Variety shuts Asia Web site

Editor cites economic downturn

The Asia Web site of entertainment industry daily Variety has closed because of "tight times in global news media," a message from its editor said late Tuesday.

The 2 1/2-year-old Variety Asia Online reported on the ups and downs of the film and television industry across the region, gaining some 15,000 subscribers, editor Patrick Frater wrote.

The economic downturn that has caused layoffs across all industries and around the world caused Variety "to make redundant its permanent editorial staff in this region," he said.

"These include Asia editor Patrick Frater and Hong Kong correspondent/Web editor Marcus Lim, who leave the paper with effect from today. Sadly, that effectively halts publication of Variety Asia," Frater said.