05/15/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Trades In Trouble: Future of Hollywood Trade Magazines In Doubt

Variety, the show business bible, was born nearly 105 years ago when young Sime Silverman, by his own account, was fired by The Morning Telegraph for a review in which he declared a new theatrical sketch by a performer who happened to be one of the paper's advertisers "N. G. (No Good)."

Mr. Silverman started a paper of his own. Its first issue promised notices "that will not be influenced by advertising." Thus began a feisty tradition of entertainment trade reporting and criticism that has been so severely tested in recent weeks that some wonder whether the entire era is drawing to a close.