Well, well. It’s very fluid in the whole Variety-Deadline/Penske story. Yesterday Jay Penske met with the Variety to reassure them no immediate changes would be made except that the ridiculous internet pay wall was coming down. The other big news is that he didn’t allow Dominic Patten, a reporter for Deadline, which Penske owns, into the meeting. Nikki Finke and Patten then reported this on the Deadline site. Wow. Who knows what that’s all about? Also, Nikki only announced a few days ago she was going on vacation. But since no one ever sees her, how would you know?
More: my sources now tell me that the scenario I floated–of Bonnie Fuller taking over as editor of Variety–are off base. As much as Bonnie has made HollywoodLife.com, another Penske site, a success, she’s not in the running for Tim Gray’s job. Neither is Nikki Finke, from what I’m told. “Why does anyone think it would be someone from inside and not an entirely new person?” was the question posed to me. So there.
Frankly, Tim Gray has been a great editor of Variety. The paywall was what was killing him. So maybe without it, and some added resources, Gray will just stay the course. But one thing’s for certain: says my source, “Variety is not going to become a gossip-entertainment magazine.” Got that?