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Local owner Penske Media buys Variety for $25M; Finke's role unclear

A stack of Variety magazines.
A stack of Variety magazines.
Mandy_Jansen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Long-time Hollywood trade paper Variety has been acquired by digital media company Penske Media Corp. — parent of online rival — and the hedge fund Third Point. The purchase — for approximately $25 million — signifies a power shift towards the Internet for media that cover the entertainment capital of the world, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What's not clear is what role — if any — will be played by Deadline's founder Nikki Finke, who has carved out a role as an aggressive rival to the traditional Hollywood trade papers.

"Variety is a successful business and PMC is a great home for it," Variety president Neil Stiles wrote in an email message to his staffers, Variety reported. "We hold each other in the highest regard and together we will thrive."

Chief Executive Jay Penske told the Times that he wants to revert Variety back to popularity and make the 107-year-old trade indispensable to its Hollywood readers. He added that he has not determined whether he'll discontinue print editions.

"Before we make any substantial changes, we need to spend more time with the current team," he wrote to the Times. "We need more data."

PMC already owns, a website that has become a dominant news source for show business professionals. The company intends to keep both entities distinct. reports that Nic Paul, Senior Vice President of entertainment sales at PMC, said the two will complement each other.

“’s supremacy in breaking news, and Variety’s extraordinary content and industry analysis, coupled with readership that combines key industry decision makers and influencers, creates a compelling value proposition for our partners and advertisers,” Paul said.