Last night, I received word that Peter Bart was being move aside at Variety after 20 years. Naturally, I fanned out calls to all the trade bigwigs. Today, I called Variety editor Tim Gray asking if it were true that he was going to replace Bart. He asked if he could call me in 5 minutes. Twenty minutes later, Gray posted on Variety.com what I already knew. Nice move, Tim. (I didn't like it, but it's also something I probably would have done, too.)
Effective immediately, Gray retains his title as Variety editor and will report to Variety Group Publisher Neil Stiles from now on. Bart will report to Reed Business Information CEO Tad Smith who isn't involved in the day-to-day of Variety because of his bog management job. ...Bart's new title is "vice president and editorial director of Variety", but it's meaningless. He and the company are playing this like it's voluntary, but Peter has been pushed "essentially up and out" of the newsroom, as one of my sources puts it.