As newly flush The Hollywood Reporter poses a more robust threat than it ever has to Variety’s one-time dominance of the trade space (its first glossy weekly, a fat 156 pages, hits stands Wednesday), Variety is moving its editorial deck chairs. Variety editor Tim Gray has turned to the solid news muscle in the daily bullpen, appointing ex-Hollywood Reporter editor Cynthia Littleton (who returned to Variety three years ago) and Brian Cochrane as deputy editors in charge of news. Thus Variety is not hiring a new editor to replace exiting daily editor Leo Wolinsky, who was let go Monday.
Littleton and Cochrane are both respected Variety veterans. In practice, while both put through copy for the daily editions, Littleton has carried more responsibility for the daily with an emphasis on television; Cochrane supervised the weekly. Now both will be in charge of the daily dissemination of news in print and on the web, working with Variety.com editor Chris Krewson “to make sure the delivery of news to Variety.com is faster, more relevant and easier for readers to access amid tech upgrades for the website,” reads Variety’s announcement, addressing an obvious need to change direction.
Gray is now moving editors Peter Caranicas and Carole Horst from features to oversee the weekly edition, which faces a design overhaul in the new year. Weekly film editor Pat Saperstein is now associate editor and Ted Johnson is now Variety legal editor.
On the award season front, the venerable trades are all competing for premium ad dollars with online dailies The Wrap (Steve Pond’s The Odds), Deadline (Pete Hammond) and indieWIRE as well as established media The New York Times (The Carpetbagger blog is coming back the week after Thanksgiving, with Melena Ryzik) and The Los Angeles Times (Tom O’Neil is leaving The Envelope to relaunch GoldDerby.com November 5, while still blogging for The Envelope, as EW’s Nicole Sperling and ex-Time reporter Rebecca Keegan join the reporting staff and will contribute to the new Awards Tracker blog). Meanwhile THR is adding a new Oscar column and blog, The Race, as I reported.