Reports are coming in that Variety has begun issuing layoffs to key staff members. This is sad news, as always, and I hope my friends at the publication are okay. One of the best film industry reporters around, Anne Thompson, is among those now out of a job. As she remarks today: “What will continue is the Thompson on Hollywood blog. Variety and I are in talks about continuing to host the blog, but I am also fielding other interest. For the past few months I have been actively involved in a web start-up which is in stealth mode; details will be available soon. And I will continue teaching film criticism at USC and hosting Sneak Previews at UCLA Extension. And then there’s that book… Stay tuned. The blog isn’t going anywhere.”
UPDATE: My good friend Mike Jones, who has spent the last two years helping film festivals get exposure through “The Circuit” blog, is confirmed as another Variety lay-off. Additional stunners: the talented music reporter Phil Gallo and the tech-minded scribe Ben Fritz. Sucktz. Big time.
David Poland makes a link between the Variety layoffs, and the Oscar nominations. Did The Dark Knight snubs really cost people their jobs? It’s hard to believe that a couple of Oscar nominations could hurt a publication’s bottom line that much, but Poland makes the case (and the LA Times gets lumped in there too).