Have a Happy New Year, Hollywood!
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.”