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‘Variety’ cuts staff, restructures

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Los Angeles—Reed Business Information US’s Variety has cut eight staff positions, including Todd McCarthy, its film reviewer, and David Rooney, its theater reviewer, according to various news outlets.

In a story posted Monday on Variety.com, the entertainment industry trade publication also said Kirstin Wilder has been promoted to managing editor from deputy managing editor. Steven Gaydos, who had been executive editor-features, is now simply executive editor, a reflection of expanded responsibilities.

In the Variety.com story, Variety President Neil Stiles said, “While days like this are always difficult, we’re doing what we need to do to shape the future of Variety.”

A memo from Variety Group Editor Timothy M. Gray, which was posted on the Romenesko blog, said that McCarthy and Rooney had been offered the opportunity to write reviews as freelancers. Gray also wrote in the memo: “I cannot repeat this often enough: Variety is in profit, which means we’re here to stay.”

Reed Business Information US is in the process of selling most of its trade publications, but parent company Reed Elsevier has stated that it plans to keep Variety. The publication’s ad pages fell 29.8% in 2009 compared with 2008, according to IMS-The Auditor data.

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