Have a Happy New Year, Hol­ly­wood!

Variety - - Field Notes - Claudia Eller Co-edi­tor-in-chief

Ijust want to take a minute to thank all of our de­voted read­ers for your un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of Va­ri­ety. Be­cause of you we are a thriv­ing mul­ti­plat­form en­ter­tain­ment news op­er­a­tion that’s cel­e­brat­ing our 114th an­niver­sary this year!

Thanks to you, Va­ri­ety is flour­ish­ing in a me­dia mar­ket where so many mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers un­for­tu­nately have ei­ther folded un­der fi­nan­cial pres­sure or are strug­gling to sur­vive.

As I was prepar­ing this edi­tor’s let­ter, I took a look back at Va­ri­ety’s his­tory to re­mind my­self of its hum­ble be­gin­nings in New York, and to take note of how grate­ful I am to be work­ing with an amaz­ing team of writ­ers, ed­i­tors and artists as we con­tinue ex­pand­ing our great brand around the globe.

Founder Sime J. Sil­ver­man first pub­lished Va­ri­ety in 1905 as a “hor­i­zon­tal” sheet, cov­er­ing vaudeville, cir­cus acts and other forms of en­ter­tain­ment. Writer Peter Be­sas’ web­site, Sime’s Site, de­scribes the pub­li­ca­tion’s early days as “buc­ca­neer­ing years, when Sime and his sheet were fight­ing for sur­vival, hid­ing from cred­i­tors and us­ing ev­ery ploy imag­in­able to keep ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to Be­sas, Sil­ver­man was a man who “lived hard, smok­ing, drink­ing, wom­an­iz­ing, play­ing poker through the nights.” Yet, he showed up to work ev­ery day to write and edit copy. By 1920, Sil­ver­man had bought a rick­ety five-story walk-up build­ing at 154 W. 46th St., not far from where our non-rick­ety New York of­fices are to­day.

Be­sas says of Sil­ver­man that he put good jour­nal­ism above all else, even if that meant an­ger­ing those who were keep­ing the pub­li­ca­tion afloat.“he cul­ti­vated an in­ner cir­cle of mugs, as the jour­nal­ists were called, and strictly kept to the creed of jour­nal­is­tic hon­esty and in­tegrity he had pro­claimed in the first is­sue, not an easy task when your ad­ver­tis­ers were the very peo­ple whom you were writ­ing about.”

De­spite some rough times un­der Va­ri­ety’s prior own­er­ship, we have up­held Sil­ver­man’s un­com­pro­mis­ing com­mit­ment to jour­nal­is­tic ex­cel­lence, and for the past six years have had an owner, in Jay Penske, who con­tin­ues to in­vest in our news­room.

I can prom­ise you that in 2019 and be­yond we will con­tinue to de­liver the most compelling news and anal­y­sis in our mag­a­zine and via our web­site, videos and pod­casts. You de­serve the best!

De­spite some rough times un­der Va­ri­ety’s prior own­er­ship, we have up­held founder Sime Sil­ver­man’s com­mit­ment to jour­nal­is­tic ex­cel­lence.”

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