Variety Eliminates Theater & Film Critic Positions

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Variety publisher Neil Stiles announced today that the famed trade paper will be laying off its longtime chief film and theater critics, Todd McCarthy and David Rooney, respectively, the Los Angeles Times reports.  No reflection on the quality of the mens' contributions, Stiles stated that, "We are eliminating all full-time review staff for film and theater." 

Stiles continued: "People still want to reviewed by Variety and we want to make sure we do at least as many as we have always done. The challenge for us is being flexible in the face of economic realities."

The work of McCarthy and Rooney's will now fall to freelancers and in-house staffers who double up on reviewing and writing tasks. Stiles maintains that the publication will continue to review the same amount of films, which totaled approximately 1,200 in 2009.  

This announcement comes as a shock to to industry, as both Variety and it's rival, The Hollywood Reporter, are known to cover a broader film base than most other publications and their reviews to be highly considered.  

It is believed that McCarthy and Rooney lost their posts due to a general decline in publishing revenue.  McCarthy has been with Variety since 1979; Rooney since 1991.

Variety's chief television critic, Brian Lowry, is expected to remain at Variety.

 



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