Penske Media Corp founder, chairman and CEO Jay Penske just sent this memo to staff announcing the hire of Laura Lubrano, most recently Director of Television at The Hollywood Reporter, to work out of PMC’s NY headquarters as Director of TV Entertainment Sales. She will report to PMC VP Entertainment Stacey Farish. Penske also announced that current SVP Entertainment Sales Nic Paul is departing the company in October. The memo:
I am writing to you with some important updates and news.
First, I am thrilled to announce that sales veteran Laura Lubrano will be joining the PMC family in NY as the Director of TV Entertainment Sales. Laura joins our team from The Hollywood Reporter, where she was the Director of Television. As a widely respected advertising executive, Laura has managed multi-platform marketing solutions for some of our industry’s largest partners, agencies and clients – for both consumer and trade. Lubrano has a strong history in television advertising sales where, before THR, she led TV sales for the LA Times and LATimes.com, as well as TV Guide Magazine and TVGuideMagazine.com.
In other news, after a wonderful career at Penske Media Corporation, Nic Paul in October 2013 will be moving on to start his own business. As we all know, there is a huge amount of excitement in the digital world right now, and Nic is eager to pursue the next phase of his career. Since he began his career with us, Nic has been a force at Deadline.com and the Penske Media business as a whole. I am sure you will all join me in thanking Nic for his many valuable contributions, congratulating him on his successes and working closely with him during his transition over the next 3 months.
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Right now I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske. Why? Because I don’t have to. If that changes, I’ll tell you. (I also didn’t post about this imbecilic digital ad about me which my parent company ran without my knowledge in NYC’s Times Square all week during the recent TV upfronts. See below.) The fact is I’m out of town and about to begin my long-planned summer vacation. And the last thing I want is to be bothered now by a bunch of media and/or moguls asking for comment. As it happens, I was napping in a different time zone when The Wrap crapped on me yet again Sunday night. Nothing new: the desperate Sharon Waxman and her revolving door staff have been writing inaccurately about me for years, and doing it to drive traffic to her failing website, and refusing to correct even the most blatant errors. Last night Waxman sent a joint email to my boss and myself at 6:43 PM. She waited two whole minutes. Then she posted her story about us at 6:45 PM. That’s a rotten thing to do, not to mention bad journalism, and she knows it. And it’s yet one more reason I call her website The Crap. That said, I could pick apart her so-called “shocker” line by line, but I won’t. I’d much rather spend my remaining pre-vacation time writing up some great scoops to post this week. Instead, I’ll simply correct one point from her article to illustrate what a bad reporter Waxman is. Read More »
The total number of this first round of layoffs is 20-25 people — none in editorial, we’re hearing. According to a memo going out to Variety staff, it’s part of new owner Jay Penske’s broader plan that will include “substantial further investment in editorial and digital”. It’s the latest move from Penske, the owner of Deadline Hollywood who bought Variety on October 9. Soon after, he appointed Michelle Sobrino-Stearns publisher. Here’s the memo:
For the past six months, we have diligently reviewed every aspect of the Variety business. And in more recent weeks, we have outlined to Variety senior management an exciting and also aggressive trajectory for the brand’s resurgence. These steps will include substantial further investment in editorial and digital, but will unfortunately require some immediate eliminations in the following business units: LA411/NY411, Circ, Systems, Conferences, and Admin.
Without a doubt, this is a challenging day, and I particularly wanted to notify and acknowledge those of you who will be saying goodbye to valued colleagues and friends. As we look ahead, Variety’s business holds almost limitless potential and I will remain available to answer any questions you might have regarding today’s changes and our future. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or see Tammy Chase to arrange an appointment.
One day after PMC’s acquisition of the venerable showbiz publication was formally announced, new owner Jay Penske visited Variety’s offices on Wilshire Blvd to talk about its future. The town hall started at 4:30 PM in front of about 80 staffers and took place on the building’s vacant 28th floor. Most of Penske’s presentation was about his company Penske Media Corp. He took no questions. According to those present, the gist of what Penske told the assembled group about Variety was that some things were going to stay the same and some things were going to change. His most important announcement was that Variety’s pay wall on the media outlet’s website will be coming down so that more than a small group of subscribers can consume its content. The PMC boss also said that Variety’s print publications are still going to come out for the foreseeable future. And he said he plans to invest more in Variety’s digital platform and expand its editorial reach. No more specifics were provided. The town hall ended around 5:10 PM. A Deadline reporter arriving to cover the Variety town hall wound up escorted from the building by security before it began.