Deadline.com’s Jay Penske is the new guiding force at venerable Hollywood trade publication family Variety, and one of his first acts will be to eliminate the paywall in effect for Variety’s online version.
According to an account in The Wrap, there is one wall that will remain intact, for now, anyway – that is the wall separating the staff at Variety from Penske’s people who operate deadline.com. Variety will remain a self-contained unit for the time being.
Penske Media Corporation just acquired Variety for $25M and is beginning the process of revitalizing the property.
According to The Wrap, Penske is committed to retaining the printed products associated with the Variety brand.
The paywall is said to be seen as a hindrance to building an online audience, so the move is meant to draw in more people. But the destruction of the wall will come at a price – it will eliminate a revenue stream described as being in the “several millions” range.