LOS ANGELES (AP) — Penske Media Corp., the owner of the snarky entertainment website Deadline, has purchased venerable show business publication Variety for $25 million.
Reed Elsevier Group PLC announced its sale of the publication on Tuesday.
Variety has covered Hollywood since 1905 and is still considered a prominent entertainment news source. But publication has struggled to compete with websites such as Deadline and The Wrap while continuing its longtime rivalry with The Hollywood Reporter, which was revamped in 2010 under new ownership.
Faced with the onslaught of Web-based news outlets, Variety put its online content behind a “pay wall” in early 2010, ending an experiment with free online content that it began in late 2006. It has about 17,000 subscribers, according to Reed spokesman Paul Abrahams.
Variety also ramped up the number of industry-focused conferences it hosts, and tried last year to compete with Amazon.com Inc.’s movie information site, IMDb.com, by selling a data tool called FlixTracker. Despite the innovations, most of Variety’s revenue still comes from advertising.
Reed Elsevier put Variety up for sale in March as part of an effort to move away from ad-dependent businesses.
Variety was the last of Reed’s U.S. print publications. Reed sold book trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly in 2010 and pay TV industry magazine Multichannel News in 2009. Other titles it sold included Interior Design, Furniture Today, and Broadcast & Cable.
Reed is increasingly focused on providing data services for a variety of industries including airlines and banks.
Penske Media said it plans to expand Variety’s presence on the Web, on mobile devices, over broadcast and in international markets.
Aside from Deadline, the digital media and publishing company owns a number of news brands, including entertainment sites HollywoodLife, Movieline, and technology website BGR.
Penske Media was founded in 2004 by its CEO, Jay Penske, the son of auto racing team owner Roger Penske. Debt and equity financing for the transaction was provided by Third Point LLC, a hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb. Loeb gained notoriety earlier this year as an activist investor who lobbied for a management change at Yahoo Inc.
More Related Stories
- How Dan Savage lost it
- Nancy Jo Sales on L.A. celeb robbers: "The Bling Ring kids were depressed"
- “Arrested Development,” hurry up and get here so you can stop being so annoying
- Must-do's: What we like this week
- Josh Ritter makes his "Blood on the Tracks"
- I don't hate millennials anymore!
- What's 2013's "Gone Girl"? Here are this summer's best reads
- Fox executive behind "Does Someone Have to Go?" leaving the network
- Hillary Clinton memoir shows up on Amazon
- A brief history of Jennifer Weiner's literary fights
- First look: Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard shine in "The Immigrant”
- No women allowed: Summer music festivals are dudefests, again
- Vivica A. Fox tapes anti-gun PSA in front of poster for her movie
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Mariah Carey's rambling, cursing, dress-popping "Good Morning America" concert
- Fox's new reality TV show threatens regular people with unemployment
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Steamy lesbian-sex movie has Cannes abuzz
- Stop what you're doing and go watch "Borgen"
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11