainment industry trade publication Variety is on the sales block once again. On Friday, Reed Business Information announced it was looking to sell the venerable trade paper, which is the last in a group of business magazines it had owned. (The others were sold in 2008, but Variety was not because Reed said it couldn't get the price it wanted.)

The potential sale comes as The Hollywood Reporter has changed the entertainment business news landscape dramatically. In November 2010, the 80-year-old daily was transformed into both a new weekly magazine and the leading entertainment website.

THR.com has more traffic than the other three industry websites combined. Additionally it is three times larger in audience than Deadline.com, whose readers, according to comScore, visit THR.com more than any other entertainment business site.

Ad revenue for The Hollywood Reporter also has surged under publisher and senior vp Lynne Segall, with a year-over-year increase of 42 percent combined print and digital revenue for the first quarter of 2012 and digital revenue more than double for the same period.

Variety started in New York City as a weekly in 1905 covering vaudeville. As the new medium of movies grew, so did its coverage. Three years after The Hollywood Reporter launched in 1930, Variety expanded to Los Angeles, becoming the second trade daily for show business.

The Silverman family continued to own the publications until 1987, when they were sold to Cahners Publishing, which was later acquired by Reed Elsevier (an Anglo-Dutch company).

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