The new owner of Variety, one of the biggest show business publications in town is none other than, Penske Media Corp., after purchasing the company for $25 million.
The announcement of the latest sale of Variety was made on Tuesday by Reed Elsevier Group PLC. The legendary publication has been in business since 1905 and still well known as one of the best entertainment news source ever to be established.
Over the years, Variety has had its share of competition with The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap and Deadline that has created a struggle for the publication. In early 2010, the company developed a pay wall for its online news, putting an end to free online content that was once established in 2006.
Due to the “pay wall,” visitors were only able to access a few free news stories per month, leaving many with restrictions. In 2009, 2.5 million visitors had visited the site per month. However, by September the traffic to the site had decreased tremendously with only 397,000 visitors online.
According to market tracker comScore Inc., HollywoodReporter.com had 5.1 million visitors and 1.9 million at Deadline.com, creating a greater struggle for Variety. Even with these high numbers, they were no match to celebrity sites like TMZ with 22.9 million and Yahoo’s OMG with 28 million visitors.
As of March, Variety was put up for sale by Reed Elsvier in efforts to transition from ad-dependent businesses. But this wasn’t the only U.S. print publications that Reed sold. In fact, in 2010, Publisher’s Weekly was sold and in 2009, pay TV industry magazine Multichannel News also, was sold, including Broadcast & Cable, Furniture Today and Interior Design.
Reed looks forward to working with a group of industries from banks to airlines by providing them with data services, while Penske Media is anticipating an expansion of Variety throughout the web, international markets, broadcast and on mobile devices.