By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
No Variety For Young Men
Charlie Koones’ exit from Variety is only surprising in that he lost the battle for the soul of Reed Business. It is more than a little ironic that the new guy is being sold as a web pro, when Charlie Koones has been pushing hard for the web-based future of Variety and associated properties.
My one daliance with Variety was over one such venture. The trouble, I found, was insane expectations for what the web could mean to the paper. It wasn’t enough that Variety be the first, aside from the WSJ (and now, increasingly, the NYT) to build a great web success off of a print business. They were envisioning a web success of significantly bigger levels than any Reed brand had ever achieved, online or off.
Charlie was fighting, according to insiders, Peter Bart’s old-schoolism a lot in the last year, building a web presence over Bart’s not-dead body. It is possible that “the new guy” will move Variety forward in an way that suits the product.
Charlie Koones, by the view of everyone I have ever known and respected, a major builder. And Old Media is still, for the most part, crawling. If Reed was not willing to push it, it is very easy to see why Koones wanted to head into them thar hills while the gold rush is still on. And while it’s not what it was, make no mistake… It’s still on.